Well, you've done it again. It's late in the afternoon on February 14th and you don't have anything to give your loved one when you get home. Not even a measly box of chocolates.
But don't stress. If you can slip away from the office a little early, we've got several brilliant last-minute ideas for faking the perfect gift from stuff you've probably already got at home. You're welcome.
The perfect way to say "I forgot about Valentine's Day but still love you" to someone who's handy around the house, these faux roses will probably look just as fetching if all you have access to is traditional silver duct tape.
In fact, everyone gives a dozen red roses. Very few people give them in silver. So your partner should appreciate these even more considering how truly unique a gift they are. Even if it meant you were locked up inside your work room for a couple of hours after you got home from work. Free
This is truly hacking at its finest. And you don't need to be a mechanical engineer to pull it off. All you need is a fridge with an automatic ice maker and dispenser, some stiff card stock or foam board, a few minutes of cutting and trimming, and some strong tape.
You'll basically be creating a custom hopper to hold a few bags of candy to be fed into the dispenser. It doesn't even require any re-wiring. Once it's installed and filled with candy, everytime you press the ice cube dispenser you'll instead be rewarded with sentimental hearts, Hershey's Kisses, and M&M's. $20 (for candy)
If your significant other happens to be a big gamer, and has been for many years, there's a good chance they're a fan on Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda. And even if they've only battled their way through one adventure, they know how important a healthy stash of hearts can be.
So download this PDF, print off a copy, and go to town with a hobby knife. I guarantee they'll be overjoyed with the sentiment, even if the card's caption is a misquote. But who cares? Hearts are far more romantic than swords anyways. Free
You might want to watch through this instructional video a few times before starting, and a word of caution: this project certainly isn't for the origami faint of heart. But all you'll need is some appropriately colored paper and a few minutes of folding to create what starts out as a paper box, but magically turns into a beautiful rose.
Your valentine is guaranteed to love it since it was crafted with your bare hands. Otherwise they'll look like an unappreciative jerk. And unlike a real rose, this one won't die after a few days when they forget to water it. Free
If you're turning to Gizmodo for advice on last minute Valentine's Day gifts, there's a good chance you're electronically and/or mechanically inclined. Or at the least, very geeky. Which is why I'm sure you'll enjoy this series of cards created from actual wacky patents on file at the U.S. Patent Office.
They were collected and prepped by Steve Hoefer so all you need to do is download the PDF, print off a copy on some fairly presentable paper, and sign your name. It also saves you from having to scour the shelves at your nearest Hallmark which have no doubt been picked bare by this point. Free
Lego now makes it easy for anyone to design and create their own boxed kit—unfortunately there's no way it's going to arrive before February 15th rolls around. But who doesn't already have Lego lying around the house? Whether from your own childhood or bought for your kids.
Lego even sells its own Valentine's Day themed models, but with a keen eye you can easily just rebuild them from the pieces you have available. In fact, if you have kids, there's a good chance they're even better builders than you are, and you can easily rope them into helping with promises of extended bed times tonight. Even if it's a downright lie. Free (if you have kids or ever were a kid)
Think the whole bacon fad is played out? You're completely wrong. Bacon will never get old. It's nature's perfect food, and it turns out it also serves as the ideal replacement for fresh cut flowers. It looks better than roses, it smells better than roses, and obviously it tastes better too.
As long as you can find a muffin pan, or some way to roll the bacon slices while they get crispy in the oven, you can easily create what will certainly be the most appreciated bouquet you could ever give someone. Also, why stop at Valentine's day? These also make for the perfect wedding bouquet, and a beautiful centerpiece once Thanksgiving rolls around again. $5