Craft Alert: Hearts on Fire in a Shoebox


Sound the alarm—cupid’s coming in hot. But never fear. Before everything catches fire, I’ve created a decorative box to hold all the love in. It’s not a fire-proof box. It’s made of cardboard and bits of tape and hearts and hot pink paper and hopes and dreams—so it’s actually quite flammable. It’s a Valentine’s Day box that only a match could love, but I haven’t decorated a shoebox for cards since I was probably a kid, so it seemed like the right thing to do about now, on a Saturday, after grocery shopping.

There’s a slit at the top, so I can collect Valentines—or loose pieces of tape, string, buttons, hair pins, or other things I might find on my way down the staircase at home. I haven’t suggested a card exchange for the family at dinner time on February 14, but now, I think it might be fun. It could be a new tradition—to write fun and positive messages that we could find in the box before, during, and after dinner.

To decorate the shoebox, you are only limited by your imagination and whatever supplies you actually have on hand to match the size of your imagination. In my case, I could not find glue, double-sided tape, or wrapping paper. However, I did have the following items:

–Five pairs of gigantic scissors

–Printer paper in neon colors (I chose candy-heart pink)

–Clear tape (not double-sided)

–Shiny silver poster paper

–Some glue sticks

–1/3 of a bottle of Elmer’s Glue circa 2016? (Couldn’t use it—not enough there)

–A serrated knife (for carving a large slot into the top/lid of the box)

After gathering my supplies, I just haphazardly covered the box in the pink paper—using a mixture of tape, glue sticks, and determination. Alex helped me cut out hearts from the silver poster board—along with arrows. He suggested I could do so much more with that box, but I’d already spent about 1 ½ hours decorating by that time. Most of the crafts I try take 5-10 minutes, so I was a little tuckered out, but still hopeful.

When I finished, I took a good look at the box I’d decorated and wondered if it would make it downstairs to the dinner table. I also wondered if it would last until Tuesday. But then, I decided, what the heck? I’ve got about five pairs of gigantic scissors, plenty of neon paper, and enough tape to hold a small science experiment together. If it falls apart, I’ll just slap it back in place, lovingly.

Now that it’s finished, here’s what I’d like to find inside:

–Cat stickers

–Mini liquor bottles

–A new sofa

–An orca


Here’s what I’m hoping will NOT be inside

–A bloody foot


–Cocaine Bear

–A mathematics textbook

–The slimy stuff in an aquatic center bathroom where Alex once had a swim meet

I’d also just be happy to see my Valentine’s Day card holder sitting on the dining room table come February 14—far away from the lighted candles—and situated squarely under the emergency sprinkler system.

Your Turn: Did you ever make Valentine’s Day decorations in school? Did you like arts and crafts in school? What was your favorite project?

29 thoughts on “Craft Alert: Hearts on Fire in a Shoebox

  1. Cecilia, I love the element of surprise in your stories and posts, the plot twist. What is more cozy and twee than a cardboard box with pink paper and silvery hearts glued on it…and then when we’re nice and lullabied, mentioning you’ll hope to not find in it a severed foot, snake, or math textbook. Great! two of those are personal bogeys but makes my day. I do hope the snakes or cocaine bears don’t get into the mini liquor bottles. They had a foot (in a sneaker) wash up on the shore of Seneca Lake in Geneva, a few years ago, but they think they know whose it was and that he was dead already, and didn’t need it anymore, so no worries.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My favorite part is the paragraph that includes “only a match could love.” I hope you find lots of good things in the box. As far as the not so nice things, I snorted at “cocaine bear,” which was so ironic, I almost snorted again!

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  3. I remember covering a box with paper for a school party. Overall, my elementary teachers were rather lame in the arts/crafts department. Sometimes on Fridays, we were given extra time to draw and color. SO different from what today’s kids have and expect.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Did they have arts and crafts in general in school? In elementary school, I think I remember we had that class at least once a week–but I think it often got skipped for other events/things that would come up.


      1. In primary school (we only have primary and secondary school in most states [some jurisdictions separate the last two years of secondary school and call it college but that’s not normal]) we had art and craft every week. It’s just VD wasn’t a thing, especially when I was a boy.

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  4. That was a fun read. No, I’m not one to make arts and crafts – dancing takes up most of my spare time. But, I loved your ideas, and hope it all goes ‘as planned’ at the dinner table on Feb 14.
    Happy Valentine’s Day to you and your loved ones! 💕

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Your box sounds like a lot of fun, even more with the snakes inside of it. 😀 I myself was a big fan of folding the red construction paper in half, drawing a half-loop, then cutting out the shape of heart. A major artist I was, as you can see. Nowadays, I get cheesily creative with my many shapes of cookie cutters, to the great amusement of my family who know what a cynic I am. I hope you and your family have a lovely Valentine’s Day with lots of happy messages passed about in the VD box. 😉

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