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With the Valentine’s Day holiday around the corner, we thought we would tackle Valentine’s boxes to hold all the special love notes that get passed during the holiday party at school. When reviewing our categories of materials we want to play with through the course of this yearly project, the one that stuck out the most was ‘recyclables’. The goal of these projects is to have the children be as hands-on as possible, but there is a small step in this project that will need completed by an adult for safety.
First thing you’ll need to do is gather some recyclable materials; the most important one being a box, with a lid, that you can repurpose. Shoeboxes work great or a large card file box. You’ll also need some thin chipboard—empty cereal boxes are the perfect thickness. Lastly, you need to raid your wrapping paper bin and find something red, yet neutral. If you don’t find anything that will work, consider using any print of wrapping paper and turning it inside to have the white side showing. It can always be colored with permanent marker or painted with acrylic paint. An alternative would be to shop the selection at your local dollar store. They often have solid colors or even rolls of Kraft-colored paper (for shipping boxes).
Wrap the bottom of your box and the top of your box separately in the same manner that you would wrap a birthday present, tucking the hangover to the inside of the box and lid. Secure all folds using clear tape. Kids love to help wrap presents.
Adhere a doily to the front of the wrapped box. Punch several hearts from cardstock using the Pop-Up Heart Punch to decorate the box. It is easiest for little hands to use glue dots to adhere these hearts as a liquid adhesive becomes too messy and takes too long to dry.
This step should only be completed by an adult. Use your detail knife, cut a slot large enough for love notes to pass through. Secure the loose wrapping paper with clear tape folded to the inside of the opening.
Cut the front panel from the cereal box. Lay it on a protected work surface and have your child paint the inside of box with acrylic paint. This is best if done in several thin layers. This paint dries rather quickly so it shouldn’t take long to cover in 3 or 4 layers of paint. Immediately after painting the last layer, generously sprinkle with heart-shaped confetti and/or glitter. For a more permanent creation, you can wait for the paint to dry, and then paint on a layer of school glue and sprinkle the confetti and glitter over the glue. Set aside to dry.
Once dry, use the heart template to trace a heart onto your painted cereal box. Cut out along traced lines. Use a pencil to make pencil marks approximately ¼” apart from one another starting at the point of the heart. Allow the child to punch holes directly over the markings using a 1/16” Circle Hand Punch.
Cut the end of a 24” length of ribbon at a 45 degree angle and have the child weave the ribbon in and out of the holes much like they would with a set of lacing cards. Tie a bow where the ends meet.
Use Staz-On ink to stamp small love-themed images onto your box.
Embellish the front with the ribbon-laced heart embellishment. Add alphabet stickers to spell the word ‘LOVE’ or the child’s name.
Recycled Shoe Box
Recycled Cereal Box
Black Staz-On Ink