December 26, 2015

Lot's of Goodies ~ Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Stockpile Saturday ~ 12/26/2015

I'm about to head out to hit the after Christmas clearance...it's the most wonderful time of the year!!!  Below is what I got for my Operation Christmas Child shoebox stockpile last week.

 I took advantage of the free shipping day and I $5 Sports Authority gift card I'd gotten as a reward and thought I'd never use to get these cute hats on clearance for just $1.34 total including tax!.  Perfect for my aunt's 2-4 year old boy shoeboxes!

Operation Christmas Child shoebox games and toys.

These are some things my mom got for Christmas some specifically bought for shoeboxes as she'd requested and some things she got and thought would be cute in in shoebox, so she'd share it.

My dad drove me around to hit a lot of store's after Christmas Clearance, here's what we got:


From Dollar General-everything I got was $0.50...coloring books, pens, pencils, stickers, & playing cards.


From CVS.  A little big, and $5...but super cute, and I had some ECBs I had to use up, so got for a Wow item for a 2-4 boy box...hope my aunt doesn't hate me for how big it is ;) ...but you can see how it fits:

That is an averaged sized box, and there's still a good amount of room on top to add supplies, stuffed animal, etc.

Dollar Tree after Christmas clearance shopping for Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.
From Dollar Tree-everything was $0.50


From Walgreens, I know these will probably go more off, but like to have candy canes for my shoeboxes and they often aren't available around here before we pack, and the big ones I got last year were hard to fit in, and I had a Walgreens gift card.  UPDATE 2017:  Candy is no longer allowed in Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.


From Office Max-the free after rewards battery deal again.


From Big Lots-a couple tins to pack in inside the boxes, thought it'd be cute, plus good for the kids to store in, plus it has a penguin, and I like penguin themed shoeboxes as you may have noticed...one was $1, the larger was $1.50.


From WalMart.   I think everything was $0.48 a piece


Plus my mom and sister crocheted 18 more Aunt Ida hats.

Spent from shoebox packing budget: $50.84 (hope to get $27.96 back in Office Depot reward)
Spent from gift cards earned or won online: $19.25

Added to stockpile:
  • 20 hats
  • 9 pencils
  • 3 pens
  • 3 mini paper pads
  • 13 coloring books
  • 19 various games
  • 1 train set
  • 5 tins
  • 4 sheets of stickers
  • 12 cups
  • 7 flutes
  • 2 tambourines 
  • 1 stuffed animals
  • 1 pack toy tools
  • 2 pairs socks
  • 65 small peppermint candy canes
  • 32 AA batteries
You may be interested to read Why We Include a Stuffed Animal in Each of Our Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes.

December 24, 2015

Throwback Thursday ~ Winter/Christmas Themed OCC Shoeboxes

If you've been following Simply Shoeboxes on Facebook, you may have seen my "Throwback Thursday" posts of Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes I've sent over the years.  I thought I'd share some on here for those of you not on Facebook.  I thought now, before, the after-Christmas-clearance (that I really hope to hit) in case they inspired anyone else.  I love making themes around clearance items-save money AND have themes!  

NOTE:  In the USA starting in 2017 we need to not send candy or toothpaste anymore, these are from past years when those things were okay.

When I make a themed Operation Christmas Child shoebox, I don't leave out anything on my list-I still put in hygiene, school, and art supplies, as well as toys including a ball and stuffed animal.  I just try to find versions of what I'm putting in that goes with the theme and occasionally an extra item or two.  Please note that these are from past years before Samaritan's Purse was really emphasizing to pack standard sized shoeboxes, so a few of these may be in larger boxes then I would send with what I know now, and some may have less then I'd send now or that year's list of basic items I planned to pack might be different than this year's...I view OCC shoebox packing as a journey where I'm always trying to learn more about how to pack the most fun and useful box possible.

