I'm a Military Blogger


Sunday, October 10, 2010

Halloween Care Package + Instructions

Aaaah...the fruits of my labor. My Halloween care package is done!!!

I took a bit of a different route this time. Instead of using clip art and graphics I free-handed the entire thing with white puff paint. The hardest part was the right-hand flap, which is supposed to be the entrance to the cemetary in "The Nightmare Before Christmas", but I don't think you really get the full effect online. It looks a lot better in person.

The contents are: fall-themed snack cakes, halloween-themed snickers, candy corn, spooky cheetos mini-bags, spooky doritos mini-bags, bat shaped lollipops, butterfingers, Fallout 3 video game (of course...), vampire teeth, rubber rats, spider rings.

The last time I posted a care package someone asked me if I could do instructions on how I make them they are (to the person: I hope this is what you were looking for).

1. First, tape up the bottom of the box. That's pretty self explanatory. I use the large flat-rate boxes from the post office. You can walk into any post office and pick up a few OR you can order them from the post office online in packs of 10 or 25, and have them delivered directly to your home (both options are completely free).

2. Next I cover all 4 flaps in paper.

I use just the standard-size cardstock. The pieces aren't quite long enough to cover the whole flap (there's usually about an inch still showing along one short edge per flap), so what I do is, holding the paper horizontally, I cut about 1.5 inches off the top. I then glue that piece down first, and then the larger piece on top. If you look very closely at the top-left flap in the above picture you can kinda see what I mean

*tip* I always glue the paper down first (rubber cement works nice) before trying to size them. It's a lot easier to cut the overhang off when it's already glued down than to try and pre-measure.

In the past I have used wrapping paper and average cotton fabric. Wrapping paper is the most difficult because it's so thin and rips very easily. Fabric is BY FAR the easiest. It sticks better, holds longer, and has a bit of stretch. It's pretty much fool-proof, and I would recommend it over any sort of paper. Plus, if you go to Joann's or even walmart you can buy the scraps for a buck, and it comes in more exciting patterns. My Home package was made using striped fabric

3. Once the base color is down, decorate the box.

Like I said, for this package I did it completely free-hand using white puff paint (Except for the moon and swirly hill, which I printed from the internet).

But, in the past I have used ribbon, clip art, di-cuts, buttons, just depends. Last month's monkey care package was a wrapping paper background with simple clip art that I printed, cut out, and glued down. The vine's were puff-paint.

*tip* If you use ribbon, like I did in my Home is... box, you're going to have to use a hot glue gun to secure it, otherwise it's just going to fall off. Rubber cement works great for paper and fabric, but not ribbon. I'd also recommend using hot glue if you're gluing paper to fabric.

For those asking about the dripping blood effect (*cough* you know who you are). That was, hands down, the biggest pain in the ass ever and I had to re-do it 3 times. BUT, basically, I squeezed red acrylic paint directly out of the tube and onto the paper (it was thick), then held the paper vertically and gently "shook" it up and down until the paint started dripping. It took about 7 hours to dry.

It's also worth noting that the mistake I made the first time was gluing the paper to the box before doing the blood drip. I could not, for the life of me, get the paint to ooze down. So I had to peel the entire piece of paper off the box and start over. The mistake I made the second time was putting my creation in a cat-accessible area (notice the picture). The third time I did the blood-drip on a piece of paper, let it dry, and THEN glued it to the box.

4. Pack the box.

Heavy items at the bottom, fragile items (such as glass jars) wrapped in bubble wrap. I usually put a layer or 2 of tissue paper directly at the bottom.

A friend of mine asked me about glass jars (like for cakes in a jar, pickles, etc) and what to do about those. Anything that has liquid I put in it's own sealed ziploc bag (same thing for anything chocolate) and then the glass jars I wrap in bubble wrap. I have never had a jar break en route.

Then pretty much tape the box up, write the address on it, and fill out the customs form. I usually write the address on the top, and one of the sides in permanent marker and then cover it with packing tape so it doesn't get wet/dirty/worn off.

For instructions on filling out the customs forms, check here. It's worth noting that although the post office only gives you 4 lines to list the items, I put 2-3 items per line and I ignore the quantity box and instead just list quantity right before each item. Example: I'll put "3 candy, 2 drink mix, 4 toy" all on one line.

So, I hope that helped. And now, just because I feel like it, here's a close-up of my Jack Skellington drawing:


Dawn said...

WOW, you did a great job with this. It's really coooool.

E.D. said...

This is gorgeous! I am sending a Halloween themed box to a high school buddy and this is such a cute idea!

Anonymous said...

Thank you! This is REALLY college kiddos will love it!

Dianne Emerson said...

one of the most creative and "SMART" ideas ever! I just love these ideas! Thanks so much for sharing. Also, you're hilarious !
Super fun blog! Dianne