What feels like a life-time ago now, the girls and I decided to send my dad in Australia a gift parcel with presents. Aside from the fact that shipping to Australia is really expensive, we didn’t actually have anything to send, per se, so had to come up with ideas. When you have family far away, they often miss out on little things – crafts on the fridge, little home made trinkets and treasures. We wanted to give my dad some of that.
We had a rainy spell for a few days, so we used that time to do paper crafts, all of which went off to Australia.
1) Paper Lollipop Flowers
Paper Lollipop Flowers are pretty much what they say on the tin. Cut out flowers, decorated and punch a hole through the middle. Pop a lollipop through it as the Stamen and Stem, and give your recipient a tasty bunch of flowers.
2) Paper Lollipop Butterflies
The same goes for the Lollipop butterflies. Fold a piece of card in half, and cut one half of a butterfly. Open it up so that your butterfly has perfectly symmetrical wings. Punch a hole in the centre towards the top and again towards the bottom. Decorate the wings, and thread a lollipop through. You can glue or draw eyes on the lollipop for the head of the butterfly too.
3) Sweet-filled Octopuses
Did you know that the super-correct plural of octopus is actually octopodes? But the accepted plural is Octopuses. I know this, cause I had to look it up to get it right when telling the girls we were going to make an octopus each. Fun times.
To make the octopuses, paint a toilet roll in whichever colour you feel best represents your sea creature. Decorate it, and then cut half way up the toilet roll seven times to make 8 legs. You can curl them up a little by pressing down on the roll.
Use a little organza bag or plastic bag, and fill it with jelly babies or other sweets. Use a glue gun or other sticky dot to attach the sweets to the octopus firmly, but temporarily.
4) Hug in an envelope
A hug in an envelope is an old favourite around here. Lay your child down on a strip of paper, like wrapping paper. Trace their outline and get them to decorate or fill in clothes and so on. I think the age of the child will determine much of the activity. When you’re done, fold up the outline of the child, and pop in an envelope, with the words ‘open for a hug from *child’s name* written on the outside.
5) Puzzle Pieces & Balloons
I had a fabulous photograph of the girls that I superimposed the word Oupa onto – that’s grandad in Afrikaans, and emailed off to Photobox* to have printed as a puzzle (I tried a DIY puzzle first, but it was impossible to cut the puzzle pieces in the right size, so I had it done properly and I was amazed at the quality of it! I also loved that the individual puzzle pieces were quite small, making them perfectly fit for purpose.)
Since I was shipping this parcel off to Australia I had to rope in some local assistance to pull this one off.
I broke up the puzzle, and put a piece of puzzle in each balloon. This was then sent off in the parcel, with instructions for my brother and his fiance to open the parcel, blow up the balloons, and give my dad a box of balloons, with all the other gifts above too.
Here’s a tip for you: if you want to make a 20-odd piece puzzle last longer, don’t include a picture of the completed puzzle! That was accidental, but it worked out well for us.
So there you have it – 5 crafty ideas to send to faraway loved ones.
Shipping with Parcel2Go.
Parcel2Go gave us £40 to spend on shipping anywhere in the world, so we used the money to ship this parcel to Australia – it cost £32 to ship our box, and a further £7-something to ship two boxes of reusable nappies in the UK. I was surprised by the cost of international shipping, but found it to be on par, if not cheaper, than going through Royal Mail (certainly was for the local shipping.)
What was brilliant though was that I could print off the delivery details at home and stick them on my box. On the agreed upon date, the very friendly delivery man we’ve got to know quite well came and collected the parcel from home – no getting kids in the car, out the car, herding them into the post office having fished out change for the meter, then waiting in line trying to convince them not to pull out all the pretty greeting cards while I try to hold a cumbersome box and stand in a queue before having to move around to the parcel side having balanced my parcel on a too small scale, all the while trying to explain that no, that low lying row of sweets and chocolates aren’t in fact free and no, we’re not buying any before finally dragging kids out the post office and back into the car. Nope. Just open the door, hand over the box, get your receipt and get on with your day.
For the UK based ones it was marginally cheaper to drop the parcels at a drop location just down the road.
The parcel was received in Australia in a timely fashion, and the whole thing was simple, easy and pleasurable. My dad’s reaction? Well, that was priceless.