Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Sewing Day

Operation Christmas Child Shoebox collection week is coming up, November 16-23, and you should see Anna’s containers and bags of good deals ready for her boxes. She’s been diligently buying things throughout the year when sales come up at Wal-Mart and online. For more information on Operation Christmas Child, see their site.

In an effort to add a very specialized touch to the boxes, Anna and Mary decided to call for a girls’ sewing morning. All the sister-in-laws and nieces were invited, as even Abby and Bethany love sewing.

The girls were resourceful and found fabric we could use to make little purses. I will add a disclaimer here: the pattern directions weren’t easy to follow, so I’m not going to recommend it. Maybe some time we can do a step-by-step tutorial.

Wednesday morning, our dining room and kitchen transformed into a sewing-for-shoeboxes workspace. Meanwhile, Mom graciously babysat all the little ones.

What a delightful morning we had! Fabric everywhere, sewing machines humming, “now how does this work?” questionsyes, and some comical moments as we tried to figure out how these bags really went togetherfun food and great fellowship. Eleven bags later, we were so happy and ready for lunch. Anna made spaghetti and garlic bread so the moms wouldn’t have to go home and fix lunch.

Why not add a personal touch of your own to your shoeboxes this year? The children will love it!



"Hmmm. Now how do these things work?"
“Hmmm. Now how do these things work?”
Almost completed!
Almost completed!


Snack time!
Snack time!
Mom with the little ones who weren’t napping at this point.
Such fun fabric!
Anna Marie was very faithful to cut out purses.
I can only imagine the joy of the girls who receive these cute purses.


Left to right: Drew, Melanie, me (Sarah), Lydia, Tina, Mary, Abby, Anna Marie, Anna, Bethany
Left to right: Drew, Melanie, me (Sarah), Lydia, Tina, Mary, Abby, Anna Marie, Anna, Bethany
Mary added a special touch to them.
Mary added a special touch to them.

“My little children, let us not love in word,
neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.”
1 John 3:18

13 thoughts on “Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Sewing Day”

  1. Cute purses! One of my church friends knits little dolls for her Christmas child shoeboxes.
    Great idea!

  2. You all did a wonderful job on the cute purses!! How special. 🙂
    The Operation Christmas Child project is such a special ministry. My family prepared the shoeboxes for many years also, and it’s fun to think about the smiles on faces of children far away.
    Thank you for sharing these cute photos – – the Maxwell family is such a blessing to many!
    Love, Mrs. Patti

  3. Yes, purse patterns can be tricky. I have a few stories of my own….I am glad you persisted until the end. Such a cool idea. I do shoe boxes but never thought to make something homemade! I love the pictures of the girls with their little sewing machines. How cool. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Those look so cute! And practical too. I am sure the recipients will really appreciate them for years to come.

    I can’t believe how grown up Abby and Bethany are getting! It seems like yesterday I was reading the blog posts sharing their arrivals!

    This year, my daughter made necklaces for all our OCC boxes. She had a great time!

    Thanks for sharing,

    Great idea on the necklaces! Yes, A&B are really growing up.

  5. I always enjoy your sharing the Operation Christmas Shoebox program you are committed to participating in. My church serves meals twice a week to the homeless teens in Seattle, and also does shoeboxes, for the teens, at Christmas. I have been collecting journals for the past two years to add to the boxes. I didn’t participate last Christmas when my Phil was so so sick and moving towards the end of life on earth. I will be participating in putting the shoeboxes together this year, and looking forward to placing a journal and pen collection in each shoebox. I am praying for God’s leading in my volunteering with the teen meal program too, and if he calls me to volunteer in this ministry I certainly will. You truly do inspire me with your faithfulness.

    Blessings, Mrs. Mari

    Good job on keeping busy to divert your thoughts from grieving. Praying for you!

  6. Cute purses! We love doing shoeboxes. That’s wonderful that Abby and Bethany sew. My little would like to learn but I’m not good enough to teach her so going to try and find someone else. This year I was able to make drawstring backpacks for girls out of large bandanas.
    I think I see matching purses and skirts in some of your pics!!
    Way to go Maxwell girls!


    I thin you could teach her! Look up the book Stitches n’ Pins. Joanns has it. Very easy to start with and you both could learn together! 😉

  7. Those are super cute! Whoever receives those adorable purses are so going to love them. You all did a fantastic job! Very cute and so very personal too. How cool.

    I know. Anna put together a sample box today, and I can only imagine how tickled that little girl is going to be to receive it. Positively adorable!

  8. Wow, such beautiful bags! You ladies are so wonderful! I love reading your blog! I am just begining the journey of sewing, any advice that helped you? It has always seemed really fun, my mom really enjoys it and I am hopeing that I will love it just as much. Sewing really comes in handy when you have large families! I think that it is so great you guys do the shoe box thing, I have always wanted to do that! Anyways thats enough of me blabbing on and on, I could talk about how much I love reading your blog all day but You might get tired of it, so have a blessed day and a lovely week!

    I’m so glad you enjoy the blog. Our desire is to be a blessing. I would recommend starting with simple sewing projects such as an article of clothing such as a skirt or an apron. Joann’s (if you have one near you) would be a good place and their sales people could help you find an easy pattern.

  9. What a fun idea! Great job girls! WE love Operation Christmas Child. If you ever get to go volunteer at a distribution center I highly recommend it. Ashton loved the experience.

  10. What a great project! This post inspired me to have my little girls help sew little patchwork quilts to go with the baby dolls they picked for their shoe boxes. I love opportunities to get little ones involved in service.

  11. Cute purses and the fabrics are nice. I don’t think I could sew even a simple purse but this gives me an idea for next year.

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