Our son already had his class Valentine exchange party at school this past Friday. About a week before his party, his teacher sent home information about it. She said that the kids can make their own boxes, bring in one that was already made, or they could decorate big envelopes she had for the kids that didn’t make or bring in a box. Our son wanted to make one this year. He said he wanted to try to make a shoe box into a tractor.
What you will need
- Colored paper
- Valentine stickers
- Foam hearts (self adhesive)
- Scotch tape
- Toilet paper roll**
- Shoe box
- Smaller box for the cab of the tractor
**The toilet paper roll may not be necessary but can be helpful when making the smoke stack (or exhaust pipe)
The kind of shoe box we used had a lid that could be completely removed. I imagine this box could be made just as easily as a flip open box as well but the wrapping of the box may have some challenges. (At least the flip lid boxes have created challenges for me in the past). We wanted to wrap the box and the lid separately so that our son would be able to completely remove the lid to get at his Valentine cards from his friends.
You can use any color paper you like. I asked my son if he wanted to make a John Deere tractor (since that’s one of his favorites) but he told me matter of factly that we had to use Valentine colors because this was a Valentine tractor. I guess he told me. So I had some light pink paper that was standard size paper so it took a few pieces to wrap the box and lid. It was also a little thicker than regular paper too. I taped down all the edges as I wrapped both parts.
I also had a smaller box that I wrapped in the same paper. The smaller box was attached with glue and tape on top of the lid for the cab of the tractor.
While my son was cutting out shapes for the tires and windows for the cab, I made these cylinder “legs” for the bottom of the box. That way the box sat a little higher on the table to make it easier for the tires. Since we made the tires our of card stock, they wouldn’t have been able to hold up the weight of the box themselves. The cylinders were about 3 inches long but at the bottom of them, I cut half inch slits so that I can fold out the bottom into tabs that could be taped down.
After that, we glued and taped on the wheels. My son used another color for the middle of each tire and added foam hearts in the “hubcaps”. The picture directly above shows what the sides looked like after the tires were added and the box was now sitting on the “legs” I made for the box.
Next my son added the shapes he cut out for the windows of the cab. We also glued on a piece of car stock for the roof. We originally used glue but the edges for all the pieces started curling up and my son wanted to tape down the edges of all the pieces because he didn’t like it. Once he had all the windows on the cab, we were ready to glue the cab box on top of the lid. We used glue but since the paper I used to wrap the box with wasn’t actually glued down to the box it made the smaller cab box kind of wobbly after it dried. So to make it a little more sturdy, I added a piece of tape to each side (long ways) that attached the the side of the cab and to the top of the lid.
The next part was the smoke stack or exhaust pipe on top of the tractor. This is where the toilet paper roll might come in handy. If you have good card stock, you may not need one. I had good card stock but I wasn’t sure how big I should make this pipe so I thought it would be easier to wrap it around the roll. The I taped it together. I figured I would attach it the same way I made the “legs” for the box. The pipe itself was about 6 inches in length. I cut slits about an inch in length at the bottom and folded the out for tabs that could be taped down.
But then we had the issue of the tabs being visible on top of the tractor. So before I taped it down, I cut a square of the paper I used to wrap the box. Then traced the outer circle of the pipe and cut out the circle on the square of paper. I did have to make the circle cut out slightly bigger than the pipe. After I had attached the pipe, I was able to slide the square piece down over the pipe covering the tabs that were taped down. Then I just taped down the square piece of paper. Wahlah, the tabs holding the pipe in place were no longer visible!
After everything was together, I cut a slit in the lid for Valentine cards and smaller treats to be dropped in the box.
After it was finished, our son added stickers and foam hearts and decorated his tractor. He even drew on a license plate with sticker letters for his name. Heart shaped headlights and taillights too. He was really excited to take it to school and show it off!
Hopefully this posts explains well enough if you want to make one with your child. I wish I glued down the paper that I used to wrap the box and lid with because if I did, I may not have had to use to much tape. I’m not sure what the final cost of this project would be because I had all the supplies already at home. I just dug into my scrapbooking supplies. It was definitely fun to make with the kiddo, that’s for sure!
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Disclaimer: This is not a paid or sponsored post.