The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Three last-minute gift ideas to save the date this Valentine’s Day

Waited until the last minute? We’ve all been there, but showing up empty-handed is a no-no. Here are three creative ways to surprise your partner.
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Here you are: It’s the big day, and you’re searching for a last-minute Valentine’s Day gift at the bottom of a Pringles can — metaphorically, I hope.

Whether you and your significant other are a pair of fresh-faced newly-exclusives, or you’re just a notoriously bad gift-giver, time is ticking.

But fear not, here are three creative gifts you can whip up in time for your romantic rendezvous on Feb. 14:

Pro tip: Ditch the coupon book. Nothing says “lazy” like a handmade collage of empty promises.

Esthetician for a night

In my opinion, a massage is the physical embodiment of an “I love you.” Now’s the time to take it a step further.

Head to your nearest drugstore to pick up the essentials: an exfoliating face wash or scrub, a moisturizing face mask, a facial roller or gua sha, a moisturizing facial serum, and if the budget permits, a facial steamer. If it doesn’t, a bowl of hot water will work just fine.

Light some candles, get some good music queued up, and surprise them with a spa-like setup.

Now it’s time to get to work. Start the treatment by exfoliating. Then, steam their face — or have them hold their face over a bowl of hot water and drape a towel over their head — for just a minute or so before applying the face mask.

While the mask does its thang, feel free to give them a massage, paint their nails, or let them know how much they mean to you— whatever your vibe is. Then, wash off the mask and finish the treatment by massaging the facial serum into their skin using a skin roller. Ta-da!

Bad portrait-painting

As the name suggests, this idea does not require a duo of da Vinci. In fact, the worse you are at painting, the more fun you will have. Plus, what better opportunity to stare at your partner’s beautiful face for an otherwise uncomfortable amount of time?

All you’ll need is two canvases, a set of cheap acrylic paints, and a set of paintbrushes. An optional addition: a bottle of their favorite wine.

Position yourselves to face one another as you have at it on the canvas, saving the final reveal until you both finish painting. The gift is twofold; not only will you have two new wall decorations, but you’ll also have a stomachache from how hard you will laugh. In need of a competitive edge? Set a 10-minute timer!

A cheesy — but cute — scrapbook

What good is that camera roll folder full of thousands of photos of your partner if it’s just collecting dust? Let’s get creative.

For this project, you’ll need a blank book — the bigger, the better — printed photos of your boo, colorful markers, and some stickers.

Now, the design is up to you, although I would suggest an eclectic approach, meaning just slather the thing in cute stickers and sappy love notes until it looks like it took you weeks, which it didn’t, but they don’t have to know that.

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About the Contributor
Avi Lapchick, Arts Editor
(she/her/hers)
Avi Lapchick is an arts editor at The Daily Iowan. A fourth-year student studying English and Creative Writing at the University of Iowa, she previously held the positions of staff photojournalist, summer arts editor, and assistant arts editor at the DI. She is happiest when she is writing or painting.