December 31, 2012

Double Crochet Front Post Crochet Scarf for OCC Shoebox ~ Pattern (With Link to Hat Pattern)

Front Post Double Crochet Scarf Pattern for OCC Shoeboxes

Crocheting is one of my favorite crafting techniques for donating in Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes and to other charities.  It is easy and portable.  I learned to crochet as a young child, I can't remember when, I just remember always being able to.  The first thing I distinctly remember crocheting was a baby afghan for my first nephew when I was 11.  My grandmother learned from her teacher in a one room schoolhouse during her lunch break and my mother and

December 21, 2012

December 19, 2012

Child's Simple Fleece Poncho with Yo-Yo for OCC Shoebox Gift ~ Tutorial

Another fun fleece project I found to make for cold weather was a child's fleece poncho.  I actually made a fleece pillow case dress first and made this to go with it--paired with a turtle neck and a pair of tights the little girl will be toasty warm.  This is a great no-sew project for Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.  Mine was sent to a reservation here in the US.
Wish I had a little model to show it on.

Instructions:

December 18, 2012

Curly Fringe, No-Sew Fleece Scarf Tutorial ~ Great for OCC Shoebox Packing


have been finding some great, simple scarf tutorials online for my Operation Christmas Child shoebox packing and I wanted to share some of them that I have been  making. Currently my goal is to make warm clothing to send to a Reservation in SD as well as for my OCC shoeboxes.  This first scarf is super simple, but my fringe didn't curl as well as the original poster's.  My test on scraps of another piece of fleece worked fine, I think it depends on the stretch, so yours

November 28, 2012

Waiting In Line for an OCC Shoebox

Tea Towels (inherited from my late mother-in-law) waiting in line for a crafting session with the sewing machine to become aprons for small girls to find in their Operation Christmas Child shoebox gifts. Images of the finished product and a link to instructions are below.


Click for how to Instructions for Tea Towel Apron.
Check out our Crafting For Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes Tutorial Index post for dozens of DIY craft tuorials.

November 27, 2012

Shop Year Round to Fill More OCC Shoeboxes for Less Money

CVS deals for Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.
An example of an April shopping trip
to CVS.  The egg dye I got for free
and it had stickers in it that I could
add to my Christmas shoe boxes.
This may not be new to many of you, but shopping year round for Operation Christmas Child shoebox gifts helps make filling MORE boxes possible as well as filling them more inexpensively. Combining coupons with sales often make for free hygiene items.  And shopping after holiday clearances nets lots of great toy & clothing prices.

One of my main sources is CVS.  With their extra buck program along with manufacturer and CVS coupons we rarely pay for toothbrushes and get soap at rock bottom prices.  And I often net clothing and toys for pennies on the dollar on clearance.  If you'd like to learn how to deal shop all year round check out the other financing Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes posts here at Simply Shoeboxes.

A year's worth of CVS deals for Operation Christmas Child shoebox packing.
My 2011 CVS deal shopping stockpile for
Operation Christmas Child.
Image Source:  Simply CVS.
UPDATE 2017:  Candy, gum and toothpaste is no longer allowed in OCC shoeboxes.

You can see more of our shopping trips here:  Shoebox Stockpile Saturday ~ Adding to Our Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Stockpile.

November 23, 2012

Paid $2.50 for $47 Worth of Goodies for OCC Shoeboxes, Charity Sewing & Sailors

This was a great week for my various stockpiles for giving, especially Operation Christmas Child shoebox packing.  It is interesting the various ways of obtaining great deals and freebies for giving.  As you all know from original blog, Simply CVS, I do a lot of shoe box deal shopping at CVS.  They also have been a great source for health & beauty supplies that I have donated locally.  And now they are becoming a source for my nephew the sailor and his buddies in arms.  This week's

November 17, 2012

Shoeboxes for Sailors: First Box of Snacks for My Nephew

Shoeboxes with gifts of all kinds are great for brightening someone's day, not just children thru Operation Christmas Child.  It doesn't have to be someone in crisis, but just someone who needs to know they are loved and thought about.  Last week my nephew graduated from Navy boot camp.  We found out his new address Tuesday night and that he could receive goody boxes now.  So Wednesday I grabbed my largest, sturdiest shoe box a few packs of gum & gummy candy I had left from my Operation Christmas Child shoe box packing, and began baking M&M cookies while Sarah ran to the store to pick up some snack foods.

