12 Days of Christmas Gift Boxes

This post is part of the Random Crafts of Kindness Campaign sponsored by Consumer Crafts

Earlier in the year my grandmother Hattie had a stroke. She already had dementia and Alzheimer’s, but a bad fall worsened the conditions and meant she needed around-the-clock care in a facility. It is as pleasant as one of those places can be under the circumstances, and though the staff do their best to make it fun and keep the residents entertained, you can sense the confusion and sadness of people who can’t remember why they are there and greatly miss their homes and families.

I bring my children in to visit their great grandmother often, and I wish everyone could see how much joy the sight of a child brings to them. The residents immediately perk up and smile. They stop me and tell me about their children and grandchildren (so many of them had children who look exactly like mine – so cute!), and for a moment they are happy and talkative and sharing fond memories. I wish they could feel like that all of the time.

12 Days of Christmas Gift Boxes by Three Little Monkeys Studio

So when ConsumerCrafts.com asked me to be a part of their Random Crafts of Kindness campaign, I knew exactly who I wanted to surprise. I wanted to do something special for them that involved children, and since most of them are wheelchair bound and unable to go outside, I also wanted to bring a bit of Winter Wonderland in. And not just for one day. I wanted several days of giving to help them feel special and remembered through the holidays.

Using some of my favorite craft supplies from ConsumerCrafts.com, I designed these 12 Days of Christmas Giving Gift Boxes for under $20. It makes a beautiful Winter display and can also be used as a countdown or an Advent Calendar. Each day holds handmade ornaments and notes from some special second graders who wanted to show some seniors a little love.

12 Days of Christmas Gift Boxes by Three Little Monkeys Studio

To make this you will need …

  • Paper Mache boxes in various sizes (I chose three different sizes – 3″ round, 3×3″, and 4″ round)
  • Sisal Trees in various sizes
  • Aleene’s Glitter Snow
  • Hot glue or tacky glue
  • Paint brush
  • Scissors
  • xacto knife, skewer or paperclip (to punch small holes in the lids)
  • Printable chalkboard numbers (free downloads below)
  • white card stock or matte photo paper
  • 2” craft punch (optional)
  • Optional decorations: Jingle Bells, baker’s twine or ribbon, berries

INSTRUCTIONS

12 Days of Christmas Gift Boxes by Three Little Monkeys Studio

Download the free printables, print on card stock or matte photo paper (best), and trim. If using the 2” circles, you can use a 2” craft punch to speed things up or cut by hand for a more rustic look. I used a mix of the circles and flags on the boxes.

12 Days of Christmas Gift Boxes by Three Little Monkeys Studio

Stack and arrange your paper mache boxes to determine which ones you would like to add trees, circles, flags, etc. to before you bring out the glue. Stack smaller boxes on larger, place them on their sides … there is no perfect arrangement here, so have fun with it.

12 Days of Christmas Gift Boxes by Three Little Monkeys Studio

Remove the wood or plastic base from each tree by twisting it away from the stem. You may need to trim some of the branches a bit.

Using an xacto knife, poke a small hole in the lids and insert the tree to make sure you like where it is at. They don’t need to be perfectly centered. If you need to move it around, no worries. You will be covering everything up with snow.

12 Days of Christmas Gift Boxes by Three Little Monkeys Studio

Using a paint brush, add Aleene’s Glitter Snow to the lids to form a snow bank until you reach your desired look. It is soft and fluffy and spreads like frosting. Be generous in applying. Repeat with remaining lids. You can also add snow to your trees if they need a bit extra.

12 Days of Christmas Gift Boxes by Three Little Monkeys Studio

Now you are ready to place your tree on the lids. If you have trouble finding the hole for the tree, this is where a paper clip comes in handy. You can poke the paperclip through the hole from the bottom to use as a guide.

Once your tree is placed, use a small dab of hot glue on the inside of the lid to secure the tree. Set aside and let the snow dry overnight.

12 Days of Christmas Gift Boxes by Three Little Monkeys Studio

Add twine, ribbon, jingle bells and other decorations at random to your paper mache boxes.

