The exchange of greeting cards or friendly notes has been a mark of the Valentine’s Day holiday for centuries. Celebrate a school or family party by helping children to create unique Valentine’s Day boxes. This fun craft activity uses basic art materials and repurposed household items.
Materials Needed to Create Valentine’s Day Boxes
Parents can help children to collect (or purchase) the materials listed. All items can either be purchases at most art or craft supply stores, or be found around the home. Materials include:
- Cardboard shoe box
- Gift wrap (look for inexpensive wrap that is a solid color such as red, pink, or white or reuse pieces of old holiday gift wrap)
- Clear drying, non-toxic glue
- Clear tape
- Tempera paint in red, blue, and white
- Paint brushes
- Glitter in red, pink, or silver/white
Steps to Making a Valentine’s Day Card Box
Before children begin to design and create this Valentine’s Day box, parents will need to cut a hole or slot for the cards to fit through. Ask the child to choose a place on the box for the slot. The typical placement is the top of the box. The child can draw a line or rectangle with a marker. After this, the parent (or other adult) can cut out the slot.
Once the card slot has been cut the child can begin to decorate the box. Parents may need to offer more assistance depending on the child’s age. Decorating steps include:
- Wrap the box in wrapping paper using clear tape to secure. The box will need to opened to take out the cards, therefore the top (lid) and bottom of the show box should be wrapped separately. Side opening boxes that do not have two separate pieces may either be cut (cut what would be the lid off), or for a more secure fit simply wrap the paper around the top of the box leaving room to close the opening. Plain paper in Valentine’s Day colors works well for this step. Another option is to reuse scraps of leftover holiday or birthday papers. Cut and glue (collage) these papers onto the box until it is covered.
- Cut out the area around the card slot (parents may need to assist with this part).
- The child can now use tempera paints to decorate the box in festive colors. This is a great way to hide unwanted patterns or holiday designs on reused wrapping paper. Add in a lesson on color mixing. Give the child red, blue, and white and encourage him or her to create pinks and purples. The entire box or only portions of it may be painted.
- Set aside to dry.
- Have the child draw designs, shapes (such as hearts) or lined patterns onto the painted box with the glue. Sprinkle glitter over the glue. Shake excess glue onto a piece of paper to reuse. Allow time for the glitter glue to dry.
- Have the child cut a medium sized heart (about the size of his or her hand) out of the wrapping paper. If the paper is dark or patterned use a piece of construction paper for this step. Ask the child to write his or her name onto the heart. If the child is too young to write the letters, an adult can lightly print them in pencil, and then ask the child to trace with marker.
- Tape or glue the heart onto the top or front of the box.
- Add Valentine’s Day cards!
Optional Valentine’s Day Box Craft Steps
For an added effect try one of these ideas:
- Create flowers by cutting and balling up pieces of tissue paper. Glue these to the box.
- Add curled ribbons to the top of the box.
- Instead of using glitter, use pink or red yearn on the glue for a fun design.
- Collage lacey doilies or red and pink felt onto the box.
- Make a pop up heart using construction paper and tape for the top of the box.
- Finger paint the box with hand and finger prints. Ask the child to create hearts or other shapes out of finger prints.
- Make a shiny metallic looking box by using foil instead of wrapping paper.
A Valentine’s Day box craft activity is a great way for children to get into the holiday spirit. From simple glitter designs to more elaborate collaged creations, these boxes are sure to be unique works of art that will be cherished for years to come.