We wrote a few notes of why we choose some of the goodies like:

  • using his grandmother's cookie recipe (who did not live long enough to see him become a grown man, but who would be the most proud of him)
  • a regional snack from our area (we now live in the south)
  • how some snacks were to jog his fond memories of his childhood (a "S'mores" to remind him of camping with his dad)
  • and we took a cue from "A Few of My Favorite Things" and wrapped it brown paper for fun (no string, tho, just some packing tape).

So his mission is to help protect our nation, mine, to find new and creative things to pack in future shoe boxes for him and his sailor buddies!

November 16, 2012

Bouncing Balls @ 85% Off Clearance for OCC Shoeboxes @ Family Dollar

Well, it is National Collection Week for Operation Christmas Child.  My boxes have been dropped off as well as some extra stockpile of shoe box gift goodies to a packing party for kids at our church and a box full to Samaritan's Purse for use as fillers in shoe boxes at the processing center.  It's time to start shopping for next

November 13, 2012

Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes Delivered

Flip flops for operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.
We have delivered our family shoeboxes to church for Operation Christmas Child and also have been able to take well over 200 filler items to our church's kids' packing party and I still have some left over to send directly to Samaritan's Purse for their collection centers to use. All of those Dollar General Flip Flops (I ended up with over 130) will soon have new homes!  After they go thru A Day at the Operation Christmas Child Processing Center.

July 24, 2012

Utilize Free Swap Sites for Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Items




If you have any free swapping services, such as Freecycle or Craigslist, in                                           your area check them out for free or cheap supplies for your Operation Christmas Child shoebox gifts.  My area has neither, but I have read on Clip With Purpose's Facebook Wall of others who often request or find craft supplies and other items for their Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes.  One gal, I can't remember who, requests Beanie Babies on Craigslist.  She noted that when a specific non-profit is noted in the listing it will be removed, so she just says she is using them for needy kids and when she is contacted she gives the details of what organization she is donating thru.

That gave me the idea to make a Beanie Baby WANTED! Poster.  You are welcome to print it or share it online if you'd liked to use it for collecting donations for your Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.

You check out all of shopping and donation fillers here:  Shoebox Stockpile Saturday ~ Adding to Our Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Stockpile.

July 23, 2012

Small Drawstring Bags for Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Gift Packing

Three small drawstring bags from one fat quarter.  Designed for Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.

A variety of sizes of drawstring bags comes in handy in Operation Christmas Child shoebox gifts.  In my Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes I always include hygiene items, school supplies and toys which all lend themselves to being tucked away in drawstring bags.  So I have designed a simple, frugal drawstring

July 17, 2012

Crochet V-stitch & Ribbon Toddler Blanket for Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes

This is the first design Elizabeth has done.  She found some super inexpensive, 2-ply yarn at the craft store that offers free supplies in exchange for displaying your items and she fell in love with the color.  So she decided to make a toddler blanket for a 2 to 4 year old Operation Christmas Child shoebox child.  She knew she had to make it "lacy" so it wouldn't take up much room.  We plan to tuck into a Ziploc bag and squeeze the air out so it will take less room.  It will still take a bit of room, so she is on the hunt for some very small toys to include.


V-stitch toddler afghan pattern and instructions. Designed for an Operation Christmas Child shoebox gift.



Crochet V-STITCH & RIBBON TODDLER BLANKET  33” Square


Supplies: 

Use Price Matching to Get Great Deals for OCC Shoebox Packing

 A great way to take advantage of weekly sales for Operation Christmas Child shoebox packing without hitting a lot of stores is to take advantage of  price matching.  Many stores will match a competitor's advertised price for the same product.  Walmart is the best known store to do this.  Grocery stores usually only price match other grocery store sales and I don't know of any drug stores that price match--tho I have heard of individual stores price matching because of high competition, so it never hurts to ask.

Office supply stores are another source of price matching--and during back to school sales is a great time to utilize price matching anywhere with their ads.  Office Max price matches as well as Staples and Office Depot.  They all actually state that they will price match up to 14 days AFTER you make the purchase.  You can find the details of the office supply stores' policies on their websites.