Several of my favorite Operation Christmas Child Themed Shoeboxes


Christmas Tree Themed Operation Christmas Child Shoebox
Christmas tree themed shoebox ~10-14 Girl~2012.  I found that darling little tree on clearance and had to get it to send to a girl who might not get to have a free.  Then I built a box around it-doll & dog to go with the tree (I put in beads on hooks for ornaments), tree themed (on clearance) towels, book, notebook, puzzle,

December 19, 2015

Hats, Bunnies & Batteries ~ Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Stockpile Saturday ~ 12/19/2015

I decided to share each week at "Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Stockpile Saturday" what I've added to my stockpile lately via purchases, crafting, and donations.


 

I stopped by Office Max/Depot to pick up the battery deal ($0.01 after reward points)



I also stopped by a local discount store I found this supper cute tin-it was $0.99, a little high, but SO cute I had to get it, hope the girl who gets it falls as in love with as I did as well as a small Spirograph type tool/toy for $0.79


Crocheted Aunt Ida Hats for Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.
My mom and sister also crocheted 11 Aunt Ida hats!

Spent from shoebox packing budget: $29.88 (I hope to get  $27.96 rewards back on the batteries, if not, I may return them)

Spent from gift cards earned or won online : $0

Added to stockpile:
  • 32 AA batteries (we already have flashlights to go with them
  • 11 crocheted hats
  • 1 Tin
  • 1 Mini spiro tool

 We have shared several ideas on Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Stockpile Organization if you are interested in seeing how we keep track of what we buy throughout the year.

December 18, 2015

Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Packing Lists - 2016

Operation Christmas Child packed shoebox example of what to pack.
UPDATE 2017:  No candy or toothpaste allowed.

I've been trying to get organized for shopping for next year's Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes we will be packing.  I still need to do a little more work on the organizing of the stock before I post on that...I'll edit this post when I do so to give the link for that.  But I did make a tentative list of what we need to shop for/are planning to pack, and thought I'd share it in case anyone was interested.  

I divided it between what all boxes-regardless of age or gender-would get, then the additional things that will go in certain ages.  These are just draft lists and may change slightly depending on what we may find, have donated, learn more

December 12, 2015

Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Stockpile Saturday ~ 12/12/2015

I decided maybe I should start a weekly blog post called "Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Stockpile Saturday" of what I've added to my stockpile lately via purchases, crafting, donations, etc.


I stopped by Office Max/Depot to pick up the battery deal ($0.01 after reward points) and due to another shoeboxer's suggestion, I checked for compasses & protractors in the normal clearance area-they didn't have prices on them, but an associate scanned them for me and they were $0.24 for the plastic ones and $0.42

December 5, 2015

Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Stockpile Saturday ~ 12/5/2015

I decided maybe I should start a weekly blog post called "Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Stockpile Saturday" of what I've added to my stockpile lately via purchases, crafting, donations, etc.

Here's what we added this week:



We got these washcloths from Kohls...we were purchasing something else from them online and checked RetailMeNot and found a coupon code for $10 off $50, as we were already buying $40 worth, we threw in two $5 sets of washcloths, so they

November 30, 2015

Packing Three Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes for $29 from Dollar Tree

Someone recently expressed to my sister that they thought it'd take $25-$30 to pack an Operation Christmas Child shoebox, even if you just went to the dollar store.  I thought that sounded high, so I thought I'd figure it out.  If you read this blog you know I like to pack OCC boxes by shopping year round to be able to get higher quality items for even cheaper on sale/clearance plus craft some of the items.  Some people I know like to just take the box to say Wal-Mart, and keep buying things until it's full, and not worry about the cost.

But for those who don't have the time or finances for those options-I thought I'd share how with just going to Dollar Tree you can pack 3 OCC boxes for $29.  If you give $7 $9 to ship each that'd be $50 $56 total to impact 3 children's lives in a major

November 27, 2015

Black Friday CVS Shopping for Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes.

I ran into CVS a couple times this week to take advantage of their sales.  We were taking our Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes Sunday afternoon, so I ran in Sunday after church to pick up the first half of the week's deals, to add the gum & toothpaste to this year's boxes as it wouldn't last long enough to go in next year's.  The Mentos and notebook are for next years boxes.  I used an $3 ECB I'd gotten for downloading the CVS app, and saved the ECBs I got back from the candy/gum for the second half of the week.  [UPDATE 2017:  no candy or toothpaste allowed.]

Note--the image for the first trip disappeared from the post.

