My daughter picked out this adorable Valentine's mailbox, but since she doesn't go to school and won't be filling it with Valentines, I wanted to make it special for her. I fell down the rabbit hole on this website of all the cheap things (details below), and an idea was born.
Don't get me wrong. I love shopping local - Austin, Texas, American Made. But one thing stands out when I make play dough kits especially. Most of the small parts are made in China, regardless of where you purchase it. So I started shopping (in advance - shipping can take weeks) on AliExpress, sort of the Amazon of China. It cuts out the middle man and saves you money 95% of the time. Just be sure you look at measurements carefully - I've bought some teeny tiny items by mistake!
What You Need:
2 Heart-Shaped Lollipops (no hook)
25 Resin Candy Assorted Pieces in Pink and Red (Note: I pulled candies from here and here. But you can also buy the M's, Sugar Hearts, Jelly Hearts, Twisty Pops, etc. all separate if you want particular ones. Search "candy cabochon").
1 Red or Red/Pink Sprinkle Heart Silicone Cupcake Liner (Pack of 8 for $3 in Bullseye's Playground at Target)
1 Red Glitter Vinyl Fabric Sheet, cut to size
To make the braided play dough, I rolled 1/2 a recipe of the white and 1/2 a recipe of the red into thin ropes, then twisted them around each other and folded the whole thing in half to get a loaf shape. I mixed in chunky glitter before rolling and braiding.