3 Ideas for DIY Valentine’s Day gifts in Madrid

knit hearts

Valentine’s Day is inching ever closer which means gift giving woes are in full effect. Year in, year out, the question remains the same: what can you give that special someone for Valentine’s Day? Flowers, candy and jewelry are so cliché; it’s time to start thinking outside the box of chocolates.

Handicrafting is a hot trend these days with people not just buying homemade and handcrafted treasures from small-scale artisans, but they’re taking it a step further by creating things themselves. Online marketplaces like Etsy and DaWanda have helped the trend reach a global audience by allowing any craft nerd to set up shop easily.

But you don’t have to go online to find a gift that’s been made with love. There are a handful of shops in Madrid where you can buy handmade goods or make something yourself. So put away the roses and dive into these 3 great ideas to make your Valentine’s gift one to treasure.

Personalized, handmade cards

Papier de Norma is a greeting card business founded by expat Norma Galán about two years ago. Norma realized that Madrid was lacking in the card department and therefore decided to create her selection of greeting cards and invitations.

You can pick out one of Norma’s beautiful handmade template cards and she will personalize it for you, or you can essentially “design” the card yourself by telling Norma the colors and the style you’d like. For example if your mother loves owls she can make a special owl sticker for the card.

French inspired and truly original, these cards would be perfect for your Valentine!

Create your own perfume or cologne

Abadía del Perfume is a small shop where you can actually create your very own unique scent personalized for that special someone.

The process begins as you smell different kinds of scents and choose your preferences, such as citric, musky, floral, fruity, or sweet. The perfumists encourage you think of the kind of person you are creating for and their personality. Are they dynamic? Timid? Romantic? As you think about this, it may be easier to pick a scent to match their personality type. You can test different combinations until you feel you’ve got your desired result. The process doesn’t stop there — you then pick the size, bottle, tag and gift bag for your perfume.

The prices are quite reasonable at 10.95€ for 50 ml and 8.95€ for 30 ml.

Paint your own mug or ceramic piece

Pinta en Copas is a small, inviting local where you can pick your ceramic piece and paint it.  This is probably the most DIY item on the list, but you don’t necessarily have to be artsy. Just go with an idea in mind and follow the below five steps.

  1. Pick your ceramic piece (there are so many kinds, ranging from salt and pepper shakers to vases to coffee mugs).
  2. Pick your paint colors and brushes.
  3. Sit down, have a tea, and start painting.
  4. Leave your mug to be fired.
  5. Pick it up, and give it to that special someone!

I’ve made a few mugs in my time and although they weren’t, ahem, the prettiest pieces of art I’ve seen, I know the people on the receiving end loved the personal touch.  Your Valentine will surely think of you every time they drink coffee out of their special mug created just for them.

They also offer discounts on certain days of the week so make sure to check that out.

Lori Zaino

About Lori Zaino

My 5 year anniversary in Madrid is rapidly approaching. Time flies when you´re having fun! Things I love: fashion, documentaries, ethnic food, bikram yoga, travelling, learning Italian and reading on my Kindle. I try to smile/laugh as much as possible and eat my veggies every day for a long and happy life. Enjoy reading about fashion and lifestyle on my posts for ¡Vaya Madrid!

Image Credits: Salihan Laugesen


  1. Holly Vanderwal

    January 22, 2013 at 9:59 am

    I can vouch for Papier de Norma. Her cards are beautiful!

  2. Brittany Deanna

    January 22, 2013 at 10:58 pm

    Beautifully handmade cards made with lots of love! Love the article too! :)

Talk Back