I used those ECBs, to buy the items on the left.  The candy that is laying down won't be able to be sent next year, but I think there's one more box we're going to send to the processing center this year.  The candy that's standing up is "Sell by 8 2017", so I'm saving it along with the rest of the items for next year's boxes.  I took the ECBs from the items on the left & bought the toys on the right which were part of the Buy 1 Get 1 Free toy sale, so I ended up getting everything in both pictures for under $6!!  But....

...I paid that with a CVS gift card I won in a giveaway, so it was actually totally free!!  When I entered it, I decided if I won I'd use it toward shoeboxes.  Normally I use cards earned on Swagbucks to pay, but now I'm using the Swagbucks points toward other gift cards--like Ebay-for shoeboxes.  If you haven't started earning free gift cards from Swagbucks check it out.  It is free and easy and they offer dozens of different gift cards.  Many shoe box shoppers like to get the Amazon cards.

Have you all found any great additions to your Operation Christmas Child shoebox stockpile this week?

November 13, 2015

Giving fillers for Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes

Donating filler to Operation Christmas Child shoebox processing center.As Operation Christmas Child shoebox collection week approaches if you're like me you may have some items left that you couldn't quite squeeze in the boxes...or you got more of a certain item than you ended up needing.  Did you know you can donate them?

Many crafters craft all year and donate hand made items to help fill the need.  And groups like the Pencil Granny and Friends on Facebook work on specific filler items to donate.

Anything that can go in an OCC shoebox can be donated.  Just put it in a box or bag and label it "fillers," find your local Drop-Off Location (you can find yours in thru that week as it gets close to national collection week, the rest of the year it isn't up because it can change year-to-year), and take it there.  They'll take them to the Processing Center, then if someone packs something in a box that needs taken out (items banned due to customs, being fragile, perishable, etc.) the volunteers will have something to replace it with.  Or if someone can't quite fill up their box, they'll have something extra to tuck in!  A great win-win!

You can also ship donations year round to Operation Christmas Child headquarters at 801 Bamboo Road, Boone, NC 28607.

You can see a few of the kinds of things we craft for fillers in this post:  Babies, Bears & Bags for Operation Christmas Child Filler Donation.

If you love to craft check out Five Ways to Donate Fillers to Operation Christmas Child.

Donate handcrafted items to Operation Christmas Child shoebox packing.

NOTE:  I live in the United States and this post was written based on that, but I'm guessing the same or similar is true for all sending countries.

November 7, 2015

Why We Pack Stuffed Animals in All Our Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes

Why we pack Stuffed Animals in all our Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes

If you've read our posts of what we've put in our Operation Christmas Child boxes for a  Girl 2-4Boy 2-4Girl 10-14, & Boy 10-14 you may have noticed that every one of the boxes had a stuffed animal or stuffed doll in it.  We thought you might be interested to know why.

First, there's the fact that Samaritan's Purse suggests it-here in America it's one of the main ideas for the "Wow items" both for suggestions and to pack online.  As I

October 30, 2015

Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Packed for 10-14 Year Old Boy

10 to 14 year old boy Operation Christmas Child shoebox example.
It's been a busy week with packing shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child.  I thought I'd share what my dad would pack in a GoBox for a 10-14 year old boy.   If you'd like ideas for other ages be sure to check out my posts on boxes from this year for:  Girl 2-4 yearsBoy 2-4 yearsGirl 10-14 years, & Boy 10-14 years...as the middle range 5-9 gets the most boxes, we chose to do the other ages this year.

It took some careful packing but he was able to get all of the items pictured into the pre-printed "Go box" in the picture. Now, if you don't have an Operation Christmas Child GoBox, that's no problem-any shoebox (cardboard or plastic) or something of the same size (normal box, new tool box, etc). This year we packed in traditional shoeboxes, plastic shoeboxes, as well as a GoBox. Check out more about pros and cons of different boxes in this post:  What Type of Shoebox to Pack for Operation Christmas Child.

First I'll share a list of what went into it, then I'll share how it was packed!  Remember this is just an example, other boxes substituted Legos for the game, or added a flashlight, or other variations.  We try to make no two boxes exactly alike!

