My obsession with boxes started at the age of five. At the time, my parents were just graduating from college and money was so tight that bread was a luxury item. We lived in a tiny room with a pull-out futon, pull-out table, refrigerator and a wardrobe, stuffed so tight that the doors constantly flew open from the pressure from within. One day with tears in my eyes I told my mom that I understood that I couldn’t have my own bed, desk or drawer, but could I at least have a box that would be my own. My mom found me a shoebox. I almost died of joy. I didn’t have any decorating supplies, so the only decoration my box had was a couple of price tags from a local grocery store. It was still the best shoebox treasure chest in the world. I used it to keep some stones, sticks and chocolate wrappers.
If you come to my house now, you will find 1,000 boxes. I have a box for everything, from stickers to umbrellas. You might think I have an obsession? I wonder what would Freud say. Interestingly enough, my daughter, who coincidentally is exactly five years old, has every toy in the world, but when I ask her if she wanted to decorate a box to be her treasure box she whooped with joy. She had fun decorating it and she has been having fun playing with it ever since. So whether you have a house full of toys or live on a tight budget, this simple project is guaranteed to make kids happy.
What you need
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Shoebox (my kids got so carried away, they decorated every box in a recycling bin)
Felt (optional) I like to make felt flowers and my daughter asked me to make one as a handle.
Shoebox Treasure Chest
What to do
Let kids go to town decorating their own treasure boxes. The box will not be as beautiful as you think you could make it, but let them be. If they ask for suggestions, give them. But don’t say, “Let me help” and do the whole project for them. It’s so much fun. I know you will be tempted.
One thing we like to do is use bottle caps to make circles. Just put the cap down and trace around it. Cut and glue. A row of circles make for a unique decorative pattern.
My daughter gave me permission to show her treasures. What would you put in your treasure chest? I think I will put my cell phone. I am always looking for it.
If you have extra boxes, make one for grandma. Fill it with grandma’s favorite snacks, kids drawings and paper flowers. You will make grandma very happy.
And if you want to make your kids happy, decorate a shoebox while they are sleeping and fill it with dollar store items. It might take an hour or so of your time (counting the trip to the store), but the look on their faces when you hand it to them… priceless!