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Creative Care Packages for College Students

How to Make a DIY Nut Themed Care Packages for College Students with Free Printable Tags

Nut Themed College care package

Our first-born daughter who was home for a month from her first semester of college for the Holidays has just returned to campus, and although we miss her immensely, I am doing my best to channel all that “absence makes the heart grow fonder” energy into making a new care package for her.

Since there aren’t any overly commercialized Hallmark holidays in January, I thought I would let my creative juices flow to come up with a new, outside-of-the-box theme for this care package.

For inspiration to choose the new theme, I spent some time on my College Care Package Pinterest Board to zero in on the perfect idea, and I think I found it!

But before I reveal this month’s college care package theme, I want to share with you essentially how my brainstorming process works in case you are needing some helpful hints in creating cool care package ideas too.

How to Choose a Theme for Care Packages for College Students

Caution: Before we being, you are getting a behind-the-scenes look at the wacky line of thinking that overtakes my mind sometimes…you’ve been warned…it’s definitely a little loosey-goosey, but it seems to work!

I first started thinking about it being January…

which means it’s winter…

and that means it’s freezing in Michigan where my daughter is a college student…

and because it’s so cold, there are squirrels that needed to hide their food before winter started…

and squirrels love and hide NUTS…

and that’s how I decided on a NUT THEMED care package.

I also know it’s easy to find a boatload of nutty treats and healthy snacks that I can send her.

Bonus: I can add the super cheezy lines of “We are NUTS about you” and “Nutty without you” to my printable box tags.

Now, you can see what an amazing theme N-U-T-S is! I know it did take a small detour through crazy town in my head but so well worth it, right?

*Mom Tip #1* – If your college student or his/her roommate or dorm friends have a nut allergy, then this is NOT the theme to use. Take a look at other ideas for college care packages I have below at the end of this post…please be aware of possible food allergies before you select your theme!

Ultimately whatever theme you choose, I have no doubt it will make your college student happy!

When you send care packages, especially to first-year students who are away from home for possibly their first time, it truly is a welcome surprise!

Up next, let’s start actually putting this college care package together…and don’t you worry, cause if you are short on time or creative ideas, I have plenty to share…along with printable tags for you too, so all the hard work has already been done!


After you’ve selected your theme, it’s time to gather the contents for the package.

This nut-themed care package was so easy and fun to put together because I just looked for “nutty” items when I ran my errands…in particular, I shopped at the Dollar Store, Target, and good ole’ Wal-Mart.

*Mom Tip #2* – I do not send any liquids because spills happen and that can cause a mess in your package – that is NOT the surprise gift that your favorite student wants to open!

Nut themed college care package contents

Here’s a list of THE NUTTY GOODIES I found for this particular care package:

  • Reese’s Puffs Cereal

  • Peanut Butter Wafer Snacks

  • Honey Nut Cheerios Cereal

  • Cashews

  • Planters Peanuts

  • Trail Mix

  • Corn Nuts

  • Seasoned Almonds

  • Snickers Minis

  • Chocolate & PB Clif Granola Bar

  • Nutella & Pretzels

  • Reese’s Pieces

  • Special K Nutty Bar

For this package, I spent under $15, so I didn’t have to break the bank to make it look full.

If you are having trouble finding enough things, here are some other items you could add:

  • Sunflower Seeds

  • A Box of Cracker Jacks

  • Nutty Frosted Cakes

  • Hazelnut Flavored Hot Cocoa

  • Homemade Banana Bread, Carrot Cake (or other baked goods with nuts)

  • Muddy Buddy Chex Mix

  • Anything else with nuts in it!

Yes, I know that’s A LOT of packaged food in this care package…and my daughter is not much of a junk food eater, but I know she has lots of new friends in her dorm that will help her eat all the snacks.

I’m not worried about any food going to waste with college kids…I mean have you seen the food they serve in the student life center…definitely not always the most appetizing!

I know many college students would be thrilled to eat the snacks in this box instead of the dining hall offerings!

*Mom Tip #3* – Don’t forget to add a handwritten letter or a message on sticky notes to bring a smile to the recipient’s face! Nothing shows love and support like a personalized message from YOU!


Please, please take my advice on this one thing…before you fill your box with snacks/gifts and mail your care package, decorate the inside of the box!!

I guarantee the recipient will be doubly excited to receive it with a little extra love used to decorate it! It just looks so much more fun and amazing when it is JAZZED up!

Don’t want to take the time and energy to do that?

Well, you are in luck, friends, cause I have a free printable for you!!

Nuts Themed Care Package Printable Tags

You simply need to download it, print it (I use tagboard/white cardstock to make it sturdier), and glue the tags to the inside of the flaps of the box using a glue stick.

From start to finish it will probably take you an extra 10 minutes…great opportunities to go the extra mile don’t come along every day, so get at it!

Printable Nut Themed Care Package Tags

If you want the printable box tags for the inside click link below!

*Special note there are tags from “We” or “I” depending on if the sender is plural from a family or from an individual…either way, I’ve got you covered!



Since I know there are three more months of my daughter’s college freshmen year (which means a few more care packages to send), I continually save any empty boxes and other packing materials I receive to reuse and ship future packages.

To pack this particular care package, I placed a few sheets of white tissue paper inside the bottom of the box, loaded it up with THE GOODIES, and then placed a few sheets of tissue paper on top to finish off the look.

Care packages for college students packing materials


Once you’ve jazzed the box up with printed themed tags, loaded it up with all the goodies, it’s time to tape it up, slap on the mailing address, and send it to your loved one from your family!

Boxed up college care package

*Mom Tip #4* – If you are planning to consistently send care packages to the same person, make a word document of their address and your address. It’s so much easier to print it out on the computer and tape it on rather than take the time to handwrite it every time!

And that’s how it’s done, ladies and gentlemen…4 easy steps to send your loved one far from home a little nut-themed love in the mail!

Nuts Themed Care Package


Here’s a round-up of my blog posts featuring the college student care packages I’ve sent so far in case you need some added inspiration!


For September I sent a “Get Well” Package filled with all sorts of cold/flu remedies in case she or any of her dorm mates get any of those nasty seasonal “bugs” that seem to run rampant around college towns and most dorm rooms.



In October, I sent a Halloween-themed care package that definitely brought her an extra dose of joy and happiness! She thought it was simply spook-tacular!

How to make a halloween care package


For the month of November, since it was starting to get a bit chilly in Ann Arbor, Michigan where my daughter is attending school, I thought a blue-themed winter college care package would be super fun to put together!

Plus it is one of her school colors so it also played upon the school spirit vibe there too! #GOBLUE

Blue Care Package Contents


When December rolled around it was time to really focus on the cold snowy theme…there are lots of “snow” puns with this Christmas care package for December.

Christmas Care Package

*Insider Tip #4* – All of these ideas for college care packages would work great for birthday care packages, exam care packages, or any time your college student needs a little extra surprise gift or reminder of love and support from home.

What do you think?

Got a super creative idea I should use for my next care package?

Let me know in the comments!

Until next time, cheers to going nuts with college care packages, and cheers to you!



Magan Weber

Your Go-To Mama For 

Organizing Your Health

Home, & Happiness

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