Happy Monday! Boy, am I glad to finally be able to share this Halloween care package with you all. I wouldn’t necessarily call the past few weeks a Halloween movie, but it sure was suspenseful. Mail service has been spotty where my husband is and with his homecoming date quickly approaching, I cut it very close on this one. But just a day before Halloween, his care package arrived!
I sent this in his emoji care package so I needed to keep it small, but I didn’t want to give up any of the festive look. I made the most of the box itself by wrapping it in fun caution tape from Target and then chose a bold print for the inside.
I loved the spider web paper for the inside of the box, especially because of how well the decorations popped against it. I actually repurposed pieces the Halloween care package from my shop and kept it very simple. The ghost and pumpkin were just the right size for this mini (but spooky) box!
I think the biggest challenge with using a small flat rate box for a care package is finding items that fit in it! I managed to find a few Halloween-themed items that fit just perfectly: fall flavored Kind bar, mini Halloween candy and Halloween-themed tissues. Of course the chocolate was completely melted by the time it arrived almost 3 weeks after I sent it, but he can use the tissues to clean it up!
It felt nice to temporarily retire my tape gun (woo hoo for the end of deployment!) with something as cute as this Halloween box. But don’t worry, there are plenty of cute care packages coming your way even while my husband is home!
Christmas last week, New Year’s this week…the pages are flying off the calendar! Ok so it’s not really 2018 yet, but when you’re shipping care packages halfway around the world, sometimes you have to think ahead. That’s why I’m excited that my New Year’s care package is now available in the shop.
I modeled this one after my husband’s New Year’s care package from last year and, just like my Christmas product, I’m really pleased with how it turned out! I wanted paper that was sparkly without being glittery (if your loved one is anything like my husband, glitter is a no go). But what’s a New Year’s care package without some sparkle?!
The shimmery black paper is the perfect backdrop for my design and a type of paper that I keep coming back to for care packages. It’s a nice thickness and the shimmer adds a little extra to the design. The gold cutouts really pop against the black and add just the right amount of sparkle to this New Year’s care package.
The gold lettering and black background sell the whole New Year’s theme, but I think the fireworks really make the box! You can almost hear them explode amid the oohs and aahs of the crowd. This New Year’s care package is a great way to start off 2018 with your loved one and make it your best year yet.
While it doesn’t quite make up for not being able to kiss them at midnight, it’s a very close second. You can fill it with lots of photos and wishes for 2018. Other contents could include confetti, Hershey’s kisses, sparkling apple cider and fun decorations.
You can shop this New Year’s care package now. As always, it ships free and 10% of your total is donated to an organization that supports military families.
Want even more care package ideas? I’m giving away 165+ ideas (plus what to put in them) here.
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!