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Valentine’s Day will soon be here, and that means the annual exchange of cute little Valentines in homes and classrooms everywhere. I can remember making a special Valentines box every year when I was in elementary school; in fact, I still have one of those boxes, made from an old shoebox, in my cedar chest. My Jaden happens to love dinosaurs. Even though we don’t really have a Valentine’s Day party on the schedule, I still thought it’d be fun to make him a special box he could put his Valentines in but also turn into a keepsake/treasure box after Valentine’s Day has passed. And I just happened to have a couple of shoeboxes, waiting to be used for a special shoebox craft or project of some sort, hangin’ out in my craft closet. When asked what dinosaur he’d like to have, he chose his favorite, of course… Triceratops!
Kids can definitely get in on the crafting with this one, though it will require supervision, as it does require using a glue gun, box cutters, and craft knife. I’ve had mixed feelings over this creature of a box. Before the eyes or any other features were added and it was just the box with a crest, Dan mentioned it looked like Lisa Simpson. After it was completed, I’ve kinda thought it looks like a razorback… I think it’s the red (the color Jaden chose) and the fact that we live in Arkansas, home of the Razorbacks, so we see them everywhere all the time. Either way, it’s a Triceratops, and I’m stickin’ to it.
So, here’s what you’ll need and how to make this cute li’l guy…
Supplies You’ll Need for Triceratops Shoebox Craft
- 1 shoebox
- Box cutters
- Craft knife
- Hot glue gun & glue sticks
- Poster board
- Paint (in any color/s you choose)
- Sponge paint brush
- 1 egg carton
- 2 small cardboard cones
- 2 large wiggle eyes
How to Make a Dinosaur Valentines Box
The first step in creating this Triceratops Valentines box is to cut the dinosaur’s crest from the poster board. The size of the shoebox will determine how large you need to make the crest. We cut a rounded shape from poster board, created flaps on the bottom side of the crest to glue it onto the box, and then cut large triangles around the outside edge, resembling the crest of a Triceratops. Decide on placement of the crest, and use your box cutters to cut the lid of the shoebox in half. We decided to cut our lid in half because 1) that way the crest remains stationary and is less likely to get torn up and 2) we used a shoebox with a flip-over lid. Next, use your hot glue gun to glue the back part of the shoebox lid down; that way, it can’t be lifted, thus maintaining safety of the crest. Then glue your crest in place, using the flaps you created to do so. Hardest part of the craft is over… Whew!
Now for the fun of decorating, and this is where kids can come in on the creative, crafty fun. Paint your box whatever color you choose. We chose to use red poster board for the crest, which pretty much matched the paint that we chose. If you get a little paint on the poster board, that’s ok… Crafting is messy; embrace it! Fair warning: It may take several coats of paint to cover any writing on the shoebox. You can also paint the tips of the crest a different color if you choose.
Once the paint is dry, it’s time to add the finishing touches. This is where your egg carton and cardboard cones come in. The lid of your egg carton should have an edge with round shapes on either end. When I saw this, I saw the perfect platform for the wiggle eyes to rest on. Cut one whole side with the 2 round shapes out of the egg carton, leaving the flat edge around the bottom. Paint this to match your box. Once the paint has dried, add hot glue around the bottom edge, and put in place on your box lid. Then glue the wiggle eyes in place with a couple dots of glue.
You’ll need three horns. The two cardboard cones will work for the upper horns. Cut a rounded piece out of one side of each cone, so the horns will point outward from the box rather than straight up, when placed on the dinosaur’s face. Add glue around the edge and place, one on either side of the eyes.
For the third horn, you’ll need either a smaller cardboard cone or the pointed piece that sticks up out of an egg carton, which is what we chose to use… It’s all about using what you have. Add glue around the bottom edges of the cone once it’s cut out, and place on the edge of the box lid, centered between the eyes.
Lastly, the mouth… Use one of the edges you cut from the cardboard cones for the bottom part of the mouth, glueing in place beneath the lid on the box itself. Shape one of the egg carton bowls into a beak of sorts with scissors. Glue the “beak” into place on the edge of the lid itself, beneath the single horn.
If you’re using the box as a Valentines box, you may want to cut a slit in the top of the lid, so there’s a place for the Valentines to go. We’re using it as more of a treasure or keepsake box, so we didn’t add the slit.
Just remember: This craft is not about perfection… It’s about creating something your child will treasure for years to come because you took the time to either make it with him or for him. Just be creative and have fun with it!
Hoping for more Valentine’s Day inspiration? Be sure to follow me on Pinterest for more creative ideas!