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Handcrafted Gifts to Warm a Heart

Nothing says "I love you" more than a handcrafted gift. The time, energy and love you put into creating something unique shows your partner how much you value being together. You can still buy jewelry or a beautiful Eternity Rose, which, in combination with something special you make, is both personal and romantic. Such a gift shows you are actually giving a gift from your heart.

You don't need to be a professional artist, chef or writer to create something special. All you really need are a few tools and materials that you probably already have at home. You will be amazed at what you have accumulated in your years together. And don’t forget about the outdoors - there are many useful items from Mother Nature hanging around your garden that make beautiful hand-made gifts.

If you want to learn more, you can look through our lists on Anniversary Gifts by Year that explain the symbols for each anniversary. You could make something out of paper for your 1st anniversary, or something silver for your 25th. Find what year you are celebrating and try to adapt the gift with the material listed. This makes your handcrafted gift stand out among a pile of others. 

Of course, you don't have to follow any particular list in order to create the perfect anniversary gift. Whatever you make is sure to be a treasured item for years to come. The bottom line is that personalized gifts are a rarity in today’s world, so what better way to show your loved one how much you truly do love them?

Write a Love Letter

Writing a heartfelt love letter is not only inexpensive, but a very effective first anniversary gift - the year of paper. However, love letters are a welcomed gift no matter what anniversary you are celebrating. Skip the computer and printer; find a pretty piece of paper - or create your own decorations using stickers, markers, paints, etc. - and a nice pen, and get started on hand-writing a letter.

Spill your heart and tell your partner just how much you love them. And before you seal the letter in an envelope, spray it with a bit of your cologne or perfume; this way, whenever your loved one reads the letter, that familiar scent will make them smile and think of you.

Finally, seal your letter with a kiss; either write out 'sealed with a kiss' or use 'SWAK'. A lipstick kiss on the back of the envelope is sure to make your spouse smile. Don't be shy men, swipe your lips with some lipstick and really surprise the lady in your life!

Make a Special Card

Creating a card is not much harder than writing a beautiful love letter. Start by looking at handcrafted cards online. This will give you an idea of where you want to go with your card. Look around your home and find things you might be able to use for the front of the card. Craft stores sell everything you could possibly need.

Gather your supplies - pictures, glue, feathers, lace, etc. - and create the outside of your card. Use the inside to write a special poem, or write a special note that expresses your love.

Romantic message in bottle

Hide a Message in a Bottle

If the ocean and the beach hold special memories for you and your partner, plan a romantic trip to the beach and have them 'find' a bottle with the message inside that you 'hide' when you get there.

To create this unique gift, all you need to do is purchase a bottle, or use a wine bottle you may have at home. Write a special note, roll it up and push it into the bottle. You can add other notes, tickets, poems or trinkets with your special romantic note. Don't forget to cork the bottle so you don't lose the contents. Once you get to the beach (or you can do this at home), place the bottle in relatively plain sight that isn’t too difficult to stumble across. Your loved one will be delighted to find such a treasure.

Book of Memories

Gather the photos you have of the two of you together. Go back to the beginning when you first met, and create a memory book that is sure to melt their heart. A story of your life together is a gift of love that will be treasured forever.

Make your own little booklet using nice paper you may have at home, or purchase a pre-made blank book or booklet at a craft store. If you don't want to use the actual pictures, you can always scan them and print out copies for your book. These are easier to glue than actual thick photos.

If you are less skilled with your hands but super-creative with graphic arts on the computer, there are many web-based options to create your own book of memories online. You can upload the photos you want and choose a variety of colors, backgrounds, borders and embellishments that are offered by the online software, and then have it printed out into a book at the end of your project.

Also add plenty of text to your chosen photos. Write your personal love story, sharing your journey together in words and pictures. Be sure to capture the essence of what each 'moment in time' means to you.

After your spouse receives this special gift, they can add their own words to this keep-sake book.

Personalized Picture Frames

Find a picture of the two of you that you really like. It can be from your wedding, or any time in your relationship. Buy a nice frame and either have it engraved professionally, or personalize it yourself. Use your imagination when personalizing the frame; you can use dates, quotes or just names.

To make this gift more memorable, use the material that corresponds to the year of your anniversary for your frame. If this isn't possible, embellish a plain frame with symbols or other materials.

Create a Unique Collage

Collages are easy to make once you have all the supplies and materials you need. Essentials are glue (glue sticks work fine for paper; a glue gun might be needed for heavier objects), scissors, a large poster board (or paper of similar weight), a nice frame, and a bunch of photos and other items to glue on your paper.

