We know that red and pink combine for a loud colour clash, but if there’s one day of the year that the combination is encouraged, it’s Valentine’s Day. Fill your home with shades of scarlet and rose and mix both homemade and new to delight your loved ones on February 14th.
Collect plain paper bags from the greengrocers or stationers over the coming weeks and transform them with ink stamps, felt, glitter and coloured tissue. Alternatively choose some pretty striped paper bags. They’ll make great Valentine’s treat holders at the breakfast table on Valentine’s morning. Fill them with a carefully-chosen personal token, a poem, sweets such as chocolate mice or chocolate hearts to start the day with a surprise. Alternatively, go for a pretty fabric party bag that they can keep.
A well-established tradition, it’s fun to send and receive Valentine’s cards – even more exciting if they have come through the post, so buy or make cards together with the kids a week or so in advance to make sure you catch it the post in time. Cut out potato shapes and get printing onto card using poster paint, finishing off with glitter glue. Better still, a pair of little handprints in paint will make great flower head designs. Either way, homemade cards from the kids are the best.
Flowers are a lovely gift to receive on February 14th, but for something a little different, let the kids make their own longer-lasting bouquet, using tissue-paper and green pipe cleaners. Roll them up in brown parcel paper and present them to Mum with breakfast in bed. Buy a pack of plain luggage tags and write special little messages or love poems onto them, tying them to various hooks and handles around the house, to be discovered during the day.
A clutch of heart-shaped helium balloons in red or pink on balloon weights can dotted about the room or table-top at will. Cut out red and pink crepe-paper hearts and stick them to the windows, or stick up pink and red pompoms or a heart hanging decoration. At the table scatter red table confetti, Love Hearts or red jelly beans over a white cloth to add a little extra something. An alternative to flowers, red apples make a chic centrepiece amongst the candles, stacked together in a low glass vase.
You don’t have to choose romantic foods for a family supper on Valentine’s Day, but you could tweak the family’s favourite dishes to the theme. A heart cutter will come in very handy for this purpose, enabling you to transform anything from sandwiches and pizza to fruit or strawberry jelly. Serve these with pink lemonade as a treat for the kids. Heart shaped crockery is perfect, fill with red berries with some melted chocolate for dipping as a treat desert!
If you’d like to create something special in advance, spend an afternoon in the kitchen with the kids baking and decorating biscuits, cupcakes or cake pops in red and pink. Later, when it’s just the grown-ups, share raspberry Bellinis or drink Martinis in glasses with red sugar-dusted rims and put your feet up.