I’ve been on a box kick lately, well, in my mind. I’ve been scheming to do a few “_____ in a box”(es) for a few weeks now and this is the first in hopefully a long line. My Feel Better in a Box was created for the sublime individual who has mothered me for the past 15 years and beaten all odds in fighting a rare form of cancer for the last 10. She is the original inspiration for this blog and for my enduring and unfaltering desire for (and usually failed attempts at) a life full of gratitude, positive thinking, and giving, and the ultimate crafting/homemaking queen. Not only has she shown and taught me unconditional love, but I’ve also learned from her one of the most impactful things in my life– that families aren’t necessary born together, they can be created. So I wanted to do something extra special for her: I know recently she’s been up many nights enduring some nasty side-effects from the powerful drugs she’s been taking as part of a clinical trial. Here are the beginnings of my Feel Better in a Box:
There are two parts of this project that I used a die-cutter to create: the dividers and the “Feel Better in a Box” cut-out. I haven’t committed to buying a die-cutter yet, although I’m fascinated by all that it can do, so I went to my local PaperSource and had them do it for me (thanks, Sam!). If this isn’t an option for you, create the dividers using cardboard and an exacto knife or by cutting off the top third of used file folders (a great way to utilize those folders with 5 labels piled on top of one another). A layer of spray paint would help to prettify your make-shift dividers. I hot glued the dividers onto the paper that I lined the box with so that everything would remain in place for shipping. The liner is key–I tried out different scrapbooking papers and fabrics here to really make the background pop, but plain pink turned out to look the best. Also, using a liner allows your box recipient to reuse the box. For me, I almost always give my crafty gifts to other crafty people (because I think crafty people appreciate craftiness the most), so I’m always conscious of using my materials in a way that they can be reused again and again. After the basic structure of your box is in, it’s time to start adding your Feel Better elements.
Any proper Feel Better in a Box should include some sort of chocolate derivation and, even though this box will be flying to Arizona, I included our favorite chocolate as of late (with 55% cocoa). We’ve been storing a few of these in our freezer for the past few months and go thru about 1 per week (orange peel in dark chocolate is also uh-mazing!). The concept behind any ______ in a box is to make it fun, whimsical, and meaningful, so, of course, I cut out one of my favorite pictures of my son Judah. I love the big smile on his face in this particular picture and the ridiculousness of him standing there looking at me pantsless and holding a blowdryer. I attached the cut-out to a striped straw with hot glue and made a little badge for him that says “guardian angel” with a single confetti heart. Believe it or not, the guardian angel badge was made from what was formerly an extra button holder on a pair of slackers I bought. This is why, at least for crafting purposes, it pays to be a hoarder, as long as you keep your hoarding somewhat organized in order to use your oddities at a future date. Finally, the little bottle is pure peppermint essential oil by doTerra. This is the only brand of essential oils I use because it is the only one that’s pure enough to actually ingest. Peppermint is fantastic for headaches and migraines and can be rubbed at the base of the neck, on the temples, and/or under the nostrils for relief.
A few other things I added to my Feel Better in a Box: a Love Garden bottle with paper “Love” flowers planted in mini-rocks, feathers stamped and embossed with “hope” (one of my stepmom’s favorite words), a flower banner (created with Martha Stewart twine and stickers), tiny bags of kisses and hugs (created with ruby red confetti left over from Valentine’s Day), a good-quality chicken soup, and a mini-crown and wand for “the Queen”. I had so much fun crafting my miniature homemade wand by hot gluing multi-colored star confetti to a silver pom-pom and attaching a chenille stem. The paper feathers were cut with the die-cutter and I set them on a bed of brightly-colored real feathers (also recycled from Valentine’s Day). Here’s the final result:
Last but not least, I wanted to spruce up my Feel Better in a Box packaging. I’ve been wanting to try this idea from one of Martha’s bloggers, so I customized it using stamps, instead tracing font, and added lots of glitter. Once again, the chunky glitter probably should not have been used for this purpose (C’est la vie!), but it was all I had on hand at the time and I do my projects in the wee hours of the early morning when Michael doesn’t open until 10. In a lot of way, crafting is like life–you have to try things a lot of different ways before figuring out what works best.
Hoping this inspires you to try your own ____ in a box.