I shopped at Hobby Lobby and Michaels for Valentine's Day decorations, and one craft chain had so much more to offer

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I shopped at Hobby Lobby and Michaels for Valentine's Day decorations, and one craft chain had so much more to offer
  • I shopped at Michaels and Hobby Lobby for Valentine's Day decor to see which chain I preferred.
  • I was surprised that Michaels didn't have full aisles of red and pink decor, but Hobby Lobby did.

I love Valentine's Day decorations, especially when it comes to cute wall hangings and easy crafts.

My go-to stores for finding holiday merchandise are Michaels and Hobby Lobby, but I wanted to see which chain offered the best lovey-dovey items this year.

Here's what it was like to shop at each craft chain in mid-January.

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I started at Hobby Lobby and immediately saw lots of red and pink.

I started at Hobby Lobby and immediately saw lots of red and pink.
Hobby Lobby had aisles full of Valentine's day offerings. Amena Ahmed

I was pleasantly surprised by how many Valentine's Day decorations I saw when I entered Hobby Lobby.

There were about six aisles throughout the store filled with red and pink merchandise, ranging from children's crafts and trinkets to tinsel wall hangings.

On the other hand, Michaels didn’t seem to have a lot to offer.

On the other hand, Michaels didn’t seem to have a lot to offer.
There were some Valentine's Day displays at Michaels, but I didn't see full aisles of merch. Amena Ahmed

I was expecting large aisles with heart-shaped decorations at Michaels.

But when I entered the craft store, it took me a minute to even find the Valentine's Day merchandise.

Instead of full aisles, there were only a few separate centerpiece shelves filled with merchandise

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Hobby Lobby’s Valentine’s Day pieces were already on sale.

Hobby Lobby’s Valentine’s Day pieces were already on sale.
Hobby Lobby was offering 40% off the seasonal products. Amena Ahmed

The February holiday decor was already 40% off at Hobby Lobby.

According to the signage, all the seasonal decorations, crafts, and party supplies qualified for the discount.

Michaels offered a similar discount.

Michaels offered a similar discount.
Some of the Valentine's Day party gear was 40% at Michaels. Amena Ahmed

Most Valentine's Day gift packaging and party decorations were also 40% off at Michaels. And there was also a buy-one-get-one sale for kids' crafts.

Although Michaels' sale was a bit more limited, I thought these were great deals. There were still lots of fun activities in stock.

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If you want to throw a themed party, Hobby Lobby is a great option.

If you want to throw a themed party, Hobby Lobby is a great option.
There were reusable and paper party supplies in multiple colors and designs. Amena Ahmed

An entire aisle in Hobby Lobby was dedicated to party supplies and favors, including paper and plastic plates, cup sets, wrapping paper, and empty goody bags.

The store even sold heart-themed table runners and measuring cups, which I thought would be a nice addition to a kitchen or dining table year-round.

Michaels didn’t offer as many utensils or party necessities.

Michaels didn’t offer as many utensils or party necessities.
There was a small stand of party supplies at Michaels. Amena Ahmed

I only found a small section of plasticware and glassware at Michaels, and almost none of the offerings came in sets.

The mugs, cake stands, and plastic cups at the chain seemed fitting for smaller gatherings — like a date — rather than big parties.

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Hobby Lobby had an impressive amount of tinsel decorations and garlands.

Hobby Lobby had an impressive amount of tinsel decorations and garlands.
I loved all the tinsel wall hangings at Hobby Lobby. Amena Ahmed

I typically associate garland and tinsel with Christmas decor, so I didn't expect much around this holiday — but I was mistaken.

Hobby Lobby offered pink and red tinseled hearts, garlands, and centerpieces, and I even found some metallic balloons.

I liked that most pieces came in different sizes and colors, which allowed for a range of ideas for decorating a home.

Michaels also sold tinseled hearts, but there was less variety.

Michaels also sold tinseled hearts, but there was less variety.
Tinsel is in for Valentine's Day decor this year. Amena Ahmed

The tinsel pieces at both chains were pretty similar, and I didn't notice a difference in quality.

But similar to the party favors, there was a smaller range of options at Michaels.

