Let’s face it, most little boys don’t give two hoots about Valentine’s Day. Well, except for the candy! So when my nephew came to me last week, WE had two issues with his assignment to build a Valentine Mailbox. His problem: he doesn’t like hearts or pink. My issue: while these mailboxes are cute, they can be extremely wasteful because there’s not much you can do with a glittered, painted-up piece of cardboard once the holiday is over.
So I think we’ve killed two birds with one stone here by creating a Valentine Monster! This monster will not only hold a ton of Valentine cards from classmates, but it’s made out of recycled materials. Even better – once Valentine’ Day is over, this monster can be broken down and re-used and recycled. Who knew a monster could be so eco-awesome?
- Large protein powder container (or any wide-mouthed jug)
- Junk drawer finds to create a face and hair
- Construction paper or foam board
- Glue or a low-temperature glue gun (for kids)
Preparing Your Container
- Find a large container. The mouth of the container needs to be wide enough for Valentine cards to fit through. And it needs to be deep enough to hold a bunch of cards and candies (because I’m sure your child is super-popular!) Empty protein powder containers work best for this project.
- Removing the label from your container isn’t necessary because we’re going to cover it up, but if you’re Type-A like me, it’s an easy process. Simply fill the container with hot water from the tap. Let it sit for a few minutes and then pull the label off. The hot water loosens the glue. If there’s residue, spread on a little veggie oil and then rinse with dish soap and water.
Creating Your Monster Face
- Measure and cut out a piece of construction paper that will wrap around your container. It’s almost like making a new label for the container.
- Check junk drawers for items that will be good to create a monster face. Then glue those items onto the center of the paper. I suggest holding the paper up to your container once you get a few items glued on to see how things look. Remember, you’re creating the face on a flat surface, but it will eventually be taped onto your container.
- For face-parts you can use buttons, game pieces, corks, bottle caps, twigs – anything your imagination dreams up. But because this is a Valentine Monster, it might be fun to hide some hearts. An upside down heart shape makes the perfect mouth. Tiny hearts can also be used to make the pupils of eyes or nostrils. Have fun with it! And if you want to dip into your craft box for pipe cleaners and googly eyes – that’ll be just fine.
OK Dr. Frankenstein, Make Your Monster!
- Once all the glue is dry on your face, attach it to the container with tape. I used packaging tape because it’s extra sturdy.
- Wait! You’re not done yet. Your monster needs hair. Grab the lid to your container and get creative. I glued old party streamers to the top of my lid to make electric-pink hair. You can also use pipe cleaners, strips of magazine paper or old ribbons.
Your Valentine Monster is sure to be a hit with your class. But remember, once Valentine’s Day is over, you can unattach the face by simply pulling off the tape. This way you can re-use the container or make it suitable for the recycle bin. You can also reuse all those face-parts for other craft projects.
Happy Valentine’s Day!