How to Make a DIY Valentine’s Day Care Package for College Students (and other loved ones far from home) with Free Printable Tags
February is right around the corner, so it’s time for me to get busy making my monthly college care package!
In case you are new to my blog (Hey! I’m Magan, so glad you are here!!)… our oldest daughter is off to the University of Michigan for her first year of college.
I decided when she left home that every month I would send her a little something in the mail…namely some sort of care package!
I’ve now made 5 different care packages, and I will link to all those ideas at the end of the post if you want to read more about other fun box ideas!
1. Get Well
3. Blue Themed
4. Winter Holidays
5. Nut Themed
Some months it’s pretty easy to choose the theme, especially if there is a holiday-specific occasion that month, and other times, I need a little more inspiration so I search my favorite problem-solving website…Pinterest!!
Here is my College Care Package Pinterest Board if you want to see the collection of ideas I’ve found!
For February…the month of love, it was SO easy to pull together a super cute gift box to send to our daughter to celebrate Valentine’s Day!
If you too are hoping to send a care package to a loved one who is far from home, I have the whole process broken down into 4 simple steps with free printables and lots of tips, tricks, and suggestions to make it as easy as pie!
Bring on the candy and love treats! It’s the perfect time to show your favorite college co-ed how much you love them!
Now that we have the theme: Valentines Day Care Package…let’s start actually putting this Valentine college care package together.
STEP #1 – GET THE GOODIES FOR YOUR VALENTINE’S DAY CARE PACKAGE
First up…it’s time to go shopping and purchase the contents!
This Valentine-themed care package was so easy and fun to put together because I just looked for festive holiday items when I was out running my errands…in particular, I shopped mostly at the Dollar Tree
(although their regular price is now $1.25…so, I’m thinking they may need to change the name and sign)!
When I am on the search for gift items and treats to purchase, I’m always looking to keep my cost down by finding the lowest price for the items I’ll be shipping in the gift box.
* Mom Tip #1 * – I do not send any liquids because spills happen and that can cause a mess in your package…not the surprise gift that your college kid is hoping for, I am sure!!
Here’s a list of the Valentine items found for this particular care package:
- Valentine Door Knob Hanger
- A “Love” Sign
- Heart-Shaped Necklaces
- Pink Hershey Kiss Candy
- Knee-High Love Gnome Socks
- Heart Headband
- Heart Box of Chocolate
- A “Happy Gal-entines Day” Plastic Cup
- Heart-shaped Eye Cold Packs
- Sour Patch Candy Hearts
- Chocolate Drizzled Popcorn
- Mike & Ike Candy in a Heart Container
- Junior Mints Chocolate
- Valentine Tinsel Garland
- Valentine Mini-Mailbox
* SIDE NOTE * – The mini-mailbox is particularly a sentimental item for our family because when the kids were little we would leave little love notes and surprises for them inside similar little mailboxes…so we each wrote our daughter a little note and put it inside this little mailbox…just like “old times”.
* Mom Tip #2 * – Don’t forget to add a handwritten letter or note to brighter the recipient’s day and bring some extra love into their life!
Since the price of all these items individually is pretty low, I spent less than $20 altogether…no need to break the bank buying gifts & treats to send!
Yes, I know there are A LOT of sweets 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.
If you are having trouble finding enough things, here are some other items you could throw in for fun:
- Stuffed Animals
- Your College Kid’s Favorite Snacks
- Valentine’s Day Dorm Room Decor
- Festive Window Cling Stickers
- Valentine Themed Sweets
- Homemade Food or Treats
- Nutrition Bars
- Valentine Accessories
- Anything else with hearts on it!
* Mom Tip #3 * – It is not a good idea to send anything fragile or flammable…broken glass or a fire in a care package is NO BUENO!!
Also, take into account any housing rules! Most college dorms do not allow candles, incense, etc…so I’d be sure to omit those too!
STEP #2 – GUSSY UP YOUR VALENTINE’S DAY CARE PACKAGE
I know you may not want to hear this advice…BUT…
To truly make your Valentine’s Day care package the perfect gift, you must decorate the INSIDE of the box!!
I know, I know…it takes a bit more energy and time…but I promise you, your kid will love it DOUBLY MORE!! Opening a cute box is so much more fun than a boring ole’ box!
Don’t have the time, energy, or the creative spirit to do that?
Well, today is your lucky day, friends, cause I have a free printable for you!!
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.
In this file download, the first two pages are the box tags, and the third page has the letters H-U-G to make your box look like a giant hug when it is opened.
I also added some heart templates to the fourth downloadable page for you to write your own love notes if you so choose.
As you can see, I printed mine on pink cardstock to make it coordinate with the “PINKing of you” theme.
From start to finish it will probably take you an extra 10-15 minutes to jazz up this box…well worth the time!
If you want the printable box tags for the inside click link below!
STEP #3 – PACK YOUR VALENTINE’S DAY CARE PACKAGE
To pack this particular care package, I first placed a few sheets of heart tissue paper inside the bottom of the box.
Next, I loaded it up with THE GOODIES, glued on the tags, and placed a few sheets of pink tissue paper on top.
Lastly, I added a piece of heart tinsel garland (you could use a ribbon instead if you don’t have garland) and added the H-U-G letters to finish off the look so that the package says “Pinking” of you & sending a H-U-G from home! Happy Valentine’s Day!!
STEP #4 – SEND YOUR VALENTINE’S DAY CARE PACKAGE
Once you’ve jazzed the box up with printed themed tags and 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!
*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 return 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 in 4 easy steps to send your loved one far from home a little love in the mail!
MORE COLLEGE CARE PACKAGES IDEAS
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!
1. GET WELL CARE PACKAGE
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.
2. HALLOWEEN HOLIDAY
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!
3. BLUE THEMED 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
4. SNOW THEMED CARE PACKAGE
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.
5. NUT THEMED CARE PACKAGE
The January care package was filled with all sorts of nut-themed treats and snacks!
* Mom Tip #5 * – 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.
Got any super creative ideas I should use for my next care packages for the upcoming spring months?
Let me know in the comments!
Until next time, cheers to sending a little love in the mail, and cheers to you!