Do you need a way to hold your child’s Valentine’s Day cards and gifts? Get creative and make one. This fun and functional valentine mailbox is a simple and inexpensive craft project to make with kids at home or at school. I made this for my daughter, but it can be customized for each child, so it’s suitable for boys and girls. The best part about this cute kids’ craft is there’s no need to spend money on supplies, because I designed it to be created entirely from construction paper and recycled materials.
Materials needed for this Valentine’s Day craft for kids:
1 plastic juice bottle (2 quart), rectangle shaped not round
2 empty cereal boxes or large cracker boxes
Small piece of yarn or ribbon
Recycled valentines, greeting cards, gift bags, or magazine cutouts
Stickers, markers, crayons, or other materials for decorating
Packing tape or duct tape
Directions for how to make a valentine mailbox:
1. Cut the top off the 2 quart juice container. The piece left should be about 7 ½ to 8 inches long. There is no need to be exact with your cutting. The bottle will only be used to shape the cardboard and won’t be a part of the final product.
Safety note: If a child is helping with this part of the project, tape the rough edges to avoid cuts.
2. Cut and save the front and back pieces from both cereal (or cracker) boxes. (I used cracker boxes for the one in the photo.)
3. Place one cardboard piece flat on the table with the design facing down. Lay the plastic bottle on its shortest side and fold the sides of the cardboard up, creasing to make the edges sharp. This will be the bottom of the valentine mailbox.
4. Take a second piece of cardboard and curve it over the top half of the bottle that is still lying on its side. Use packing tape or duct tape to secure the two pieces. To make sure the valentine mailbox is strong enough to hold up to use by kids, tape liberally and apply it to both sides. This will be the top of the valentine mailbox.
5. Trace the back of the structure onto another sheet of recycled cardboard. Cut it out and secure it with tape to one of the openings. This will form the back of the mailbox.
6. Trace the front of the mailbox onto the last piece of cardboard. Measure an additional 2-inch border to the bottom of the front piece, and cut it out. Fold the 2-inch border at the bottom and crease. This will be the flap that enables the mailbox door to open and close. Place the flap inside the mailbox and tape it. Remember to also tape on the underside of the cardboard. This will form the mailbox door.
7. Remove the juice bottle and recycle it. The frame for the valentine mailbox is now complete.
How to decorate the valentine mailbox with kids:
This is the portion of this Valentine’s Day craft for kids where they can use their creativity and customize the mailbox to fit their own personal style.
1. Cover the outside of the mailbox with colored construction paper and craft glue.
2. Decorate the valentine mailbox by gluing cutouts of old valentine cards, gift bags, greeting cards, or pictures clippings from magazines.
3. Allow the child to write his name or draw his own artwork on the mailbox with crayons or markers. Stickers can also be added at this time.
4. Use a paper punch to make a hole at the top of the mailbox door. Insert a small piece of string or ribbon, tie it off, and cut the excess. This will allow the child to open and close the mailbox door.
Send this cute valentine mailbox to school with your child to collect valentine cards and candy at a party or use it at home to stuff with your own Valentine’s Day gifts, treats, and cards for your child.
Other Valentine’s Day crafts for kids by this author:
Learn how to make a 3-D valentine from a recycled egg carton
Learn how to make candy flowers
Original design by Jo Brielyn