Valentines Day Zebra Box

Happy Valentines Day!

This week, my daughter’s class is hosting a Valentines’ Box Contest. As you can see, she wanted to make a zebra box. This took us about a week for us to make and was a blast!

It was a very time intensive and creativity intensive project since we were just kind of figuring it out along the way. (Directions are at bottom of post, for those who want to try it out.)

But this is one of the things that she and I will always remember. In the course of our project, up to our elbows in papier mache, glue or stripes, we bonded more than paper to frame. The time and effort we put into our zebra is well worth the payoff in our relationship and memories down the line.

This is a perfect example of the principle that anything worth having is worth working for, and I’m not talking about the zebra, although I do rather like Mrs. Zumbabwe. Sometimes it takes extra effort to plan an activity, read to our kids, find time to journal, write, or serve others. But the extra time and effort bring long-term rewards to all involved.

What joys have come your way through hard work and time well spent?



Paper (newsprint or anything you’d like to recycle)
Elmer’s glue
paint and paint brushes
googly eyes
fake eyelashes
zebra napkins ($2 at Oriental Trading Company for a pack of 16. We used 15)
sharp knife, scissors
black feather boa ($5 at walmart in sewing area)
aluminum foil
masking tape
2 empty paper towel rolls
Clear coat spray
3 inches black ribbon


1. Blow up balloon for belly and smaller one for head.
2. Mix 1 c flour with 2 c water. Tear paper into strips. Dip one strip at a time into mixture, wiping off excess. Apply to balloons, building up to a  thickness of 2-3 overlapping strips. leave a hold in each balloon where they will connect together so that valentine cards can slip through the head into the belly. Let dry overnight.
3. Make a neck out of foil. Attach to belly. Balance small balloon on top and secure with masking tape. Make a foil ball for snout and tape to head. This will not hold long, so be prepared to apply papier mache as described in step #2. Let dry overnight.
4. Make arms and legs by cutting paper towel rolls in half and taping to belly. Make foil ears. Papier mache over all, paying close attention to joints. Dry overnight.
5. Tear napkins. Apply to zebra form using slightly thinned out glue and paint brushes, leaving hooves and snout uncovered. Paint hooves and snout black. Let dry. Use pink leopard napkin borders for heart and trim. Apply several layers of a clear coat spray for gloss and added strength.
6. Using sharp knife, cut slit in top of zebra’s head. Cut flap in bottom of zebra and attach black ribbon so it can be easily opened.
7. Cut black feather boa into lengths fitted for a mane and a tail. Attach using a hot glue gun.
8. Glue googly eyes and eyelashes using hot glue. Add a little pink paint and glitter for nostrils.

Shout hooray!