February 9, 2010

Craft TuesD.I.Y with Lisa Lopez: Personalized Chocolate Gifts for Valentine's Day

Chocolate is always a favorite gift to receive on Valentine's Day. The average person in the US eats 11 lbs. of chocolate each year! The Swiss and Germans have us beat with 20 lbs. per year. And the US chocolate industry is worth a little over 13 billion dollars a year -- Valentine's Day contributes to more than 1 billion dollars of that total! Everywhere you turn in the retail world this week, you'll see all kinds of chocolate treats to give your sweetie. In most cases, you will spend more money on Valentine chocolates simply because they are wrapped in a fancy box. And personally, I think all chocolate is delicious - regardless of its packaging! In this week's craft, you'll learn how to beautifully package and decorate your own chocolate! So skip the expensive box and decorate it yourself! Here are some ideas...

Materials You Will Need:
  • Colored paper
  • Glue stick
  • Boxed chocolate
  • Chocolate kisses or candies you prefer
  • Ribbon
  • Clear cellophane wrap
  • Stickers
Personalized Chocolate Bar

1) Purchase an organic, Fair Trade chocolate bar -- try to find one with the nice foil wrap under the labeled wrap.
2) Remove the outer label and choose what color paper you are going to re-wrap the bar in.

3) Measure and cut your colored paper so that it still shows the pretty foil on the ends.
4) Then decorate the wrapper with stickers, clip art from your computer, etc. Now you have a lovely personalized bar of chocolate.

A Bunch of Sweet Kisses

I took some chocolate kisses and simply wrapped them in cellophane wrap. Next, tie with a pretty ribbon and add a label. Mine says S.W.A.K. (Sealed with a Kiss!)

DIY Chocolate Filled Heart Box

1) To create my own brand of heart box, I took a box of chocolates, removed the wrap (and set it aside) and traced the lid onto my colored paper.

2) Next, I cut the heart shape out with scalloped edge scissors, then using the glue stick, I glued the paper heart to the lid. Decorate with stickers, or any way you'd like.
3) Finally, re-wrap the chocolates in the original wrap which you set aside, securing it on the back with tape.

Tuxedo Chocolate Box

For the man in your life, you can make this fancy tuxedo box of chocolates.

1) Trace the heart shape of the chocolate box using black paper. Then glue it to the box using a glue stick.
2) Next, using white paper, trace just the top half of the heart shape of the box, then cut it out and trim off about an inch from each side. This will create the shirt. Glue this piece atop the black heart.

3) Next, cut out lapels, the collar, bowtie and cumberbund as shown. Then glue on the cumberbund, then the bowtie and collar, then attach arms and a rose.

These are just a few ideas for how to add a sweet, unique sentiment to your chocolate gifts. Whatever you choose, your recipient will love the personal touch -- and you'll love that your sweets for your sweeties were a fraction of the cost! Happy Valentine's Day!

NOTE: Be sure to recycle any original packaging that you won't be incorporating into your gift giving!

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