As a kid, it’s hard not be excited about your school Valentine’s Day party—it’s all sweet goodies and colorful, fun cards that spell out how much people like you. But all those handmade cards (and the candies that come with them) end up smashed in your backpack by the end of the day—leaving a big, chocolatey mess for mom and dad to clean up.
This year, put your family’s DIY skills to the test by making the cutest desktop mailbox ever. It’s easy, eco-friendly, takes less than 15 minutes to make, and you probably already have all the supplies you need. Best of all, it’ll save you from having to deal with candy-encrusted backpacks post-party!
1 empty cereal box
2 sheets recycled butcher paper, plus extra for cutouts
Pink or red ribbon
1. Using a craft knife, cut a rectangular slot in the front of the cereal box, big enough for a standard postcard to fit through. This is your “mail slot.” (And probably best reserved for mom or dad to do the cutting!)
2. Glue the top of the box shut so it’s secure.
3. Cover the front of the box with the recycled butcher paper. Firmly glue down the sides so it’s completely covered.
4. Find the original cut rectangle on the front of the box and trim the butcher paper out.
5. On one of the long sides of the box, where you usually find the nutrition label, poke two holes in the center about 3 inches apart. This is where your “handles” will go.
6. Cover the rest of the box with paper, gluing as you go.
7. Re-poke the holes on the sides of the box. Thread the ribbon through the holes to make a handle, and tie double knots on each end of the ribbon (inside of the box). Pull knots taut and glue to the inside of the box.
8. Now, decorate!
Now it’s ready for the big party! After all the cards, candy, and presents have been deposited, it’s easy to carry home from school.
Photo credit: Alicia Cho