Lunch Box Ideas

Lunch Box Ideas

I know….it’s summer! So why not get a jump on collecting ideas now when you have the time? You know in a few weeks children will be bugging you to get their school supplies, including lunch boxes. Hopefully after reading this post you will have some great lunch box ideas so it isn’t the boring lunch boxes from the store. You are only limited by your creativity.

Let’s start with a basic lunch box. I remember what I used when I was in school. My earliest memory of lunch boxes was the metal boxes with the latch to keep it closed. They sell them now as vintage collectibles! Of course they weren’t as plain as the photo below, they had pictures of my favorite TV shows, or super heroes. I remember Gilligan’s Island, H. R. Puff ‘n Stuff!  Go Figure!!!!!!!

Lunch Box Ideas #1

metal lunch boxes lunch box ideasIf I had this one now, Oh the things I would do. Consider your metal lunch box as a canvas. Painting is a great way to personalize them. To begin, use primer on the parts you are going to personalize. You may just want to do the big parts, or all of it. The primer is used to make adhering the acrylic paints easier. You may also want to use Paint Markers. This may be easier for smaller children. With this lunch box ideas post, I hope you are beginning to see the possibilities.

lunch box ideas

Lunch Box Ideas #2

Scrapbooking on a lunch box could also be a great way to decorate. You will need Mod Podge, from any arts and crafts store, sponge brush, decorative scrapbook papers, stickers, etc. Mod Podge on the surface you want to decorate. Premeasure the paper and then place on the Mod Podge. Place all your decorations, including letter stickers for the name, and them put several coats of Mod Podge over all. Let each coat dry before starting another coat.

download (17) images (21) images (22)This one is decoupaged. Looks great!

Lunch Box Ideas #3

If you don’t want to use the metal boxes, the cloth, insulated ones are great. Using a permanent marker, you can personalize them with their names. Duct Tape has come out with some colorful and printed tape you could apply to the cloth. How fun!

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Decorating lunch boxes could be a great summer activity. Let the creative juices flow. Here are a few others- beaded, shirt, map! Wow!

Decorating Insulated Lunch Bags

bag_beads2 bag_flag2 bag_glam2 bag_map2 bag_shirt2Directions at the link above.

Lunch Box Ideas #4

Recycled Milk Jug Lunch Box

I just found a great idea for children who are recycling conscious. You will need two plastic gallon milk jugs. Cut them both in half, and use the bottoms. They will be the top and bottom. Punch holes so string can be laced to hold the top and bottom together. For the front, you will also need a piece of string with a bead on both ends so you can lace it to be able to open the top when you need to take food out. This link will give you more directions. Great throw away lunch box for field trips.


Decoration Trend

Lunch Box Ideas #5

1. Of course you always have the old standby- the Paper Bag! However, it doesn’t have to be plain! Your children can decorated them before they leave the house. Markers, crayons, pens, colored pencils, stickers, rubber stamps, anything you would use on regular paper. Although, chalk may not be such a good idea.images (25)images (28) images (30)

2. Write a riddle on the outside and put a note with the answer inside. Mom It Forwarddownload (19)

3. Add a marker along with their lunch so they can decorate at the lunch table when they are done eating.

4. Of course adding love you note adds a whole lot of interest in the plain bag. Here is a link for some free  printable lunch notes. The Peaceful Mom

5. Make a puppet out of the bag after lunch. 86 Lemons

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6. Make a turkey- Martha Stewart

images (32)Can you imagine the stir your child would create in the lunch room eating their lunch out of a paper bag turkey?

7. Turn the bag into something else- pumpkin, apple, shirt, etc.

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8. Use different kinds or ways to close the bag-

decorate-brown-paper-lunch-bags images (29) paper-bag-bowls_thumb

9. Take a hole punch to the paper bag:

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There are a plethora of other ideas that I am hoping you can share!


Scratch Off Drawings

Scratch Off Drawings

In college, I had to take an art class in which I was given a list of art activities that could be made by children in my class. I had to make them in my dorm room, so I can testify that they are easy enough. One of my favorites is the scratch off drawing. Since I made the one in my dorm room, the World Wide Web has allowed me to find different versions. I will try to post as many versions as I can.

Version 1- Scratch Off Drawings- Etchings

The most simple version is just using crayons. On either white or manila construction paper, have the children color the whole paper. I make smaller squares because the children don’t usually have that much stamina to do a whole sheet. They need to color dark.

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After they complete that stage, they need to color over the whole sheet with black crayon. It needs to be even darker than the colors underneath.

Once the sheet has been colored over with black crayon, the children can begin scratching off the black crayon in any design they want. I suggest they use the tip of their scissors opened. It should be a sharp tool. Have them experiment with different tools- nails, finger nail files, popsicle sticks, pencils, pens, etc.

scratch off drawing- crayon

Scratch Off Drawing Using Crayons


Version 2- Crayons and Paint

This version only changes after the colored crayons have been completed.

