This year, we get to try something new for Valentine’s Day.  For our entire childhoods, and for Nicky’s up until this point, the boxes into which classmates put their Valentines were limited to your basic shoe box covered with pink and red construction paper, perhaps decorated with hearts…or maybe a little aluminum foil if we were being adventurous.

This year, however, Nicky brought home a flyer announcing a Valentine Box Contest.  With prizes!  I spent some time surfing the net and discovered, to my great surprise and delight, that people actually DO this.  They spend time making creative Valentines boxes every year!  I guess this may vary by region or class or teacher.  Regardless, when I realized the limitless possibilities, I put it to Nicky: What would he like to have?

The verdict: R2D2

Awesome.  (Knew we were raising this kid right!)

I started brainstorming last week…the trick was finding something to make the body out of that would be large enough to hold Valentines, yet light enough for him to carry to school.  All without spending a dime.  Could we do it?  (What do you think?)

Making R2: Day One

Start with one large roll of paper.


This paper was given to us by my friend Jennifer when Nicky was a toddler.  It has been used as drawing paper ever since, and we still have a ton left.  Its core is a very sturdy, large cardboard tube.

Remove the paper.


This was a true family effort.  (Okay, so Kalen hasn’t really participated at all.  Let’s just call him our cheerleader.)  It took the rest of us a good thirty minutes to unroll, tear, and fold up all the paper.

Cut tube to size.  When first saw wimps out, upgrade.


This cardboard is thick.  It took Jason quite a while to work his way through.  That’s okay, Nicky and I were busy with the next bit.

Paper mache* over size 3 soccer ball.


Remember to warn child with Sensory Processing Disorder that this will make his fingers gooey and sticky, and that they will remain gooey and sticky for some time during the process.  Remind him several times before beginning, and make sure he is okay with this before proceeding.

Set paper mache portion aside to dry for a full day.


Hot glue coffee can lid to the bottom of the tube (to be known as the “body” from this point on).


Prime body.


To Be Continued…

Tune in tomorrow for the continuing adventures of Team Droid!  Will the body be finished?  Will legs be constructed?  Will they remember to cut a slot for the insertion and removal of Valentines?

All these questions and more will be answered in tomorrow’s episode!

(P.S. Want to see how Nicolas’s R2-D2 Valentines Day Box came together?  Check out the posts here, here, and here!)

*Paper mache tips – Spray ball with cooking spray before beginning.  Remember to leave the valve uncovered by paper.  I remembered the first.  I lucked out on the second.