Creative College Care Package Ideas

by | Feb 12, 2020 | Artsy Craftsy, Parenting/Family

Who doesn’t love receiving a care package?

Creative College Care Package Ideas!

To be honest, all you need to do when sending a care package to your favorite college student (or any young adult who has recently flown the nest) is shove a bunch of candy and snacks in a box and toss it in the mail persons truck.

And guess what! I got to share my ideas for college care packages on New Day Northwest:

But I know that was a quick segment with a lot of detail! But never fear – I got ALL the details (including but not limited to FREE cake-in-a-mug and box flap printables)  all up in the business of this post!

Just a Click Away

Let’s ease into this little creative project and start with something easy. There are ready-made care packages you can order online and just have THEM shipped to your fave college kid, like this one!

Amazon/Click and Send Care PackageInside Amazon/Click and Send Care Package
There are a whole bunch of options. Just search care package on Amazon and WHOOSH!

But what about a little creativity? Since our “babies” live so far away, we can’t make them heart-shaped pancakes for breakfast (or dinner!) nor are we able to stick cute, widdle notes in their lunches anymore. But there are lots of ways to show our love through creativity and pour a little extra love into the effort. 

The options are countless! The degrees of effort are too. You can go all-in all-handmade and fully immerse yourself into paper, tape, glue, twine, ribbon, and even balloons! Case in point:

Happy Birthday!

Get ready for a party in a box!

Birthday Box - Creative College Care Package idea!

To make the banner I chose a selection of colored paper. Each banner square measures 2″ tall by 1.5″ wide. I punched a couple holes (1/8 hole punch) in each corner, trimmed a V at the bottom (see detail below), and strung onto bakers twine to connect them.

Care Package Banner step-by-step

I used my Cricut machine to make the letters, but you can use a Sharpie to save time/energy 😉

I punched holes on opposite box flaps and made sure the knots on the outer sides were bigger than the hole…

knot to keep twine in place
…so when the flaps are opened the twine will catch and hold and reveal the very festive, “HAPPY BIRTHDAY”.

Birthday Box - College Care Package with Balloons

The box flaps are decorated with the same colored paper I used for the banner. I punched out circles and cut strips and used glue stick. VERY FANCY STUFF PEOPLE.

Inside the box are some party horns, a mug with the fixings for a mug cake (for mix… combine one box angel food cake and one box any other… I chose confetti cake, but spoiler alert…  all the confetti sinks to the bottom of the mug!) (Cake In a Mug Printable Recipe), microwave popcorn, sharable M&Ms package, ribbon curls and some leftover paper shapes to serve as confetti, and balloons filled with money and confetti… you could add notes too!

This is a party in a box, indeed! How’s THAT for a college care package idea?!

Finals Survival Kit

This care package is super easy, but does require a touch of thinking ahead. I bought a sticker kit to decorate the box flaps from Paper Paisely (here)! That’s the thinking ahead part, but it’s also the “make things easy” part too. These flap stickers are full-page sticker sheets that fit large flat rate USPS boxes perfectly, or can be trimmed to fit the medium flat rate USPS boxes too. 

Finals Week Survival Kit - College Care Pakcage

Fill box with all the things you think your own finals take will appreciate/feel encourage by the most. I went with forms of caffeine (Via packets, coffee cup, and coffee card), Air Heads candy (for the LOL), pencils, Post-its, highlighters, white-out (do they even use that anymore?), stress ball, Play Doh, beef stick, gum, mints, crackers, fuzzy socks, flavored milk straws, peanut butter cups, Tums, and a big bag of M&Ms that says, “It’s gonna be a looooonggg week.” I thought that was a PERFECT sentiment for the week ahead.

First Aid/Cold & Flu

This is another one of those packages full of practical things, but sure to thrill your college student.

First Aid Cold & Flu Box College Care Package

Cold and flu remedies can get expensive, so they’ll be grateful to reserve their budget for overpriced coffees and textbooks 😉

The box above is a box I reused! But… I made printables for basic 4 flap boxes. They are made with room to cut down, but also designed with size in mind. See the links at the bottom of this post the image for the options you’ll need when working with a USPS large or medium flat rate 4 flap boxes.

Items I included in my box first aid/cold & flu box: Ibuprofen, daytime & nighttime clod meds, Mucinex, allergy meds, , Benadryl stick, bandages, gauze, medical tape, antibiotic ointment, sunscreen, ice pack, tissue, and… chocolate.

Enough with the practical! Let’s have some just-for-fun FUN!

Have you seen enough creative college care package ideas yet? 

I’m not done!

Just Add Ice Cream

Oh this is definitely a care package to get excited about! Literally, just add ice cream!

Just Add Ice Cream Box College Care Package Closeup

Waffle bowls, Ice cream scoop, gift card to a local grocery store to buy ICE CREAM, wooden spoons (and you can write fun notes on them!), and an assortment of toppings (I used Magic Shell, chopped nuts, mini M & M candies, and mini rainbow marshmallows

I made box flap printables for this box as well!

Just Add Ice Cream Care Package Printables

College care package idea, FTW! Ice cream, you scream, we ALL scream for ice cream!!!

Just Add Water

Don’t add water to THIS package, to be clear.

Rather, all the things included in this package require… WATER!

I went SUPER simple with the creative effort. I just added blue paper to the flaps for a little something, but the fun is all IN the box with this one:

Just Add Water Box College Care Package

My FAVORITE item in this box is the floating ceramic goldfish (similar here) – JUST ADD WATER! I included a short, chubby mason jar in which to keep this pet – perfect for every college student. NO MAINTENANCE!

Other water-only items include: individual rice cups, drink packets, oatmeal packets, mac-n-cheese cup, pho cup, mashed potato cup, individual cake cup, chipotle bowl, hot cocoa, tea, individual serving brownie packet, Via packets…

So Practical

Let’s dial it down and just go the practical route. No one wants to spend their money on razors, dryer sheets, lint rollers, and toothpaste… especially not a college kid. When they were 4, 8 or 15 they never would have been excited to get a box full of  stain pens and batteries, but everything is different now. 

I took an extra minute to jazz up the practical-ness by taping cardstock starbursts and fun duck tape on the flaps (and a little note at the bottom of the box). I stumbled on the neon starbursts in the “school” section at my local dollar store, but Amazon is always a great spot to look too.

Other items I added: air freshener for small spaces, Laffy Taffy (to add a liiiitle fun), Command Strip clips, window cleaner wipes, Clorox wipes, toothbrush, hair ties, sewing kit, and tampons (for the female college student in your life).

What About Holidays?

I doubt you need inspiration to send your kid packages on holidays. Plus, after all of this, I think you have all you need to come up with fun holiday care package ideas for your favorite college student/just-launched young adult! Of course, the internet is bursting with inspiration and I’ve done a bit of Googling/Pinteresting on the matter so here are some of my favorite holiday ideas here: Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, 4th of July, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Eve…

What are other occasions you can build college care package themes around? Here’s just a few more: First Day of Spring, Snow Days… Homemade Heaven, College Colors, Break-up Box… and for a unique, curated, feminine product focused box, check out Lady Box, a period care and comfort box subscription that uses organic products!

Speaking of college, did you see this post featuring 13 College Student Must haves – The Dorm Edition… ?

Whew! That was a doozy! You should have plenty to keep you busy for awhile now! Here are those free printables!

Creative College Care Package Ideas - Pin This!
First Aid Care Package Pin

Peace and Sparkles,


*This post may contain affiliate links, which means I get a small % back if you purchase after clicking, at no cost to you- refer to ‘disclosure policy’ in the ‘about” menu for more info.
Creative Care Package Ideas

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