Go through your keep-sake boxes and drawers and find those old ticket stubs, brochures, matchbooks, shells, rocks, dried flowers, feathers, etc. that you have collected together. Small things that mean so much should be proudly displayed.

Arrange all your items on the poster board, making the overall image pleasing to the eye. Don’t be afraid to cover parts of images or other papers. Layer your flat objects first and build from there. Add buttons, beads, lace and ribbon to make the collage really pop.

You can easily tailor your picture frame to your current anniversary. You can either use the material that symbolizes the year, or embellish the frame to match the symbol. This just makes a handcrafted collage a beautiful keep-sake that you both are going to admire for years to come.

You do not have to use glass in your frame. However, it does protect your photos and treasures from dust and dirt. If you decide to add three dimensional items, look for shadow box frames for your finished project. This keeps your precious items clean and safe from breaking.

The Gift of Song

Music creates long-lasting memories in all of us. Everyone has special songs of their own, or that they share as a couple. Think about the special songs you and your partner have enjoyed over the years. Take this list and create a special CD that contains all your favorite songs.

And as another keep sake of that special song that triggers fond memories of your early days together, have the lyrics of the song printed onto a plate that you serve a meal or dessert to your loved one on your anniversary, and this plate will remain a keep-sake for all time.

Pour a glass of wine, turn the lights down low, and spend some romantic time together reliving old memories. Sing and dance to those songs that have always compelled you to do so. This is your night, enjoy it with song.

Gadget Covers

Does your loved one have a smart phone, tablet or laptop? Why not give them a personalized gadget cover? Find a great picture of the two of you together; find a place that will print this picture on the sleeves of all their gadgets, and have them do this printing for you. The effort alone is worth the smiles and hugs you will receive when you give these gifts. Your loved one will think about you every time they pick up one of their gadgets.

Gift Baskets

Who doesn't love gift baskets? You could always go purchase a lovely gift basket, but that is not personal enough for your wedding anniversary. Gift baskets tailored to your partner are the perfect way to show how much you think about and love them. You know their likes and dislikes, so any basket you fill for them will contain only the items that make them happy. Gift baskets are truly the way to your loved one's heart!

Here are just a few ideas to get you thinking about creating that special gift basket:

Food: Who doesn't love good food? Fill this basket with gourmet food items like cheeses, crackers, meats, wine, chocolate and other treats that you normally would not buy. Splurge! This is your wedding anniversary. Be sure to tailor these food items to your loved one's personal tastes and desires.

Sweets: If your partner has a sweet tooth, then a basket filled with quality chocolates and other sweets is sure to bring big smiles of happiness and joy. Look for unusual candies that they have never tried, and arrange them in a pleasing way. Special non-food items in this sweet basket could include a special candy dish to remember the basket once the goodies are gone.

Hot Drinks: Does your partner need a good cup of coffee or tea to get their day started? If so, give them a basket filled with delicious flavors of coffee and tea. Add a few breakfast pastries and a sweet note with promises of 'dessert' after breakfast. Adding ‘His and Hers’ mugs makes this a gift for two.

Spa Treatment: Fill a basket with massage oils, bath salts, scented candles and a note promising your loved one a special home spa treatment. Or, include vouchers for massages and enjoy this relaxing spa treatment basket together.

Home Date: Put together a basket that includes all the ingredients to cook a special dinner for two. Include candles for romantic lighting, a movie to watch after dinner and a few snacks for munching during the movie Add some bath oil or bubble bath for relaxation that leads to more intimacy.

Pottery

Visit a local pottery store and choose a vase, plate or mug to paint yourself. You can even have a picture printed on your pottery to make it more unique for your partner. Find something your spouse will love, and make it uniquely theirs.

Pillows

People who sew can easily create a wonderful keep-sake pillow for their loved ones. Choose fabric that you know they will love. You can add dates, times, names and any other words of wisdom you choose. You could write these with a permanent marker, or embroider them (or get someone to do this part for you).

Have someone transfer a really nice photo of the two of you together onto a nice piece of fabric, and make them a special pillow they can hug whenever they miss you.

If sewing is not your thing, you could get someone else to create a unique pillow using your ideas and pictures.

No Matter What …..

No matter what you choose to make for your loved one, putting time and effort into the creation is what will mean the most to your partner. Make this anniversary as special as you can - give a handcrafted gift, and watch their eyes glow when you present it to them.

And if you are looking ofr more inspiration on how you can celebrate the special day, check out our section for ideas on Romantic Things To Do for your anniversary.