The Ultimate Guide to Creating a Little Bag of Sunshine
Give this cheerful Little Bag of Sunshine as a thoughtful gift during life’s tough times and watch that frown turn upside-down!
How often are you in the position where you don’t know exactly what to do or say when someone is going through a tough time?
I’ve got a solution for you: Quickly and easily create this ‘little bag of sunshine’ gift and instantly brighten someone’s day with minimal time and effort involved.
This post contains affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase through them, I may receive a small commission from a third party at no extra cost to you. All opinions are my own and I only share links to products I personally use, love and trust.
In today’s post, I’ve included:
- TWO FREE sunshine-thmed notecard printables
- TONS of yellow gift inspiration to fill your giftbag
- A quick & easy Cricut tutorial to help you turn an ordinary gift bag into a cheerful gift using iron-on vinyl
Go ahead, get your scroll on or use this handy Table of Contents:
- What is a Little Bag of Sunshine?
- Yellow Gift Inspiration
- When to Give a Little Bag of Sunshine
- Free Sunshine Notecard Downloads
- A Box vs. a Bag
- Cricut Tutorial for Customizing Your Own Little Bag of Sunshine Gift Bag
- OTHER GIFT IDEAS YOU WILL LOVE:
How the “Little Bag of Sunshine” came to be…
First, a little background on my first ‘Little Bag of Sunshine’…
I had just spent a few days visiting my sister in California. While boarding the flight back home, I received a text from one of my best friends. She was “just letting me know” she and her long-time boyfriend called it quits while I was away.
This was not one of those – they’ll-be-back-together-in-a-week kind of break-ups. There would be no reconciliation, and naturally, she was heartbroken. I was so surprised by the news, I was at a loss for words.
I spent the rest of the flight back home racking my brain for any way to help my friend. But, I kept drawing a blank.
How could I possibly make her feel better? What could I say to help ease the pain, even if only for a minute?
It wasn’t until later, when I met mutual friends for dinner, that the idea of the Little Bag of Sunshine was born (and subsequently, the Little Box of Sunshine).
My friends and I immediately set out to find cheerful yellow items of all kinds. We then wrapped each item in yellow tissue paper and packed them in a yellow gift bag (AKA The Little Bag of Sunshine).
What is a Little Bag of Sunshine?
Sometimes you don’t know what do to or say to make someone feel better when they’re going through a tough time. The important thing isn’t the words that come out of your mouth. It’s simply showing you care.
And that’s exactly what this little bag of sunshine does: it shows you are thinking of the recipient by creating this cheerful gift.
The effect this small gesture has had on my friend and family over the years is immediate.
Take for example the friends I mentioned above going through a terrible break-up…
As she unpacked mini packages of Kleenex, smiley face socks, lemon-flavored candies, peanut M&M’s, bath bombs, face masks, lip balm, etc, we saw her smile through the tears.
I’ve never forgotten the power of this gift! In fact, I have made variations of this gift – from boxes of sunshine to jars of sunshine – and the effects are always the same: SMILES! That’s really all you can hope for when giving a gift to attempt at cheer someone up, right?
Yellow Gift Inspiration
Some of my most recent Little Bags of Sunshine have included these cheerful little goodies below:
Hammond’s Lemon Drops | Yellow ‘Good Vibes’ Notebook | eos Lemon Twist Lip Balm | JR Watkins Hand Cream in Lemon Cream | Da Bomb Party Bath Bomb | Celavi Face Masks in Honey
Master List of Yellow Items to Include
Some of my other go-to yellow items for a Little Bag of Sunshine include:
- Yellow gift bags
- Assorted seeds (it’s Spring here, so these are everywhere)
- Snacks with yellow wrappers – like Lays potato chips, Swedish Fish, Lemon Heads, Peanut M&Ms, Golden Oreos, etc.
- Crystal Light lemonade powder
- Wine with a yellow label
- Mini tissue packs
- Bath bombs
- Smiley face socks
- Face masks (but Walmart and Walgreens have a great assortment too)
- Lip balms
- Hand cream
Customize this gift until your heart is content!
Mom Tip – I’ve also found that taking your 3-year-old with you to the store is always a fun way to have some help spotting all things yellow!
When to Give a Little Bag of Sunshine
I’ve said it before. This little bag of sunshine is my go-to gift when I don’t know what to do or say when someone is struggling through a challenging season in life.
This thoughtful color-coordinating gift is sure to cheer someone up, even if only for a few minutes. Consider giving a little bag of sunshine as a:
A Thoughtful Get Well Soon Gift
Unfortunately, this category covers a lot. Give a little bag of sunshine to brighten someone’s day:
- after a cancer diagnosis,
- during or after a hospital stay,
- after a miscarriage,
- to fight seasonal depression, or
- to someone undergoing treatment, suffering from a cold or flu, or cooped up during quarantine.
