We’re all suckers for romance, even if most of us believe Valentine’s Day is a holiday dreamed up by industry fatcats. Here are MAKE’s staff picks for ways to celebrate with that special someone, maker style. Read on, it’s a big list!

Build a bike


A personalized bike built for your sweetie can be really romantic, since all that hard work and custom choices relate specifically to the one you love. MAKE Advisory Board member Saul Griffith built a bike for his lady, Staff Editor Arwen O’Reilly Griffith. She writes:

When my husband and I were dating, we had a running argument about flowers. I love them, whether it’s a rare orchid or a weed from the sidewalk, and it mystified me that he could never remember to surprise me with even a dandelion. But one Valentine’s Day, he presented this bicycle to me with a grin from ear to ear. His addiction is bicycles, so I knew this was a true gesture of love. He bought the different components on Craigslist and from various bike stores to make a bike that fit me to a T, stenciled my name on the frame, and hand-build the wheels. The spokes were twisted, just like two beautiful flowers.

What are you doing to celebrate Valentine’s Day with your maker love? Share with us in the comments!

Open Heart Kit

Give the Open Heart kit for lovers of soldering, or assemble it into a lovely mantle-worthy glowing trophy of love, as shown in Marc de Vinck’s How-to Tuesday: Valentine’s LED display project from last year!

LED People

Make: Online’s Matt Mets is just about as sweet as they come. Check out these little LED people he made that blink when they embrace. Open source, of course.

Gift Subscription to MAKE

You can’t really go wrong by getting your darling a subscription to MAKE for Valentine’s Day, and I’m not just saying that because of all the hunks in Volume 21. You can even download a card to announce the gift before the first print copy shows up (PDF).

<3 Necklace

I make an ASCII heart necklace that’d be perfect for your geeky companion. They’re made by hand and I’m super backordered, but I uploaded the template for you to use to make your own along with my twopart metalworking tutorial.

Maker Date

Plan a special outing for your love. Suggestions from the team: the Arthur Ganson exhibit at the MIT museum, doing some aerial kite photography (if you live in warmer climates), hacking on some projects together from the new Make: Electronics book (with the toolkit, too), and polishing your HAM skills (Diana Eng pictured above).



Create any message you’d like with Peggy, the light emitting pegboard kit!

Electronic Greeting Card

Yup, there’re plenty out there! Here’s Xander Hudson’s (complete with board layout file), NerdKits’ version, Nilan’s touch-sensitive Valentine, or hack up your own with inspiration from CRAFT’s Valentine’s Day projects archive.

IR Heart Monitor

Build your valentine a heart monitor using Collin’s video tutorial!

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Becky Stern is a Content Creator at Autodesk/Instructables, and part time faculty at New York’s School of Visual Arts Products of Design grad program. Making and sharing are her two biggest passions, and she's created hundreds of free online DIY tutorials and videos, mostly about technology and its intersection with crafts. Find her @bekathwia on YouTube/Twitter/Instagram.

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