Have you ever looked for a lunch box that your child would like only to settle for something that you knew wouldn’t quite do the job? I have more than once found myself frustrated because all the lunch boxes I could find were either too expensive, too cheaply made or featured characters my kids didn’t like on the front.
One year, after keeping my eye out for a lunch box for BJ for some time, I ended up buying a plain soft sided lunch box from Wal-Mart. I wasn’t too excited about the quality of the lunch box, (It was one of those cheap soft sided vinyl ones.) but since I had to settle for one that wasn’t what I wanted, I bought one of the less expensive ones.
After a few months use, the lunch box just shredded. I wasn’t surprised, but I was back to square one. BJ still used the rapidly deteriorating lunch box for a few weeks while I looked for a replacement, but in that time I couldn’t find anything. Finally, it kicked the bucket and I needed to find something that weekend.
We had an old Pokemon lunchbox that was just a spare. I think we bought it at a garage sale for a quarter. It was one of the hard plastic ones that is usually a little more durable. No one really likes Pokemon in our family, but we went ahead and got that lunch box to keep as a cheap emergency replacement.
Even though he never liked Pokemon, BJ does have one great love in life. He is just wild over Furbies. The kid is Furby crazy!! If you don’t remember Furbies, they were one of those toys that people would stand in long lines overnight to buy for their kids back in the early 90′s.
Of course, it’s great when your child loves a craze after the mania is all over because you can find the things to collect at garage sales and thrift stores for cheap! Most of BJ’s Furbies cost a quarter or less.
I decided since I couldn’t find a good quality lunch box he would like, I would make him a Furby lunch box. I found some Furby clip art on the Internet and printed some of the ones I thought he would like. (I didn’t think of it at the time, but I could have taken pictures of his Furbies with a digital camera and printed them instead.) Then I cut them out and glued them on a piece of white paper that I had already cut to the size of the lunch box face to make sure the entire Pokemon logo was covered.
Once I had the Furbies glued to the paper the way I wanted it, I glued the paper with Elmer’s glue to the lunchbox. Then I covered it with contact paper. I trimmed the contact paper to size with a razor blade and put a bead of glue around the edge to "seal" it. After letting it sit all night, it hadn’t dried, so I set it in the sun to dry that day. Unfortunately, the glue never dried and then the clip art faded.
Sometimes it takes more than one try to get it right. I started all over again and this time I did everything the same except I used glue made specifically for plastic. It worked perfectly! The lunch box was a huge hit with BJ and right away, Elly wanted her own "special" lunch box.
I made a lunch box for her the same way, using My Little Pony art. It only cost me a few minutes worth of work, even considering that I had to re-do it the first time. This "custom lunch box" has worked well for BJ for more than a year.
photo by: paul_lowry