12 Days of Christmas Gift Boxes by Three Little Monkeys Studio

Add your chalkboard printable numbers. To use the flags, cut the flags in half and attach to the trees with a bit of tacky glue or hot glue. Circles can be tied on with twine or glued or taped to the boxes. I did a mix of both.

Fill with goodies and give to someone deserving!

12 Days of Christmas Gift Boxes by Three Little Monkeys Studio

I enlisted the help of my daughter’s classroom to write the residents letters and make them some ornaments for the nursing home’s tree. We all know how much grandparents love children’s artwork!

The kids created their ornaments from simple card stock circles and twine. The kids wrote sweet words such as “Feel better soon!”, “Get well!” and drew wreaths, Christmas trees and more. And, is it just me or does that Santa ornament above look a bit like a mad Leprechaun? Love kid art!

We’re also giving the residents letters from the kids about their favorite family traditions. The kids wrote about eating fudge, celebrating the birth of Jesus and, of course, opening presents.

Thank you to ConsumerCrafts.com for their help with this Random Craft of Kindness which will bring so much joy to some amazingly sweet seniors.

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FREE PRINTABLES

Download your chalkboard numbers below. Save to your desktop and print on card stock or matte photo paper (my favorite!).

Chalkboard Numbers for Gift Boxes and Advent Calendars by Three Little Monkeys Studio You can use these flags on trees, wrap around boxes, etc. Flags feature numbers 1-12 plus a few blank ones. Download the Flag Chalkboard Numbers.

Chalkboard Numbers for Gift Boxes and Advent Calendars by Three Little Monkeys Studio You can hang these circles on boxes, tape to the lids, etc. Circles feature numbers 1-12. Download the Circle Chalkboard Numbers (1-12) .

Chalkboard Numbers for Gift Boxes and Advent Calendars by Three Little Monkeys Studio Want to make your display larger or make an Advent calendar? These circles feature numbers 13-24. Download the Circle Chalkboard Numbers (13-24).

Other sweet Random Crafts of Kindness projects you may be interested in …

PLEASE NOTE: Three Little Monkeys Studio crafts and DIY tutorials are shared for you to enjoy for your own personal use. You may not use our tutorials or printables to create items which you intend to sell.

Comments

  1. says

    I love, love, love this!! You have such a kind heart, your grandma and her friends are so lucky to have you, and your little ones are learning the value of good relationships and kindness! xoxox

  2. says

    Gretchen,
    This was a beautiful heart moving idea of yours. My grandpa has severe dementia and in a home with other sweet people. It’s still so hard to go and see him there, not because I don’t love him through of his dementia, but because I know how hard he worked, love, and served others in life and he never wanted to go this way. But God is good, and he knows Him so I know he is being taken care of. (oh dear tears.. haha :) So thank you for reminding me to step outside of myself and my emotions to love well on these dear ones.
    I was also wondering if I may have your permission to use your numbers on some pictures for my new blog website. If there is someway to credit you on the site I’m more than happy to do it. Thank you :)

    Karisa

    • Gretchen says

      Thank you for your comment, Karisa! I know exactly how you feel. My grandmother passed away a few weeks ago. She had so much spirit, and it was so hard to see her and so many others robbed of that. Dementia is a terrible thing. Will be thinking of you and your grandfather today! You may absolutely use them. Feel free to share a picture or link. Thanks!

  3. Kate says

    Those are reaaally pretty! I just found them on pinterest and thought “Oh nooo, how am I going to create no. 13-24. But thank good you made those, too. Thanks ;-D

  4. Laury Lunde :) says

    I am so excited to use these in my classroom (the chalkboard numbers), but I have 30 students! Is there any way you could create numbers 25 – 30??!?? 😀

    If not, I completely understand!!!!

    Thank you!!!

  5. Karen Weinberg says

    Hi Gretchen, I just read your story about your story about your grandmother, I am a care worker in a secure Dementia unit in an aged care facility and was so happy to hear that you take your children to visit her. You have no idea what these visits mean to not only your family member but also the other residents. I am sad to say not many of the residents get visits. Anyway, I am having a great time browsing through all your activities, They are going to really help when it comes to doing activities with the ressies, Thank You so much X

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