Sunday, October 2, 2016

Shoebox 1K-2016 Registration Time

On November 5th 2016,  join members of the community as we come together at the Christian Youth Center of Morris, IL to attempt to pack 3000 shoebox gifts for Operation Christmas Child.

During your 2 hour shift, you will fill your shoebox gift(s)with; school supplies, personal care items, small toys, clothing items and even a personal letter from you. Shoebox gifts are then distributed through Operation Christmas Child, to children in need all over the world with the good news of God's love!

The event is free, but donations will be accepted to help cover the cost of the $7 per box shipping expense. To register, click on the "Sign Up" button below.

Click to View Volunteer Opportunities on

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Wheel Top-Shoebox Crafts

This week Crafts Paper Scissors is featuring some of my favorite shoebox crafts for Operation Christmas Child. 

 With my family, I have always found my boys harder to shop for than my girls. The same is true for my shoebox gift packing. While I always have tons of ideas of things I could make or buy for girls shoebox gifts, boys were more difficult, and then I saw a simple top made from a wooden wheel. I knew this would be a perfect toy for either gender! It’s fun to see a child’s face light up when they finally perfect spinning a top. 

Supplies used: 
  • Wood wheel 
  • Dowel that fits snugly into center of wheel
  • Wood Glue
  • Pencil Sharpener
  • Sand paper
  • Paint and brushes-I used Apple Barrel Multi Surface by Plaid in Wild Grape, Primary Blue, True Green and Candy Apple

To Create Top:
  • Cut dowel rods to create handles, for ease of spinning I found cutting length no longer than diameter of the wheel worked well
  • Using pencil sharpener “sharpen” one side of the dowel rod. Sand down the point to keep it from being “too sharp” 
  • Paint pieces as desired
  • Insert dowel into middle of the wheel, adjust dowel to have a 1/3-2/3 ratio above and below the top.
  • Glue into place

Special Thanks to Plaid Crafts for providing materials to help with this project! 

For more information on Operation Christmas Child, visit:

Jump Ropes and "Koosh Balls" -Shoebox Crafts

This week over at Craft Paper Scissors they are featuring some of my favorite shoebox crafts for Operation Christmas Child. 

Packing a shoebox gift for Operation Christmas Child can be a personal experience. As you are choosing what gifts to put inside you want your gift to reflect the giver.  As a child my “claim to fame” was beating our principal in a Jump rope contest. I jumped 98 times compared to his 4. Who needs a gold medal? I felt like pretty big stuff for beating the principal of our school!!! This childhood memory finds me putting jumping ropes into shoebox gifts frequently.

You could easily go buy a jumprope, but why when you can make one for free with items from around your house and better yet, you can toss in an extra ball as well. 

Supplies needed:

Jump rope: 
  • Old t-shirts 3-5 shirts depending on the size
  • Good strong scissors-I find Fiskars Titanium Shop Shears work great for this project

Optional: image printed from computer.

Koosh ball:

  • Left over loops from jump rope project
  • Zip tie
  • Pliers
  • 5 “ piece of heavy cardboard
  • scissors
  • sandpaper

  • On flat surface, lay out t-shirt and smooth out the wrinkles
  • Fold shirt in half sleeve to sleeve
  • Cut off bottom hem.
  • Cut loops approximately 1- 1 1/2 “ in size from shirt by starting at folded end and cutting across to the open end of the shirt.
  • repeat with other shirt.
  • Stretch out loops running your hand along entire length of loop while pulling

To create jump rope:
  • Tie three strips together, place your knot about 3-4 inches down. This becomes the handle.
  • Braid your strips together
  • When you get to the end of the strip loop another one to the bottom and continue braiding.
  • Repeat until jumprope is desired length (7 feet is ideal for most children)
  • Tie a knot at the end leaving 3-4 inches for a handle.
  • Cut open loops at the end of the knots to create fringe. 

I love making sure my jump ropes all color coordinate, and would find myself with extra loops from the project. So I did some experimenting and found I could create a “koosh ball” out of my leftover strips and a zip tie! These balls are fun and super easy for little ones to catch.

To create “Koosh Ball”

  • Take your loops and wrap loosely around cardboard like a “rubber band” 
  • Continue wrapping loops around cardboard until your ball is full enough for your liking. I found 7 loops wrapped around  6-8 times (depending on loop size)  gave me  approximately 50 loops around to make a decent size ball.
  • Take loops off of cardboard. Squeeze pile together and wrap a zip-tie  around the middle and tighten as much as possible. I find the pliers help to get a good grip which helps me tighten the tie more than with just my hands alone. Trim the zip tie to remove the tail and sand if sharp
  • Cut open your loops
  • Tie two of those open pieces around the zip-tie as an extra measure of protection

For more information on Operation Christmas Child, visit:

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Boo Boo Bunnies!

So this week over at Craft Paper Scissors. they are featuring the #CrazyShoeboxLady and some of my favorite crafts to put into shoebox gifts! First up is our ever popular "Boo-Boo Bunnies"

The bunnies are one of those "comfort items" I love putting into a shoebox. Operation Christmas Child encourages people to put soap and a washcloth into each shoebox gift, and I don't like sending a plain washcloth, and I can't knit well (or crochet for that matter) so I turn my washcloths into bunnies!

Supplies needed: 

  • 1 flat square washcloth, washcloths with a woven or solid raised border, do not work as well, because your bunny turns out bulky.
  • 1 elastic hairtie.

Optional-ribbon,google eyes, and or mini pompoms and fabric glue. 

