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Valentine's Day Gift Idea: Bubbling Over with Spirit

Kevin Sharkey
Executive Editorial Director Decorating, Home, and Style
Valentine's Day Gift Idea: Bubbling Over with Spirit
Photography: Mike Krautter

When it comes to low-stress Valentine's Day ideas, whimsical gifts are my favorite way to share the love. Of course, it’s me, so even the gags get a dose of polish. This year, I’m bubbling over with spirit, and these DIY bottles are the gift du jour.


Making them couldn’t be simpler. Purchase bubbles from a craft or party store, and print labels on adhesive paper to fit -- you’ll need to know the bottle’s circumference and the width of the band in the middle. Cut them out, and get the assembly line going! I found it easiest to place the label’s center first (in my case, this was the heart), then slowly wrap the sides. Don’t worry if they’re not perfect -- you’re hand-labeling bubbles, for goodness’ sake. The gesture will not go unappreciated.

There you have it -- a lighthearted gift for friends, colleagues, or strangers. (For a more elaborate way to celebrate, see my other Valentine’s Day obsession: a wiltproof centerpiece made from preserved roses. It’s just as impressive as it sounds.)

Want to get on this year’s gift list? Tell me what you're crafting in the comments section below to enter for your chance to win a custom set of bubbles and a valentine from me!

Contest Rules

Kevin Sharkey
About the Author
Kevin Sharkey is Senior Vice President and Executive Editorial Director, Decorating, and Executive Creative Director, Merchandising for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. (MSLO). A designer and all-around creative expert, he plays a vital role in shaping MSLO’s editorial content and product designs. Mr. Sharkey came to MSLO in 1995 from Parish-Hadley, a venerable New York ... Read More

Comments (45)

  • sophie00 5 Feb, 2015

    Homemade greeting cards and heart-shaped frosted sugar cookies!

  • Arman 14 Feb, 2014

    My Grandaughter and I are crafting Valentine's Sundaes for her First grade friends at Rssurrection Catholic School here in Jacksonville,
    Florida. Each Cup is filled with treats and a beautiful Bible quote on Love.

  • Sweekenn94 11 Feb, 2014

    This year I am sending out bear hugs for Valentine's Day! I filled 3"x4" clear treat bags with gummy bears. On card stock I made bag topper which features a graphic of a bear holding a heart with a message that that it is a "bear hug" from me. I folded the topper over the top of the bag and attached it with two staples. Voila...a sweet and gummy Valentine!

  • Annie16 10 Feb, 2014

    I made a pillow for my mom; I used a while linen tea towel and sewed antique mother-of-pearl buttons in the shape of a heart to the front.

  • ChristyD1973 10 Feb, 2014

    I'm making handmade valentines and homemade cookies for my sweetie!! Can't wait to see his face!!

  • Rauby 10 Feb, 2014

    My daughter and I are in the middle of creating a '14' plaque and a 7 gypsies tray for Valentine's Day. Thanks for the wonderful ideas.

  • hellochi 10 Feb, 2014

    I'm making a Valentine's wreath for the door- grapevine wreath plus hearts from the craft store my 4 year old and I will decorate and I will attach.

  • OverTheSea 10 Feb, 2014

    My daughter graduated from college in 2013 and is working at her first job, but I am still making our Victorian Valentine hearts that I made for her pre-school class so many years ago: With thin, red, satin ribbon, "stitch" together 2 medium-sized paper heart doilies leaving an opening with extra ribbon at the top ~ fill with candy hearts and tie ribbon into a bow at the top. Happy Valentine's Day Everybody!

  • chreai4 10 Feb, 2014

    My son and I are making handmade Valentines this year using cardstock and washi tape.

  • disneyjan 10 Feb, 2014

    Cake pops decorated as basketballs for my granddaughters school basketball team's box lunch auction, along with chocolate dipped oreos decorated as basketballs, the lunch box is covered with brown paper and a basketball court painted on the top - a chalkboard "scoreboard" covers the front of the box. White foam core board was cut to form a backboard behind the box (and we painted an outline of a backboard) then we put a white wire mesh basket on the box top and glued a paper lantern basketball !

