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Cheap and cheerful gift ideas for Valentines day

ByCaitlin O'Connor

Feb 12, 2018

Though Valentine’s Day may be considered one of the more commercial holidays – a day that pushes forward heteronormative ideals of love, tailored to a capitalist socio-economic environment – buying gifts can be a lot of fun. Valentine’s Day is the perfect excuse to give a gift to someone you care about, whether it’s a significant other, a friend, or to treat yourself. Here are some to inspire you:

Local gin

Since the release of London Gin, other cities have produced their own. If the person you’re buying a gift for is from a city with its own gin, this could be a lovely idea. Edinburgh Gin is available across the city and is relatively affordable with 20cl costing £12. It’s perfect if the two of you met in Edinburgh.

An inscribed notebook

A student can never have too many notebooks. Whether it’s an embroidered notebook from Paperchase or a Pukka Pad from Tesco, the thing that will make it special is a handwritten inscription inside. You could be hopelessly romantic, telling them all of the reasons why you love them, or you could take the thoughtful approach, hoping this notebook will be helpful in their studies. It’s useful and sentimental as they’ll think of you every time they write inside.


Chocolate carved into heart shapes are widely available in the lead-up to Valentine’s Day. However, instead of following the trend this year, why don’t you get creative and make some of your own? Chocolate bark is fun and easy to make and can be done together. You’ll need 600g of chocolate, melted in a saucepan and poured into a baking tray. Add whichever toppings you like for example, nuts, dried fruit or salted caramel then cool in the fridge. Once your Chocolate bark is set, break it into shards and enjoy!

(Recipe inspired by Jamie Oliver).

An environmentally-friendly drinking receptacle

For that environmentally conscious someone in your life, an eco-friendly drinking cup is worth a lot. This gift will mean they can get money off hot drinks in most coffee places, so it’s a gift that keeps on giving. The University of Edinburgh and EUSA branded ‘KeepCups’ are £7.

Something handmade

The quality of this final gift may depend on your creative skills, but you don’t have to be an art student to hand make a valentines gift. How about a picture frame? Use a blank wooden frame and decorate the outside, using paints, stickers, glitter, anything. Fill the frame with a picture of the two of you inside. It’ll be something lovely to cherish, or something awfully made to laugh at later.

Image: jill111 via Pixabay


By Caitlin O'Connor

Caitlin is a 3rd year History and English Literature student, and a regular writer for The Student.

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