Saturday, January 22, 2011

Easy Valentine Craft: You've Got Mail!

Like all other holidays, we celebrate Valentine's Day BIG.  

Growing up, my mother had a huge, waist expanding Valentine Brunch.  

Along with the surplus of trans fats and sugars, there was a homemade Valentine Mailbox overstuffed with Valentine's for everyone in the family.

As kids, we looked forward to constructing and decorating the Valentine Mailbox.  My mother made this an event.  The event was always announced at least one day in advance. 

"Tomorrow night we are decorating the Valentine Mailbox!"  

Que squeals of delight.

Once decorated, the mailbox was placed out in the open for all to see and admire.  As we made Valentine's we stuffed them inside.

Having a mailbox staring us in the face everyday motivated us to make many Valentine's. 

At our Valentine Brunch, the mailbox was opened and hundreds of Valentine's were delivered.  

The messages, pictures and goodies were always good for a laugh.  

Ever since my munchkins could hold a crayon I helped them make our Valentine Mailbox.  Like my mother, we make it an event and we set our mailbox out in the open.

My munchkins then spend their days crafting, writing and drawing pictures.  They write names on candies and fruit snacks and have even stuffed small toys in the box.

And when my parents are over, they always add a little note for each munchkin.  Or a dollar.

When we open our mailbox at our Valentine Dinner, you never know what you're gonna get.

Today I grabbed an oversized box for my munchkins to transform into the "Mailbox".  The shoebox doesn't cut it anymore.  My munchkins LOVE to make Valentines.

My trick with any craft or activity we do annually is to keep it simple.  I make it more about the together time and the experience.  We tape any ole' thing we can find onto our mailbox.  Anything pink, purple or red is game.  

We've painted, taped, glued and stapled.  There is no method to our madness. 

Let me walk you through today's mailbox construction:

The blank canvas.  Box, your life will never be the same.  I apologize in advance.
Jackpot!  Valentine craft paper in the basement! 
Hmmm....doesn't quite fit...we'll have to use the patch method....
The Gymnastics Queen is a phenomenal mailbox decorator.  She assumed the title of "2nd in Command".
Right about now is when one of these rascals cracked an inappropriate joke.  Giggles ensued.  No craft time is complete without a joke about butts.
To finish the masterpiece I slice the "mail drop opening" with a knife or scissors. 
 
Year after year, regardless of how the mailbox comes together, it's always perfection.  And I have some wonderful Valentine Mail saved from over the years.  My munchkins never seize to amaze me when they pour their tiny hearts out on homemade Valentines.

Being serious for a hot second (it's about all I can stand), this tradition is wonderful to practice letter writing and composition, etiquette, compassion and design.  

Whew, I think I may have just hurt myself.

Have a wonderful weekend!  Make a mailbox...you never know what surprises will be inside!

5 comments:

  1. Thanks for this. Our Oldest Boy's birthday is on Valentine's Day and we do it up because of that (my husband and I are not the hearts and flowers types but having a baby on that day makes is MORE than special). I think I have the perfect box...

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  2. wow this sounds like a very fun activity.. Do you keep all the old ones. I know someday your kids will be happy to see what they came up with when they were younger

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  3. That brings back so many memories of my childhood and valentine's day with my children. The pictures are great. Doylene
    http://christianwomankeeperofthehome.blogspot.com/
    Five Question Friday

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  4. I love this! I was going to do this, but my kids are only 2 and 3 and don't get any valentine's yet! Maybe next year. Looks like your kids had a blast making it.

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  5. What a great idea. I just picked up some Valentine decor today. I think I'm going to do this too :)

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