After seeing the matchbox advent calendar on Kids Craft Weekly, I was reminded how as a child I used to love to decorate old matchboxes and use them to stash trinkets, notes, or treasures I had found.
I decided to adapt this idea and make little “love” boxes with my kids for our Valentine’s Day craft, but this simple project can easily be used throughout the year.
– empty matchboxes (10 boxes for $.89 at East Side Marketplace)
– glue stick and craft glue
-Â paper, wrapping paper (I used origami paper — a multipack of forty 4 5/8” square sheets $1.99 at Utrecht on Wickenden Street)
-Â collage items – ribbons, stickers, sequins, glitter
-Â markers, crayons, paint and paintbrush
-Â treasures to place inside — candy, notes, charms, etc.
To cover the matchbox with paper, you first need to measure the box. Use a small ruler to measure, mark your paper with a pencil line, and cut with scissors or use a paper cutter to quickly cut a number of sheets. (Cut the paper a little longer than the distance around the box so the paper sleeve will overlap when you glue it.)
My mini matchbox measures 3/8 “ H x 1.5” W x 2 1/16” L. I can get two strips (4 5/8” x 2 1/16”) from each origami sheet, leaving me a little strip I can also use later to cover the ends of the drawer.
Use glue stick to cover backside of paper with glue, wrap tightly around box, and allow to dry. (Test paper first to see if words from the matchbox show through. If so, paint the box first with craft paint and let dry.)
You can get as creative as you or your kids want. Paint the box drawer inside and out, line the drawer with paper or felt, and/or collage the outside of the box by gluing on ribbons, sequins, buttons, etc. with craft glue.
We filled our boxes with love notes and candy hearts, but the possibilities are endless — mini drawings, photos of the kids (nice gift for grandparents), shells, feathers, little toys, assorted baubles etc. This box also makes a fine Tooth Fairy Box — a place for your child’s lost tooth for under the pillow to await the Tooth Fairy, or as we do in our house, a place for my son to save all his lost teeth because he can’t bear to part with them.
Here is a link back to the valentine heart project I wrote about last year on Kidoinfo. Since the website had not yet officially launched, I doubt anyone saw this craft in time.
My boys and I also had the pleasure of joining our friends at Rag and Bone Studio for a book craft last winter. The kids made these adorable Valentine’s Day accordion books, which can easily be adapted to suit any holiday.
If you have great valentine project ideas, please click comments and share them with our readers.