An Easy Thinking of You Gift
I’ve given this gift to try to cheer-up family and friends…
- after a break-up
- during a divorce
- when someone has experienced a death/loss of a loved one
- when someone loses a job
- to fight the winter blues
A Quick ‘Just Because’ Gift
A little bag of sunshine isn’t just a gift to help someone get through a tough time. I’ve given this gift for no reason at all and even as a celebratory gift. Some of the reasons why you’d want to give a little bag of sunshine just because include:
- teacher appreciation
- hostess gifts
- to celebrate spring or summer
It’s always a good time to send some sunshine!
If you are looking for even more ‘just because’ gift inspiration, check out any of these posts:
Free Sunshine Notecard Downloads
In addition to the yellow items, it’s nice to include either of my free downloads to drive the point of your themed gift home.
Simply download and save my PDF files to your computer, print them out and tuck them in your gift bag or place them inside your gift box.
Now, it’s glaringly obvious what you are going for with a bag full of sunshine with the words “sending you sunshine” or hello sunshine.”
If you use either of my printables, I’d love to see! Snap a pic and tag me on Instagram!
A Box vs. a Bag
Whether you are using a bag or a box to pack your sunshine – the idea is the same. Grab every yellow treat you can find and pack it up nice and cute for your loved one and watch the smiles (and sometimes happy tears) appear.
I typically use a bag when I am hand-delivering this gift. Alternatively, I make a Little Box of Sunshine when I need I’m shipping my sunshine.
Cricut Tutorial for Customizing Your Own Little Bag of Sunshine Gift Bag
If you’d like to customize your own gift bag with the words “Little Bag of Sunshine” – here’s how:
Step 1: Gather your supplies
- blank yellow gift bag
- Cricut Iron-on vinyl in white (or your favorite heat transfer vinyl)
- Light box (optional, but I always use it with white vinyl)
- Cricut EasyPress (or a standard iron)
- Cricut Explore Air 2 and cutting mats
- Weeding tools
- Cricut EasyPress Mat (or thick towel)
- additional fonts* (See step 2)
Step 2: Download fonts & upload them to Cricut Design Space
I used fonts called “Bebas Neue” and “Signature” for this project, which are not standard fonts in Design Space. You can get them for free (for personal use) from dafont.com and upload them to Design Space.
*Always double-check the licensing for the fonts you download. I am using these for personal use and will not be selling these bags for profit. However, there are plenty of completely free fonts on dafont.com.
- Go to Dafont.com and search for the font names or click on the links above. Next, click on the gray “download” buttons to the right of the fonts.
- Once the zip files have downloaded to your computer, open the files and double-click on the TrueType font files to open them.
- Then hit the “install” buttons at the top of the documents.
- Once the install are complete, open Cricut Design Space and select your new fonts from the font drop-down menu. (If you are already working in Design Space, you’ll want to refresh it or log out and back in so you can see the new font selection).
Check out these other great projects using the Bebas Neue font:
Step 3: Design your layout using Cricut Design Space
My gift bag is 8″ x 11″ so I wanted my overall decal to be 6″ wide. For the words “Little Bag of” I used the Bebas Neue font and “Sunshine” is in the Signature font.
Once I had the design the way I liked, I selected all the letters in the word “sunshine” and welded them together so my Cricut would recognize it as one cursive word instead of cutting out individual letters.
Then, I attached all the words together and selected the green “Make It” button. The next screen will show how the decal will be cut on the mat. Since we are using heat transfer (iron-on) vinyl, make sure you select “mirror” your image (see green button below)
Step 4: Cut, weed and press your decal
After my Cricut did all the cutting for me, I weeded the text (with the help of my light box). I grabbed my Cricut EasyPress to adhere the htv to my paper gift bag (315 degrees for 30 seconds). Remove the plastic backing from the vinyl, and there you have it! A custom Little Bag of Sunshine gift bag ready for gifting!
Step 6: Pack/wrap your gift
Step 7: Deliver and hope for smiles!
There you have it folks! The sweetest little gift of happiness. I’d love to hear what other yellow items you’ve found for your box or bag of sunshine!
Leave me some comments with your suggestions below or tag me on Instagram!
AS ALWAYS – IF YOU NEED HELP BRAINSTORMING OR CREATING A CUSTOM GIFT, PLEASE REACH OUT TO ME! I’D LOVE TO HELP!
More later! The craft room is calling, and I must go…