Sunday, February 9, 2014

shoebox valentine exchange

I remember elementary school valentine parties fondly. We all had homemade decorated shoeboxes on our desks. The teacher marshalled us in a line and we filed past all the desks with our bags of cards and candy, giggling and dropping crumpled valentines in the boxes as we went. Then of course we all sat down, looked through our hoard, giggled more, and had milk and sweets at our desks. Good times, good times.

We got to participate in a shoebox valentine exchange with our church friends yesterday. We were all gathering at my MIL's house anyway to sing hymns and have a potluck, so a bunch of kids brought their boxes and we had fun dropping our hearts and candy inside each one.

Of course I mentioned buying the valentines at the store but both the girls opted for homemade ones. (Nice try, Mommy.) The valentines you see above are all variations of different ones I've seen online. I spent some time looking around for simple DIY ideas and pinned a few of my favorites for inspiration. We took the ideas we liked the best and went into production:
  • Dynamite seemed like a great idea for the boys. Danger involved! Possible explosions! They are Rolo® Candy covered in red paper with double sided tape to secure, with a string fuse glued to one end. Then each stick of dynamite was glued to a paper heart. I took the expression on them for granted, having grown up in the 70s watching Good Times, but my oldest said, "I think you're dynamite? Mom...what does that mean?" (Can't you just hear skinny J.J. saying it? Picture the hand motions too.)
  • I'm glad WEAVE become friends/Friends BAND Together punny valentines were a great excuse for my girls to get their WonderLoom thingy in action and make some bracelets. Let me tell you, some Deep Thought went into each color combination.
  • The girly (and non-explosive) butterflies are Rolo® Candy covered in patterned paper with double sided tape and glued to heart shaped wings with pipe cleaner antennae.

After you finish all the valentines to give away then of course you have to make a box to receive all your valentines in! We had two shoeboxes handy (someone around here sure likes to buy shoes *loud throat clearing that sounds like the word "Larissa"*).

I cut rectangles out of the lids first then covered the outside with construction paper. Then the girls went to town on the decorations with paper punches, felt, pipe cleaners, pom poms and of course, googly eyes. Any excuse to use googly eyes. It was fun!


  1. I'd totally forgotten about decorating valentine boxes! I used to cover mine with crepe paper. That was before the days when you if you have valentines you were required to give one to each person in your class...

    1. Susan, I can't remember if we had to give each one a valentine or if you could pick and choose...been too long!

  2. How fun is this? I loved Valentine's day at school. After a certain grade, however, I recall a ridiculous amount of stress over specific messages and not wanting the wrong boy to get funny ideas because I ran out of "you're a great friend, Valentine" cards. Hilarious.

    1. Haha, Skooks! I recall those feelings too. Valentines can be stressful!


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