If your child is like most children, there’s a good chance that he or she is planning to exchange Valentine’s Day cards and treats with his or her friends this year. To make this process even more fun, why not help him or her create a fun and functional Valentine’s Day card mailbox? All you need in order to make a mailbox are a few simple items that you probably already have around your home. Of course, if you find that you do not have one or more of the items required, you can always improvise and substitute. After all, not every mailbox has to look exactly the same. If you have more than one child, it can be fun to let them explore their own sense of creativity by providing them with a variety of different boxes, papers and embellishments, letting them choose the mailbox style that appeals to them most. Here are the basic instructions needed in order to create a Valentine’s Day card mailbox.

 Materials You Will Need

  • Small cardboard box (A round oatmeal box combined with a rectangular box such as a cereal or cracker box often works well.)
  • Sheets of decorative paper (Construction paper, scrapbook paper and other decorative papers can be used.)
  • Pair of scissors (Make sure to use round-tip safety scissors in the case of small children.)
  • Markers, crayons, or colored pencils
  • Glue, tape or other adhesives
  • Other embellishments as desired (You can use glitter, sequins, yarn, foam shapes, stickers, decals and almost anything else you have around the house.)

Creating the Initial Mailbox Structure

If you want to create the traditional rounded-top mailbox shape, a round oatmeal box makes a good starting point. Look for a rectangular cardboard box that the oatmeal box will fit into when positioned horizontally. If the cardboard boxes need trimmed so that they fit together better, you might need to help your child with the cutting and fitting tasks. Once the boxes fit together so that you end up with a squared-off bottom and a rounded top, use tape to hold the boxes together.

Of course, this traditionally shaped mailbox is not your only option. Instead, you might want to use a cracker or cereal box to create a rectangular mailbox, similar to the kind that is often mounted on the outside of a house. Whichever shape you choose, be sure to cut a slit into the box so that the Valentine’s Day cards can be inserted. You’ll also want to cut a flap opening into the backside or bottom of the mailbox, so that the cards can be removed easily.

Decorating the Mailbox

Once the initial mailbox shape has been established, the decorating fun can begin. Using sheets of decorative paper and tape or glue, cover the entire outside surface of the mailbox. Your child can then use stickers, decals, colored pencils, crayons, markers and other fun embellishments to decorate his or her mailbox as desired. These mailboxes also work great with groups of children that are planning to exchange Valentine’s Day cards, such as in the classroom. If this is the case, make sure that each child marks his or her name on each mailbox.