Sunday, January 29, 2012

Valentine crafting: Mailboxes

For some kooky reason Valentine comes along and I want to decorate with all sorts of things.  I especially enjoy making mailboxes for the kids to put their valentines into.  This year Chicken's teacher asked that the students bring in their mailboxes completed. WHEEEE....I actually get to help make a mailbox!!!!!!!!!!!!

After much discussion, amounting too Chicken stating he didn't want anything to girly we got started. Instead of a shoe box we I grabbed the box that has our protein shakes from Costco.  I cut the box in half, I used a sharp knife.  The edges ended up rough, but we fixed it with our next steps. We Duct taped the bottom of the box and the edges, this smoothed out the top and closed the hole in the bottom. Next came Chicken's hunt through the craft supplies. I like to keep a lot of loose things around and encouraged the kids to think outside the box.  Chicken found the left over fabric scraps from his super hero bulletin board and insisted it was plenty Valentine themed to work.  Between the two of us we wrapped the box inside and out with the fabric.  I used hot glue and glued the fabric to the bottom of the box, then hot glue gunned the inside edge wall, wrapped the fabric around the outside and glued it on the bottom. I did the same with another piece of fabric going the opposite direction, this means there was double fabric on the bottom, but with a duct tape hole on the bottom I thought the extra fabric would help.  As I wrapped the second piece of fabric around the box, both in and out I hot glued both pieces of fabric together at their loose ends.  We now had a box wrapped in fabric, but it was still totally open on top, not very mailbox like.  Chicken came up with taking the last bit of fabric cutting a hole in it and putting it over the open top of the box. The top fabric piece is being kept in place with a rubber band. The great thing about this idea is at the end of the day, Chicken takes the rubber band off and he has easy access to all his valentines.  The last thing that Chicken needed to do was put his name on the box and make it a little more Valentine like.  He opted for cutting out construction paper hearts with sayings and his name on them and putting one of his Valentines on the front of the box.  I was pretty proud, Chicken loves it and he did most of it himself (didn't let him near the glue gun) and thought up a lot of great ideas to make it all his.

This time of year is really busy and none of us really remember to let each other know how much we appreciate each other, so I invented another reason to make a mailbox.  I told both kids that they needed to make a some type of mailbox to hang outside their bedroom doors in case cupid came by to drop off treats and letters and such.  We again used a box from Costco, this was an over sized Cheerios box.  I cut off the tabs at both ends, I didn't need to cut the ends and it would have been useful to have them later on, but it worked out fine this way too. After cutting the ends, I cut between the front cover and side of the box, and the back and opposite side.  This made a folder, the top part is longer than the bottom, see the pictures below.  After making the cuts, I turned them over to the kids and told them they needed a way to hang it at the top and close it at the sides.  We pulled out all the craft supplies and both kids went to town.  Bean defiantly went more Valentine like, she opted to tie two pieces of yard through some hole punches to close the side and used ribbon and tape on the top.  I am not sure if it was because Bean had a specific idea or what, but she was very organized with how she put her box together and she hardly asked me for any help. Chicken of course used me all he could for manual labor and I hole punched so much I think I have a hand cramp from it.  Chicken opted to weave the sides of his envelope shut and then just used a long string to bring it up through the punched holes at the top and tied it off.  Chicken of course choose something much less Valentine like, he went for black paper, with international flag and agile tape.  

It was great to see both kids get creative and make something they were proud of, I wonder if cupid will bring them something fun?

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