What went into this shoebox gift:
  • Hygiene Supplies:

Operation Christmas Child Shoebox for 2-4 Year Old Boy

Operation Christmas Child shoebox for a 2 to 4 year old boy.
It's been a busy week with packing shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child.  I thought I'd share what my aunt packed in a box for a 2-4 year old boy.  If you'd like ideas for other ages be sure to check out my posts on boxes from this year for:  Girl 2-4 yearsGirl 10-14 years, & Boy 10-14 years...as the middle range 5-9

October 29, 2015

Operation Christmas Child Shoebox for 2-4 Year Old Girl

An Operation Christmas Child shoebox packed for a 2 to 4 year old girl.It's been a busy week with packing shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child.  I thought I'd share what my mom packed in one box.  It was for a 2-4 year old girl.  If you'd like ideas for other ages be sure to check out my posts on boxes from this year for: Boy 2-4 yearsGirl 10-14 years, & Boy 10-14 years...as the middle range 5-9 gets the most boxes, we chose to do the other ages this year.

It took some careful planning and packing but I was able to get all of the items pictured into the pre-printed "Go box" in the picture.  Packing in standard sized boxes, especially the pre-printed boxes helps them get a lot of shoeboxes in each carton they send out and they're more sure they'll have enough for the kids that show up at the distributions. But remember-if you don't have an Operation Christmas Child Go box any shoebox sized box: shoebox, plastic box, even a traditional box will work!  See the pros and cons of different shoeboxes here:  What Type of Box to Use.  First I'll share a list of what went into it, then I'll share how it was packed.

What went into the shoebox gift:
  • Hygiene Supplies:

October 26, 2015

Operation Christmas Child Shoebox for 10-14 Year Old Girl

Operation Christmas Child shoebox for a 10 to 14 year old girl.It's been a busy week with packing shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child.  I thought I'd share share one shoebox I packed.  It was for a 10-14 year old girl.   If you'd like ideas for other ages be sure to check out my posts on boxes from this year for:  Girl 2-4 yearsBoy 2-4 years, & Boy 10-14 years...as the middle range 5-9 gets the most boxes, we chose to do the other ages this year.

It took some careful planning and packing but I was able to get all of the items pictured into the pre-printed "Go box" in the picture.  Packing in standard sized boxes, especially the pre-printed boxes helps them get a lot of boxes in each carton they send out and they're more sure they'll have enough for the kids that show up at the distributions.  I wasn't able to pack all my shoeboxes in that size this year, but this one I was and I was happy with how it turned out.  First I'll share a list of what went into it, then I'll share how I packed it with some tips on getting a lot to fit!

What went into this shoebox gift:
  • Hygiene Supplies:

October 23, 2015

Last Minute Tote Bag Sewing for Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes ~ A Guest Post by Cheryl

Hi!  Since my daughter Sarah took over the blog I have been asked by readers to make guest appearances as I have time.  I thought I'd stop in today and say hello and share a few last minute sewing projects for Sarah's 10 to 14 year old girl Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.  I haven't really done much sewing in the past few months, so it was nice to whip up a couple of special things.

Tote bag with Owl pocket designed for an Operation Christmas Child shoebox.

Sarah has an owl themed box and I have seen so many cute owl stuffies around the internet that one night in bed it hit me why not make an owl pocket on a tote bag.  So here is my

October 14, 2015

Enhancing Sewing Kits for Operation Christmas Child Shoe Boxes

First I'd like to thank everyone for welcoming me in taking over the Simply Shoeboxes blog.  This is the first chance I've got to write a post, but I've been posting photos/quick updates of my Operation Christmas Child shoebox packing on Simply Shoeboxes' Facebook Page.

How much fabric should be included in an Operation Christmas Child shoebox?
I posted a picture on Facebook about adding material and other goodies to the sewing kits we got last year to put in the 10-14 year old girl shoeboxes I'm packing.  There was a lot of interest as to how much fabric to put in, so I thought I'd write a post to report on how much I put in, plus some general thoughts on fabric in shoeboxes.

So, how much fabric should one put in a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child?