This is just one of many ways we find extra money to pack Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.

July 16, 2012

Felt Marble Maze DIY ~ How to Sew One for OCC Shoeboxes

Marble Maze tutorial and pattern designed to put in an Operation Christmas Child shoebox.

I  kept seeing Marble Mazes around the net and decided I'd try to make some for my Operation Christmas Child shoebox packing.  Basically you sew a marble between two pieces of fabric and sew a maze for it to be pushed thru.  Most that I

Drawstring Bag for OCC Shoebox Gift ~ From Upcycled Upholstery Sample

Upcycled upholstery sample drawstring bag pattern & tutorial made for Operation Christmas Child shoebox.

This simple-to-sew drawstring bag is just the right size for an Operation Christmas Child shoebox gift--it will fit easily and all of the goodies from the shoe box should be able to tuck inside for the child to carry them all.  This one is made from an upholstery sample so it is really heavy duty.  Any fabric would do though.

Square Bottom Drawstring Bags How-to Instructions

July 13, 2012

Free Fabric ~ Adding to My Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Crafting Fabric Stash

A special stash of fabric was added to my Operation Christmas Child shoebox crafting stash.  As many of you know my sister died last Spring.  Several years ago she took up quilting.  One of the projects she had planned to do, before she became ill, was a tea cup/pot themed one for my mom. She was never able to begin it.

A few months back my niece brought the fabric to my mom.  Since Mom is no longer sewing, she has passed it on to me to make some special things for the shoe box gifts.  Many little girls will be enjoying small, special somethings made in memory of my sister.  I'll share them with you all as I design them (I have a

July 12, 2012

Got Instructions? No Thanks! ~ Why I Like to Design My Own Crafts for Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes

I hate following instructions!  I would rather re-invent the wheel than follow the original designer's instruction manual.  That is why you will see craft instructions here at Simply Shoeboxes for things I have designed and made for Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes....ummm, and no, I don't make very many of the same one, I often design a new one rather than follow my own instructions, too.  Now if I have the instructions memorized, I'll keep making some, but, not too many usually.  And once in a while I do follow another's instructions, but not very often and again, not too many of the same thing.

Marble Bag.
Could I accomplish more by just following instructions someone else had written?  I don't think so.  You see, I get energized when I design something.  I enjoy the challenge and the feeling of conquering the obstacle before me -- such as needing a container to put the gift of marbles in for an Operation Christmas Child

July 10, 2012

Flip Flop Frenzy for OCC Shoeboxes

A few of the flip flops I've acquired over the past week on my "flip flop frenzy" shopping trips.  Well over a hundred boys and girls will have bright new footwear when Operation Christmas Child delivers the shoe box gifts later this year or early next year.

Flip flops clearance sales help fill Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.

Check out other ideas of Filler Items for Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes.

This post is part of Wordless Wednesday.

Shoebox Tip ~ Request Dental Supply Samples for OCC Shoebox Packing

Requesting dental supplies for Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.The next time you visit your dentist or orthodontist ask them if they would be willing to donate floss, toothbrushes or toothpaste for your shoe boxes.  Many dentists are more than happy to help.  You can request brochures from  Operation Christmas Child to show your dentist if he/she is not familiar with the program.

If you need toothbrushes in bulk or are looking for an inexpensive option check out our review of MDSupplies & Services Toothbrushes.

If you are looking for more tips for packing check out our series of Tips for Packing Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes.

UPDATE 2017:  Toothpaste is no longer allowed in OCC shoeboxes.
.

July 6, 2012

More Dollar General Clearance Shopping for OCC Shoeboxes: Clothes, Toys, Hats & Shoes

I know you all are going to get tired of seeing my Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes flip flop posts, hang in there, they will soon turn into school supply posts. After I went on the 4th and gathered flip flops at three different Dollar Generals I came home to read that there were certain women's socks for $.30 each and if you bought three you get one free--bringing the price down to $.23. So Sarah, my driver, graciously took me out again yesterday.

Here's our trip:

Dollar General clearance clothing for Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.



