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candy-free valentine's day gifts

This year, our candy-free Valentine's Day gifts were inspired by my boys. It seems that they are constantly suffering from bumps, bruises, owies, growing pains, you name it.  A bag of frozen pees, or a warm cloth is usually all they need to soothe the pain, and they are back playing in no time at all. 

So why not make a reusable hot/cold pack that was ready for just such occasions?!

I have seen many versions of the rice hot/cold packs around the web (this is a cute one) and thought they would be perfect for my two little bruisers - and all of their school friends!

I purchased a large bag of long-grain rice, a bag of flax seed, and combined the two.  I also added mint essential oil, which my boys love.

Adding a loop on the side keeps your fingers from touching the hot pack when it comes out of the microwave.

I printed the tags on white paper, cut them out, and then folded and stapled them to the bags.

super easy, super inexpensive, and super useful!

Here are some of my favorite candy-free gifts from around the web:

this one is perfect for brushing away all the Valentine's Day sweets - from FamilyFun

simple & sweet pencil toppers - from alphamom

darling barrettes - from the Purl Bee

also available in her Etsy shop

love these friendship bracelets - from Design Mom

Do you have a favorite candy-free gift?


  1. What a lovely idea!! I am going to do something similar for my girlfriends. I am going to make heart-shaped sachets filled with dried lavender from my front yard.

    Crafting by Candlelight

  2. That's a great idea. I need to make Valentine's Day gifts for the boys' teachers - those would be perfect.

  3. This is a great idea for Valentine's Day giving! I have made many wheat bags as gifts, but never thought of putting a tab on it so little hands can carry it when it's hot. Thank you for sharing this!

  4. thank you so much for including my magnets in your post! love the soothing heart warm pack - such a nifty idea.
    happy february to you.

  5. What a great idea. MY grandkids sure could use the hot/cold packs!!


  6. Wonderful post! I love these little hot/cold packs - great printable tag too!

  7. Thankyou for all these great ideas. I love to go candy free if I can. I am new to your blog and I looked through all your tutorials. I love the Fort Kit. That is such a fun idea. Thanks for the great tips.

  8. Such a good idea! I love that you added mint. Last year, I was wanting to do a candy-free valentine and ended up making mix cd's for my daughter to give out at her class Valentine's party. I sewed card stock to make decorative cases for the cd's.

  9. What a great idea! Last year we melted our broken crayons into heart shapes and gave our friends a heart shaped multi-colored crayon on their valentine.

  10. @ Becca, I love the CD idea! My oldest would love to pick out some "cool" songs for his friends - thanks for the great idea.

    @ Appilkays - I love the heart-shaped crayons! Such a darling idea, thanks for sharing.

  11. Such cute gifts. Love the hot/cold pack. I'm totally guilty of sugary valentines! Maybe next year...

  12. love it. I was wondering what size the heart was. Thanks for sharing. Cindy

  13. Thanks Cindy, the hearts are approximately 5in.(wide) x 4in.(tall).

    I cut out squares of fabric, sewed the heart shape (leaving an opening to turn) and then cut around the stitched heart.

  14. These ideas are all great!! I may be making some of the hot/cold packs for various occasions from here on out!

  15. love love this idea as well as the candy free gifts! I created valentine gnomes for my children this year:


  16. Great idea - even a sewing novice like me can do this one! Wondering why you used the flax seed since it's quite a bit pricier than rice - does it hold the heat or the scent from the oil better? Or is it for the texture?

  17. Just found your blog and I love it! Here is my shaving cream Valentine:


  18. Karen, I mixed in flax seed because it holds the heat longer than rice. Flax seed is pricey, but texture is wonderful!

    Steph, your shaving cream Valentines are awesome - so creative!

  19. Thanks for sharing the heart shaped pack, it's adorable. Where would I find essential oil? I keep hearing about it but never had a need for it until now. Thanks.

  20. Hi Krissy. Like you, I really had no clue about essential oils or where to get them, so I called around and found them at the little health food store in our town.

  21. I'm working on these now for the ladies at work!

  22. My 8yo niece and I made red, pink, and white yo-yo magnets for her mother's refrigerator. They live in a very small apartment and she needed a gift that didn't take up much space. This also gives her magnets to hang her school papers on the fridge.

  23. So cute gift ideas! I like it. Wish someone also give me like that even the Valentines is already done. Keep posting!


  24. it's usually hard to come up with something like this...might try it out.

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