a favor to ask. . .

Ideas don't always pop into my head fully formed. It seems they sometimes take the scenic route instead. This particular "idea" is a perfect example. As I've mentioned, I live in Alabama. While my immediate area was not hit by any tornadoes, areas throughout the state were damaged beyond what you might be able to imagine. It wasn't until I had to drive past such an area on my way to an appointment, that it really hit me. What I saw was just a tiny fraction of the destruction but seeing it in person made me realize that I wanted to do more than donate a few items here and there. I thought of this blog and and how maybe I could use it to do a little more. I remembered just how helpful all of you were in getting dresses sent to the Dress A Girl Around the World organization a few months ago. I also know how amazingly generous the handmade community is {yes, this is me buttering you up!}

So, here's what I'm thinking. . . there are a lot of kids that have been affected by the tornadoes on April 27th. Many of them have probably lost everything they own. Let's see if we can bring a little happiness to those kids. I made some simple drawstring bags and plan to fill them up with stuff like crayons, coloring books, mini puzzles, stickers, etc. I plan to make more than the two I pictured but I need help! I'd love to be able to take lots and lots of these arts and crafts bags to a contact I have at my daughter's school who can get these delivered to kids throughout the state. Want to join me? If you'd like to whip up a few bags, fill them up with stuff like I mentioned above, and send them to me, shoot me an email {just click on 'contact' at the top of the this page}. I'll reply with my mailing address since I'd prefer not to post it publicly! The sooner you can get these to me, the better!

I used Dana's Hobo Sack tutorial to make my drawstring bags. I simplified the process a bit by serging all four sides of each fabric square before getting started and leaving the bottom of the bag flat instead of sewing darts. You could also sew up mini tote bags like these or zipper pouches, if you prefer those.

I was able to get lots of stuff to fill my bags at places like Walgreens, Hobby Lobby, and Target's Dollar Spot. I  did not have to spend a lot of money either! I found the activity books at Walgreen's for 2/$1. The board books, packs of pencils, packs of stickers, and puzzles were all $1each at Target. I found the paint by numbers kits for $1.27 each at Hobby Lobby. I also picked up a pack of mini sealable plastic bags near the registers at Hobby Lobby-I have a big box of crayons I plan to divide in the plastic bags.

I'll need items for both boys and girls, so please keep that in mind! Here's a list of stuff to look for:

Color Pencils
Mini Coloring Books/Activity Books
Mini Puzzles
Party Size containers of Play Doh
Mini Flash Lights
Coloring Pages {you can print your own here}
Handmade Softies/Dolls {these would awesome for babies/toddlers}

I also saw stuff like mini Slinkies and Rubik's cubes at Target for a $1 each. Those might be fun for the older kids :)

A few more tutorials for things you can make to include in the bags:

Molded Crayons - great if you have a ton of old crayons laying around
Fabric Gift Pouches - make these to hold crayons, etc

Feel free to copy/paste any of the photos in this post if you'd like to help spread the word via your own blog or FB, etc. Just link back to this post. If you have any questions or suggestions, comment below! 

Thanks in advance!!


  1. I am in too! I want to do something to help, and this is a doable task for me in the next couple of weeks. I will be linking to you in the next couple of days to spread the word!

  2. i can do this! Email me your address and I'll have it done ASAP. So nice of you to put this together. A couple of my college friends in TN were affected and this will be a great way to help.

  3. Wow! What a great thing you are doing. I am from north Alabama, thankfully my family and home are safe...all we lost was electricity for about 4 or 5 days. There are so many of our neighboring towns that have major damage or are completely destroyed. If you don't mind a suggestion, here are some other small items that could be included with your list: small kid tooth paste, kid tooth brushes, a comb, fun band aids, indiviually wrapped hand wipes or small hand sanitizer. All of these can be found in fun kid colors too.

  4. This is such a great idea. I can help out starting next week.

  5. You are amazing!! I'm so there, will email you in a sec.

  6. I want to help-let me see what I can come up with ASAP, then I will get your address from you!

  7. I would love to help! I'll send an email now!

  8. Is there still time to donate? I am a fan of your work and love this blog. My daughter (age 7) and I would love to put some of these together. Its such a wonderful idea! My email: jill_dalrymple@yahoo.com or MyLittleCeePod.etsy

  9. Awesome job!! I too live in Alabama, my hometown is Pleasant Grove and my college town is Tuscaloosa, both very hard hit as you know. This is a great idea and I know lots of kids will love to get anything to take their minds off what has happened. Please let me know if you still need help. I have been neck deep in collecting donations myself but would love to assist you if you need it. Together Bama will get through this. #wearealabama