DIY Valentine Card Box {for under $10}


Since our daughter is only 21 months old, I thought I’d have a few more years before having homework to complete with her.  Nope.  On Monday, her daycare folder included a request that, by Friday, we send in a box for her Valentine’s Day cards to go in at their party next week.  I love a good craft, but extensive weeknight crafting is just not going to happen for me right now, so I was determined to make a box in one night and spend as little as possible to make it.  

I am happy to say that I succeeded! Here’s how I did it:

1.  Gather Supplies

Daycare suggested using either a cereal box or a shoe box for the container.  Luckily, I’d just bought cereal and had a box available.  On my weekly Target run, I picked up some doilies, trim, and heart shapes from the $1 section.  *If your child is older (or will be awake during the time you have to make this…), Target also had some peel-and-stick Valentine shapes.  

I also had craft glue, spray paint, colored paper, and some gift wrapping trim on hand already.

If you want to be exactly like me, this is when you put a pizza in the oven for dinner.

2. Prep Surface & Paint

I cut the top four flaps off my cereal box using scissors.  You could also glue the flaps shut and cut out a hole in the top (like a mailbox), but I thought it might be frustrating for a bunch of almost 2 year olds to try to fit their card through a smaller hole.

Next, I took my box outside to spray paint.  The glitter paint is more of an opaque layer, so I covered the entire box in the silver first, let that dry, and then went back over it with a layer of glitter paint.

I later realized I had a bottle of red craft paint that would have been really cute under the glitter and been a little more Valentine’s Day-ish than silver.  Oh well!  

This is when I took a break to eat dinner and let the coats of paint dry thoroughly (about an hour and a half).

3.  Glue Stuff Onto the Box!

While I waited for the box to dry, I cut out little triangles from colored paper and wrote “Caroline” on them to make a banner. If you don’t have colored paper, you could also use a gift bag.  Make sure your banner fits before writing on it; mine had to be cut down since my cereal box was narrow.  To attach the banner, I put some craft glue on a paper plate and used a q-tip to dab glue on the triangles.

Next, I cut pieces of white doily to fit inside two of my red hearts and attached those to a pink heart.

I attached two hearts under the banner, and glued some trim to the top all the way around the box.  

On the back side, I just added three hearts.

And voila, I was done!

Now, this isn’t the most Pinterest worthy craft, and I probably could have been more careful about matching up shades of pink…but for under $10 and about an hour and a half of active time, I’m pleased!

Cost Breakdown:

Cereal box … $0

Colored paper … $0

Spray paint* … $0

Used trim … $0

Fringe trim … $1

Doilies (2 packs of 14) … $1 per pack

Heart shapes (2 packs of 6) … $1 per pack


*Here are the two spray paints that I used (silver, glitter). They’re both on sale for under $5 this week at Hobby Lobby.