Instead of using black crayons black tempera paint is used as the over coat. This is a little messier than the crayons. Make sure the children cover their clothes because I am not sure if the paint will come out in the wash.

Just paint over the crayons and allow to dry before scratching off.

DSC_0186-300x224 scratch off drawings paint

Scratch Off Paint using Tempera Paint

Version 3- Crayons and Paint Mixture

Instead of using tempera paint, acrylic paint is used along with dish detergent.

Equal amounts of acrylic paint and dish detergent mixed in shallow bowls is painted over the colored crayon drawings. This mixture is similar to the scratch off lottery tickets. You can use any color, even silver or gold.

7199439_f520 scratch off drawings acrylic

Scratch Off Drawings Using Acrylic Paint

Version 4- Pre-Made Scratch Off Paper

You can also purchase sheets of scratch off paper. All of the mess is done for you. Just scratch off and it’s ready to go.

The colors underneath are usually brighter. These papers can be found in arts and crafts stores.

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Have fun!


Lanyard Bookmarks

Lanyard Bookmarks

There are several times in a school year that allows children to create something for ones they love. The winter season holidays, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and others. I know there just isn’t much time to spend on non-curricular activities. So, it is imperative that the time we spend on crafts in the classroom is minimal, the crafts are easy enough to complete quickly, or can possibly be taken home to finish. Also, the cost is not prohibitive. I know I still need to pay my mortgage each month.

These bookmarks are very easy, and have used them while I was teaching first, second, and third grades. It doesn’t matter how careful the children are making sure the lanyard lays flat. Parents usually are not bothered by the details. They love the projects because they are made by their child, and it is a useful gift.

Materials Needed for Lanyard Bookmarks

  • Plastic Canvas (This is the plastic canvas many crafters use for needle point boxes, projects, ornaments, etc.) 3-Colors-1-Lot-3Pcs-7CT-7-Count-Plastic-Canvas-Grid-90-70 for lanyard bookmarksThe canvas comes in many different colors, but I have found that clear works the best. You can see the colors of the lanyard. It comes in many sizes, so pick the size that will work for you. I usually use the largest, because it is cheaper. I will then cut it to the size I want.
  • Plastic lanyard, also called gimp (comes in many colors)

images (15)lanyard bookmarksScreen-shot-2011-01-14-at-1.25.04-PMimages (16)


The plastic canvas and plastic lanyard can both be found in any arts and crafts stores.

How to Make the Lanyard Bookmarks

  1. Cut the plastic canvas to the size you want. I make them, please excuse my non-exactness, but, 12 squares across. 12 is easily divided by however many colors the children choose. Yes, I allow the children to choose their colors! The length is whatever you want. Make sure when you cut the canvas you cut closely to the edges so there are not any jaggedy edges.
  2. Cut the lanyard longer than the canvas. I like to have fringes on both sides of the lanyard bookmarks. The children may want to make a pattern with the colors. I usually allow them to have up to 4 colors.
  3. To begin the weave, string one lanyard strip down the first hole on the edge of the canvas. I hold this with my thumb to make sure it is not pulled through. You could possibly tie the end, but it is difficult for it to stay tied. Trying to keep the lanyard flat, bring the end up through the next hole of the canvas.
  4. Continue going up and down all the way to the end.
  5. The next lanyard string, go up from the back of the first hole of the canvas. Alternating the beginning allows for a different pattern. It does not have to be alternated. The pattern can also be made by alternating the colors of the lanyard strings.
  6. One thing you want to make sure is to try to keep the lanyard flat. It tends to twist as it is pulled through the holes. If you get a twist, the only way to flatten it is to take it back out of the hole, and gently pull the lanyard, guiding it through slowly, making sure it stays flat. Some may want to make a pattern with twists.
  7. Once all of the lanyards are woven in the canvas, there are fringes at both ends. You could put beads on the ends, but I usually don’t. It is a bookmark that needs to be flat. I usually just cut off the excess at however long I want it. The children can do the (9)

These lanyard bookmarks make great gifts. I love that the children are developing small motor skills as they craft. I am not sure how many parents receive these as gifts. I assume the kids keep them! They love doing them.

Some tips

  • I give the children plastic sandwich bags to keep the lanyards contained. It is so easy to loose them.
  • Tell the children to only use one lanyard at a time and keep the rest in the bag.
  • Allow the children to take home whatever they don’t finish in class.
  • You may want to have the children wrap the lanyard bookmarks. They could use construction paper in which they decorate. Tissue paper is good, too.
  • Use straightened out paper clips to help them unweave the lanyard if there are twists.

Good luck and have fun!

Share any successes or other easy craft projects.

jbfsaleblog Although I have been making the lanyard bookmarks for about 20 years, this link is to another blog that I used the picture above.