Let’s be honest, sometimes a Pinterest-perfect care package just isn’t in the cards for you during deployment. Maybe you don’t have the time, energy or resources or maybe you just aren’t feeling terribly creative. If you take just one thing away from this post, I hope it’s this: it’s ok if you don’t send super involved care packages every single time.
The most important thing to remember when it comes to care packages is that your loved one is going to appreciate the taste of home and personal touches you’re sending, regardless of whether it sings or lights up. The amount of time, money and effort you put in comes second to the amount of love you put into your box.
When time is tight, you can skip decorating your box (which is ok!) or you can choose from a quick care package theme that will add a lot of impact to your box and very little time to your day.
Quick care package themes can take advantage of a lot of pre-made elements: pre-printed paper, sticker letters and themed stickers are some of my must haves if I’m putting a care package together with limited time. You may have a lot of these items around the house already, especially if you’ve sent care packages before, which helps speed things along as well!
Quick Care Package Themes
Some of easiest (and quickest) care package themes focus on color! “Blue with out you”, “something out of the blue”, “pinking of you”, “orange you glad” and “green with envy” are all puns you could add to a care package. Craft stores will have paper in all of these colors and, more often than not, patterned versions as well that you can use to cover your box’s flaps.
A bonus to this quick care package theme is that you can frequently find contents that are in the appropriate color packaging. If you have things to send that don’t fit the color scheme, you can always wrap them in wrapping paper!
Military care packages are always a great fit for a patriotic theme, which is wonderful because they are super quick to put together. Craft stores carry American flag, stars and stripes and red, white and blue paper year-round. You can also purchase sticker letters and/or patriotic-themed stickers to add to your box. If you shop for these items after the 4th of July, you can usually get them at a discount, allowing you to stock up and use them when needed.
For more patriotic care package ideas, check out this post.
I made this fun emoji care package for my husband during one of his previous deployments all because I found the cutest emoji wrapping paper and really wanted to use it. But I realized that this was a perfect quick care package!
This design can use any color paper as the base; use your loved one’s favorite color as a starting point. You can pick any emoji (or multiple ones) that your loved one makes you feel and draw or print them off. You can even purchase emoji stickers from the craft store!
See more details of this quick emoji care package here.
Little kids are an untapped source of endless care package creativity which can be so helpful when you’re putting together a quick care package design! Now, I’m not saying you need to break out expensive art supplies, supervise really involved craft projects and then spend an hour cleaning up.
The quickest way to use kids’ artwork as part of your care package decoration: use old artwork! Little ones are always drawing pictures and since your fridge is only so big, extra masterpieces can be attached to the box’s flaps and sent overseas. I’ve seen quite a few deployment walls with an envelope labeled “Artwork for Daddy/Mommy” where kids can put pieces to send to the parent.
Pro tip: use regular tape to attach the artwork to the box so your loved one can remove and keep them without damage.
When your loved one is deployed, one of the things they miss most are the people at home so why not use that to your advantage in putting together a quick care package?! Using photos of family, friends, pets and even key places around your hometown is a great way to decorate your box that will take very little time to put together.
You can have photos printed very reasonably and quickly at most drug stores, but there are website like Shutterfly or Snapfish that also print them, usually a bit cheaper, but they do take a few days to ship. Once again, I recommend attaching them to the box with tape so they can be removed and saved by the recipient.
No matter which quick care package theme you choose, your loved one will be so happy to receive it! It’s not about the theme or the decorations, it’s about the love you’ve put into!
Want even more care package ideas? I’m giving away 165+ ideas (plus what to put in them) here.