Prioritizing time together is essential for cultivating healthy, happy relationships. Dating isn’t just for new lovers; married couples need to keep the home fire stoked with shared, relaxed experiences. However, dating regularly can easily become like another chore without an element of fun every now and then. Marriage counselors often emphasize the importance of keeping fun in a marriage. Fortunately, you don’t have to leave home and break the bank to rekindle your flame. Build a stronger relationship and craft amazing memories together with these budget-friendly at-home date night projects.

Post Your Visions

Turn a board and magazine cut-outs into a real-life Pinterest board of your dreams and goals. You and your partner might decide to create one collage each for different areas of your lives, such as dream jobs, educational goals, or relationship building. Vision boards should emphasize how you want to feel, not just things you wish for. Begin with a poster board, corkboard, pinboard, or plain paper. Have scissors, tape, or glue on hand for adding images and quotes from magazines. This project not only allows you to visualize your and your partner’s dreams, but it can also motivate you to pursue those aspirations long after date night. It can be done on a computer; however, it would lack the multi-sensory appeal of a tangible board.

Vision board date night trinetuzun / Getty Images


Tie the Knot Again

Paracord is inexpensive and so easy to work up into useful and meaningful items. Only a few feet are needed to create an infinite variety of projects such as bracelets, key chains, pet chew toys, or all-in-one survival cords. Pick your favorite colors and embellish them with wooden or plastic beads. Create small gifts for each other or loved ones. Make a joint effort for our troops and make bracelets for Operation Gratitude.


Capture the Moments

Create fun, sweet flashbacks with time capsules. A small glass jar, oatmeal canister, shoebox, or paint can provide plenty of room for mementos such as small photos, newspaper clippings, or a CD of your favorite songs. Tuck away the capsules in a safe location or bury them in the back yard. It’s up to you when to open them: on your next anniversary or 10 years from now.


Coast Along

Logophiles (word lovers) might enjoy building word coasters with Scrabble tiles, cork, and strong glue. Think of four-letter words around a theme, such as types of drinks, emotions, or meaningful aspects of your relationship. After completing the coasters, try them out with a favorite drink. They may bend at first but should lay flat after a few uses.


Touch Up Your Home

Start or work on a house project that you and your partner may have been putting off. Pick something small such as tile laying, painting a wall, or hanging photos. Turn wire clothes hangers into shoe hangers or make colored sand jars. Work can be fun when you’re in it together, and the finished product will be more meaningful.

Couple doing plaster, mid section Karen Moskowitz / Getty Images


Personalize Playing Cards

Create a custom set of playing cards with photos of you as a couple or of special things in your lives. All you need is a deck of cards, 52 printed photos, and scrapbook adhesive. Repeat five or fewer pictures so that you don’t give away your hand. Before printing the pictures, resize them to 2.5 x 3.5 inches so they will fit on regular cards. Plain copy paper will do, or you can use photo paper to make the colors stand out. Laminating the cards can help preserve the photos, but this is optional.


Compile a Scrapbook

Even in this digital age, scrapbooking appeals to many people who want memories that they can literally hold on to. For a date night, pick just a handful of significant photos to scrapbook along with an album, paper, and embellishments. Those who are not that inclined towards crafts will still appreciate reminiscing over the old pictures and reliving special moments together.


Add a Romantic Note

Set aside a few moments during your home date night to write love letters to each other. Share them the same night or choose another time to share them. If it’s hard to come up with words, look up some poetry or romantic song lyrics to copy and share with each other. You could also write short notes on small cards or slips of paper describing things that you love about each other. Place these things in a jar or old coffee canister. These tidbits of love can remind you of how much you matter to each other every day.


Paint and Wine

Unleash your inner artists with a few strokes and sips right at home. Paint on canvases or coffee mugs. Follow along with a painting video for inspiration and guidance, or create abstract works with your own imaginations. Create individual pieces or collaborate to make a diptych, which is two canvases placed side-by-side to create one large art piece. Turn up the heat by painting scantily clad or au naturel. Pose for each other and create abstract works.


Homemade Body Art

Turn yourselves into canvases for artistic expression. Give each other temporary tattoos or create works of art all over each other’s bodies. Bodypaint kits are widely available online and in craft stores, with exciting varieties including glow-in-the-dark. However, kid’s face paints can work just as well. Be sure to use non-permanent products intended for use on skin.


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