How to Decorate for Valentine’s Day: 12 Fun Ideas

how to decorate for valentine's day; vintage decorations shelf

You’ve finally put those Christmas decorations back in the attic; isn’t it too early to decorate for Valentine’s Day? Definitely not! Read on for some delightful tips to get your house feeling festive and fun as we go through the basics of how to decorate for Valentine’s Day.

But before you frantically search for your paper doilies, craft paper, and hearts, let’s start with one fundamental question.

Should You Decorate for Valentine’s Day?

It all depends. Should you get an Elf on the Shelf or put up a Christmas tree? If you want to, go for it! But if the holiday decorating process is going to be more of a burden than something that brings you and your family joy, then, by all means, skip it. It’s not worth adding to the stress.

But a 2021 study from the Journal of Environmental Psychology discovered psychological benefits to decorating for the holidays. They found that Christmas decorations, in particular, are a “pathway to those old childhood magical emotions of excitement.” And neighbors considered unknown neighbors with decorations to be friendlier than those without. So there might be mental and social benefits if you decide to decorate for Valentine’s Day.

Even if you don’t remember your family doing anything for Valentine’s Day, you might be creating more childhood magic for your kids that they can enjoy in the future.

When Should You Start to Decorate for Valentine’s Day?

How to decorate for valentine's day- tips and ideas
Cozy Valentine’s Day sofa.

The answer to this question entirely depends on your personal and family goals, but February 1st is a great time to get started. That way, you’ll have about two weeks to enjoy the fruit of your decorating labor before the big event, but you won’t necessarily get bored with extra red hearts or pink heart garland in your home.

Similar to many retailers, some holiday enthusiasts will put up their Valentine’s Day decor right after Christmas and keep it going strong until St. Patrick’s Day or Easter comes around. If that’s you, enjoy! Embrace the extra pink heart doilies and glitter floating around the house. There’s no right or wrong way to decorate for Valentine’s Day. If you want, you could put up a hanging hearts display or Valentine’s Day wreath and leave it there all year long.

How Do I Decorate for Valentine’s Day?

When it comes to Valentine’s Day decor, you can turn your house into Cupid’s love nest or take a more understated approach. If you have little ones at home, let them participate in the festivities and create their own Valentine crafts you can display.

Contrary to many of the gorgeous photos below, decorating for Valentine’s Day doesn’t need to be an exhausting Pinterest-worthy ordeal. Just adding one cute idea or putting some paper hearts in colorful tissue paper on your window might be all you need to liven things up.

Your Valentine’s Day decorations could be as simple as buying some fun and festive heart-shaped paper plates and cups to put on your breakfast table. Or even a little bouquet of red and pink flowers can add a splash of color. Of course, if the thought of adding anything more to your plate gives you anxiety, skip it!

Here are a few of our favorite ideas – ranging from sweet and simple to elegant and inspiring.

1. Opt for an Elegant Table.

This gorgeous coastal tablescape from Polly Gellman of Tables by Polly is a beautiful way to share the love with your family and friends. We love the delicate candlesticks and bow design for napkins. Most of the elements in her design would work well for various celebrations and family dinners year-round. But adding the heart-shaped plates, she adds just the right amount of sophisticated Valentine’s Day flare.

2. Embrace Bold and Beautiful Valentine’s Day Decorations.

Valentine Tree- how to decorate for valentine's day
Photo courtesy of Megan @TheDupingDaughter

Why should holiday trees be limited to Christmas (and often Easter?) This gorgeous pink Valentine’s Day tree by Megan of The Duping Daughter is sheer Valentine perfection! We love the different shades of pink and red with bold l-o-v-e letters. The heart ornaments are lovely, and the tree also lends itself to showcasing other homemade ornaments or valentines.

3. Incorporate Interactive Valentine’s Day Decor.

how to decorate for valentine's day
Photo courtesy of Grace Lejia @the_leijas_

We love the way Grace Lejia has made a tablescape that isn’t just lovely; it’s also fun and interactive. Who wouldn’t want to play Valentine’s Day tic-tac-toe? What a fun idea! We’re also big fans of the sophisticated blend of neutral tones with the reds.

4. Hang up Some Heart Art.

valentine's day paintings
Photo courtesy of Megan Trottier @meganjanehome

We adore these paintings by talented, Colorful Artist Mom on the Street Megan Trottier. They’ll look gorgeous year-round but are an ideal home accessory for Valentine’s Day. So whether you invest in some heart-themed art or just hang up some brilliant valentines and doilies made by your preschooler, adding some color to the walls is a fun and easy way to decorate for Valentine’s Day.

