One-of-a-kind Valentine’s Day Gifts

If roses don't ignite your passion, there are plenty of outside-the-box gifts to get your romantic motor running, found right here in BC

For out-of-the-box Valentine’s Day gifts, think handmade and local

Tried-and-true offerings like jewelry, flowers and candy are fine, but slight variations on the usual Valentine’s Day suspects – including items made lovingly, locally and by hand – will help to separate your gift from the rest.

Scintillating Sauces

Sugo Sauce will have your Valentine eating out of your hand. Maya Sciarretta’s take on her nonna’s red sauce lets you access your lover’s heart through his or her stomach. Choose a jar of classic tomato and basil for $10, or go for the Arrabbiata variety and let hot chilies spice up your love life.

If your partner is especially saucy, try the Puttanesca – this “whore-style” sauce with anchovies and capers is said to have originated in the brothels of Southern Italy.

Get it at Le Marché St. George.

Beautiful Baubles

State your affections with heart-shaped rings and XO necklaces. Vancouver jeweler Jen Ellis’ sterling-silver and brass designs are a sweet and simple way to say, “I love you,” without blowing the bank. From heart-shaped rings to hugs-and-kisses (XO) necklaces, these subtle-yet-stunning accessories will state your affection loud and clear. Available at Bird on a Wire Creations.

Credit: Ken Lo

Heart-shaped Hoyas

Love-shaped Hoyas make gloriously green Valentine’s gifts. Visit Vancouver florist Stephanie Lee’s Balconi Floral Design Studio at West 2nd Avenue for naturally love-shaped Thai Hoyas planted in beautiful pots. Available in varied arrangements (e.g., one heart or two), these little evergreen perennials make glorious, growing Valentine’s Day gifts.

Credit: Brandyland Photography

Personal Piñatas

Meaghan Kennedy’s piñatas should be a smash with your sweetheart. Meaghan Kennedy welcomes custom orders for Valentine’s Day piñatas, including hearts and (if February 14 stresses you out) likenesses of ex-lovers.

Simply submit a photo or description of what you want, and she’ll papier mâché it for you. Priced at about $300 apiece and up, Kennedy leaves an opening in each piñata so you can fill it with whatever you want — from confetti to candy to mini bottles of booze.

Credit: Darryl Bueckert Photography

Mmm . . . Macarons

Satisfy your sweetie’s sweet tooth with special-edition macarons. Kitchening & Co. by Carly Wintschel will be offering Valentine’s Day versions of her Parisian-style macarons – called the tastiest in the city – at her pop-up shop at the Hudson’s Bay Company in downtown Vancouver, February 7-14.

Nothing will warm your lover’s heart like these special-edition red, pink and white confections.

Spa Sessions

Skin-care products with BC-grown ingredients make this spa package special. J Spa’s Julia Linford uses her own organic skin-care products – in which plenty of BC ingredients, like high-alpine lavender, clay from the Queen Charlottes, and local apricots figure – to give some of the best face and body treatments in town.

Her Valentine’s Day specials include a romantic spa package for two, with side-by-side herbal foot soak and facials, and a mineral-makeup application for her.

Chocolate Lessons

Learn DIY truffle techniques and leave with your own box of goodies. Cheeky chocoholics will love making their own treats at a CocoaNymph chocolate-making workshop. With classes running throughout February (and the rest of the year), you’ll learn DIY truffle-decorating techniques and walk away with your own box of goodies – plus taste single-origin chocolates from around the world.

Couple’s Cake

Love bite into this heart-shaped chocolate cake for two. If your Valentine’s Day plan includes a romantic dinner out, why not skip dessert at the restaurant and finish your meal at home with a “Cake for Two” made lovingly by Bluebird Cakery? No matter how you slice it, this couple-sized heart-shaped chocolate cake topped with smooth raspberry buttercream is the perfect love bite!

Red-Hot Yoga Shorts

Chikum shorts make the perfect gift for yoga lovers. If the object of your desire spends copious amounts of time twisting her body into seemingly impossible yoga postures, Moni ElBatrik’s Zaardula shorts – easily the most-sought-after item in her Chikum line of athletic wear – marry red-hot style with a streamlined design that’s perfect for your flexible flame’s frame.

Loving Spoonfuls

Each piece of Loving Spoonful cutlery sports its own sweet sentiment. Heap love on your honey with Maya Chelmis’ customized silver-plated spoons (forks and butter knives available, too).

Salvaged from second-hand shops, each unique antique piece features a stirring sentiment – messages like “I love you,” or “You are the butter on my bread.” You can even customize your own cutlery when you order online. Also available at Bird on a Wire Creations.