  • Cris and Crafts 9 Feb, 2014

    I am working in some cookies made out of felt for Valentine's Day. They will be a gift for the kids's school friends to celebrate Valentine's Day.

  • nilzmom 9 Feb, 2014

    I made a needle-felted replica of one of our Brittany Spaniels for my husband. Her name is Sweetie and she stands 6.5" long x 5.5" tall and 100% cuteness! Wish I could send you a picture :-)

  • Regina Taylor 9 Feb, 2014

    I am making giant sugar valentine hearts for the seniors in my senior organization in my area. They will be decorated with loads of candy beads, dots and royal icing to complete. The cookies are about five inches in diameter and full of heart shaped joy!

  • HerlindaT 9 Feb, 2014

    I'm currently working on making mini valentine milk cartons. And my second project is crocheting a pair of cozy slippers for myself.

  • JoAnna Bilotta 9 Feb, 2014

    I will be making a healthy version of heart shaped rice krispie treats for my hubby and boys, will use brown rice krispie cereal, strawberries and coconut oil instead of butter, might dip them in chocolate.

  • wild-Carmen 9 Feb, 2014

    I am making cards and candy holders for Valentines day. Would love to find the recipe to those adorable cookies that were in the email.

  • Jessica Beard 9 Feb, 2014

    I will be making the heart sandwich cookies that were previewed on the cover of last year's Feb issue of Martha Stewart Living, handmade boxes and cards for my two boys and husband and the glitter heart necklace in this online article for my two best friends. Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

  • cmoch 9 Feb, 2014

    I am sewing baby blankets, tie blankets, bibs, burp cloths and quilts for my niece who is expecting the end of February and my daughter who is expecting the end of March. Both are having a boy. This is the first grandchild for my sister and sister doesn't do any sewing or crafting. I started in November and have one quilt to do and one to finish. I have also been making get well, birthday and valentine cards - it breaks up the day! Oh yes, I've been retired for 2 years and love it!

  • rogernshelly 9 Feb, 2014

    My grand kids and I have been making homemade valentines, plan on making a heart banner for his classroom, and cupcakes with name tags :) May try the bubbles, love them!

  • snoopysaunders7 9 Feb, 2014

    We are working on our "how green can you be" for Spring Carnival! The students are bringing recycled materials to make crafts! Any suggestions? Happy Valentines Day!

  • macalusofamily 8 Feb, 2014

    I'm a reading intervention paraprofessional, and I am making bookmarks for my kids, to help encourage reading at home. I usually make all my items since I live in a tight budget . I get a lot of inspiration from you and Martha :)

  • Sheryll 8 Feb, 2014

    I am right now making the "Heartfelt Hanging Decor"..... only without the paper punch (no money) and also the "Stick Your Neck Out" cute pendant... for me, cause I know I will not get anything if I don't make it for myself. HE is so forgetful and so not into such to begin with.

  • Peachy Pellano 8 Feb, 2014

    Me and my daughter doing the empty coffee cans now and printed some Valentines pictures, we love to recycle, bought some ribbons with different colors. I printed small cards too for names of our love ones and friends. We'll bake her favorite oatmeal, raisins, choco chips. Get them ready before Valentines Day. She got her own oven bake and said she'll give her teacher a gift and bring some cookies on their Valentines Day party.

  • Cheryl B 8 Feb, 2014

    We made homemade Valentine's to pass out to the kiddos at my Grand-daughter's preschool.

  • Crafty mom 8 Feb, 2014

    Heart cupcakes with personalized name cards.

  • Trishdadish 8 Feb, 2014

    We're making the M.S heart banner, the valentines airplanes for son's class. I had no clue what to do this year and got a late start. Thank you for the awesome ideas!

  • soapdeligirl 8 Feb, 2014

    I made heart shaped cold process soaps for Valentine's Day with silk and pink kaolin clay.