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Hobby Lobby didn’t offer many themed craft projects.

Hobby Lobby didn’t offer many themed craft projects.
I wouldn't come to Hobby Lobby for Valentine's Day crafts. Amena Ahmed

There weren't many Valentine's Day crafts at Hobby Lobby, but that might've been because most of them were sold out.

I also would've liked to see packages that had everything you needed for certain crafts, rather than items like wooden and foam hearts being sold individually.

Michaels won in the crafting department.

Michaels won in the crafting department.
Michaels had a lot of craft options and some of them were on sale. Amena Ahmed

I expected Michaels to offer a lot of holiday-themed arts and crafts, and it didn't disappoint.

Most crafting projects I saw were tailored to children, like mailboxes for Valentine's Day cards and beads for friendship bracelets.

Although some shelves were overflowing with individual craft items — similar to the foam hearts at Hobby Lobby — I appreciated that there were full project kits available.

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Hobby Lobby sold candy, which I didn’t expect.

Hobby Lobby sold candy, which I didn’t expect.
I could've stocked up on my seasonal sweets at Hobby Lobby. Amena Ahmed

After roaming through the aisles of decorations, I noticed about six shelves stacked with all kinds of Valentine's Day candy and gifts.

I didn't expect a craft store to sell candy for holidays, but it's great to know for those who have last-minute plans.

I didn't find candy at Michaels, but there was some great gift packaging.

I didn't find candy at Michaels, but there was some great gift packaging.
I liked the variety of gift wrapping available at Michaels. Amena Ahmed

I thought it was OK that Michaels wasn't selling big packages of candy because it had other gift-giving items available for purchase.

Options included cute gift bags, tissue and wrapping paper, and clear buckets decorated with hearts.

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Hobby Lobby is the perfect spot for trinkets and knickknacks.

Hobby Lobby is the perfect spot for trinkets and knickknacks.
There were full aisles of seasonal trinkets and knickknacks. Amena Ahmed

The biggest (and best) Valentine's Day section at Hobby Lobby was the knickknack aisle. There were trinkets with different sayings and designs lining the shelves from top to bottom.

My favorites included the mushrooms and gnomes with heart-shaped spots and outfits.

My favorite Valentine’s Day section in Michaels was its bouquet-inspired shelf.

My favorite Valentine’s Day section in Michaels was its bouquet-inspired shelf.
You could put together a faux bouquet of Valentine's Day decor. Amena Ahmed

One shelf in Michaels was filled with plastic and foam items that could be bought individually and made into a unique bouquet.

I liked that customers could personalize an original collection rather than buying a generic, prepackaged set. They'd also last longer than real roses.

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I was surprised that Hobby Lobby was already stocking up for St. Patrick’s Day.

I was surprised that Hobby Lobby was already stocking up for St. Patrick’s Day.
I came across a green aisle amid the seasonal decor. Amena Ahmed

I thought mid-January was a little early to be shopping for Valentine's Day. But surprisingly, Hobby Lobby already had a full aisle of green, leprechaun-inspired items for St. Patrick's Day.

I even found shelves with Easter eggs and bunnies toward the back of the store.

Michaels seemed to be prioritizing future holidays.

Michaels seemed to be prioritizing future holidays.
I found more St. Patrick's Day decor than Valentine's Day offerings. Amena Ahmed

Most shelves and aisles at the store were packed with Easter and St. Patrick's Day decorations, which felt a bit early.

I was surprised at how close Michaels' Easter decor was to the entrance compared to its Valentine's Day items.

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Both chains offered great decor, but Hobby Lobby had much more to offer.

Both chains offered great decor, but Hobby Lobby had much more to offer.
Hobby Lobby was definitely the winner for Valentine's Day options. Amena Ahmed

I enjoyed the Valentine's Day decorations at Hobby Lobby and Michaels, but the amount and variety at Hobby Lobby won me over.

The craft store's unique party favors, supplies, and knickknacks allowed for endless ideas and combinations. I also loved that it sold candy, making it a one-stop shop for Valentine's Day needs.

Michaels didn't offer much versatility, other than its DIY bouquets. I also think with the lack of packaged party supplies, it would be difficult to utilize the store for a large gathering.