With the Kids

DIY Party in a Box – Gift for College Students

As our college kids get settled into dorm rooms, it’s time to start thinking about care packages and gift ideas. For kids who love candy or need money, a crepe paper surprise gift ball is the perfect idea. For kids who aren’t feeling well, send them a bee well gift. Then for the creative kid, send them one of these 9 craft kits to do during their downtime. If your kid isn’t going to make it home to celebrate their birthday, they will love this party in a box gift idea we are showing you how to make below!

party in a box using an oatmeal container filled with party gifts for a college student

DIY party in a box gift

You can include so many different items in this gift container including party supplies, gift cards, card games, snacks, and so much more.


  • Large oatmeal container
  • 2 sheets of scrapbook paper – we used glitter
  • Thick paper for your printer
  • Our printable happy birthday label
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Items to fill your container

oatmeal container craft


The first step is to wipe out your oatmeal container really well.

You will need two pieces of scrapbook paper to wrap around the oatmeal container. Measure and cut them to size and then glue them into place.

an oatmeal container wrapped in glitter scrapbook paper to make a gift container

Download and print our happy birthday label onto a thicker card stock or brochure paper. I made this label using PicMonkey, so if you want one that says something else such as ‘get well’, ‘happy holidays’, or ‘congratulations’ experiment with making your own.

Cut out both labels. Glue one onto the front of the oatmeal container and the second onto the lid.

diy birthday box made out of an oatmeal container to fill with gifts for college students

Fill your gift box with all kinds of fun birthday and party ideas. Here are a few to get you started:

birthday party in a box ideas including sunglasses, balloons, candles, party blowers, and a party hat

  • Party hat or crown
  • Fun glasses
  • Party blowers
  • Confetti
  • Halo Top make individual microwave birthday cake tubs – don’t forget a candle and icing
  • Foil number or word balloons
  • Photo props
  • Gift cards
  • Card games
  • Stationery for school
  • Jewelry or accessories
  • Stamps – for sending cards and letters home
  • Toiletries or makeup
  • Tee or top (roll it up nice and small)

Halo Top individual birthday cake in a microwave container for college students

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