Worth the Splurge III

box portraitI use a fair amount of boxes for my projects, and what wonderful boxes they are!

While said projects can be done with tissue or household boxes, I admittedly splurge on these 100% recycled gift boxes from Nashville Wraps (the “economy matte white” ones are shown above). Why? Oh, let me count the ways:

  1. They’re packed flat, which makes them super easy to store (and since my storage is limited, this is a huge plus).
  2. They offer a blank template to begin with (instead of having to cover a tissue box with white paper, for example).
  3. They hold up really well to marker, crayon, tape, white glue, glue sticks, and hot glue.
  4. These dandy boxes also come in brown, which I’ve used to make this adorable little produce stand, this fantastic boat hat, this splendid garden, this candy factory, this bouncy bed, and this creepy carrot basket.
  5. They’re 100% recycled! And I love me some recycling.

So, how much of a splurge are these boxes? Well, if you want to buy a case of the white 4 ½” X 4 ½” x 9” size (which I use pretty often – see this monster feet project, this dog project, this ice cream truck, this robot marionette, and this dragon), you can buy a case of 100 for $26.50. That’s 27 cents a box. Pretty good!

They come in different sizes of course. I used a white 4″ x 4″ x 4″ box for this dentist project, this hot air balloon project, and this floating island. You can buy a case of 100 for $15.90 or, 16 cents a box.

Shipping can add some cost. The good news, however, is that Nashville Wraps offers flat rate or free shipping (plus a small handling fee) when your order reaches certain levels. I take advantage of this by estimating what I need for a year and placing one BIG order to get a break on shipping. The cases of boxes easily stack in a closet or under a table. Nice!

Bling Bin

the bling binIf you craft with kids, you need a BLING BIN!

My bling bin is a 18″ x 11″ x 7″ plastic tub filled with all sorts of odds and ends. Glittery stickers, sparkle stems, shiny paper, mylar squares, pom-poms, tissue paper, metallic poster board pieces, gold curling ribbon, the works! When I have a project that requires free-form creative decoration, I bring out the bling bin so kids can pick and choose what they would like to use.

In fact, to break out my Educational Psychologist hat for a moment, I always try to build choice into all my projects, so kids will exercise those decisive brain muscles and feel a sense of ownership. This technique can be quite simple. If the project calls for a pipe cleaner, let them pick the color they want from a pile. If you’re making a box dog, give them a few “dog” colors to choose from (and always have pink on hand because someone always asks!).

And before you ask, yes, my Educational Psychologist hat looks exactly like Dumbledore’s hat, complete with gold tassel.

The bling bin is also a nifty recycling bin. If I have something shiny left over from a program, I toss it in the bin for a later date. I love seeing the metallic stars we used for a tooth fairy project show up on a robot marionette a few weeks later.