Call me sentimental, but I love Valentines Day.... In all honesty I love any excuse for celebration and gift giving, but what's different about this little holiday is that it is dedicated to the expression of love, romance, and adoration.
Valentine's Day is about celebrating those closest to you, and the bond and love you both share. While there are many ways to show your love, I'm a big fan of handmade gift gifting. I believe that the best gift you can give to another is tailored to them personally and comes from the heart... especially on Valentine's Day.
A Love Box: 30 Days of Valentines and Memories
While the name of this gift is a bit on the corny side, the sentiment is full of romantic thought and personal touches. This year one of the gifts I gave to my boyfriend was this handmade Love Box which I made out of an old cigar box I found on esty.
I transformed it into a personalized treasure chest full of 30 days worth of love, in the form of love letters, poems, postcards, and valentines day cards, as well as pictures of us, candies, and sprigs of one of his favorite scents, lavender. I added little touches like satin rose petals and red heart cutouts. I numbered the letters and cards so that he can read one a day for a months worth of love, and wrapped it all up in a big rustic burlap bow.
How to Make a Love Box:
Step 1: Gather Supplies
The Box - To make a gift similar to this you'll need:
A cigar box
Fast grab tacky glue
Balsa wood 3/4" trim
Saw, miter box, and sandpaper, to cut trim down to size
Balsa wood assorted circles
Black chalkboard spray paint
Paper straws (red and natural)
Red acrylic paint
Small paint brush
Inside the Box -
Assorted stationary paper (though I made my own in Photoshop)
Envelopes, assorted colors
Decorative 'postage' stamps
Valentines Day cards with handwritten messages in side
Postcards from some of you and your loves favorite destinations (I also made my own in Photoshop)
Red construction paper
Individually wrapped candies
Satin rose petals
Wide burlap ribbon
Step 2: Decorate the Outside of the Box
The first thing I did was cut the balsa wood trim down to the right size. I measured it to fit right inside of the groove on the lid of the box, then using a saw and a miter box to cut the pieces on a 45 degree angle so that they could fit together seamlessly. When you cut the pieces make sure to start from the very edge of each piece to maintain the length. Measure them against each other to insure that the two long pieces and two short pieces are the same length as the other. Then lightly sand the ends of each pieces at the same 45 degree angle.
Next, glue the pieces to the top of the box maintaining 90 degree angles at every connection. Press down each piece gently and hold in place for about one minute before moving on to the next piece. Adjust as needed, then allow to dry for at least 30minutes.
Using the assorted balsa wood circles create a heart shape on top of the boxes. If your box has a logo like mine did, try to cover it as much as possible with the shape you create with the heart. Adhere the pieces using a pea sized dab of glue on the back of each piece, making sure not to use too much... so that the glue doesn't come out from the sides of the pieces. Fill in the heart and add a few pieces on a second layer to cover any gaps.
After the decorative pieces have had time to dry, for me that was over night, use painters tape to coverup the boxes hardware (hinges and lock) and an exacto knife to cut away excess tape. Then, evenly spray the box with black spray paint (or a color of your choice), covering the top and sides of the box. You may need to do this in coats so that you don't get pooling in some places. I was able to do it in one, but I've had a lot of experience with spray paint. The box will be dry to touch in about 20-30mintues, but give it about 1-2 hours to completely dry.
Lastly, remove the tape, and use the red paint and along with a small detailing brush, to lightly paint the decorative pieces of the top of the box so that they stand out. Using the dry brush technic, brush the paint on going in the direction of the grain in each piece of wood. This will add depth to your painting. Lightly brush red paint over the trim around the top of the box to highlight this detail as well, and lightly brush paint on the corners of the sides of the box to accent the box further.
Step 3: Decorate the Inside of the Box
To decorate the inside of the box I chose to use vintage love themed paper and dark masculine colors, with hints of red. These colors also compliment the outside paint job I did earlier black and red. You can use whatever paper best fits your boy- or girlfriend, though make sure that all pieces you choose compliment each other color and theme-wise.
Using the decorative craft paper, create a layout for the bottom of the box. Play with different orientations for the paper, then cut it down to the right size. Using the glue, line the bottom of the box. Then, using a more neutral color construction paper to line the inside lid of the box, and create a boarded using the paper straws. Lastly, take some photos and glue them onto the inside of the lid creatively... make sure to not go overboard, less is more. I also added deep red buttons and cutout hearts from another piece of decorative paper to add a little something extra to the design.
Step 4: Fill the Box with Love
Before adding anything to the box I gave the inside bottom a light spritzing of my perfume, so that when ever he opens the box it smells like me. Then I arranged the contents with care. Your first letter should express the intension of the gift, but not give too many of your upcoming surprises away. Envelope your letters and cards, and finish them off with some cute decorative love stamps (I got mine from The Paper Source). If there's a particular order you'd like them to be read, number the cards. Use the twine to tie up the stacks of letters and postcards with a neat little bow, and add extras like flowers, rose petals, hearts, pictures, and candies to the box for a more thoughtful touch.
A cool variation would be to have love coupons inside some of the envelope, offering your sweetie things like date nights, massages, kisses and other promises tailored to your relationship.
To make a love box for your someone special take into consideration your relationship, who they are and what they like, as well as the ways you like to express your love.
I love writing, and I express myself best through letters and poetry. My boyfriend loves caramel filled chocolates and the smell of lavender, as well as taking polaroid pictures. So I made some of my favorite pictures of us into polaroid pictures using photoshop to add to the box, as well as cuttings of a couple of sprigs of lavender from my yard, and finished off the box with chocolate caramels and chews.
Step 5: Finishing Touches
The best thing is to just have fun with it! It's a gift! It's a holiday! It's love we're talking about here... make it special and personal.
Wrap it all up in a big bow and prepare to blow the one you love away!
Stay tuned all week for more Valentines Day goodies!