Disclosure: Links on Simply Shoeboxes may be affiliate partners or referrals.

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 Joy With Purpose's Facebook wall of others who often request or find craft supplies and other items for their Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.  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.   Someone pinned it and a generous lady saw it on Pinterest, contacted us and sent us a big box of Beanie Babies to pack in our shoeboxes.  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 can check out all of shopping and donation fillers here:  Shoebox Stockpile Saturday ~ Adding to Our Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Stockpile.

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

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.



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.

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

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 shoebox

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

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.

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

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

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

Disclosure: Links on Simply Shoeboxes may be affiliate partners or referrals.