  • I have gotten some other "Cars" items on clearance so am planning at least one theme box for those and when I saw this short set and shoes at

July 5, 2012

70 Dollar General Flip Flops for OCC Shoebox Packing: A Great $21.00 Investment

Dollar General currently has 70% off their yellow tagged clothes and shoes which includes the $1 flip flops.  All of the stores I shopped at were totally stocked with these $1 flip flops--dozens of each size and color.  I knew I wanted to buy a lot for my Operation Christmas Child shoebox packing, but I also wanted to leave plenty for others, thus I shopped at more than one store.  There are still two or three more within driving distance, I just may go and get some more.  My favorite is a child's with dinosaurs--looking forward to making a few dinosaur theme boxes with them.
Dollar General clearance shopping for Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.
I also got the little girl's t-shirt for Sarah's penguin themed box.
It was on 70% off, too, so was $2.10.
[I love that "Happy Feet" fits the flip flop theme of this post, too.]
PS  Can you tell what the flip flops are trying to spell out?
OCC for Operation Christmas Child.
My family is not a flip flop wearing family so I know nothing about the quality or how long they could be expected to last.  I try to put reasonable quality items in

July 4, 2012

Boxes of Blessings Unpacked: A Little Bit of Many Things for OCC Crafting

Well, we have unpacked the boxes I told you about that my Father-in-law brought us (at least half were for my daughters work at church).  We now have a nice supply of retro/vintage craft supplies for my shoe boxes--most will go for Operation Christmas Child shoebox packing.

There were several pieces of Christmas print material and some other pieces that must be from the 60's.  There is one large piece of double knit.  I can always find something to create out of fabric:  tote bags, dresses, cuddlies, doll

June 30, 2012

Flip Flopping at Family Dollar to Add to My Operation Christmas Child Stockpile

Flip flops purchased at Family Dollar for Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.
I love adding bright colors to my shoe boxes!
I saw on the Family Dollar Facebook page that they had a sale on flip flops.  Boys', girls' and women's were just 50 cents a pair.  I know nothing about flip flops or the quality of them, but I decided to go ahead and get some.  Our children's group at church collects items to fill shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child each November and last year the children's minister asked specifically for flip flops, so

Boxes of Blessings: What's Inside for Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Crafting?


My father-in-law is here to visit for a few days and has brought us several boxes of goodies.  My mother-in-law died several years ago and left a great supply of craft and sewing items.  Before we moved into our new home with my new laundry/crafting room I didn't have space to take much of it so over the years he has shared most of it with ministries or crafters who create items for my Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.

When I knew he was coming I asked if he had anything left I could craft items for my shoe boxes if he'd bring me some.  We also asked for anything like silk flowers, vases, etc. that my daughters could use for the banquets they do at church.  As always, Grandpa came thru.  Here is a pic of the boxes before we began to open them.We have only gotten into a couple so far and as soon as we are thru I'll share what treasures we found inside :-).  I thought it would be fun to have you join us in the suspense.

Update:  Adding this link to the unboxing post:  Boxes of Blessings Unpacked for Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes.

June 25, 2012

Crochet Front Post Coin Purse, Jewelry Bag and Pencil Pouch Instructions ~ Designed for an Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Gift

Coin purse and Pencil pouch crochet pattern designed for an Operation Christmas Child shoebox.





When I posted my Simple Crocheted Stand-up, Drawstring Bag Instructions a reader, Pam, mentioned she may use it for a coin purse pattern and that she was looking for a new one for her Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes crafting. So I took to working on designing some for her.  This is the second one and as I was crocheting it I thought how it would also make a nice Jewelry Bag and if I kept adding rows it would make a great pencil pouch, too.  When I dug out some of my school supply stock pile I saw it could also hold a small solar calculator, a

June 22, 2012

Winning Items to Add to Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Gifts

Another way to obtain goodies to fill Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes with gifts for those in crisis is by entering blog giveaways.  Bloggers offer many products in giveaways that can be added to shoe boxes and often offer gift cards.  I asked JRFrugalMom from Frugality is Free to share about entering and hosting giveaways since she is an expert.

Image compliments of JRFrugalMom @ Frugality Is Free.


