When your favorite college-bound grad first heads off to school, nothing is more exciting than finding a college care package waiting in the mail. Little reminders of home can fill a busy week of finals with tasty treats, cozy home comforts, and handwritten love notes. No matter the reason, there are countless options of what to put in a care package.
We’ve created a list of 20 college care package ideas that will work throughout the whole school year, from DIY photo displays to creative holiday cards and gift baskets in the winter. Each project finds a unique way to send love. For a special touch try including DIY dorm decor with a personalized photo book that will remind them of home.
1. Autumnal Greetings
Just after the start of a new school year, send a fall-themed surprise full of autumnal decor. Wrap each of the goodies in fall-colored paper and accent the box opening with leaves and acorns.
2. Comforts of Home
Send a “just because” message from home, especially during that first year away from family and friends. Include everything necessary for a cozy afternoon relaxing: hot chocolate, soup, and a photo candle.
3. Spa Day Care Package
After a difficult project or paper, it’s important to encourage a little self-care. Send everything your college kid needs for an afternoon of primping and rejuvenation. Include a movie or music gift card to round out the experience.
4. School Year Survival Kit
Cover everything a college freshman needs by sending a survival kit care package packed with handwritten notes, inspirational quotes, coffee, snacks, desk essentials, and even a coffee card.
5. Sunshine Package
A little burst of sun and smiles is even more important in the middle of winter. Fill their desk with yellow pops of candy treats, body butter, writing supplies and other bright accents to help them soar through a busy semester.
6. Loving Latte Kit
Send a boost of energy and a message of love in your next college care package. Include homemade vanilla simple syrup, a hand-painted mug, and their favorite brew! Create a DIY marker mug with their name or favorite design.
7. Dorm-Ready Photo Display
Feature all your grad’s friends and family from home in this easy photo wall display. This cool college care package idea is perfect for college students looking to add some personalized DIY style to their dorms. Play around with shapes like triangles or heart wall collages they can add to make their space unique.
8. Savvy Traveler Kit
Whether they’re heading off to study abroad or spring breaking on the beach, send them all the essentials with this travel college care package. Include perks for the airplane like snacks, tissues, lotions, and guidebooks.
9. Handmade T-Shirt Rug
What’s a better way to commemorate all those high school t-shirts than to repurpose them together into some dorm decor? Braid together strips of old t-shirts into a multi-faceted rug that will brighten any floor.
10. Mason Jar Picnic
After so much studying, it’s important to get outside and enjoy the beauty of the campus. Pack a collection of shippable snacks in a mason jar and pair with disposable cutlery and cups to encourage an afternoon picnic. Include a woven blanket in the box to complete the package.
11. Cup of Coffee Collection
After a late night of studying, a strong cup of coffee can turn things around. Fill this gift-in-a-tin project with locally roasted beans from home, homemade biscotti, DIY coffee syrup, and some easy-to-use coffee pods.
12. Easter Treats
Springtime in college means papers, finals and a quickly approaching graduation. When Easter gets a bit rushed, send an array of chocolates, colorful candies, and caramel eggs as a nice reminder of home. Keep them safe and organized inside a paper egg carton.
13. Citrus DIY Lip Balm
When winter rolls around, it’s hard to keep up with self-pampering when running all over campus. Hand-make this bright, citrus lip balm to send in a body-care themed care package idea. It makes for a soothing remedy around stressful exams.
14. Unicorn Spa Collection
Remind them that they’re simply one of a kind with a unicorn spa day in a jar. This mason jar idea includes rainbow-themed bath bombs, candies and sugar scrubs that all fit in a decorated mason jar.
15. DIY Glitter Mug Set
Add a little glam to their dorm room desk with a hand-dipped glitter mug packed with goodies. Personalize a message on the mug with a permanent marker and pack it all up in a coffee or tea-themed care package. This makes a great care package idea during the holidays with custom photo Christmas cards of the whole family.
16. Easter Basket Surprise
Springtime is all about getting outside and enjoying the beautiful weather. Around Easter, ship a traditional basket filled with their favorite Easter candies from childhood, as well as lots of ideas to get outside and get moving.
17. DIY Candy Bouquet
Flowers are beautiful gifts–but sometimes, candy just travels better. Perfect for a finals care package idea, send a decadent bouquet of their favorite candy treats all wrapped up in a personalized container.
18. Beaded Coasters
Little perks from home make a dorm feel welcoming. Iron plastic beads into a customized coaster shape, mimicking the embroidered look of a vintage cross-stitch. Bundle the finished coasters into a care package with mugs and tea.
19. Homemade Body Butter
With just five common home ingredients, whip up this honey body butter. Homemade spa treatments are a loving way to send a reminder of self-care. Pair it in with natural sugar scrubs and rejuvenating body sprays. This is the perfect idea during the winter when it’s dry out—pair the body butter with custom holiday cards for a special care package.
20. Pitcher of Treats
When mailing college care packages, you want to make every item in the box count. Fill up a water pitcher with their favorite treats, setting them up with dorm room water and snacks for the semester.
The best thing about all these college care package ideas? They can be personalized to your unique college student. Whichever theme you choose, customize the box to their interests, styles and favorite snacks. College care packages go far beyond the value of what’s inside. They show love, effort, and provide comfort throughout the whole semester. The holidays are a time that college students miss home so be sure to send holiday photo cards with special treats during this time!