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What to Pack in an Operation Christmas Child Shoebox ~ Free Poster

My friend is collecting crafted items for Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes at her craft store and customers were asking about packing their own. I made this sign for her to share to invite them to pack their own. I wanted to share it here so you can all use it if you want. Share it online or print it off and hang it at work or around town.  If you'd like more ideas about what to put in shoeboxes, you can see our posts of what we packed in 2015 in boxes for a  Girl 2-4 OCC ShoeboxBoy 2-4 OCC ShoeboxGirl 10-14 OCC Shoebox, & Boy 10-14 OCC Shoebox .

Remember this is for the United States, if you live in a different sending country, the requirements may be different.

UPDATE:  As of 2017 in the USA we can no longer send toothpaste & candy.  Here is a corrected poster.  We hope to update this soon with a new design!

Free Poster to print or share.  What to pack in an Operation Christmas Child shoebox 2017.

Twins ~ Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Crafting Progress Report

This week's Shoebox Sewing & Crafting for Operation Christmas Child  includes Twin Sets.  I have read of people doing "twin boxes." They either put two of everything in one shoebox or make two matching shoeboxes.  This came to mind with these two projects.

Brother & Sister Set

After sharing this fabric and teddy bear on Simply Shoeboxes' Facebook page asking should I use it for a boy or girl I decided to make both since there seemed to be a tie.

Pillowcase dress for Operation Christmas Child shoebox.

I had this little short set with the red shirt from a Dollar General clearance sale.

2 to 4 year old boy shoebox for Operation Christmas Child.

I needed another teddy for the little boy box and found this red fella just waiting to be sent filled with

Preparing Toddler Puzzles to Fit Into Operation Chrismtas Child Shoeboxes

Adding puzzles to Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.
I shared earlier how I had received a couple dozen toddler board puzzles that were too large to fit into my Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes.  I also inherited some wonderful Noah's ark fabric that matched the theme of the puzzles.  Well, with my daughter's help we have finished the puzzle project and have 23 ready to

Involving Mom in My Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Packing

My elderly mother lives with us and is virtually home bound.  We purchased this house with her in mind because it has a mother-in-law suite (fancy words for two little connecting rooms and a bath).  At that time she could no longer cook or drive but otherwise could care for herself.  This has changed greatly.

Each day she seems weaker and more confused.  She never receives visitors and rarely does mail arrive for her.   Finding things to keep her interested is a challenge because of the confusion and weakness.

Pillowcase dresses, panties and tops for Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.

I always keep her abreast of what I am doing with my Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.  Since it is all in the basement and she can't go down the stairs she can't see what I am doing.  Each time I sew a dress or apron I take it for her to see.  I kept wishing she could help me sew somehow, as she sewed much in her younger

WANTED Poster: Empty Shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child

I have gathered many more packing items this year than expected!  What I didn't gather was enough shoeboxes to pack into!  What a great problem to have, tho!  Better than the other way around.  To help remedy this I made this WANTED poster.

My husband took it to work and hung it on the bulletin board.  Not only did he get empty shoeboxes he got inquiries of how they could pack their own Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.  Glad I had some extra brochures to send in!

I wanted to share it here so you could all use it if you'd like.  Just fill in the drop off information.  You can share it online or print it off--it even looks nice in black and white.  I added the note about packing their own after we got questions about that.

You can find more shoe box supply collection posters thru this link:  Shoe Box Printable Resources.

The Hare and the Garden Apron for An Operation Christmas Child Shoebox

My Operation Christmas Child Shoe Box Sewing & Crafting for this week includes another garden apron for a 10 to 14 year old box.  The color in my images is not too great, sorry about that.  The lighting was bad and my camera has been doing some wonky things!

Garden themed shoebox for 10 to 14 year old girl Operation Christmas Child.

Once again I began with the flip flops and matched the fabric and trim from what I have on hand to

Tips on Writing a Letter to Include in Your Operation Christmas Child Shoebox

How to write a letter to include in an Operation Christmas Child shoebox.

An important part of packing an Operation Christmas Child shoebox is a letter to the child.  It helps make the gift more than just "things" but a reminder that they are cared about.  Some recipients are in orphanages and may have no one who "belongs" to them.  We all want to feel special and that we "belong" to someone.  So, this is a great thing to include.  And if at all possible, please include a photo.  It gives them a real connection to you, helps them picture you/know you are a real

Prepping for Our Family Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Packing Party

I've been working, along with my daughter Sarah, opening all the packages, throwing away or recycling what packaging we can and taking inventory of our  Operation Christmas Child shoebox stock in preparation of our upcoming family packing party.  Here are just a few of the items.