When Cheryl asked me to tell about the great possibilities of blog giveaways, I was very excited, because as a giveaway host and a giveaway winner I personally know just how fantastic blog giveaways are.  From my own experience, and from

June 19, 2012

Crochet Shell Pattern Coin (Change) Purse Instructions ~ Designed for Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes

Shell stitch crocheted coin purse pattern ~ designed for Operation Christmas Child shoebox.

A Simply Shoebox reader and avid Operation Christmas Child shoebox packer, Pam, crochets hundreds of change purses for shoebox gifts each year.  She mentioned needing a new design so I asked her to email details of what she would like.  I decided to try and design a few for her to choose from while I waited to hear

June 12, 2012

Simple Crocheted Stand-up, Drawstring Bag Instructions ~ Great for Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes

Crochet Stand-up Drawstring Bag Pattern.  Designed to hold small toys in an Operation Christmas Child shoebox.

I wanted to make a simple drawstring bag to hold marbles to put into a 10 to 14 year old Operation Christmas Child shoebox gift.  We had gotten several bags of marbles on clearance at Michaels after Christmas and once the little guy opens the bag they came in to play with them he would have nothing to keep them in.  So I designed this small bag.

I had a ball of cotton twine my girls had left over from an AWANA project and I thought it would be fun to use it for a boy's bag.  I liked how it looked as I was making it, but wanted just a splash of color so added a red pony bead to the end of the drawstring.  I then made one out of thin,

June 7, 2012

Dental Office Freebies Help Fill My Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Gifts

Keeping an eye open for free items helps me to be able to fill more shoeboxes.  One of my favorite freebies are oral hygiene products from the dentist since toothpaste and toothbrushes are on my must have list for each Operation Christmas Child shoe box.  Our dentist gives us a toothbrush, tube of toothpaste and dental floss after check ups.  My daughter and mother both gave me theirs from a recent visit to the dentist to add to my shoe box stockpile. I think I will include the little plastic bag, too, as it may come in handy for the child.

Many people who fill dozens of boxes for Operation Christmas Child each year report that many dentists will give them extras.  I asked our dentist one year when we were filling nearly 100 boxes for our summer VBS program and he gave us toothbrushes he ordered special for the purpose of donating.  They were very inexpensive and I have chosen not to request any more as I try to include products of the quality I would give to my own children. And when it comes to toothbrushes, these children may not be able to replace theirs for a long time.  You may want to check with your own dentist for donations of oral hygiene products.

Check out other ideas of Filler Items for Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes.

UPDATE 2017:  Toothpaste is no longer allowed in Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.

June 1, 2012

Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Sweets ~ Giving and Getting: Turning Gum Into Candy

One of the "green" center pieces.
There were four different colors of vases.
My daughters planned an end of the year AWANA award banquet at our church for the kids and their parents for this past Wednesday evening.  They used the four AWANA colors (red, blue, yellow, green) as the theme and included hard candy as part of the center pieces.  I had over 100 free packs of gum in my Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Stockpile I had collected already this year thru my coupon shopping and there were brands in the color theme so I shared 10 of each color to add one to each of their centerpieces (we planned for 40 tables with 7 seats each).

The gum and candy were big hits, yet after cleaning up from the banquet we had lots of the hard candy and some Twizzlers and suckers left over.  These were given to me to save for my Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes this fall.  I'll separate it all by type for storage so the flavors will not mix and then mix it again, double bag it and include a bag in each of the shoe boxes I send (well, in how ever many that I have bags for, I may need to buy some more).

It was fun to have a stockpile of shoe box goodies to give to fill a present need and also to see forty packs of gum turn into hundreds of pieces of candy--just what I needed in my stockpile.  It is true that what is needed for the shoe boxes is always provided--and sometimes in unexpected ways.

Such a nice bright addition for a child's shoe box.

UPDATE 2017: Candy is no longer allowed in Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.

Each Saturday Sarah shares our additions to our stockpile.  You can see them all here:  Shoebox Stockpile Saturday ~ Adding to Our Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Stockpile.

May 1, 2012

Waiting for a Walk thru an Operation Christmas Child Shoebox

These flip flops are waiting for walk with a new friend.  See the image below for an idea of just what they might be replacing.  That photo was taken by a volunteer on an Operation Christmas Child shoebox distribution in West Africa--many children were wearing flips flops just like the photographed pair a child had on who was receiving a shoe box full of gifts.


