A "kissy fish card" is an inexpensive way to give your Valentine’s Day a handmade touch — without getting your hands involved.
A "kissy fish card" is an inexpensive way to give your Valentine's Day a handmade touch — without getting your hands involved. (Courtesy photo)

Made with love.

That was his intention. And I felt the love. I did.

Still, today, I continue to feel grateful. Not for the impractical, rather hideous piece of plywood furniture that was too big to fit on any wall in my bedroom. But for the intention. The effort. The thought.

My dear husband, my boyfriend at the time, didn't have a saw, tools or much money. Just six pieces of 7-by-7-foot plywood, a box of nails and some hinges. I needed a new chest of drawers. Ever thoughtful, he did what he could, given the constraints.

Maybe it didn't help that he painted the colossal plywood box bright pink and with a neon green star.

I really did appreciate it, the entire time we struggled to push it, marked with a "free" sign, onto the street corner. Shocking, really, that no one snatched it up. Ever. Not even sanitation services on bulky item collection day. It weighed more than the dump truck.

We had fun breaking it down together with an ax.

Ah, the romantic Valentine's memories of yesteryear.

Maybe you, too, want to bestow a handmade-with-love Valentine's Day gift this year. But whether it's a lack of tools, supplies, training, patience, time or even the dim flicker of DIY talent, sometimes the result feels more like a new problem than a gift. And maybe, in those cases, it's best to gift something that someone else made with love. Same same but different, right?

Here are a few of my favorite romantic handmade gift ideas, all made by local Etsy crafters with much more skill than I possess:

The simple

A "kissy fish card": This made-to-order card, on recycled paper, shows two smooching goldfish. Endlessly cuter and more original than a generic grocery store card. Made by Lisa Garland, in Boulder, of Doodlegirl Designs. Order your own for just $3.50 at doodlegirldesigns.etsy.com.

Bet you’ve never seen a pentagram garter before. This unique V-Day gift comes from Boulder-based Blue Haze Vintage.
Bet you've never seen a pentagram garter before. This unique V-Day gift comes from Boulder-based Blue Haze Vintage. (Courtesy photo)

The quirky

A yarn painting print of two pugs kissing: Pugs are funny. Sometimes, so is love. This is a sweet and inexpensive acid-free print for the animal lover in your life. Only $20 and signed by Boulder artist Melissa Langer, of pugnotes.etsy.com. Yes, that would be an entire shop dedicate to art of and for pugs. Find more at Pugnotes.com. You're welcome.

The sexy

A bedazzled bra: Boulder artist Anna Lisa Sawtelle makes a variety of decorated bras that completely redefine the concept of undergarment. OK, you're not going to wear these under your blouse to work. Unless you work at Lanny's Clocktower Cabaret in Denver. Find an innocent pink sparkly butterfly bra ($40), a naughtier bra decorated in bright yellow caution tape ($30) or a show-stopping bra covered in colorful feathers and sequins, with a dream catcher accent ($80). That's barely the beginning of what you'll find at coloradocreationsco.etsy.com.

The yummy

Colorado Creations makes bedazzled bras, such as this sparkly butterfly bra for $40.
Colorado Creations makes bedazzled bras, such as this sparkly butterfly bra for $40. (Courtesy photo)

Personalized fresh artisan sugar cookies: The Boulder Dessert Club (dorianoconnell.etsy.com) sells a variety of made-to-order, freshly baked cookies. For $18.95, get one personalized 5-inch cookie and six decorated 3-inch cookies. Pick your own message, whether it's a profession of love, an inside joke or even a hint for more V-Day fun to come.

The wild

A ZeBRA Giclee print: You've not seen wildlife quite like this. This handmade pen, ink and watercolor limited-edition print, $50, is from the "Animals in Negligee" series. Dark, edgy and original, this piece is made by Erin King of deadwilderart.etsy.com in Boulder. Tip: All gift-set orders of $50 or more get free shipping through today using the code FREELOVE14.

The Whoa!

A pentagram-shaped garter belt: This handmade, elastic black garter is shaped like a pentagram, $14.99, by the unique Boulder-based shop bluehazevintage.etsy.com. Here, you can also find a variety of chokers, other garters (like a rose and stud garter) and negligee. Custom orders available.

Contact Camera Staff Writer Aimee Heckel at 303-473-1359, heckela@dailycamera.com or twitter.com@Aimeemay.