Valentine’s Day Box Ideas You Can Find at a Thrift Store

Whether your child is into hot pink hearts or a black and yellow bumblebee, these Valentine’s Day box ideas are bound to spark some creativity. Head to Goodwill to go on the hunt for the perfect vintage box!

What is a Valentine’s Day box?

The Valentine’s Day box is a fun American tradition that entails children bringing an empty decorated box to school in order to collect Valentine’s Day cards from their classmates and teachers. Some adults even like to make a Valentine’s Day box for their boyfriend or girlfriend to wrap a gift in or use it in place of a card.

How do I make a Valentine’s Day box?

Creating a Valentine’s Day box is a fun activity for young kids to make at home with their parents and siblings. The trick is to get as crafty as you can, which usually means spending the least amount of money. Using knick-knacks and creative supplies you find around your house is the best way to decorate your box. As for the actual box, you can find one that you can repurpose from a thrift store.

Wooden crates, old jewelry boxes, vintage recipe boxes, and even suitcases can all be repurposed for your Valentine’s Day box craft. You could even forego the traditional box and opt for a basket or jar instead. The great thing about a Valentine’s Day craft for kids is that it doesn’t have to be perfect. Take the kids with you to the thrift store so they can pick out the perfect item to recycle.

Once you find the box (or basket, or jar), then it’s time to get creative! Check out these ideas and tutorials for inspiration:

Vintage Metal Box

valentine's day box vintage box

Using some chalk paint, craft paper, and some glue, a metal box will look fresh and new. When searching for the right box, don’t feel obligated to look for a specific style. Any type of vintage metal box will do. Just make sure you can open and close the lid with ease.

Wooden Box & Cutting Board

valentines day box wooden

Get creative with this one! Look for a small wooden box. If it has a handle or other feature, you can easily remove it. Then find a wooden cutting board in the same size range as the box–doesn’t have to be exact. Paint each piece your choice of color. After they dry, use wood glue to attach the box to the cutting board so the cutting board acts as a back-board for tossing cards into the box. This tutorial from Organized Clutter will show you the way!

Traditional Keepsake Box

valentine's day box wooden box craft

This awesome tutorial shows you how to liven up an old jewelry box. Instead of using old photos to decorate, the design is up to you! We think glitter and candy hearts are the perfect combination for making a plain box look festive for the holiday.

Vintage Suitcase Makeover

valentines day box suitcase vintage

A great idea for teachers for a collective classroom box! First, go on the hunt for a smaller vintage suitcase–you’d be surprised how common these are at Goodwill. Then, find a vibrant wrapping that you’ll use to “wrap” the suitcase. While we love the map idea in this tutorial for a “love across the world” Valentine’s Day theme, you could also go with a red and pink heart option to keep it traditional.

DIY Recycled Game Blocks

valentines day box wooden game pieces

This clever idea from the Organized 31 blog uses old game blocks from a thrift store to make Valentine’s Day decor. Why not take it a step further and make your blocks into a box? Glue the wooden pieces together to make a small little square with one open side. Then decorate with paper, glitter, candy, or whatever you have around the house!

Vintage DIY Mailbox

valentines day box vintage mailbox

How cool would it be if you found an actual vintage mailbox at Goodwill?! It’s possible if you’re willing to hunt a little. Without any assembly, you would just need to get crafty with your decorations. But, if you’re unable to find a vintage mailbox, you could create this one using a cardboard box (which you could probably scoop up at a thrift store if you don’t have one) and blue paint. What a fun idea for a boy’s Valentine’s Day box!

Farmhouse Crate Box

valentines day box crate farmhouse style

Farmhouse-style crates and boxes have been popping up at Goodwill locations all across the Valley lately. The box used in this tutorial features a handle, which is a nice touch and great for hanging festive decorations. Use chalkboard paint to paint a square on the front where your child can write his or her name. Then use heart stencils to add a pattern to the paint for an extra lovey-dovey Valentine’s Day box. Because this is a sturdy box, it could be re-used and redecorated every year!

Picnic Basket Turned Card Holder

valentines day box ideas picnic basket

Picnic baskets, or baskets of any kind, are a great alternative to using a box (if your kids are up for it). Check out this adorable vintage picnic basket makeover for inspiration to makeover your own basket. Paint is a must, but you could also use all kinds of decorations, like pom-poms and colored yarn, to make your basket look a little bit more festive and homemade for Valentine’s Day.

Hot Air Balloon Basket

valentines day box hot air balloon basket

Speaking of using baskets instead of boxes, this hot air balloon basket idea is super creative. You’ll need to find a slightly smaller basket for the base, which is totally doable when you thrift at Goodwill. Then attach a balloon to the top for an adorable and festive card collector.

Bumble Bee Jar

valentines day box mason jar

An adorable take on the Valentine’s Day box is this bumblebee jar. Find an oversized mason jar or floral vase that you can use as the body of the bee. Then use craft supplies and paper plates to add the wings and other parts. This blog post from Life with Fingerprints has everything you need to know!

Ready to go on the hunt for supplies? Find a Goodwill location near you!

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*Daily deals are valid at select Metro Phoenix, Prescott, and Yuma locations. Please check with your neighborhood Goodwill for details. Dollar Day pricing adjustment goes into effect on Jan. 5, 2023.

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