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Christmas Surprise Box Challenge

Last year, I participated in a fun DIY challenge with some blogger friends hosted by Terrie from Decorate & More with Tip. We each spent $10 at the dollar store and picked out items for a Christmas DIY to send to someone else in the group. Each box must also contain a challenge item that we had to incorporate in our project.

Last year, I sent a box to Terrie and gave her a can of soup as her challenge item. She blew me away by transforming it into a bell and I'm still impressed to this day! The tables were turned this year when Terrie drew my name to send a box to! I was very anxious about what kind of revenge she would send my way.

Here's a look at the items Terrie sent me to work with. Can you guess which is the challenge item?

(Not pictured is a hot glue gun and hot glue sticks which I used as the only material to put my DIY together.)

For this DIY, I kind of just made it up as I went. I started with one item, figured out what to do with it, then moved on to the next and found some way to add it to my project.

I decided I would make a little Christmas tree so I started by creating a base for it out of the bucket. I removed the handle and wrapped the entire thing in twine. I also added little braided handles to each side to cover spots for the bucket handle and make it look like a tiny jute basket.

Next I unravelled the gingham tree and replaced the black and white with the green garland. I was able to keep the gingham all in one piece to use later.

To decorate my tree, I added the gingham garland back in and trimmed up the clown nose from my challenge item to resemble red ornaments.

The deer proved particularly tricky to work with. I thought about breaking it apart and having two deer next to my tree, using the antlers as ornament hooks, crafting a star out of different pieces, but nothing was really working. I ended up making these little charms to hang off my basket. I don't totally know what they are...ornaments, presents, gift tags? But they're cute and they work!

I used a connecting rectangle from the center of my deer for one and the candle holder for the other. Then I cut pieces from my All is Calm sign to frame inside each. They're attached to the basket with rings I made out of the antlers.

Now what to do with that cute little lantern? I couldn't break it apart too much because I promised Emmitt he could have it to play with after this. I did find that the lantern separated just enough to pop out the electric tea light inside. Perfect for a tree topper!

I wrapped the base in twine to match the bottom of my tree and created a little cone from my All is Calm sign. This topper was originally going to be an angel, but I changed my mind and made a Santa hat instead. I like how it ties together the natural look of the bottom of the tree with the fun pops of red in the body of the tree. And yes, the tree topper does light up!

This tree is now a fun and festive pop of color in our kitchen! This surprise box was definitely a challenge, but so much fun to figure out and put together.

Don't forget to check out what everyone else got in their challenge boxes and what they made with it below! (I drew Tara's name so definitely go see what I sent her to work with.)

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