Monday, October 26, 2015

Santa Shoeboxes - the Reveal

Remember I shared in my last post that I had what I deemed as amazing creative concepts for the Santa shoeboxes? Well I am now ready to unveil the concepts and the finished products including the gifts purchased for each box. Good news! All the gifts fit into the boxes! Bad news I spent too much money on gifts. 

The crafting part wasn't the disaster I imagined. I do see some flaws in my work but I didn't cry or throw any boxes at the wall. Mr. Deep, who clearly read my last post, kindly pretended he couldn't see any of the defects that I pointed out to him on the boxes.  Or maybe his eyesight is just really poor.

I did end up getting the plastic boxes from Plasticland. They are nice and sturdy but glue doesn't want to stick to the plastic so I had to get creative and use tape. The tape caused a few wrinkles that I don't love but that I will live with. 

The theme I imagined for the 9-year old boy box was the African Big 5. They are rhino, buffalo, elephant, lion and leopard. I know from my trip to the zoo that boys love animals especially big ones and they love to take pride in the fact that these are African animals. 

I had planned to use some decorative tape as part of the boy box decor given the glue problem but the tape kept tearing. Much like the paper towels and tin foil that you buy here that seem to tear everywhere except where you want them to tear. 

This tape fiasco was how the project began and I was sure it was only the beginning of my challenges but luckily it was the only serious setback and things went pretty smoothly after that. I had to skip the green decorative tape and proceed without it.

This is the top of the boy box. I bought a small desk calendar that contained African wildlife pictures and cut it up to get pics of the big five. Oh and Tshepo is the little boy's name in case you were wondering.
side of box
side of box
2 of the 5 animals I put on the inside walls of the box

On the inside of the top cover I added fun facts about the big five. Ugh, you can really see the tape wrinkles. I may have to redo this part. 

Then I added foamy star stickers and a few embellishments to the sides of the boy box and it was done! Stickers seemed to attach to the plastic without any problem.

I think boys are easier to please than girls (I can hear male readers around the world wholeheartedly agreeing with me) and also younger kids are easier to impress than older kids. So I was nervous about creating a box for an 11 year old girl. Eleven seems like a tough age, not a little kid, but not a teen either. I didn't want to make the box too grown up but also not too childish. The theme I imagined for the girl shoe box was positive messaging/self confidence type stuff combined with things that are shiny. 
Tape wrinkles! I need a laminating machine! I also added the girl's name to her box and I could barely make it fit!
I bedazzled the sizes of the girl box with stick on jewels, foamy hearts and 3d butterfly stickers. When I thought maybe I had added enough, I kept on adding.

Now, onto the contents. There are certain requirements for the content of the boxes. They are: toothpaste, toothbrush, bar of soap, wash cloth, outfit of clothing, educational supplies, sweets (not anything that can melt) and a toy. The cost of the contents should be R250 - R350 (about $18-$25 USD.)

Girl contents and yes it is quite girly. Hopefully she's o.k. with that.

soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, lip balm (cherry of course) face cloth, 3 nail polish set with file, gummy candy, candy necklace, notebook, highlighter, pens, pencils, eraser, a mind enhancing game called IQ that is like a puzzle, polo shirt, shorts

Boy contents
t-shirt, shorts, gummy candy, skittles, notebook, pencils, colored pencils, eraser, soap, face cloth, toothbrush, toothpaste, glow in the dark stick on stars, what seems to be a new and improved metallic silly putty type substance, a rubber bouncing ball

The boxes are now complete and I will be dropping them off on the 29th to the Santa Shoebox people and they will deliver them to the kids sometime between now and Christmas. It was a really fun project and I will definitely sign up again next year.

Mr. Deep asked me if there was a prize for the "best box decorating." Clearly the man learned nothing from our camping trip and his competitive nature has not diminished in the slightest!

labeled and ready for drop off


  1. I love this!!!! Love! Love! Next year if you remember and if this is something we can help with over here, please let me know!!

    1. Thank you! And I agree it's a lot of fun and a great cause. I would love to think of a way you guys in the U.S. can help. We don't have any real mail over here and Fedex is very expensive. :)


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Hello and thank you for taking an interest in my blog. This blog tells the story of some big life changes. First, my husband and I have just moved to Geneva, Switzerland for a few months following a few years of living in Johannesburg, South Africa. The two places could not be more different. I'm excited to share our adventures, challenges and insights with you! My thoughts and opinions are my own.