A few years back my husband deployed as part of a security detail for a humanitarian mission the Navy was on. It was unlike any deployment he had previously been on. He was on a ship moving all over the place all the time and communication was not nearly as consistent as other deployments. I suppose the lack of communication really played into me wanting to make the care packages he received extra special.
Most of you have probably either done or heard of the "Open when..." letters. If you haven't heard of them, they're pretty great. You choose a special day (anniversary, birthday, ect.) or situations (feeling down, missing me, need encouragement) and write a letter, buy a card, or maybe a little package to go with that situation.
I decided it would be fun to take the "Open when..." idea to the next level and have it kickstart a scavenger hunt for him. Since he was on a ship in the ocean, naturally I thought of pirates. It took quite a bit of planning but I think it turned out fantastic.
The hunt began with a note in a bottle. I simply took an empty wine bottle that I thought was a cool shape, removed the label and added a fun vinyl decal. The note I printed on regular printer paper using a piratey font. I tore off the ends, crumpled it up a bunch of times, then put it in some coffee. It ended up looking looking really cool. Then I rolled up the pages, tied with a ribbon, slipped them into the bottle and sealed with a cork.
The clues all led to small keys that were on mini carabiners. They were mostly hidden in items that I had sent in some of his previous care packages. Clue #1 led to a tin of sleepytime tea. Underneath all the teabags, I taped the key.
Clue # 2 led to a little stuffed bear from a St. Patty's Day parade. The seam was already coming undone since it was just a cheap item thrown from a float. So I had no issues opening it more and stuffing the key with a gold carabiner in, then sewing it back up.
Clue #3 led to a small stack of DVD's I had gotten from the $5 bin at Wal-Mart. I barely opened the film on one of them and slid a key into into it. That way he couldn't tell it was opened already.
Unfortunately I didn't take a picture of clues 2 or 3, but you get the idea.
Clue #4 led him to a some puzzle books I had picked up at Dollar Tree. I hid another clue in the back of a Sudoku book.
The bonus clue led to a previous "Open when..." envelope I had sent with some pictures of me in it. In one of the pictures, I was holding the key along with a pretty paper box I had cut on my Silhouette and filled with some treats for him. The key was hidden in the under a false bottom.
For the prize, I took an old jewelry box and drilled some small holes in the sides just big enough to thread some luggage locks into. I got a silicone wedding band (whenever he deploys he leaves his ring home for safety reasons), and stuck it in there along with a photo from our wedding, and a little note. Just like with the keys, I sent it out in a previous care package and labeled it "Open when you have completed your adventure". I thought the curiosity would add to the fun. Besides if he did open it early, I figured the locks would keep him out.
Unfortunately for me, I later found out that my husband is an extremely impatient man who doesn't understand how to follow instructions. He just opened it when he got it. And no, the locks didn't stop him, they are little luggage locks on a jewelry box after all and he just ripped the box open.
Ruined all of my meticulous planning, I still yell at him for it years later and threaten to never put effort into his care packages again. But we both know that's not going to happen, I just can't help myself. I already have plans for another scavenger hunt type care package that he won't be able to mess up.
So if your spouse is anything like mine, perhaps you should just send it all in the same box. Or give explicit directions to not ruin the surprise, lol.
My life as a crafty housewife
I am a wife, mother, entrepreneur, and lover of all things crafty. This blog will include tutorials on some of my favorite crafts as well as my thought's on subjects that are important to me. I by no means claim to be an expert on any subject, just a creative girl who likes to DIY.