  • Stacy Hunt Wilson 8 Feb, 2014

    For my husband of 17 years I will be making some homemade banana bread with chocolate chips. Simple, but its his favorite! For my class of kindergarteners I will fill a toliet paper roll (I have been saving them) with treats and wrap in red tissue paper. Tie both ends with ribbon and stick a heart shaped note in the middle...simple easy and fun!

  • JudySB 8 Feb, 2014

    I'm making scherenschnitte valentines by cutting cupids and mounting them on
    pink paper that has music notes copied onto it. Framing in gold frames with
    a red heart jewel attached. Loved all your ideas as well.

  • Duckwing 8 Feb, 2014

    I am making my Sweetie Pie of 35 years a heart shaped red velvet cake! Also planning on making cupcakes for our beloved son. Might even make a batch of heart shaped chocolate chip cookies since these are their fave. <3

  • Margaret Porter 8 Feb, 2014

    Im crafting cards and sweet cookies for my friends and our patients at work.

  • heartluce 8 Feb, 2014

    I am crafting homemade chocolate covered strawberries and orange slices!

  • Mel M 8 Feb, 2014

    I'm crafting with my kids. We're making Minion Valentines for their classes. :)

  • artmemories 8 Feb, 2014

    Vintage Victorian inspired Valentine Cards for family and friends. Made with gold, silver, white and red doilies and decorated with ceramic and silk flowers and gems.

  • artmemories 8 Feb, 2014

    Multi-media "Beauty-Bees" 6" & 4" Lady Bumble Bees with hearts. They are fashioned out of muslin, stuffed and painted. Decorated with various hearts, bows, gems and wings. (So adorable), Then fastened to a dowel and inserted into an alphabet block that has been painted for the letter of an individual.

  • sophie00 8 Feb, 2014

    Envelope hearts and a heart garland!

  • gracey0813 8 Feb, 2014

    I make rice krispie treats for my childrens classrooms. I cut, dip, and decorate each and every one. Every holiday the kids get this and wait for my girl's handouts.

  • amycooley 7 Feb, 2014

    I've just about wrapped up my crafting for Valentine's this year. I've made homemade cards, tags for the bags of sugar cookies I'm handing out and cupcakes made out of a Styrofoam ball, baker's twine and sequins. They turned out very cute!

  • blueorchid1 7 Feb, 2014

    I made two valentines day card for my valentine as one was not enough, one to stick in his lunch box so he be surprised when he eats and one for when he comes home to a dinner for two, I created a centerpiece using a tuna can, clothes pin painted magenta, the clothes pins go all around the can to create the cutest little candle holder, I'm decorating my heart cake steampunk style with gears and hearts, made cut outs for my Hershey's kisses to add to the bottom with cute little love sayings.

  • Eileen B 7 Feb, 2014

    I have been making Valentine cards for family, friends and sent a bunch to a gal in Texas who gives them to St. Jude's hospital. The nurses pass them to all the kids who are going through cancer treatment.

  • Pamela W 7 Feb, 2014

    I am making the stenciled gift bags you had shown us in 2011. Just getting around to it this year!

  • fabulous5kays 7 Feb, 2014

    Making mini chalk board frames for my kids teachers. Small pictures frames painted pink and red. Removed glass, and painted backing with chalk board paint. Kids writing messages to teachers: 2 hugs + 2 smiles = 4 an amazing teacher

  • alissasari 7 Feb, 2014

    we are making homemade fudge for friends and family as valentine gifts. :)

  • Rowaida Flayhan 7 Feb, 2014

    Beautiful and creative idea!
    Sneak peek of my rose themed dessert, for Valentine

    Kevin, can you do posts on decorating and furnishing a large space basement of a villa. Thank you
    Wish you a wonderful and warm weekend

  • Trellis Smith 6 Feb, 2014

    This year I am making caramels topped with smoked sea salt. I will wrap them in parchment then package them in little boxes with red and white twine. I found some birch bark sheets that I will make little tags for each box.