Sometimes a care package just feels meant to be, like the whole universe wants you to create that care package. Way back at the beginning of this deployment, I was strolling through the gift wrap section of WalMart and found the most amazing emoji wrapping paper. I immediately knew that I wanted to send A an emoji care package!
I opted to keep the design of the box very simple so that the wrapping paper was the show piece of the emoji care package. I found a scrapbook paper that was very similar to the background of the wrapping paper and went from there.
While the flaps were very simple, I couldn’t leave the bottom plain! The blowing kiss emoji seemed like a perfect fit for a deployment care package and I absolutely love the way it turned out. I could certainly see this becoming a listing in my shop!
I always like wrapping a care package’s contents and to find wrapping paper that fits a theme perfectly? Well that’s like care package heaven! I love the cute little faces and think they totally sum up my relationship with A. There are always lots of smiles, laughter and maybe a stuck out tongue or two.
The overall look when the box is open is exactly what I envisioned the day I bought the wrapping paper. It’s such a simple theme, but this emoji care package would be perfect to send just about any time of the year, especially between holidays.
Items in this emoji care package include: lots of magazines, mixed nuts, protein drinks, Mio water flavoring, trail mix, beef jerky, Nutella and peanut butter.
I know what you’re thinking: “Rachel, it’s only October, why are you posting about a Christmas care package?” Well for a few reasons, but mainly because I’m so stinking excited about how my Christmas care package came out and I couldn’t wait any longer to share it with you.
I modeled this new listing after my husband’s Christmas care package from last year, but secretly may like this one even more! I added “ho ho ho” to the bottom paper instead of keeping it plain and really think it completes the whole look. Otherwise though, the bottom is very simple to keep the attention on the flaps. And they sure are beauties!
The red plaid paper I chose for the flaps just screams holidays to me. I can picture it as a blanket, all snuggled on the sofa in front of the fire. The cut out pieces pop so well against the red. I opted to use gold foil for a large portion of the details and think they really drive home the holiday feel.
The tree is decorated with a combination of gold ornaments and candy canes. The mirror effect of the ornaments almost gives you the illusion of the tree having lights on it. It’s the next best thing to being home in front of your own Christmas tree.
What’s a Christmas tree without presents? I chose a holly print with green and red in it to tie into the other colors of the Christmas care package. Then I topped each present off with a gold bow. The whole picture has a very traditional Christmas feel and I love it!
Shipping times tend to get longer around the holidays so make sure to send out your Christmas care package with plenty of time to spare. This Christmas care package is currently available in my shop and ships within a week (for free). As always, 10% of each purchase is donated to an organization that supports military families.
Filling care packages is serious business. Between rules on what you can and can’t send, things spoiling or melting during the shipping process and making sure your loved enjoys what you send, it’s not as easy as it looks! Most military spouses find what works, what their loved one likes and buy it bulk! Now, there’s nothing wrong with that, but I oftentimes find myself falling into a rut of just sending food. For my husband, that’s not his favorite kind of care package to receive so I try to remember that there are so many other care package contents that aren’t food.
Care Package Contents That Aren’t Food
Being deployed doesn’t mean free time disappears. In fact, sometimes it feels like my husband has more time to read while deployed than he does at home. He loves getting magazines and books in his care packages. Now, books can get expensive so consider purchasing them from a used bookstore to save a little extra money. Plus if they don’t come back from deployment, it’s not as big of a deal.
I also like the idea of sending local newspapers in care packages. Yes, they will be a bit out of date by the time they arrive, but there’s something about reading local news that makes home feel a bit closer. Our small town puts together a quarterly magazine so I always try and send that in a care package.
Photos are the perfect care package contents. They don’t take up a lot of space (in the box or at their final destination) and go a long way to brightening someone’s day. You could send a few in each care package or put together an album with lots of pictures.
Letters and cards fall in the same category as photos: lots of meaning in a small amount of space. You can gather them from friends and family and send them a little at a time. Don’t forget to include a few of your own and seal them with a kiss!
While deployed troops do have access to toiletries while overseas, there’s something about using your brand of shampoo that makes things a little easier. I like sending my husband his favorite brands, especially at the start of a deployment to make him feel a little more at home. P.S. there’s a toiletry care package available in my shop to help make your toiletry care package extra special!
Clothing can be a great thing to send because it’s useful and is a good space filler. I like to use any clothing my husband needs (or has forgotten to pack) to cushion any fragile items. Tuck a few dryer sheets into any clothing you send so things stay fresh.
