If every Valentine's Day you find your eyes rolling to the back of your head at the thought of buying red roses, a corny card, and chocolates for your beloved, we've got something to tell you: Not all Valentine's Day gifts have to be so bland, so vanilla, and so boring. In fact, there are plenty of gifts made right here in metro Detroit that will have your sweetie swooning, whether she's a little basic or full-on goth. Here's a list of gifts that range from cute and quirky to macabre and morbid — and you can take all the credit.
Crochet Potted Flower from Harvesting Hart ($15)
Fresh flowers die, potted flowers live longer but still die, but this crocheted rose will stay perky forever. Adorable, quirky, and a touch unnecessary, it'll look cute on your best girl's desk at work and every time someone asks about it, she'll gush about how sweet you are. Ann Arbor-based Harvesting Hart whips up these little cuties (you might know them for their funny crocheted cacti) and you can purchase them online at harvestinghart.com.
Sex Machine from Cellar Door Soap ($6)
Maybe soap doesn't sound like a sexy gift, but guys love Cellar Door's Sex Machine scent. It's a little musky, very manly, and the smell sticks around after use, unlike some other soaps and body washes. At $6 a bar, you probably won't want to purchase this for everyday use, but for a special occasion, it's perfect. You can pick up a bar (and maybe a couple scents for yourself) at Yellow Door Art Market, City Bird, and Catching Fireflies, or just check out their website, cellardoorsoapandskin.com.
Bloody Zombie Head Card by Detroit Card Co. ($4)
Are you never able to find the right words to express your love? Then let Detroit Card Co. do the work for you. This classic design, stamped with a rosy-cheeked cherub, comes with a slightly less classic message: "In the apocalypse I'd be the first to lovingly stomp on your bloody zombie head." Isn't that sweet? If this card is a little two whimsical for you, check out the rest of the Valentine's Day line. Our other favorites include "You're nifty," "If you throw this card away, you don't love me as much as I love you," and "I love you, ya weirdo." You can pick up these cards at City Bird, Five15, Literati, Rail & Anchor, ZMC Pharmacy, or buy online at detroitcardco.com.
"Detroit" Bangle by Jewelry for a Cause, the Caliber Collection ($495)
Before you start thinking, "Another Detroit-themed jewelry company?" this one is a little different. Jewelry for a Cause works with police departments to use weapons that were collected for evidence to make this jewelry. Kind of gruesome, right? Even their packaging is designed to look like evidence bags. It's a steep price tag, but the nonprofit works with over 50 charities and has donated over $400,000 to philanthropic causes. You can pick up some pieces from their Caliber Collection at the Detroit Institute of Arts or shop online at jewelryforacause.net.
Get Your Cock Out Mini Painting by Kill Taupe ($25)
Ladies, when it comes to the opposite sex, subtlety is never the answer. No one understands that more than Detroit-based artist Kill Taupe. He designed and created a series of magnetic mini paintings that are come emblazoned with such quaint phrases as "Eat a fat dick," "Get your cock out," and "Dip your toast in me but just the tip," among other vulgarities. Buy 'em at killtaupe.com.
Wilted Roses by DirtyRottenFlowers.com (prices vary)
Is your sweetie a little morbid? Does she love all things dark and dreary? Then a fresh bouquet of red roses with baby's breath probably isn't going to make her weak in the knees. Instead, order her a bunch of dried, wilted, dead flowers to make her heart palpitate. There are services like dirtyrottenflowers.com that will deliver, but you can always buy a bunch in advance and let them die all on their own.
Jawbone Necklace by Tooth and Nail ($38)
Perhaps your gal doesn't like diamonds, or sapphires, or pearls. Perhaps she likes something a little more grisly (although, diamonds have their gruesome side too). Tooth and Nail's Stacy Dumas crafts these cadaverous necklaces from animal jawbones she buys from local hunters, as well as from her own hikes. Most jawbones come from invasive species like coyotes and raccoons, but occasionally Dumas finds fox or possum bones. She then glues in all the teeth to ensure they won't fall out, and lacquers the bones for a nice, glossy finish. Browse them at her booth at the Rust Belt Market in Ferndale every weekend.