Well...I'm afraid there's not a cut and dry answer for that! :)  Any scrap of fabric will help a child in their practice of seaming and hemming.  So even an eight inch square can be useful.  It all depends on how much you have available/can afford,

October 8, 2015

Welcoming My Daughter Sarah to Simply Shoeboxes ~ And Saying Goodbye

As many of you know my health and that of my mother's has kept me from being able to post here at Simply Shoeboxes.  Because of that I am turning the blog over to my daughter Sarah.  She, too, is busy caring for her grandmother and helping me, so her posts may be few, but she is crazy for Operation Christmas Child shoebox packing and has a lot of great ideas.

Operation Christmas Child Shoebox packed from shopping at CVS.
A shoebox Sarah filled one year with things she got great deals on at CVS only.




She blogs at Simply CVS (about CVS/pharmacy deals) and at Sarah's Scribblings (about her attempt to brighten the world of those around her).  At times, the two cross.  Like when she got these fun report covers (along with dozens of other items) at 90% off at CVS:

CVS after school clearance.
9 to 15 cents each

She will be using them to make these Stationery Packets for her 10 to 14 year old girl shoeboxes that she shared about on her Sarah's Scribblings blog:


Sarah has a lot of great shoe box ideas and she puts a piece of her heart into each shoe box she packs.  She is an inspiration to me and helps me to strive to pack better boxes.  I am happy to pass the reigns of Simply Shoeboxes over to her.

You can follow her on Facebook, too, at:
I invite you to welcome her to Simply Shoeboxes and enjoy packing Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes with her.

And thank you all for the fun times I had packing with each of you!  Goodbye for now.  ~ Cheryl

June 28, 2015

Simply Shoeboxes on Facebook


Because of time restraints I am still not able to post new content here on Simply Shoeboxes.  I have blogged here since the beginning of 2012 and have over 250 posts.  I have decided to begin sharing some of my old content on the Simply Shoe Boxes Facebook page.  So if you have not "liked" the page yet or clicked to follow or signed up to get notifications, be sure to do that now and you will have a front seat view to a variety of posts about shoe box packing--some you may have seen, many you probably missed.

Here is what you can expect:
Hopefully someday this fall I can begin posting new material, until then:  Happy Packing!

March 24, 2015

Real Life Called: It Wants My Attention Back

Should I answer when Real Life calls?  I'm guessing I should.  Blogging, keeping up the Simply Shoeboxes Facebook page, replying to emails and chatting it up with other shoebox packers takes a lot of time, energy and emotions.  Three commodities I do not have enough of lately.  No matter how much I love it all.

When I do a thing I put my whole heart into it.  Unfortunately my heart is only so big, no matter how hard I try to increase its size by stretching it around more projects.  And I've tried to cut back, do things more simply, but I found that more stressful.  It's easier to change my schedule than to change my personality.  And I'd much rather cut something out of my schedule than cut out some of my caring or passion from my personality.

So to answer Real Life's call I need to hang up on blogging, at least for now.  Simply Shoeboxes will remain online so you can refer to it and share it as usual, but I won't be sharing any new posts.  I will miss my sweet readers and hearing about your Operation Christmas Child shoebox packing adventures.  I'll miss the inspiration and ideas I glean from you all.

Hopefully one day I will be able to return, but for now a final:  Happy Packing!

Image courtesy of Operation Christmas Child.

March 20, 2015

Mini Purse or Wallet Crochet Instructions ~ Sized to Fit Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes


A Simply Shoebox reader and crafter for Operation Christmas Child shoebox fillers has agreed to share her instructions for her sweet Crocheted Wallets or Mini Purses.  Chelle, from Chelle's CayBees, created these delightful wallets just for shoeboxes and made lots last year and donated them to my packing efforts.  They

March 19, 2015

Winnie The Pooh Dress Waits to Be Finished for an Operation Christmas Child Shoebox

Well, instead of a finished outfit and the beginning of an Operation Christmas Child shoebox like I normally share I'm sharing a very patiently waiting Winnie The Pooh.  I began this pillowcase style dress a couple of weeks ago, and yet here it sits on my sewing machine table waiting for my return.

