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Valentine's Day is right around the corner, and I know you clever DIYers just refuse to settle for run-of-the-mill chocolates or flowers for your loved ones. So this week's Links We Love is devoted solely to DIY Valentine's Day gifts. Make your gift as unique as your love!

Check out the "DIY Sweet Love Garden," a guest post for Mint by SucculentLOVE's Kelly. This adorable and slightly retro-style Valentine's gift is refreshingly free of candy and the color pink, don't you think? You'll need to choose some pretty rope, yarn or piping. Other required items: a hot glue gun, a cute container, some baby succulents and cactus soil. – Mint

This love heart pincushion is sure to delight fellow craftsters. It's handmade. It's adorable. It's practical. Do we really need any additional reasons to love this how-to? Downloadable pattern templates are included in the tutorial. You provide sewing skills, time, and cute fabric pieces. – Happy Together [via Craftzine

Now, guys: Before you feel left out by the domestic crafts in this post, take your cue from Eric Wilhem, president of Instructables. He proudly presents (on Popular Mechanics) his site's top 10 manmade (and I do mean man-made) Valentine's gifts. Make your love swoon with a duct tape rose, or break out your woodworking tools and craft a heart-shaped block of ice with a romantic message inside (pictured). This stellar selection dates from last year, but it's so funny it totally deserves a second look. – Popular Mechanics

Love pretty paper crafts? You'll flip over these utterly adorable Valentine's matchboxes with coordinating enclosure cards. Grab some colored card stock, download the printable matchbox and note templates, and get folding. Each matchbox is just large enough to fit a note of Valentine's Day wishes and perhaps a tiny sweet treat, too. – Swap-bot [via One Pretty Thing]



















Speaking of free printables, get this oh-so-lovely downloadable Valentine's design from Twig and Thistle. Use an ink jet printer to print the "Happy Valentine's Day. Made with Love" message directly onto goodie bags, or print onto adhesive labels. What a beautiful way to showcase homemade V. Day treats. – Twig and Thistle [via Design Sponge]

Here's a sweet way to repurpose old woolen sweaters: create penny rug-style trivets and coasters. They're perfect for making and gifting with love ... and ideal for recipients who would rather avoid candy during this sugar-coated season. – Seattle P-I

Speaking of repurposed woolens, see how a felting failure turned to triumph over at Newly Woodwards. When her original project bombed, blogger Kim cleverly turned leftover sweater scraps into a charming hanging garland of felted hearts. – Newly Woodwards Try crafting these heart-shaped zippered gift pouches; they're as sweet as Valentine's Day itself. The Purl Bee's Molly Schnick sewed them for her nieces and shares how it's done in this tutorial, replete with tons of helpful photos. I love that these pouches can be used for candy or other small treats or gifts. They're also reusable! – The Purl Bee



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