A couple weeks ago, I was approached with a “mom first.” Upon picking my toddlers up from their morning preschool hours, my son hands me his papers and he needs to bring a Valentine box for the Valentine’s Day Party. “Wow,” I thought, where should I take this one?!?
Searching Pinterest as I do, when I am stuck, or unable to sleep late at night, I searched “Valentine’s Day Box.” There were some good ones as always, but with so many of them, I often think, “I could do that better…” Such was the case with the budding idea of transforming toddler shoe boxes into furry, growling, HUNGRY monsters. Boring paper? Foam stickers? Nah, not this time, I considered. I mean, afterall, if I don’t have paper or boring stickers, and I gotta buy supplies, anyways, shouldn’t they be good ones?!
Furry, toothy monsters…YUP!
I went to Hobby Lobby a couple mornings later, before my daily workout. Wandering a store at this stage of the game with a two-year-old and a three-year-old, considering how to make a monster box, was NOT on my to-do list! Right away as with any craft dilemma, I went for the most major supply, first: I needed to know what my fun fur options were!
I lucked out. I think they knew I was coming for this…they had fur by-the-yard, in bubblegum and cherry red. BINGO! I over-bought slightly, but I bought a 1/2 yard each. It was on sale. I probably needed maybe 2/3rds of that in the end, but oh well…Totally a sign these monsters were meant to be!
Next, I decided that paper mache’ eggs seemed right for eyes. I wasn’t sure exactly how this was going to go, but all I saw on Pinterest was boxy egg carton eyes, yucky Styrofoam balls, or paper circles. Nope, mama here, loves faces. These needed to stand out. I bought simple black craft felt for the pupils, and decided to paint them white with craft paint at home.
I purchased pink felt and red felt to coordinate. About 4 craft sheets each. This I ended up using for the lining of the boxes after the fur was “wrapped” on like a gift, and hot glued, as I went. The felt, I simply cut as I needed, and glued it on top of the seams on the inside of the box, to cover all the raw fabric edges. Not neglecting the semi-unnecessary appeal of the interior of a project, often makes a world of difference. The additional coordinating felt I simply sewed and flipped inside out, to make arms to stuff to attach and “grab” the name heart the monsters would soon be too hungry to resist. (Polymer baked hearts, permanent markered on the names, and punch-cut some fake teeth marks!) I honestly made the pattern for the hands, as I do any pattern. I take plain white paper and trace random objects, in this case I used parts of my own hand, and cut and reshape or re-trace as necessary.
I had some leftover black fur trim from mohawking a hoodie for Max last Fall. Simple ribbon-like spool of fur trim, available near the sewing/ribbons at the store. I also had some random pieces of feather boas from past projects. These were just simple feather boas, again, from the crafting supplies. Honestly, anything fluffy and funky would do.
I decided I didn’t like the Cookie Monster appearance in the picture below. I then added on the black fur trim for eyebrows, and cut stiff white felt (also purchased in felt section) for teeth. These monsters sort of evolved, rather than were planned. Sometimes, the pictures in my head, need adjustment as I work to make them a 3D reality.
The rest sort of evolved as well: the feathers for hair, the sewn and stuffed scrap fabric “buttons” for noses. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such awesome Valentine Boxes, and I know their teachers were shocked. I mean, come on, they are in preschool. What NORMAL parent goes to this distance for a card box their child doesn’t quite understand yet?!
I think though, the bigger dilemma, here, is HOW DO I TOP THIS, next year?!?