By Betsy Burnett of Aim Happy
Packing a shoebox gift for Operation Christmas Child can be a personal experience. As you are choosing what gifts to put inside you want your gift to reflect the giver.
As a child my “claim to fame” was beating our principal in a Jump rope contest. I jumped 98 times compared to his 4. Who needs a gold medal? I felt like pretty big stuff for beating the principal of our school!!! This childhood memory finds me putting jumping ropes into shoebox gifts frequently.
You could easily go buy a jump rope, but why when you can make one for free with items from around your house and better yet, you can toss in an extra ball as well.
DIY Jump Rope and DIY Koosh Ball
- Old t-shirts 3-5 shirts depending on the size
- Good strong scissors-I find Fiskars Titanium Shop Shears work great for this project
Optional: image printed from computer.
- Left over loops from jump rope project
- Zip tie
- 5 “ piece of heavy cardboard
- On flat surface, lay out t-shirt and smooth out the wrinkles
- Fold shirt in half sleeve to sleeve
- Cut off bottom hem.
- Cut loops approximately 1- 1 1/2 “ in size from shirt by starting at folded end and cutting across to the open end of the shirt.
- repeat with other shirt.
- Stretch out loops running your hand along entire length of loop while pulling
To create jump rope:
- Tie three strips together, place your knot about 3-4 inches down. This becomes the handle.
- Braid your strips together
- When you get to the end of the strip loop another one to the bottom and continue braiding.
- Repeat until jumprope is desired length (7 feet is ideal for most children)
- Tie a knot at the end leaving 3-4 inches for a handle.
- Cut open loops at the end of the knots to create fringe.
I love making sure my jump ropes all color coordinate, and would find myself with extra loops from the project. So I did some experimenting and found I could create a “koosh ball” out of my leftover strips and a zip tie! These balls are fun and super easy for little ones to catch.
To create “Koosh Ball”
- Take your loops and wrap loosely around cardboard like a “rubber band”
- Continue wrapping loops around cardboard until your ball is full enough for your liking. I found 7 loops wrapped around 6-8 times (depending on loop size) gave me approximately 50 loops around to make a decent size ball.
- Take loops off of cardboard. Squeeze pile together and wrap a zip-tie around the middle and tighten as much as possible. I find the pliers help to get a good grip which helps me tighten the tie more than with just my hands alone. Trim the zip tie to remove the tail and sand if sharp
- Cut open your loops
- Tie two of those open pieces around the zip-tie as an extra measure of protection
How to Get Involved
Readers can check out the Operation Christmas Child website. There they will find shoebox stories, information on how to pack a shoebox gift, find the nearest drop-off location, have free resources sent to them and more! Friend Operation Christmas Child on Facebook.
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We’re giving away over $300 worth of craft supplies from Plaid! (Thanks, Plaid.) Enter the giveaway today!