Okay, just about every home has an empty, or soon-to-be-empty Valentine candy box, but most people just throw them away after the candy is gone. That’s a lot of waste, since the boxes can be made into everything from picture frames to jewelry boxes.
Use popsicle sticks, strips of strong cardboard, or small pieces of wood, to section off areas inside the box. That makes the boxes perfect for storing jewelry or even beads. Just use hot glue to arrange the cardboard or wooden pieces, and allow to dry, then store all kinds of small objects like coins or even baby hair bows.
Speaking of babies, you can’t ask for a more appropriate frame for a baby’s picture than a Valentine candy box. Since the lid and bottom will be separated to make the frames, you can make two from each box. Just line the inside with white velvet or satin, then position the baby’s photo, birth bracelet, birth announcement from the paper, or other items. Use clear acetate, or a piece of cut glass, to cover the front of the heart. This technique makes a fabulous shadow box-type of wall hanging. You can even omit the glass or acetate, and simply cut a window out of the box lid. Arrange everything in the bottom, then place the lid, with window cut out, back in place. Add a wedge of cardboard on the backside if you want the frame to stand on a shelf. You don’t have to make a shadow box from the Valentine box, though. Just cut large pictures into heart shapes and insert them in the box bottom (or top), then hang on the wall. Spray paint with metallic paints to make the box look more like a picture frame rather than a candy box.
Re-gift the box, along with a lingerie selection, to someone you love. During the year, special occasions arise, where the Valentine candy box makes a perfect gift box. Make it look a little less like an ordinary Valentine box by using decoupage to affix Victorian pictures, lace, romantic beach scenes, or other themes. You can even paint the box a different color than red. Although the boxes are perfect for some lingerie pieces, you could also give photos, makeup, scarves, or other items instead.
Use the Valentine boxes as keepsake boxes for babies. As the baby grows, toss small items into the box that you’d like to keep, such as hair bows, lock of hair, birth announcement, photos, and more. When the child learns to write, save little sweet notes he or she writes, or drawings he or she has done, in the boxes. Have one box for each year and it’ll be easy to organize them then give them to the child when he is grown.
Another way to use the Valentine candy boxes is to remove the heart shaped flat piece from the bottom and/or top of the box. Use the heart shapes as scrapbook pages or other projects. For example, place a photo in the center of the heart shape, then place in a picture frame that is larger than the heart. This makes an interesting layering technique that you’ll rarely see elsewhere, and allows for two more photos in the bottom corner, on each side of the heart’s point.
The boxes are so versatile that you can even use them in the kitchen! Line the box with foil or plastic wrap, then use it as a gelatin mold. Just pour the gelatin in and allow to set up in the fridge. When it’s set, simply dump it out onto a plate and remove foil or plastic wrap.
Another kitchen idea is to take several of the boxes and glue them together, one on top of the other. Now you have a heart-shaped plate stand that’s unique for parties such as anniversary celebrations, Christmas dinners, or future Valentine Day parties. Set a plate with a cake, a basket of bread, or another food item on top of the Valentine box stack to create interest on the party table.
So, before you throw away those empty Valentine candy boxes, stop and think what you can make from them. There’s plenty of things you can create, whether it be a simple craft or a new home decor piece, you’ll love how easy it is to recycle the boxes.