How To Pack a Christmas Shoe Box

A special Christmas gift - pack a Christmas shoe box

Are you making shoe box gifts for charity this year? Have you made them before?

I’ve been making them for many years, possibly around 15 years or so actually. I got involved with a local charity called Convoy Aid Romania, and I’ve actually been out to Romania with them twice doing some aid distribution, including Christmas shoe boxes. It’s something I’ll never forget. Once you’ve met people living in desperate situations such as these, you just can’t stop helping them in whichever way you can.

It doesn’t take much to fill a shoe box with small gifts in order to make someone smile at Christmas time. Most of the shoe box gifts are for children, but Convoy Aid takes gifts for adults too. Many people are in hospitals, care homes or homes for people with special needs. There are also young people living in shelters or on the streets who are given a Christmas shoe box. I am therefore going to give you a few ideas for them too.

Wrapped Christmas shoe boxes
Wrapped Christmas shoe boxes

My boxes all go to Romania, so I know the winters are cold and therefore warm clothing will be welcomed. If you know your parcel is going somewhere warmer, you can put appropriate items in. For example, substitute woolly hats for a cap or sun hat, and scarves for sunglasses.

Before I give you the lists (or you can watch the video), here are a few more tips. Wrap things in plastic bags which may leak or taint other products, eg toiletries. Also wrap edible items together in plastic bags, to protect them and to prevent sticky sweets from sticking everything else up. There is nothing worse than a box full of gifts completely ruined by a leaking shampoo! Especially when this may be the only gift they get this year. Alternatively, put them in plastic containers which can be re-used. Fill the spaces if possible. This stops other things rattling around and breaking. It is also really sad for a charity to pay to essentially ship fresh air!

A special Christmas gift - pack a Christmas shoe box
A special Christmas gift

For a child:

Toys – traditional toys, nothing with batteries. Doll, teddy, toy cars/lorries, skipping rope, puzzle, yo-yo, ball, dinosaur, toy animals, action figures. Think pocket money/party bag type toys. Perhaps balloons, plasticine, Playdoh, badges, stickers, playing cards.

Stationery – Lots of children can’t go to school unless they provide their own materials. Pens, felt tips, pencils, crayons, colouring pencils, craft scissors, magnifying glass. Pencil sharpener, rubber, ruler, solar calculator, pencil case. Stamps and ink pads, plain paper, notebooks, colouring books, paints and paintbrush, sticker books.

Toiletries- Toothpaste & toothbrushes, soap, shampoo, flannel. Hairbrush or comb, hair accessories for a girl – bows, bobbles, hair slides etc.

Others – Sweets, chocolate, other snacks eg. dried fruits, snack crackers, rice cakes. Socks or tights, underwear, hats, scarves, gloves. Costume jewellery, dressing up crowns/masks etc. A picture for the wall (not in glass). Plastic cup/sports bottle, small drawstring bag (like a shoe bag/swim bag), headband/bandanna.

Sweets and stationery items for the shoe box
Sweets and stationery items for the shoe box

For A Lady:

Toiletries – Toothpaste & toothbrushes, soap, shampoo, shower gel, flannel. Perfume, deodorant, body spray. Make-up items, lip balm, moisturiser. Sanitary items. Hair brush or comb, compact folding mirror (make sure it can’t smash in parcel). Tissues, wipes, handkerchief. Make-up or toiletries bag.

Accessories – hat, scarf, gloves, silk scarves, jewellery. Tights, socks, purse, shopping bag.

Other – food items – sweets, snacks, chocolate, dried fruit, nuts, biscuits. Candles, wind up torch, wind up radio. Ornamental items for the home, pictures & candlesticks (not glass), doilies and tablecloths. Small kitchen items including plastic storage tubs, tin opener, measuring spoons, baking items. Pens, notebooks.

Toiletries for an adult's shoe box gifts
Toiletries for an adult’s shoe box gifts

For A Man:

Toiletries – Toothpaste & toothbrushes, soap, shampoo, shower gel, flannel, deodorant. Razors, shaving gel, aftershave. Tissues, wipes, handkerchief.

Accessories – Hat, scarf, gloves, socks.

Other – food items – sweets, snacks, chocolate, dried fruit, nuts, biscuits. Candles, wind up torch, wind up radio. Pens, notebooks. Small hand tools, garden tools, kitchen tools.

I often start by going through my cupboards for unwanted toiletries from sets, make-up colours I don’t like, scarves or socks I don’t wear. I also use sweets left from Halloween or snacks my kids have turned down. Waste not, want not!

It is also really nice to put in a Christmas card, and perhaps a photo of your family. It really personalises the gift and shows where it has come from.

What do you think of these ideas? Do you have anything to add? Take a look at my video to see how I packed my shoe boxes up if you need more help.

Please pin for later:

Tips on how to pack a charity Christmas shoe box and what to put inside
How to pack a Christmas shoe box – pin for later


20 Replies to “How To Pack a Christmas Shoe Box”

  1. Oh this is such a useful and lovely post. It’s always something I have thought about wanting to do but I have been unsure what to put it in the box. Now I know! I will be pinning this for reference. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Oh thanks Emma, so glad you found it useful. I know lots of people do them these days, but it helps to have a few hints sometimes!

  2. What a great post. This is fab way to create a more personalised gift and a great way to gift boxes to charity too 🙂 x

    1. Thank you Melanie

  3. Such a useful post, I hadn’t even thought about toys that might need batteries. You’ve given me some great ideas to include as we do the boxes through my boys school
    Toni | This Mama recently posted…THE RECIPE ROUND UP LINKY #2My Profile

    1. That’s fab Toni, glad it has been some help.

  4. Great tips! We used to do this at primary school but they don’t tend to do it at my children’s school the same. I do it via the church now.
    five little doves recently posted…Chosen by Kids: Shopkins Skyanna JetMy Profile

    1. That’s great that you can still do them through the church. Shame the school don’t get involved though.

  5. I’ve just saved this post as this is something I really want to do with my daughter this year – such an important thing to do at Christmas 🙂
    Helen recently posted…UNCOMMONGOODS: 15 Gifts for Children under £30My Profile

    1. Oh brilliant, I’m so glad it helped you!

  6. I’m not sure I’ve ever done a shoebox for charity before but it seems like such a lovely idea and you can make it as expensive or inexpensive as you like I guess so anyone could try. Love your tips and ideas. Thanks for making me think of others less fortunate on the run up to the festivities.

    1. Thanks for considering it Rachel!

  7. This a fab post. I always think the shoe boxes are such a lovely idea.

    1. Thank you Emma.

  8. What a lovely idea. I remember donating things at school years go for them to send but never thought of doing one ourselves before. Love this idea 🙂

    1. we’ve only ever been given the option to do them ourselves from school! whichever way it’s done though, as long as the needy get the benefit that’s the main thing x

  9. Oh fantastic post! I’m planning on getting involved in something like this at some point. I send things into the kids’ schools when the memos come out but never actually do it myself.

    1. It’s nice if the school actually make them up with the children though – that makes sure they get involved and understand what it’s all about.

  10. That’s a good idea to put toiletry items or sweets in plastic bags to reduce the risk of them leaking. I hadn’t thought of that when packing shoeboxes before. Lots of good ideas for things to include too.

  11. We use to make and collect these at work. Love your suggestions and its such a great idea, we are so lucky and its nice to share that love through giving to the more needy at Christmas time.
    Mudpie Fridays recently posted…Gift Guide for HimMy Profile

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