Winnie the Pooh Dress waiting to be finished for an Operation Christmas Child shoebox.

Life sometimes gets in the way of crafting for shoeboxes.  As most of you know my mom lives with us and her care takes quite a bit of time.  Recently more time has

March 16, 2015

Reducing Packaging for More Room in an Operation Christmas Child Shoebox

We are always trying to find more room in an Operation Christmas Child shoebox.  I am sure you all do, too.  Sarah recently was working on reducing some packaging on gifts for her girls' boxes.

Removing Packaging for Operation Christmas Child Shoebox packing.

She cut out the image from the front of the box and included it with the pieces inside a zipper bag.


You can see from the side view how much less space will be used for this toy in the shoebox.  Sorry about the poor quality in these images, not sure why they are so dark and discolored.

Sarah has since written several posts on Making it Fit in an Operation Christmas Child Shoebox.  One of the most popular is How to Fit a Spiral Notebook in an OCC Go Box.

What ways have you found to make room in your boxes?

March 13, 2015

My Tub Overfloweth with Crafted Items Donated for Operation Christmas Child

My friend owns a discount craft store and she loves to help children.  For the past two years she has collected crafted items all year long for Operation Christmas Child.  I have the privilege of delivering them to OCC.  Many will go in my own shoeboxes and I'm able to deliver many as fillers each year for the Operation Christmas Child shoebox processing center.  Every month or two I receive the donated items.  As you can see, my tub overfloweth

Crochet donations to Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.

There are dozens of fleece scarves and crocheted hats (many Aunt Ida's design) and crocheted lovey bitty blankets and pencil cases. Some of the pencil cases are

March 12, 2015

First Skirt of the Month Finished for an Operation Christmas Child Shoebox

When I shared the fun items I received for Christmas for my Operation Christmas Child shoebox stockpile, I mentioned my mom gave me a "skirt of the month" coupon.  She is to buy fabric each month and I am to sew a skirt for a shoe box girl.  Here is the first one completed.

Handmade skirt for an Operation Christmas Child shoebox.

I had sewn a floral skirt with gingham accents so I showed her that skirt and asked her to choose a main and a contrasting fabric.  My daughter said when she took her

March 9, 2015

Ebates Cash Back Check: $66 to Help Pay for Shipping Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes

As I have shared in the past, one way I am raising funds for shipping my Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes is thru Ebates.  Whenever I shop online I start at Ebates and go thru the links on their site for the stores I want to shop at.  They offer cash back in the form of a check -- what they call the Big Fat Check.  They mail it out automatically quarterly, I don't even have to request it.


When I shopped with the $250 Kohl's Card I won in a blog giveaway I earned from 3% to 6% on each order.  I have even ordered items from local chain stores and picked them up in the store and still earned cash back, including Lowes.  I've also earned cashback for shopping at Walmart.



This check is a little larger than normal, $66.28, as they offered special bonuses around the holidays for having people sign up under you.  If they shopped and spent $25 at a qualifying store I received big bonuses. I don't remember exactly what they were, but I think $20 for the first and $25 for the second. Usually it is $5.  So this check will mail nine boxes with some left over.

I have shared details about Ebates on my other blog.  You can find them here if you are interested:  How to Use Ebates to Earn Cash Back for Online Shopping.

You may want to check out all the ways we Find Extra Money for Packing Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes.

March 6, 2015

CVS Clearance Shopping for Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes ~ Free with Swagbuck's Gift Card

We have been slow on the Operation Christmas Child stock pile purchases lately, but Sarah picked up a couple of 90% off Valentine's items at CVS this week.  The Tattoos will go in the boy boxes most likely, but I may choose a few for the girls especially if they match the theme of the box.  Sarah said she thought some of the cards were not appropriate to include, so we will remove those.  The little pink case in the front is a stamp pad set for a 10 to 14 year old girl box.

CVS clearance shopping for Operation Christmas Child shoebox packing.

She used some free CVS gift cards earned on Swagbucks to pay, so there was no out of pocket cost.  If you haven't started earning free gift cards from Swagbucks check it out.  It is free and easy and they offer dozens of different gift cards.  Many shoebox shoppers like to get the Amazon cards.  Check out all the ways we find Extra Cash for Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Shopping.