  • On a flat surface, lay your washcloth down flat, smoothing out wrinkles, If desired you may cut the tag off. 
  • Fold in half diagonally creating a triangle.
  • Starting with the point across from the fold, roll the point towards the fold. 
  • Take the rolled washcloth, and fold in half. creating a long “U”
  • Fold this in half again.
  • Add a rubber band and adjust the ears.

Because the purpose of these is for cleaning, I normally leave them “as is” at this point. The fun is in the shape of the washcloth and it can be made flat again, when unfolded. For those wanted to take an extra step and keep them as a “boo-boo” bunny you may embellish with ribbon, googley eyes and or mini pompoms to keep it looking like a bunny. You can wet these and toss them into the freezer they get cold in 5-10 minutes and many times a child will keep a bunny on a bump longer than an icepack. If you wish to use an ice cube, you can slip the ice cube into the body of the bunny, and the wash cloth will absorb the drips as it melts.

For more information on Operation Christmas Child, visit:


Monday, September 5, 2016

Paraguay-the right box at the right time!

I had the privilege  of traveling to Paraguay with Operation Christmas Child. While many of you are thinking "Paraguay" who would think of going there. For me it was the perfect place to see first hand the impact of a shoebox gift on not only the churches, schools, medical centers, feeding programs, etc. that we partner with to get the shoebox gifts into the hands of the children. But see first hand how these shoebox gifts are bringing joy to children!

This is the first in a series

of many memories of Paraguay!

The noise in the building was deafening! The pastor of the church had encouraged the children to use their shoeboxes as drums. Imagine 300+ children pounding on boxes to create a drumroll! Finally it was time “UNO….DOS….TRES” It’s hard to tell who is more excited at that point, the children opening the boxes or the volunteers and staff filming and taking photos. Excitedly children are tearing into their boxes, Shouts as they received crayons and school supplies, toys and even a prayed for soccer ball! 

As I was walking through the crowded room exclaiming over treasures shown to me by children I am stopped by a girl. Her name was Ariel, she is 12. Ariel taps my arm and shows me her box, I expected to be shown some great treasure, and instead I notice a look of sadness on her face. You see Ariel’s box was covered in melted candy. The t-shirt, the notepad, the crayons and pencils, the stickers and toys, everything was covered in a sticky goo. Even with my limited Spanish vocabulary, I could tell she was asking me to “fix it!”

I looked at the label on her box and questioned “Nino?” she had for some reason been given a 10-14 y/o boys box, upon further inspection I noticed everything in the box was designed for a boy from the candy covered toy, to the candy stained t-shirt. Knowing that for some reason at this distribution we actually had a few extra boxes, I set out to see if anything could be done. I went up and explained what had happened. This girl had received not only a boys box, but a boys box covered in melted candy, since we had extra girls boxes, could I possible exchange it? 

I was given the go ahead and excitedly brought the new box back to my friend. I gestured to her…”Wanna Trade?” and a huge smile lit up her face. I told her that I only had a 5-9 y.o. girls box would that be OK?  She handed me the other box and excitedly grabbed the new one from my hands.

The first thing she saw when she opened the box was a fun pair of ladies sunglasses. You would think with it being a 5-9 box there would be “child’s items” in the box, but somehow God knew. Everything Ariel pulled out of her box was packed with an older girl in mind. She stood up, kissed both of my cheeks and said “Gracias!” and gave me a big hug!  It may have taken an extra step, but God got the right box into the right child’s hands!

There could be so many lessons to this story. The two that stick out the most "Pray and pack, and pray" Connect with God and have Him lead you with what's to go into a box and then pray again for the heart of the child receiving a box. Since we know God answers prayers He will get your box into the hands of the right child.

The second lesson being, sometimes you have wait. What you are suppose to receive might take a little longer to get to you than others, but if God's's sure to be perfect!

This month I am excited to share Operation Christmas Child is the featured charity at  Craft Paper Scissors in addition to a fun interview, there will be projects you can complete each week to put into your very own Operation Christmas Child shoebox gift if that isn't enough Plaid Crafts is sponsoring a giveaway there as well! Be sure to check it out! 


Monday, August 22, 2016

Thank You

On behalf of the #CrazyShoeboxLady and the #CrazyShoeboxCrew, we would like to that participants of the Stamp and Scrapbook Expo, Schaumburg, IL for their generosity for our fundraiser for Shoebox 1K /Operation Christmas Child!

Together we not only collected over 200 items to put into shoebox gifts but we raised over $5400 to help us send gift filled shoeboxes to children in need all over the world!

 Their generosity helped make our fund raiser a success!

Together we did a whole lot of AWESOME!!! 

Friday, August 19, 2016

It's Stamp and Scrapbook Expo Time

Come join the #CrazyShoeboxLady and her crew at the Schaumburg, IL Stamp and Scrapbook Expo! In addition to shopping at some amazing vendors, taking fabulous classes and participating in the wonderful crops you can come support Shoebox 1K and Operation Christmas Child!

Come join us at baggage check!

Ready for the unveiling tomorrow!

Once again we will be holding our "Basket Raffle Fund Raiser" to help us purchase supplies and pay for shipping for our Shoebox 1K packing party!

This year we have over 70 gift baskets to raffle off....over $3000 in prizes!!!

Tickets are only $1 each or we have 2 specials buy 10 get 2 free and $20 gets you 24 tickets and a free gift (while supplies last) 

Naturally we couldn't do it without our amazing sponsors:

Creative Memories-Dawn Watts
Fellowship Bible Church
First Christian Church Priceless Days
Forget-Me-Not Memories
Mandie Wade
Mudd Puddles

And MORE!!! (and more and more) 

If you can't come to the expo but still would like to support Shoebox 1K visit our fund raising page!