Image from the following Clip with Purpose post:
Shoes Can Mean So Much!
This post is part of Wordless Wednesday.

April 20, 2012

Freebies and Clearanced Stuffies for Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes ~ Weekly Shoe Box Shopping 4/15

There is another bunny hiding behind
the blue one on the right.


I got a few fun items for my Operation Christmas Child shoebox packing this week and I also had an opportunity to give some of my donation (and personal) stock to a local charity.  I had three freebies this week.  At the grocery store there was a deal to get a free re-usable shopping bag if you bought five of one item.  These are

April 11, 2012

My Dollar General Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Shopping Trip ~ Saved 72%


Last week we moved into a new house and there is a Dollar General store just a mile away.  I read comments on the Clip With Purpose Facebook page of shoppers finding great items for their Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes on clearance at DG--clothing items for $1 each.  So I ran down today to see what our store had.  I was not disappointed.  I purchased $75.50 worth of products for $20.50.  Here's what I got:

2 -- Long Sleeve T-shirts (for 10-14 year old girl boxes) [reg. $8 each] $1 each
1 -- Long Sleeve Thermal Shirt (for 10-14 year old girl boxes) [reg. $8] $1
6 -- Coloring Books [reg. $1 each] $.50 each
3 -- Sticker Books [reg. $1 each] $.50 each
1 -- Hat & Glove Set (this has a "Cars" theme and I have some other items with that I had gotten earlier so this will make a fun theme box for a boy) [reg. $6.50] $1
1 -- 2-Pair pack of ladies gloves [reg. $3 each] $1 each
11 -- 2-Pair pack of toddlers mittens (I didn't have any of this size yet so am excited for these--there were even some with Penguins which we were already making theme boxes of) [reg. $3 each] $1 each

This is how I can fill many more shoeboxes.

Each Saturday Sarah shares our additions to our stockpile.  You can see them all here:  Shoebox Stockpile Saturday ~ Adding to Our Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Stockpile.

March 27, 2012

Waiting for Upcycling for Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Gifts

Brightly colored gift bags waiting for upcycling into gifts for shoeboxes.  Images of one of the finished products, a Paper Pocket, and a link to instructions are below.  Many of the children around the world who receive shoeboxes full of gifts from Operation Christmas Child desperately need paper and pencils and other school supplies--it is often one of their favorite gifts. I thought repurposing gift bags to hold the paper would brighten their lives a little.


Paper Pocket Gift Bag Upcycling

March 20, 2012

Waiting to Play Leap Frog from an Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Gift

These Webkinz Bullfrogs are practicing their leap frog skills while waiting for a ride in a shoebox to a new home where they will be able to bring a smile (as wide as theirs) to a child in crisis.  Operation Christmas Child will be delivering them around Christmas time.
Check out other ideas of Filler Items for Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes.
Also, Why We Always Include a Stuffed Animal in Our Shoeboxes.


This post is part of Wordless Wednesday.

I've Joined Pinterest to Organize My Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Links

I had well over 100 sites bookmarked that I wanted to visit again for packing Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.  From blogs about Operation Christmas Child to crochet patterns to free printables.  I knew if I wanted to ever be able to find what I wanted to do in an efficient manner I needed to get organized.  So I decided I'd try Pinterest.  I love it!

I am very visual, so having an image of the project right there in front of me I can just click on it and find my way to the instructions.  And because they offer the ability to sort by numerous "boards" I am able to "file" away the projects or information by topic.

So I joined on Friday and was sick all weekend and Monday, but when I had the strength to be on the computer at all I turned my bookmarks into pins--it was so simple it was mindless, which was great because with my head feeling like it would explode my  mind was not too with it.  I have made 16 boards and have pinned 188 items already--all to do with filling shoe boxes (or organizing my stuff I use).

I'd love to have you stop by my Simply Shoeboxes Pinterest board see what I've pinned--maybe you'll find some inspiration.

I know I have a lot to learn about Pinterest, but so far I am enjoying it while organizing my Operation Christmas Child shoebox ideas.  Are you on Pinterest?  Do you enjoy it?  Do you find it helpful?

