How to Throw an Effortless Valentines’ Day Party

My friends were able to have different roles depending on how comfortable they were with baking.

Mia Burkholder

My friends were able to have different roles depending on how comfortable they were with baking.

Mia Burkholder

Valentines’ Day, although originally a holiday to celebrate romantic love, is a great opportunity to celebrate everyone you love —namely, your friends! Get together and make a craft, bake something delicious, or play a game. Organizing a party may seem time-consuming when school and extracurriculars are weighing you down, but these ideas will do most of the planning for you.


Chocolate Heart Puffs

My friends always love to bake, but after trashing a few too many kitchens, I decided on a simpler recipe involving less room for error. Don’t worry if your friend group has varying skill levels when it comes to baking. In this recipe, everyone is able to participate to the degree that they wish. Those who don’t want to get their hands dirty can unwrap (and eat) the Dove chocolates, while more advanced bakers can work with the pie dough. Chocolate heart puffs are fun and easy with excellent results. When I made these with my friends, we ate all of them in one sitting! 

You will need: Premade pie dough, Dove chocolate hearts, 1 egg white, and a few tablespoons of sugar and flour.

  1. Roll out the pie dough to 1/16” on a floured surface. It should already be pretty thin, so you shouldn’t roll it out too much. Cut out hearts with cookie cutters that are at least 2” wide. 
  2. Place an unwrapped chocolate in the center of each dough heart and place another dough heart on top. Seal the edges by pressing the tongs of a fork in the sides.
  3. Spread a little bit of the egg white on top of the dough, then sprinkle sugar on top. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 8-10 minutes at 425°F, until slightly golden brown around the edges. Let cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.


Mia Burkholder
The Dove hearts melt inside of the pie crust, creating a gooey and wonderful treat.


Heart Wall Hangings

Valentines’ Day decorations are often tacky, so I wanted to make a craft cute enough to keep up all year. This craft is easily personalized, so everyone can create something they enjoy. No artistic talent is required!

You will need: Oven-bake clay or salt dough (I like this recipe), heart-shaped cookie cutters of various sizes, paint, twine, straws, and optionally, photographs, tape, markers, and toothpicks.

  1. Roll out the clay or dough to the preferred thickness for the oven time listed. Cut out hearts of various sizes and with a straw, poke holes in the top and bottom so they can be strung together.
  2. Bake until solid, then cool. Paint or decorate; string hearts together with the twine.

Personalize your wall hanging:

To add photographs, cut a smaller heart inside of a larger heart. Cut a photo to the correct size, then tape to the back when baked and cool.

To marble colors, take a piece of oven-bake clay and color it with markers. Knead in the color. Add in the rest of the clay, knead slightly, then roll out and proceed as directed. For salt dough, do the same, but add food coloring instead.

To engrave the clay, use a toothpick to write on the clay before placing it in the oven.

To add scent, knead in a few drops of essential oil before rolling out the clay. 



Friendship Jeopardy

A staple of my friend group, friendship Jeopardy has been played at almost every get-together since middle school. We always learn something new about each other and get pretty competitive. Don’t blame me if you lose friends after this game!

You will need: sticky notes or small pieces of paper and tape, six per person plus five more for set-up.

How to Play:

Friendship Jeopardy is similar to Jeopardy, except the questions are about your friends. Each person creates questions about themselves in each category. The hardest question should be written on the Post-it with the most points written on the front (500), while the easiest should be written on the Post-it with the least amount of points (100). The sticky notes will be organized on the wall as shown in the photo. On your turn, pick a person and a category or point value and the person you chose will read their question. If you answer correctly, you gain the number of points written on the Post-It. If you answer incorrectly, the same question is asked to the next person until someone answers correctly or the question comes back to the person whose turn it was. When there are no more sticky notes on the board, players count up their points. The person with the most points wins!

To set up:

  1. Label the sticky notes with numbers 100 through 500, counting by 100’s. These are the point values for each question. For each set of 100 to 500, create a Post-it with the player’s name.
  2. Label the remaining five sticky notes with categories for questions. Some of my favorites are:
    1. “It’s All Relative”—questions regarding a player’s family
    2. “Ancient History”—questions about a player’s childhood
    3. “Oops!”—questions about a player’s most embarrassing moments
    4. “Pet Peeves”
    5. “Misc.” When my friends and I first played Friendship Jeopardy, we didn’t have categories at all, but we found it very difficult to decide what questions to write. Once we added categories into our game, we always included a “Miscellaneous” category. Writing one question about yourself without rules is easy. Writing five—not so much.

If you have a large group of players, you may want to have each person only write three questions about themselves, creating point values 100 through 300, counting by 100’s.
If you have more ideas for categories but don’t want to increase the number of questions, have players pick a few, but not all, categories to write questions for. I have found in my gameplay that doing this makes it a lot easier to write questions. The more options, the better. 


Mia Burkholder
Not all point values are the same for each category—that way, people are able to rate their questions based on difficulty.


Throwing a party doesn’t have to be difficult—all you truly need are some good friends. If you’ve got them, celebrate them this month with a Valentines’ Day party—it’s what you and your friends deserve.