valentine holder

Valentine’s day is coming up soon, and if you’re like me you have to help your kids decorate boxes to collect Valentines in at school.  I never seem to have any shoe boxes around when I need them, so I’m always looking for alternatives.  Here’s a solution you may not have thought of:  use a dollar store trash bin!  I turned a green bin into an alien for my son to use at his class party.

alien valentine

Project Estimate:

  • Trash bin, $1
  • Styrofoam ball, on hand
  • Googly eyes, on hand
  • Chenille stems (pipe cleaners), on hand

Total:  $1

Step one:  Cut the styrofoam ball in half, and glue eyes to it.  Glue the ball to the top of the trash pail.


Step two:  Cut teeth and a tongue from felt.  Hot glue these pieces to the lid.


Step three:  Cut and twist chenille stems to make alien arms.  I glued pom poms to the ends to look like bulbous fingers.  Remove the lid, bend the stick “arms” into the basket, and replace the lid.

trashcan alien

The alien’s “mouth” swings open so classmates can deposit Valentines and other treats.  If your child doesn’t like aliens, this green pail would make a perfect frog or alligator.  Use a red pail to make lady bugs or dragons, white or black pails to make penguins, and yellow pails to make lions!  What other trash can critters can you think of?

alien trashcan