I wouldn’t send a ton of these because they can get expensive and may not make it back, but CDs and movies are a nice change of pace from all food. Most stores have a $5 bin which is a good place to start; the selection may not be too big, but you will save some money. You may also be able to find used movies or CDs to help keep the cost down.
iTunes gift cards
While CDs and movies are fun, they do take up a lot of space so consider iTunes cards a good alternative. Your loved one can redeem them for music, movies or TV shows without adding a lot of stuff to their already cramped space. Just make sure they have a computer or iPad with them.
Artwork from little ones
This is a great way to get children involved in care packages which is something that deployed parents (or aunts and uncles) probably appreciate. You could make these art projects seasonal or just give little ones crayons and paper and let their imagination run wild. Pictures drawn by loved ones will brighten up even the dreariest of overseas rooms.
This item may not be for everyone, but a puzzle book (crossword, word search, sudoku, etc.) could be a great way for your loved one to pass their free time. You could also send play cards, small board games or actual puzzles depending on what kinds of things your loved enjoys.
Last, but certainly not least, are holiday decorations! With so many holidays right around the corner, stores are full of potential care package contents. I would make sure to only send cheap items that you’re ok with your loved one leaving overseas.
Care package contents don’t just have to be food! The only limit is your imagination and your loved one’s preferences. Next time you get ready to send a care package, see how creative you can get with its contents!
Happy Monday, I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend! I spent it in full-on care package mode: filling orders and finishing up A’s Halloween care package. Hopefully this was my last care package for this deployment! While I searched around for inspiration, I found so many cute Halloween care package crafts, more than I could possibly include in A’s last box. I pulled together a few of my favorites for y’all to use in your next care package.
I’ve linked original sources when I could find them, but all of these Halloween care package crafts are so simple and could easily be done without directions. Most of them are related to food, but the few that aren’t may actually be my favorites.
I absolutely love the ghost footprint art! It would be a great way to get your little ones involved; actually most of these are kid-friendly. But there’s something about sending those little footprints in a care package that make me all gooey inside and they’re not even for me!
The rest of these Halloween care package crafts are great ways to dress up your care package contents to fit your Halloween theme, especially the monster candy bars. You could take the same idea and use it to decorate any of the items in your care package. I highly suggest adding extras of whichever crafts you do choose so that your loved one can share the Halloween cheer with others.
The best news is that all of these Halloween care package crafts don’t have to be just for care packages! You could use them for trick-or-treating, as treats for a Halloween party or even as small gifts for co-workers or neighbors.
Share your favorite Halloween care package crafts in the comments!
Oh my word, I am so excited to share this care package with you all today! I had A’s 80’s birthday care package planned long before he actually left on deployment and once I saw it finished, I knew that it was my best one yet. Keeping it under wraps until after he got it was so difficult, but now I can finally share it with you.
I really went all out on this box, starting with making my own paper for the flaps. After a pretty extensive search, I couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for pre-made so I had to get creative. I purchased plain black scrapbook paper and neon paint, broke out a garbage bag and started splattering. I let it dry in a very sunny spot for a day and then used it just like any other paper. The result was exactly what I envisioned. I’ll definitely be more open to painting my own paper in the future!
I kept the neon splatter paint theme going in the bottom of the box by using the same technique to decorate the birthday cake. It helped make the cake look like it fit in the 80’s birthday care package.
But the flaps are definitely what I’m most proud of! There were a lot of little pieces and quite a few layers to get everything looking totally rad, but once the flaps were done? Oh my word. I was in love. I stuck to classic 80’s items like Pac-Man, cassette tapes, a boom box and a Rubix cube. My husband loved the sunglasses; apparently he had a pair himself. Now, I really want a photo of that!
My favorite flap was probably the Pac-Man flap, especially the little ghost. Is that the right word for it? Pac-Man was not part of my childhood. Yes, my husband would be appalled.
As much as I loved this 80’s birthday care package, I knew I couldn’t ship it empty! As tempted as I was to decorate all of the contents in 80’s themed stuff, when I found this wiener dog wrapping paper, I knew I had to use it for A’s birthday box. Their bright colored party hats tied into the neon colors of the rest of the box and it just fit our little family so well.
I topped everything off with a few brightly colored birthday noisemakers. Hopefully A made his co-workers use them while he opened everything.
Speaking of opening everything, here’s what I sent in A’s 80’s birthday care package. Most of it was pretty standard care package stuff, but the collectors edition Rolling Stone magazine was an extra little birthday gift from B and Ruger.
I always feel a bit bad about not being able to really celebrate A’s birthday when he’s deployed, but I’d like to think that this 80’s birthday care package made up for us being apart. And that it arrived a few days late. Whoops.
P.S. You can check out my other care packages here or on Pinterest.