School Supplies:

Operation Christmas Child shoebox packing party organization.
 Stuffed Animals:

Why I Add Trim to the Hem of My Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Pillow Case Dresses

I like to keep things simple when packing my Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes or crafting items to tuck inside. The simpler I do things the quicker I can do them and the more I can make and thus the more I can pack.  But I love adding just a little touch of something special at the hem line of my pillow case dresses.  I imagine the little girl looking down at her dress while wearing it and the part she can see the easiest is the last several inches.  So I love to add a little extra fun for her to enjoy.  My favorite, and what might become my "signature" is the last one.

Decorative ribbon -- such a fun addition.

Ribbon and roses -- just a tiny touch of femininity.

An Added Pop of Color -- on busy prints adding a little addition of a plain fabric and some colorful

A Trio of Aprons ~ Operation Christmas Child ShoebBox Crafting

My Operation Christmas Child Shoe Box Sewing & Crafting for this week includes a trio of Aprons for 10 to 14 year old girls.  I began with the flip flops I had on hand and matched the fabric to them.  From there I match them with the bias and quilt binding and then yarn for matching hats.  Because I use prepackaged bias and quilt binding these whip up quickly.  Thankfully I have a lot on hand inherited from my mother-in-law and also some I was able to pick up for just a quarter at a closeout craft store, otherwise I would be making it from the fabric.

The flip flops and fabric were donated by Kristy of Hopeful Threads.

A Bounty of Freebies ~ Putting Others' Leftovers to Good Use in OCC Shoe Boxes

I love it when I receive unexpected shoe box supplies for packing my Operation Christmas Child shoe box gifts. Check out all these goodies that didn't cost me anything.

Operation Christmas Child Stockpile

Our church has decided to move in a new direction with their children ministry so they have canceled our AWANA program.  My girls were jointly in charge of the

Tea for Two Inlaws ~ Crafting for Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes

This week's Operation Christmas Child Shoe Box Sewing & Crafting brings our families together.  I inherited this black and white tea cup fabric from my sister via my mother and niece.  When my sister died a couple years ago she had several pieces of fabric she had gathered to make my mom a quilt with a Tea Pot/Tea Cup theme. Her daughter gave it to my mom who passed it on to me to use for my dresses.

When I saw it on my fabric shelf I decided it was perfect to make into a dress in honor of my husband's cousin who is like a sister to him.  She wears a lot of black and white and she enjoys a

My Free Amazon Shopping for Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes

I love putting high quality items in my Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes and shopping for free is the funnest way to obtain them.  I recently took inventory and made a list of what I still needed to fill out my boxes.  I then went shopping at Amazon with free gift cards I had earned thru Swagbucks to pick up some of the items.
Combs -- 6 pack = $3.49
Wooden Spoons (to go with my aprons) -- 12 pack = $5.16
Tennis Balls -- 12/3 packs = $26.46

With just a few minutes a day on Swagbucks I easily earn $5 to $10 in  free gift cards each month for online activities.  I save them up until I have $40 so I can get free shipping at $35 and have enough left over for tax.

Do you earn on Swagbucks or other online earning sites for your Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes?  If you'd like you can sign up thru my referral link above and start earning free gift cards for yourself and when you earn I will earn a little too.   If you'd like to learn how to earn at Swagbucks you can visit my other blog where I have Swagbucks Tutorials.

Also, 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.

Match It Game Won in Blog Giveaway for Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Gift

Back in June I decided to fill more Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes which meant I needed to get creative financially.  I decided to work on entering blog giveaways for gift cards or items that I can tuck into a shoe box.  I enter at least several every day.  I have won several so far--some have entries of less than 100 and some well up into the thousands.

Two things get accomplished by the wins.  I can have a higher quantity of items to pack, but also I can have some nice quality items to pack at no extra cost.  These beginner matching puzzles are a great example.

They are made by The Learning Journey.  They are constructed of heavy, thick cardboard with bright colors and a glossy surface.  I laid a 6" sewing measure beside them in this image to try to show you their size. They are about 5" square.  I won two boxes of them and each has 15 sets.  I am dividing them into sets of five each and will make little tote bags to tuck them into.  This will give me enough for six of my 2 to 4 year old shoe boxes.

What are your creative ways to fund your Operation Christmas Child shoebox habit?

If you want to see what else we get to pack you can check out our series here:  Shoebox Stockpile Saturday ~ Adding to Our Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Stockpile.

Fit for a Princess ~ Crafting for Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes

I just love how shoe boxes come together.  My weekly Operation Christmas Child Shoe Box Sewing & Crafting includes a special "designed for a princess" set.  This grouping began last Christmas when my daughter gave me the little princess doll.  She knows I love dolls and wanted to give me

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