Affordable Do-It-Yourself Valentine's Day Gifts

FRESNO, Calif.

Northwest Fresno mom and owner of Cookie Couture, Raven Masse, says with some Wilton candy melts, Oreos, candy molds, and a microwave, anyone can create beautiful edible gifts. First she melted the candy melts on the defrost setting in the microwave. She put the melted chocolate in pastry bags and piped them into any shaped molds you like. "You're gonna take an Oreo, put it in the middle kinda tap it down. Fill the rest in with more melted chocolate. Shake the tray to get the chocolate to settle." Five minutes in the freezer for them to set, and they're done. She normally charges $2 each for her chocolate covered Oreos. But she says for about $5, you can make 20-30 of your own!

That same melted chocolate can be used for dipping pretzels. We used the larger pretzel rods. Add a few sprinkles and voila! Masse says, "These are easy, they make really good gifts. Wrap them up, perfect for coaches, and teachers." And cake pops have never been easier. Make a box of Betty Crocker cake mix (Raven says chocolate is best), following the directions on the box. Raven uses a Pyrex glass pan. Once the cake cools, she cuts off the harder edges, puts the cake into a mixer until a dough forms. Roll them into balls, put a stick in them and you guessed it. Just dip it and decorate! Cake pops are an easy-to-eat and popular alternative to traditional cupcakes.

Clovis mom Nikki Myers says when it comes to crafts, Pinterest was a game changer for do-it-yourselfers like her. "Cutting celery to make a stencil is pretty genius and I would've never thought of it, but it took two seconds just cut the celery, it's a stencil and they loved it," says Nikki. The kids used them to make "bouquets" for Valentine's cards. The mom of 4 says incorporating her kids into gifts is fun and easy. She showed us a handprint tree -- on an old wooden grape tray -- she and her family made in ten minutes. She also had a frame displaying photos of the kids spelling daddy -- with letters she bought at a craft store. "They're handmade by the people you love, with usually your grandkids your kids incorporated, so it's more of a keepsake it's more treasured than a typical card you could buy." And that's priceless.

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