Last year, I ordered the kids' lunchbox sets from EasyLunchboxes.com and it worked out great for us. The prices were quite reasonable compared to others I'd seen and they held up really well.
I really liked the plastic Food Containers in the set I'd ordered ~ it was so easy to pack a variety of foods in their lunches and their sandwiches didn't get smushed. I also really liked the Insulated Cooler Bags that went with the containers. The containers fit in it perfectly, with plenty of room for an ice pack, container of yogurt, water bottle, etc. I could even fit three of the plastic containers packed with snacks in one bag when we went out somewhere for the day.
The only problem was that the lunch bags only came in plain colors. The kids thought they were just too boring compared to the fancier lunchboxes covered with their favorite characters. They used their plain ones last year, but kept asking for character ones as we were starting our school shopping this week. I wasn't about to give up the convenience of the handy containers and bags, so it was freezer paper stencils to the rescue!! (See some other stencil projects HERE and HERE)
|Cute dolphin instead of just a plain blue lunch bag!|
Here's what I did (you'll see my pictures will alternate between the two different lunchboxes I did, I was working on this project in bits and pieces and didn't take all the pictures I needed on the first try):
1. I found a font and clip art that I liked on my computer. (Because the lunch boxes aren't quite as stable to work with as fabric, you'll want letters and images that aren't really detailed). I enlarged it to the size I needed, cut a piece of freezer paper to 8.5" x 11"then printed it directly on the paper side of the freezer paper.
2. Using a pair of fine-tipped scissors and an exacto-knife, I cut out my stencil. (Those of you with handy cutting machines can probably eliminate a couple steps here!)
3. With my iron on a medium heat, no steam, I ironed the stencil onto the lunchbox with the waxy side DOWN. Make sure the edges are securely adhered.
|I put a few books inside the lunch box so there would be a hard surface to work on.|
|Here I could just open up the top flap to iron the stencil on|
4. Using my acrylic paint, I painted in the stencil. Don't put a lot of paint on your brush and paint from the paper in towards the center so the paint won't bleed under the stencil.
|See how I'm painting from the outside in?|
|The stencil did pucker up in a few places|
|So I just held it down with a fingertip as I painted.|
5. Continue filling in your stencil, adding a second coat if necessary, until you have the coverage you desire.
6. I'm never patient enough to wait for the paint to dry, so I just carefully pull off the stencil when I'm finished painting.
7. And there you have it! A name or image that's personalized for your child!
No more plain lunchboxes for us! (Now that my youngest is starting kindergarten, I just ordered her a lunchbox of her own ~ she chose hot pink and a butterfly for the front!)