If you like to pin crafting ideas check our index right here on Simply Shoeboxes of Crafting for Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes Tutorials.

March 6, 2012

Waiting to Become a Kid's Best Friend in an Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Gift

These are some Webkinz puppies waiting to be tucked into a shoe box and sent off on an adventure thru Operation Christmas Child to become a kid's best friend.

Check out other ideas of Filler Items for Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes.
You can also read our post Why We Include a Stuffed Animal in Each of Our Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes if you are interested in learning more of our thoughts on this subject. 

This post is part of Wordless Wednesday.

March 5, 2012

Dreams of Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Stockpile Storage

My family has been discussing the advantages of moving closer to town for quite some time, but we really love our country living.  We also know that it won't be much longer before my mom needs to move in with us and this old farm house is not conducive for that arrangement.  Our church has grown so large that they offer "in home connection" groups for Bible Study and "connecting" personally with one another in smaller group settings and we have wanted to host one but our location and home are not a fit for that.  So for these three reasons we decided it was time to get serious about looking for a new house.  And of course room for Operation Christmas Child shoebox packing was a consideration.

Our plan was to make a list of must haves, give it to an agent and if they found a house with all the stipulations we would seriously consider it (the list, including a

February 28, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Waiting to Warm a Neck thru an Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Gift

Fleece blankets purchased on clearance at after Christmas sales waiting to become scarves to wrap around a chilly neck.  They will be tucked in an Operation Christmas Child shoebox gift.  Images of the finished product and a link to instructions are below.


Simple No-Sew Fleece Scarves
Click for How to Instructions
Check out other ideas of Filler Items for Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes.

This post is part of Wordless Wednesday.

February 27, 2012

Crocheted Pony Tail Holder Tutorial ~ Ruffly Scrunchie Perfect for Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Gifts

Crochet Hair Scrunchie pattern designed to send in an Operation Christmas Child shoebox.

Years ago my youngest daughter wanted a football themed birthday party--she was turning 8 I think.  So we invited a couple of her friends to spend the night and I asked each to pick their favorite football team.  I crocheted team colored items like little footballs and pony tail holders for each girl (all the patterns I invented for myself--this was pre-internet).  This year I was able to get some free hair bands at Rite Aid for my Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes and I decided to pull out those old ruffled scrunchies and see how I made them to add color to these otherwise boring bands. And if the little girl doesn't have enough hair for a pony tail

February 21, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Waiting for the Kiss of the Princess Who Receives an Operation Christmas Child Shoebox

A Webkinz Frog waiting in the pansies for a kiss from the beautiful Princess.  He will be tucked inside a shoebox and sent off with Operation Christmas Child to bring joy to a child (princess) in crisis.

Check out other ideas of Filler Items for Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes.




This post is part of Wordless Wednesday.

February 20, 2012

Simple Hand Towel Apron for a Child ~ How to Instructions: Perfect for an Operation Christmas Child Shoebox


When my mother in law passed away she had a stash of brand new, nice hand towels stored away for gifts for her children and grandchildren.  My father in law brought us a bunch of them and my mind recently has been spinning on what I can make for the Operation Christmas Child shoebox gifts.

I remember when my girls were young I would make them aprons to wear as they helped out in the kitchen.  My youngest daughter remembers my making them one

February 14, 2012

No Longer Waiting for a Make Over ~ Ready for an Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Gift

This is my little "Operation Christmas Child Mascot" who was waiting for a makeover.  I got her in a large lot of Beanie Babies I ordered on Ebay for my shoe box gifts.  She was brand new, but her hair stood on end and she looked chilly to me in her lightweight dress. So I made pony tails in her hair and then crocheted her a little short sleeve sweater with ribbon to match her hair bows.  She's waiting till November when I tuck her into a shoebox, but until then, she is going to be my best buddy when I work on my shoe boxes.  (You can see her before picture below in the picture from the Ebay listing).

Beanie Baby Makeover for Operation Christmas Child
A barefoot country girl.

Talk about a bad hair day...I'd hide behind the animals, too.
Check out another Operation Christmas Child shoebox gift makeover I did here:  Beanie Baby Ghost to Snowman Makeover.

This post is part of Wordless Wednesday.

             
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