bbb craft sistersDIYdiy projects

diy project: 3D valentines

by The BBB Craft Sisters

We have loved February 14 since our first doily-glued-to-a-red-card that we crafted for our classmates in the first grade. Every year since, we’ve covered our kitchen tables, desks or floors with supplies and materials weeks in advance while we work on our valentines. This year, in addition to handmade cards we’re sending in the mail, we put together some 3D valentines.

We used cigar boxes in different shapes and sizes and filled them with candy, homemade heart cookies or flowers, depending on the size — and the recipient! We collect cigar boxes, but if you have a cigar store nearby, they often sell (or even giveaway) boxes. Put these together for your best friend, mom, sister or sweetie, and you’ll find that they’re as much fun to make as they are to give away. — bbbcraft sisters

CLICK HERE for the full how-to after the jump!


  • cigar boxes
  • red acrylic paint
  • paintbrush
  • scissors
  • wax paper
  • assorted decorative papers, fabrics, ribbons
  • black pen
  • white paper
  • treats! (candy, cookies, flowers, a small gift)


1. Collect cigar boxes (or really any sturdy boxes that can stand up to paint), and paint them red! We chose to paint the inside or tops for an accent, but you could paint the entire box, or use stencils to paint an initial or heart.

2. Write valentine messages on long strips of paper to include in the box. Curl the paper by rolling it around your finger so that it curves across the top of the box.

3. Cut pieces of wax paper to fit in the box if filling it with candy or cookies. Then fill with goodies! If you’re using flowers, cut the stems super short to fit; we had a larger box that fit two small square vases filled with roses.

4. Secure each box and wrap them with pretty papers, fabrics and ribbons. (Be careful if you’re wrapping flowers — don’t turn the box upside down!)

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  • Great idea, and reusable to boot! I love it! Oh to receive such a pretty, thoughtful gift. Really though, I don’t think many boys tend this route, so I personally think Valentine’s Day should trend toward a holiday expressing one’s love of great girlfriends with crafty spirits, no?

  • I’m not a Valentines day person at all, but I LOVE these! I mean if more people could appreciate the time it takes to hand make stuff that’s more personal, I wouldn’t mind Vday so much. Great post!

  • These are beautiful! I thought the dollar bill on the one box was an interesting touch. Then I realized it was a label! I’m planning on making vday cookies with my new fancy linzer cookie cutter. They would look great in boxes like these. Thanks for the ideas!

  • GREAT BALLS OF TONY DANZA I love this post! Valentines can get so schmaltzy, but these, these honeys are so beautiful and clean. Simple too. Anyone on the receiving end would feel very, very loved.
    Great stuff :)

  • Hi Cary,

    If you have a local cigar shop near you, they should have empty boxes for sale. Otherwise, eBay is a great resource!

    –bbbcraft sisters

  • Thank you for inspiration! :) For me Valentine’s day looks so commercial and usually I don’t give any gifts. But this year I’m thinking to pack some candies for my boyfriend because of these cute things. :))))

  • These are beautiful! What a lovely gift…thank you for sharing. :) I am curious where to purchase the red and white striped string – any help would be appreciated!

  • Alene – it’s called baker’s twine and its available in lots of colors. I bought some at Michael’s in the Martha Stewart section. If you don’t mind waiting a little while, there are many sellers on Etsy who carry it.

  • a very creative and dear friend of mine is having us gals over for a craft night tonight – complete with DIY valentine ideas and wine and chocolate pairings! THIS is perfectly timed and loaded with lovely ideas. THANKS!

  • Love using cigar boxes and was looking for a new idea to put cookies in, but does the box smell from the cigars?

  • I’ve used cigar boxes before to make valentines “mail boxes” with school children. We spray painted them red or gold and decorated them with faux gemstones and baubles. But I have to say, they were really stinky — can’t imagine putting sweet treats in them. How do you get the smell out?

  • Lovely, lovely, lovely!

    Is there a trick to getting the tobacco smell out of the cigar boxes? I bought one used cigar box once, and it smelled so bad I’d only use it for a Valentine to the school bully.

  • Hi Lynn,

    It definitely depends on how long the box has been empty of cigars. None of the ones we used smelled like cigars, because we had them around our house for awhile, using them for other things. But you could use other wood boxes, available at various craft stores. Or even non-wood boxes, like sturdy cardboard jewelry boxes or white takeout boxes.

    Good luck!

  • These are great! I have a beautiful old cigar box just laying around – definitely going to use this idea and put my sweetie’s treats in it. Thanks for the inspiration! xoxo

  • Any ideas where I could find one of the small square cigar boxes? We’ve been looking high and low for that shape to use as a container for the ring bearer to carry in our upcoming wedding. Thanks for the wonderful Valentine’s Day ideas!

  • Cigar boxes stink so bad they would ruin the cookies. Have used then for kid crafts but the odor is too stong to put food i,….