5 Craft Books That Will Up Your Valentine Game

Posted by Jessica Lewis

Valentine’s Day is one of the more crafty holidays we've got, up there with Halloween and Christmas. Every year, you’re all ‘I should make something this time, because it’s cute and considerate.’ But what if Pinterest makes you feel like you’ll fail before you even start? What if the only idea you have is a ‘Good for 1 Massage’ card? What if when you try to wrap a present, it ends up looking all crinkly? What if you’re hosting a dinner party and you want to decorate with supplies you might already have?

Maybe the inspiration you've been looking for has been hiding in a craft book in the Arts & Crafts section of your local bookstore. You probably walk by that section because a lot of older how-to craft books look a little … bland. So here are some alternatives you can use for this year's Prove-How-Much-You-Love-Me day.

1. Martha Stewart's Handmade Holiday Crafts: Let's just start off with the Craft Queen. She doesn't fit into that bland category, because she reigns over all the categories. (How-tos, crafts for girls, crafts for dummies, starting a crafting business, etc.) Homegirl's got everything covered in this mammoth of a book.

Valentine's Day has a huge section. She shows how to use doilies and lace for pretty much anything (they add a nice touch on gift wrapping or table décor). There are cute little gifts such as a love knot bracelet, felt fortune cookie and a knitted heart catnip toy (let's be honest, we all have a cat Valentine and they deserve heart-shaped things, too). You can learn how to make lollipop flowers, rose stationery and embroider little designs.

2. Pretty Packages by Sally J Shim: If you've got the gift down, but want to make it look more presentable, Sally provides 45 different gift-wrapping projects in this gorgeous book. She starts you off with the standard sections: wrapping paper, gift boxes, gift tags, etc., but she shows you how to make them look good, especially with things you may already have at home. You can print out photographs as wrapping paper or cut out tags from a template. Make sure to Instagram your handiwork before you give it away!

3. Paper for All Seasons by Sandra Lounsbury Foose: Like the Martha Stewart (you have to call her by her full name) book, this one also goes in the direction that monthly winds blow you in. The difference to this one is the Valentine's Day crafts are more suited towards party décor. There are also templates for all of the crafts in the back of the book. This is perfect if you are throwing a Galentine's or Valentine's party this year and want to cute it up. You can quickly cut up a heart garland, paper airplane, heart-shaped gift boxes or ornaments. And then you can leave them up year-round so that everyone who comes over continually compliments you.

4. The Black Apple's Paper Doll Primer by Emily Winfield Martin: Emily Winfield Martin is the patron saint of somewhat gloomy whimsical portraits. You could buy a card or print by her for your Valentine, but you can also cut out paper dolls of many of her characters from this almost too-pretty-to-cut-up book. Most of her characters look mellow or pensive, so this could be right up the alley that leads to your 'I don't like Valentines' loved one.

Show them other characters don't care just as much as they do (but they're paper, so). This book has 20 of her characters (which even include a bear and a little ghost), 16 dolls you can make to look like you (or a loved one), all sorts of clothing and even scenery backdrops to use to make your own little setting. She also shows you how to put together a family portrait and many other crafts with the dolls. You might just want to keep this book to yourself.

5. Washi Wonderful by Jenny Doh: If you're still using regular tape on gift-wrapping, we can't be friends. Once you are introduced to washi tape, you'll never go back. There are endless amounts of designs out there ready for you to use on pretty much anything.

In this case, out of all the projects Jenny outlines in the book, you could use pink- and red-based washi tapes to wrap around a pencil in the shape of Cupid’s arrows, add some flare to disposable utensils, easily decorate cards and wrapping and so much more.