Thursday, June 20, 2013

Summertime Crafts

[Editor's Note:  For those of you who are reading this post in August, this is also a great idea for a back to school project!]

Yea, it's summertime!   For many kids, summer means camp fun.  Whether your children attend a sleepover camp, day camp, or even set up tents in your own backyard, it's always good to change up the routine and get into the summer groove.  Today I'm sharing an E-Z tutorial to alter a plastic pencil box into a surprise package. Fill it with camp "must haves," and sneak it into your child's duffel bag before he or she goes off to camp. 

Start with a plain plastic pencil box.  Staples usually carries these in their dollar bins.  Sometimes you can find them at dollar stores.  And they come in a variety of colors.
Mundane pencil box screaming for embellishments
Gather an assortment of colorful paper and coordinating ribbon, rub-ons, stickers, buttons, a metal label holder, and anything else you would like to use to embellish the box.
Ribbon, rub-ons, rhinestones, buttons, etc.
Measure the front of your box.  This box measures 7-3/4" x 2-7/8".  Cut two pieces of coordinating paper using your measurements.  Edge the paper with liquid chalk ink.  Punch a hole in one piece of your cut papers to make room for the snap closure.
A little edging to emphasize the border
Using a decoupage medium such as Mod Podge, coat the top of the box and the back side of the paper, and adhere paper to box. Smooth out any bubbles. When dry, apply a top coat to seal the paper.  This will keep the paper from tearing and provide a water-resistant surface.
I embellished one side of the box with a rub-on that reads, "Life's Better with Chocolate."
"Life's Better with Chocolate"
 Slide out the inside tray, and podge the coordinating piece of paper to it.
Mod Podge the interior
Now add embellishments to the front top of the pencil box. I added ribbon, buttons, and a metal label holder.  Then I personalized the box using my vintage Dymo label maker.   I also glued a flower button to the top of the snap closure.
School Organization
When completely dry, add your "ingredients."  Suggestions:  a pack of gum, band-aids, chap stick, mini suntan lotion, postage stamps, playing cards, and a mini note from home!  The note can be folded into a business card-sized envelope, which fits perfectly inside the box.

And I know I just said it was the beginning of summer.  However, this cute little box can easily be adapted for a back-to-school gift.  Add new pencils, pens, erasers, sharpener, and a 6" ruler for a great first day of school surprise.  Taking it one step further, I created a coordinating note holder (from a wooden clothespin) and a tile coaster to hold a water bottle in place. There's something about a coordinating ensemble that just oozes fun!    
project ideas for camp care packages

You may also enjoy these posts:

Beach theme projects

Summertime art projects

Sharing here and:
Manic Mondays at Serendipity and Spice
Boogieboard Cottage
Practically Functional
Hookin Up with HOH


  1. Awesome project! I love this idea!Thanks so much for sharing the great tutorial! Would love to have you visit me sometime.
    Have a fabulous sunday and a fun week!
    Hugs from Portugal,

    Ana Love Craft

  2. So cute! Love this project, thanks for sharing.

  3. This is an awesome idea! I love it! Thanks for sharing at Party In Polka Dots!


  4. Wow, you are so talented! just love it! Stopping by from Party in Polka Dots' Linky Party.

    Christine :)

  5. These are wonderful! I love how summery they are!

    I'd like to invite you to come link up with our party this week also!

  6. Wow. I am so not worthy. And thankful that all Stepson cares about is camo, camo, camo. I am seriously DIY-challenged, but love to see projects like yours for the inspiration and to help me get out of my comfort zone and try. Hugs, Holly

  7. Great project Doreen, you've earned yourself a feature, yippee! thanks for sharing on craft schooling sunday!

  8. Such a cute and thoughtful idea! I'm so glad you shared it at the Rock 'N Share! Hope you’ll join the party again soon! Have a great holiday! Blessings, D@TheShadyPorch

  9. OMG these are stunning, gorgeous details and colors. Beautiful layout. Excellent work you did.
    Scrapbooking Supplies

  10. Super cute idea - so much better than the plastic!

  11. Stopping by from the CSI challenge. I love how creative this is - taking something so plain and making it so personal is something I love. This is amazing! :-)

  12. Super cute! We have several plain little boxes that would be so livened up by this. Thanks!

  13. If a camp allows it, creative care packages may include baked goods, candies, fruit roll-ups, granola bars and other treats. A large zippered plastic bag may be included to keep such items fresh and free from pests.
    Kids gift packages


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