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.  Have you all found any great additions to your shoebox stockpile this week?

Disclosure: Swagbucks links in this post are personal referral links. 

March 5, 2015

Pattern & Fabric Donation: A Colorful Dress for an Operation Christmas Child Shoebox

My friend Joanne offered to sponsor a dress for my Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.  She let me choose a pattern from the See & Sew collection she sells and fabric and buttons to make it.

See & Sew Dress for an Operation Christmas Child shoebox.

She wanted me to use some of the new line of fabric she had just gotten in.  I was able to choose from any of these colors.

March 2, 2015

To Wrap or Not to Wrap! ~ Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes That Is

We have always wrapped our shoe boxes for our Operation Christmas Child shoe box gifts.  I always evaluate everything I spend time and money on.  Especially when it comes to my shoeboxes: am I spending my time & money on the best things for my shoeboxes.  Wrapping them is no different.

Wrapping shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child.




It does take time and money to do it, tho not much in the scheme of the complete shoe box.  Yet what could I do for the shoe box child if I didn't wrap them?  Include one more small item with the money I save?  Craft another item with the time I save?  But the bright paper and fun designs surely will brighten the child's day -- even if only for a moment, before they possibly rip it off when opening.

As you can see from this image I have compromised.  I wrap the lid only.  This way I reduce my expense of time and money by half and the child still receives a brightly colored box wrapped with love.

Ever wonder what type of box is best to pack in?  You can read Sarah's post What Type of Shoebox to Use to Pack for Operation Christmas Child for some pros and cons.

Do you wrap your boxes?  Do you find yourself evaluating everything you do?  I think I need tips on how to kick back and enjoy the process!

February 26, 2015

Satin Blanket Binding on Bitty Blankets for OCC Shoeboxes

I recently tried out another idea I've had for making bitty blanket loveys for the 2 to 4 year old Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.  Kristy, from Hopeful Threads, had sent me some crafting goodies a while back and included were two packages of blanket binding.  Such fun prints and it is silky smooth -- just what little ones would love to finger as they fall asleep or need a little comfort.

Winnie the Pooh satin binding on mini blanket loveys for Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.

I love Winnie The Pooh.  The ORIGINAL Winnie The Pooh, not so much the Disney "impostor" as I have heard him called.  It's sort of like if you've read the book you'll hate the movie idea.  Once you have read the original stories the cartoons don't

February 24, 2015

Tic-Tac-Toe Game from Upcycled Greeting Cards ~ Perfect for Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes

Tic-Tac-Toe game from upcycled greeting cards.  Used in an Operation Christmas Child shoebox.

I always save my greeting cards to find ways to incorporate the bright images into my Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.  A friend passed some on this past holiday season and I had some poker chips left over from my Drawstring Tic-Tac-Toe Games so I decided to make a super simple tic-tac-toe (also known as noughts

February 19, 2015

Crafting Tote Bags for Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes: Playing Catch-up

I played catch-up this week on my Operation Christmas Child shoebox crafting.  I have had these hand towels and bandannas longer than I want to admit.  We purchased most of the towels after Christmas clearance for a quarter or less and some were from my late mother-in-law's stash.  We sent many as towels in the boxes but I wanted to craft with some.

Crafting tote bags for Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.


The bandannas were used as table decorations at a church banquet.  When my daughters are in charge of the decorations they always try to use themed items that can then be packed in shoe boxes.  These make perfect drawstring bags.  They are

February 18, 2015

Toys & More ~ My Recent Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Stockpile Additions

A few months ago I won a Toys R Us gift card for my Operation Christmas Child shoebox packing on a blog giveaway.  We do not have a Toys R Us store near us so we had to order online.  The $125 didn't go real far, but we tried to get things on sale and clearance and by ordering $50 or more both times we received free shipping.

Toys R Us blog giveaway win shopping spree for Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.
Sarah chose some items with multiples that can be split between boxes.





Three times we received the wrong item and they couldn't send us a replacement as it was out of stock, so they gave us the credit back and said to keep the item.  One item we cannot use in shoeboxes, but the other two we can.  Three items

             
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