Introduction: How to Enter the 2007 Show Your Heart Valentine's Day Project Contest!

Picture of How to Enter the 2007 Show Your Heart Valentine's Day Project Contest!
The winners of the 2007 Instructable Valentine's Day contest have been announced!

Click here for the 2008 Valentine's Day Contest!

The Greeting Card Association estimates that approximately one billion valentines are sent each year.1 Is this actually something to be proud of? What will historians look back and say about us?

  • In the early 21st century, couples would exchange one of approximately 30 smarmy mass-produced greeting cards and sweets made of homogenized chemically refined corn-syrup solids.

A little research turns up all sorts of saucy descriptions of Valentine's days of yore:

  • The celebration featured a lottery in which young men would draw the names of teenage girls from a box. The girl assigned to each young man in that manner would be his sexual companion during the remaining year.2
  • At this time many of the noble youths and of the magistrates run up and down through the city naked, for sport and laughter striking those they meet with shaggy thongs.1
  • The most popular candidate for St. Valentine was a 3rd century Roman priest who practiced Christianity and performed secret marriages against direct orders from Emperor Claudius II, who believed single soldiers were more likely to join his army.3
  • The most extravagant of valentines were made of a satin cushion, perfumed, ornately designed with flowers, coloured shells, and would also have a taxidermied humming bird or bird of paradise adorning it.4

Wow. Knowing that Valentine's day came from a tradition of sex lotteries, naked marathons, draft dodging, and stuffed hummingbirds, our current tradition is not only lame, but downright embarrassing. It's our culture and our tradition; let's take it back from the Greeting Card Association, make it ours, and make it cool.

  • In the early 21st century, lovers would sometimes spend long hours creating intricate, exciting, and surprising displays of their affection. Even comparatively modest displays, such as home-cooked meals or hand-made candies, were appreciated due to the personal care and attention involved. Store-bought items were simply considered insulting.

Whew. Much better. So, to help get us moving in the right direction, Instructables is hosting the "Show Your Heart Valentine's Day Contest!" Share a project that shows your heart and wins the heart of another.

You might:
Cook a meal
Make chocolate covered marshmallows or truffles
Mix a custom-scented solid perfume
Wire up LED jewelry
Design a personalized scavenger hunt
Throw a "Love Sucks" party for single friends
Grow your own flowers from seedlings in an indoor hydroponic planter and present them in a home-anodized purple CNC-machined aluminum vase

First Prize
The 10 best Instructables will win a Leatherman juice XE6 pocket knife laser-engraved with the Instructables logo and your username, real name, email address, or whatever you want.

Second Prize
20 Projects will win an Instructables t-shirt and patch.

Any project that documents a Valentine's Day project and is added to the Show Your Heart Valentine's Day Contest group by the end of the day February 18, 2007 (the weekend after Valentine's day) is eligible. We'll judge the entries and release the results the following Friday February 23, 2007.


Contest boilerplate is here and here; substitute contest names/specifics as necessary.


Jr Hacking kid (author)2007-11-04

who won

Brennn10 (author)2007-02-19

Is there a deadline before all projects must be entered?

ewilhelm (author)Brennn102007-02-19

"Any project that documents a Valentine’s Day project and is added to the Show Your Heart Valentine’s Day Contest group by the end of the day February 18, 2007 (the weekend after Valentine’s day) is eligible. We’ll judge the entries and release the results the following Friday February 23, 2007." It's nominally over and we're going to start judging today. Late entries might be accepted based on their awesomeness.

Brennn10 (author)ewilhelm2007-02-19

Ok, thanks for the fast reply. "Awesomeness" is such a good word. Thanks Eric! -Brennn10

technick29 (author)2007-02-14

I'm not 18 yet, but can I still win the contest? Do I need parental consent? Thanks, ~Technick29

ewilhelm (author)technick292007-02-15

If you're selected as a winner, we'll ask for parental consent.

technick29 (author)ewilhelm2007-02-15

Okay, cool thanks! ~Technick29

Brennn10 (author)2007-02-14

Happy Valentines Day!!!!!!

Brennn10 (author)2007-02-13

When will the results of the contest be in?

ewilhelm (author)Brennn102007-02-13

"We’ll judge the entries and release the results the following Friday February 23, 2007."

annanomsa (author)2007-01-22

and now I feel like a complete idiot because I just read ewilhelm's earlier reply to Mister Jellyfish. Doh! Thanks ewilhelm :-)

ewilhelm (author)annanomsa2007-01-23

Don't worry about it!

Aira.vj (author)2007-01-22

Is there a limit to the number of times you can enter?

Aira.vj (author)Aira.vj2007-01-22

Nevermind! I just found the rules. I've got a bunch of ideas, I'll submit as many as I can! :)

annanomsa (author)2007-01-22


Hi there, I've just joined and I really want to add my little project to this group but I can't for the life of me see how I do it. I feel so stupid! The project's here:

Thanks to anyone who can point out what I don't seem able to see!

AnnaNomsa :-)

Tool Using Animal (author)2007-01-15

If only I could find a cold cathode vacuum tube, then i could REALLY show my heart.
homemade xray machine (1930's vintage)
using tv reciever tubes as xray emiters...

canida (author)2007-01-19

I was just looking at this Instructable for a gory laceration, and am considering a bit of Amy Sedaris-style performance art for Valentine's Day.

That would be awesome.

Aeshir (author)2007-01-17

I suppose it doesn't really make any sense for me to enter this one, as I don't have a girlfriend. That would just make me weirder than I already am.

canida (author)Aeshir2007-01-19

Why should that stop you? Make something cool that would also be a good Valentine's day gift. See above- sappy and romantic isn't required. (Anyway, ick.)

Maybe you could post what you'd most like to receive?

Aeshir (author)Aeshir2007-01-17

Wow something valuable that I wouldn't sell on eBay cuz i'd actually wanna keep it!

Mister Jellyfish (author)2007-01-17

I'm new at this but have posted my first instructable. How do I submit it for this contest?

Once you've published your project, join the Valentine's Day Group and add your project to the group using the "add this Instructable to a group link" in the left sidebar.

jeffreyf (author)2007-01-15

Lupercalia was *so* much cooler than Valentines Day is today. There was animal sacrifice, feasting, and ritual whipping. Then the killjoys came along and ruined almost all the good pagan holidays. Only Halloween survives.

jtobako (author)jeffreyf2007-01-16

and christmas...

jeffreyf (author)jtobako2007-01-16

Christmas is slowly reverting. When it becomes PanNewYearsMas, the circle will be complete.

E-104_Epsilon (author)2007-01-16

Hmm.....maybe this is the time to present my instructable that ensures you will always grab a hot one.... It is basically a empty sac and some chloroform lol

E-104_Epsilon (author)2007-01-16

OMG This is teh best Instructable ever!! lol

acaz93 (author)2007-01-15

What Happens If I not Live In Usa ?

ewilhelm (author)acaz932007-01-15

International participants are ok. I've previously shipped prizes to Australia, New Zealand, Egypt, and whole host of European countries.

trebuchet03 (author)2007-01-15

Ahhh.... And on the matter of "Love and War" :P

About This Instructable




Bio: Eric J. Wilhelm is the founder of Instructables. He has a Ph.D. from MIT in Mechanical Engineering. Eric believes in making technology accessible through ... More »
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