One year ago I began following Ann Voskamp’s blog while diving into her book, one thousand gifts. Her post of March 12, 2012 provided me the motivation and inspiration to create unique boxes for a variety of people in my life. Follow the link above to see the beautiful pictures of her Joy-in-a-Box idea. She has a clever free printable with lovely artwork to create your own box. I love the artwork in her post and have used the pieces in a variety of ways. You can use them to create your own box. I used some of them to take a basket of food to a friend just after she came home from surgery.
After a tragic house fire severely burned the daughter of a friend. she days and then weeks in the waiting room of the Burn Unit at the hospital, able to see her daughter only a few minutes each visit. As I thought about those long hours of just waiting, I gathered some items I thought she might find useful. I selected a box from a nearby craft store that resembled a small suitcase with a handle. Her delight in this box motivated me to think about other ways to adapt this idea.
A great-niece’s sixteenth birthday provided the next opportunity. I found a heart-shaped box at a thrift store for a couple of dollars and bought tissue paper in her favorite colors. Then layer by layer I smoothed on different colors with ModPodge.
As I created more boxes I developed a list of items that could be used in almost any situation, but I also modified each box to the needs and circumstances of each person.
My creative juices start jumping when I begin one of these boxes, but you may not feel that you are crafty enough or talented enough to create an elaborate box. The beauty of this idea is that it will be unique because you made it. You will see that I’ve put together notes and cards that just need cutting or a little gluing. Your box does not have to be as elaborate as mine; just stroll the aisles of JoAnns, Michaels, or Hobby Lobby for ideas. I find my inspiration just looking sometimes, but you can find free idea sheets in every store. You can also find projects with directions on the stores’ websites. And don’t forget your coupons when you shop! All of these stores have multiple places for coupons and you can often use more than one or use a competitor’s coupon. Check online for coupons, your local paper, and sign up for the emails or snail mail flyers. My other favorite stores are Dollar Tree, Deals, or any other discount stores.
I have a friend who does not like to craft, but she loves to shop! This is perfect for her because you can purchase nearly all of the items. Taking a basket of goodies or a meal to a friend or neighbor is not a new idea, but connecting all of this to a meaningful spiritual concept or truth enriches the experience.
I’ve made enough boxes that, now when, I shop, I always look for potential JoyBox items. I’ll share my bargains and places to find some of these relatively inexpensive items in the free download. I usually only buy things on sale and in multiples, so I have a drawer where I collect these random items.
The joy I receive in creating the box and then sharing it with someone has blessed my life over and over. One friend who was housebound for several weeks savored her box by opening only one item a day. Joy each day! What a concept!
Ready to create a JoyBox? Before you begin, it helps to have someone specific in mind for the box. That makes your shopping easier. The basic steps are listed below; details, pictures, and shopping tips are found in each step. In all the boxes I include a prayer cross, seen on this post. I hope to sell some of these on Etsy and have not included instructions for making a prayer cross in these downloads.
The Big Picture for the box along with suggestions for the items to place in your JoyBox, can be found here. Shopping list JoyBox Instructions
. Detailed instructions provided here.