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A Gardening Apron for An Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Gift

A dear friend I met on Facebook sent me a box full of fabric and laces to sew dresses for my Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.  At the bottom were several flip flops! I was so excited and began matching flip flops to fabric.  There were two pieces with gardening tools on them and flip flops that matched that would fit older girls.  So I quickly decided they would be perfect for gardening aprons.
Garden Apron for OCC shoe box

Crafting For Shoeboxes challenged us at the first of the year to make something for a shoe box that we had never made before and an apron was on my list.  I had fun

Crafting for Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes ~ Dotted Pastels

Once again this week's Operation Christmas Child Shoe Box Sewing & Crafting includes a dress and drawstring bag I made from fabric donated by Kristy of Hopeful Threads.  The colors don't show well, but there are pale dots of pink, green and yellow in the fabric.  And even tho this is a very light

Surprise Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Packing Supplies

I just love it when I receive surprise Operation Christmas Child shoebox fillers.  I am also often surprised by the source of some of my fillers and crafting supplies.  I have received some great items from online friends...ladies I have never met, but who share with me so I can share with the children.

Piles of Panties for OCC shoe boxes
Pile of Panties - 30+
Last week a gal I met online thru our passion for sewing dresses for girls in crisis situations and the ministry of Dress A Girl Around the World, offered to send some panties to go with my dresses I am sewing for my shoe boxes.  By the time she packed the box and shipped it, it was bulging at the

Connecting to the Past While Crafting for Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes

Crocheting for Operation Christmas Child Shoe Boxes
I have mentioned before that I have inherited a large quantity of yarn from my mother-in-law. She crocheted hundreds of baby blankets for babies in need. One year she purchased a hundred little dolls and crocheted blankets for them for Operation Christmas Child.

She had a close friend who joined her in her crocheting projects and she would supply all the yarn for her.  She got to know the ladies in the craft departments at Walmart and other discount stores and when they put yarn on clearance they would contact her and she would stock up.  Unfortunately the

Washcloth Frenzy & A Splurge for My Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes

One of my goals this year was to pack more Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes (surprised?).  But I also wanted to increase the quality of my boxes.  I shared earlier that I have taken to entering blog giveaways to help "support my shoe boxing habit."  This is one way I hope to pay for better quality items.  Another is to take advantage of online discounts.
Washcloths for Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes

Kohl's has become a favorite store of mine to shop online with (I do not have a local Kohl's). I love that you can combine discount codes -- you can use two (one $ off $$ amount & one % off -- or combine either with a free shipping code).  When I

Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Crafting Progress Report for 9/18 ~ Pretty Butterflies

This week's Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Sewing & Crafting includes a fun butterfly dress and drawstring bag I made from fabric donated by Kristy of Hopeful Threads.  The colors don't show well, but there is orange in the print and that is why I choose the orange trims and added a crocheted orange butterfly to her hat made of all the colors in the print.  My daughter found the Beanie Baby moth that was orange and thought it would be perfect.  The sparkly purple shoes my husband found at

Upcycling Greeting Cards Into Needle Books for Operation Christmas Child Shoe Box Gifts

Upcycled greeting card Needle Book tutorial.  Made for an Operation Christmas Child shoebox.

I am always trying to think of ways to upcycle cards as they are so sturdy and lovely.  Here is my latest:  needle books for Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.  I want to include small sewing kits in several of my 10 to 14 year old girl shoeboxes this year.  My mom can no longer sew and I have a box of her sewing supplies.  I decided to check it out and see if there were any new items I could use in my sewing kits.  I found some pins and needles and to make a simple needle book I used felt and a greeting card.  These will be included along with thread, scissors

Packing OCC Shoeboxes for Girls Verses Boys: Why I Sew Dozens of Dresses

Most of us know that Operation Christmas Child reports most boxes are packed for 5 to 9 year old girls and boys and that 10 to 14 and 2 to 4 year old boys receive the least.  This has caused many of us, including my family, to focus the bulk of our packing for boys.  I'm taking some time to rethink my packing in light of what I have learned about many cultures around the world from being involved with the representatives of Dress A Girl Around the World.
Why I pack dresses for girls in Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes
Check out my step by step, illustrated instructions to make your own Pillow Case Style Dresses.

Dress A Girl Around The World’s [DAG] goal is to provide dignity and protection to young girls in crisis situations while letting them know they are loved.  Their website says there are many “girls who live in a society where they have no value—where they are used as slaves—where they are abused and preyed upon and no one considers this to be unspeakable injustice.  By providing a new

My Favorite Thing About Getting New Shoes: The Empty Shoebox I Can Fill for Operation Christmas Child!

empty shoe box to fill for OCC

I rarely get new shoes.  I seem to run them right into the ground before I get another pair.  But when I do I am so excited to have another empty box to fill for an Operation Christmas Child delivery!  Now off to pick out fabric from my stash for another Pillow Case Style Dress to tuck inside this one.  Perhaps pink & green will be nice.

Wondering what type of box to use?  Check out our post:  What Type of Box to Use for Operation Christmas Child.

My Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Gifts Stockpile Organization

When we moved into our new home I immediately claimed the large downstairs laundry room as my Operation Christmas Child packing and crafting room. I have my sewing machine & cutting table set up so I can easily sew my pillowcase style dresses and other goodies to tuck inside my OCC shoebox gifts. My husband added the ceiling tiles so my room would be neater and cleaner and added extra lighting so it's nice and bright to work in.

Wire Shelving for OCC shoebox supply organization.

There were a couple of storage closets in our new home with this white wire shelving inside that we did not want to keep so my husband removed it.  EUREKA!!  Perfect to put up around the top of the

Fisher Price Toddler Boy Short Sets $2.50 Each from My Dollar General Deal Shopping

On Saturday I had gave a list of things I needed for my Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes and a $5 off $25 coupon from Dollar General to my husband daughter.  They were going to stop by on their way home from the farmers' market.  As they finished checking out the manager handed them a Family & Friends 50% off clearance or regular priced clothing or school products coupon.  She said she knew they bought a lot of items for kids.  They came home, checked what I needed and headed back.

They found several items for both my 10 to 14 year old boys and 2 to 4 year old boys boxes.  When they checked out another employee gave them another one of the coupons!  I just loved these Fisher Price short sets that they picked up for $4.  They decided they would stop by another DG on the way home from church.  BINGO!!! That store had the short sets at $5 so they paid just $2.50 and were able to pick up seven more sets!

You can see all of weekly shopping posts here:  Shoebox Stockpile Saturday ~ Adding to Our Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Stockpile.

From Ghost to Snowman: A Transformation for an Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Gift

Beanie Baby ghost to snowman for Operation Christmas Child

My daughter found a basketful of Beanie Babies at a Hospice Thrift Store and picked them up for my Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes. They were just 25 cents each if she bought them all (a major find for us).  One of them was a ghost.  I didn't feel he was appropriate for a shoe box so I gave him a make over -- "Let It Snow!"  I'll add other Snowman themed gifts, too.  I also plan to crochet a scarf and hat to match his.

I tucked in his "tail" and peak on his head to make him round and sewed the seam. Took off his red tongue and added the crocheted scarf and hat made just for him.

UPDATE:  You can see the final shoebox here:  How a Snowman Shoebox Came Together.

You can see another doll makeover I did here:  Beanie Baby Doll Makeover.

So if you receive a donation of an item that you don't feel is appropriate to include in an Operation Christmas Child shoebox, see if there is a way to make it work by giving it a makeover.

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