02/12/2013 01:49 pm ET Updated Apr 14, 2013

5 Valentine's Projects for the Craft Impaired

I'm jealous of the knitters of the world. Not to mention the whittlers, the bakers, even the scrap-book makers. For them, Valentine's Day is easy. All they have to do is spend 150 hours looping and whirling or whatever, and ta-da! A scarf in your favorite colors, embroidered with your future grandchildren's names. Suddenly the terrycloth bathrobe I bought, though it was lovingly gift-wrapped by and shipped directly to you, doesn't measure up.
Over the years, however, I have discovered a few projects that even craft-challenged people like me can execute:

1. World map on corkboard.
  • Ideal for: DINKS
  • Directions: Buy a world map. Glue it to corkboard and use push-pins to mark all the places you have gone together as a couple or family.
  • Advanced-crafters: Personalize the map with a placard (e.g. "Sadie and Steve's Global Adventures") and stick it over a landmass that will be underwater soon, such as the Maldives.
2. Valentine's timeline.
  • Ideal for: Couples together three months or more
  • Directions: Get a long, narrow piece of paper and make a timeline of your relationship: When you met, first kiss, notable vacations, etc. Leave out major fights, if possible. Illustrate with pictures cut out of magazines or images printed off the Internet.
  • Advanced crafters: Roll it up and wrap a ribbon around it.
3. Sidewalk-chalk love letters.
  • Ideal for: Romantics and/or stalkers.
  • Directions: Don't squander this year's workweek V-Day with something that will only embarrass your partner in front of his/her coworkers. Keep the embarrassment going throughout their commutes by chalking cute messages on their driveway, sidewalk, workplace parking lot, subway stop, etc.
  • Advanced crafters: Chalk a sexy limerick with an inside joke.
4. Sexy fortune cookie.
  • Ideal for: Couples who order Chinese food on V-Day
  • Directions:Type a sexy fortune on a small slip of paper. Dig an old fortune cookie out of your refrigerator. (Check the vegetable crisper). Unwrap the cookie, pluck out the old fortune with tweezers, and replace it with your fortune. Then, order Chinese food, and pretend the doctored cookie came with the order. (Tip: Turn away from your partner and crackle plastic so it seems like you're unwrapping the cookie.)
  • Advanced crafters: Another method for opening a fortune cookie is to wrap it in a damp washcloth and microwave it for about 10 seconds.
5. surprise
  • Ideal for: Busy and/or lazy couples.
  • Directions: Select a nice bathrobe in your partner's size and ship it directly to him/her.
  • Advanced crafters: Intercept the package and wrap it yourself.

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