What makes a care package special may surprise you: it’s not the snacks or the magazines. It’s the smaller, more personal items that do the trick: the photos of a favorite vacation, the hand-written encouraging note, the drawing from a little one. They make the service member feel closer to home and brighten up dreary days and walls. Care package crafts made by hand are a great addition to your box and are valuable keepsakes that will mean so much to your loved one.
Care Package Craft Tips
Shop for supplies on sale.
I’ve shared quite a few tips on saving money on care packages and many of them apply to care package crafts as well. The biggest one is to always buy your craft supplies on sale and take advantage of as many coupons as possible! Most craft stores also offer a military discount so be sure to double up as much as possible. Of course, being able to shop sales requires a little bit of pre-planning so as you plan out your care package themes, think about which crafts you may want to include.
Keep them small.
Space is limited in a care package so your craft will need to fit in the box you’ll ship overseas, without getting damaged. Keeping it small will help your craft fit, plus it ensures that it won’t take up too much space in your loved one’s living quarters which are notoriously small. Flat items, like drawings or paintings, are great craft ideas that take up very little space.
Read more: Space-Saving Care Packages
Don’t worry about perfection.
Pinterest is both the best and worst thing to ever happen to the crafting industry. There are so many wonderful ideas at your fingertips, but there is a lot of comparison inherent in using the site. When it comes to care package crafts, I want you to leave all that comparison behind, especially if little ones are joining in on the fun. The finished product may not look exactly like the inspiration picture, but that’s ok. It will be perfect to your loved one!
As with all things care package-related, care package crafts should be fun, not a dreaded chore. If they begin to feel that way, step back and look for alternatives. Skip the craft entirely, buy pre-made elements that you can assemble or consider letting your children handle the crafting on their own. There’s enough on your plate during deployment: don’t let extra things like crafts stress you out!
Care Package Crafts Perfect for Kids
Kids and crafts go hand-in-hand, especially for deployment care packages! There are so many great ideas out there, both for holiday care packages and across the board. Not every craft is appropriate for all ages, but the three I’ve highlighted here would work for just about any little one. You could also do the first two with a pet or all of them yourself!
Valentine’s Heart Tree
I know this says it’s for Valentine’s Day, but you really could send it anytime of the year. I love that the little hearts are made from overlapping fingerprints; you could have everyone do their fingerprint heart on the same page or send multiple versions.
The good thing about military care packages is that patriotic themes and crafts are always appropriate! I like the idea of sending handprint or fingerprint art from little ones because it’s so personal and captures a moment in time that your loved one may have missed. If you send this kind of art regularly over the course of a long deployment, your loved one will have tangible evidence of their little one growing.
Send a Hug
A good hug is probably the thing that I miss most during deployment and while this craft can’t really replace that, it can be a nice reminder that hugs are waiting at home. I like the version that you trace because it can be decorated by a little one or you. Here’s another version that uses ribbon and handprints instead.
Want even more care package ideas? I’m giving away 165+ ideas (plus what to put in them) here.