5. Make Some Valentine’s Day Crafts to Decorate for Valentine’s Day.

Embrace DIY decorations

You can make homemade valentines to send love notes to your family. Or get some acrylic paint on canvases for some little paintings. You can always make your own candy candles. Whatever type of DIY Valentine craft you embrace, be sure to let it also function as home decor.

Also, even if you’re not a crafty person yourself, most schools will give the kids Valentine’s Day crafts and activities, so use some of that artwork coming home from school.

6. Decorate for Valentine’s Day With Vintage Decor.

Homemade heart candles from the 1990s.

My mother still brings out pillar candles decorated with conversation hearts her kids made decades earlier. Today, I have my own pillar candles decked out with conversation hearts my kids applied with an electric glue gun. This is a pretty easy DIY Valentine’s Day craft to make (you literally glue conversation hearts on a candle in any row or random design you choose). Still, it’s a simple Valentine’s day decoration she has on the dining room table every year.

7. Buy Some Valentine-themed Table Decorations.

how to decorate for valentine's day table
Valentine’s Day table with newer conversation heart candles and tablecloth from 1995.

Whether you have a Valentine’s Day accessory you use every year, like that tablecloth I inherited from my mom, or disposable items, adding a few items to your tablescape can be a cute way to brighten up your decor. While it’s fun to have favorite holiday-themed dishware, disposable cups and plates from Dollar Tree aren’t very expensive and reduce dish duty for the day. That’s a win-win in our book. And, yes, the candy candle craft lives on at my house! I hope they still look good in 20 years.

8. Make a Valentine’s Day House.

Recycle unused gingerbread houses for a Valentine’s Day centerpiece.

Do you need an extra centerpiece for the table? Or have a leftover gingerbread house you don’t have the heart to throw away? Add in some heart-shaped marshmallows or conversation hearts, and you’ve got a lovely Valentine’s Day house that can be the focal piece of your table for the month.

If creating an entire candy house isn’t your thing, a collection of red hots or conversation hearts in a Mason jar or a bowl with candy hearts can be a fun way to add some Valentine’s Day spirit into your home decor. 

9. Use a Table Runner to Elevate Your Valentine’s Day Decor.

Photo courtesy of Sarah Wallace of @blessedcrazytexasnest

This Valentine’s Day table is holiday perfection! It has beautiful pops of pink with the napkins. But the xoxo table runner is our favorite part. Sarah Wallace of Blessed Crazy Texas Nest made this herself with a hand stamp, and it perfectly ties in the rug to the rest of her tablescape. What a gorgeous and inviting dinner table to enjoy a family meal or fun dinner party!

10. Add Some Garland.

Photo courtesy of @lindseytolin

We love this Valentine’s Day mantel with all the gorgeous pops of red! The adorable pom poms and love garland are so cute and festive, and the basket of throw pillows seems so comforting and inviting. It’s the perfect type of Valentine’s Day decor that’s festive but not too over-the-top.

11. Embrace Heart-Shaped Decorations.

how to decorate for valentine's day
Photo courtesy of Shellie @113memorylane

We adore these Valentine’s Day heart decorations in another one of our favorite mantel ideas. From the heart garland to the giant heart of roses to the red ribbons on the white candles, this mantel from Shellie of 113 Memory Lane is absolutely divine! These whimsical hearts make such a perfect focal piece for the house, and we love the way she’s arranged everything so beautifully. Be sure to check out her Instagram page for more fantastic holiday designs.

12. Decorate With Flowers.

ranunculus flowers
Ranunculus bouquet.

A bouquet of Valentine’s Day blooms, whether they’re traditional or modern, is an ideal way to add some beauty to your house. If you purchase a premade bouquet, you don’t even have to think about decorating; you can just put it on the table.

Flower tip: unless you absolutely must have roses, opt for other blooms instead. Florists often mark up roses due to holiday demand, but other seasonal flowers this time of year. We love ranunculus and lisianthus, which are sweet and delicate but offer a big impact within a flower arrangement.

Sending an orchid can be a fun modern take on this tradition, and a potted orchid will generally live a few months rather than the few days of standard flower arrangements.

What Are Your Favorite Decoration Ideas?

Whether you’re decorating to throw a big Valentine’s Day party or just want to add a little heart shape joy into your house, be sure to share your tips and ideas with loved ones on FamilyApp! And share your favorite ideas and inspiration with us on social #getfamilyapp.

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