#PinkItUp – Book Swap Box #2 : Loadshedding Survival Kit

I was really too excited when bibliobookwolf announced the second #SABookSwap of 2019, with the theme “Loadshedding Survival Kit”, because we all had so much fun with the first one; and this time round, there were even more participants.

loadshedding (noun) – action to reduce the load on something, especially the interruption of an electricity supply to avoid excessive load on the generating plant.

I decided that I would stick to the theme and curate a box around things that would cheer me up if I were to be stuck in the dark without electricity for a few hours but I also wanted it to be bright and cheerful and full of colour.

Chatting with my new partner, I found out that her favourite colour is black, she’s a Gryffindor and that she wouldn’t be deciding on a budget; these are the things I that I had to work into my plan in putting the box together. Of course, me being me, I’m all about the DIY and so I sat down to take stock of what I have to hand…

I bought a box last time, which wasn’t expensive, because it fit the theme perfectly, but I didn’t find one that suit this theme, so I decided that I would take an old subscription box that I have stacked in a corner and repurpose it to my needs. I also had some black paper pages (a roll would have been better) which I used to cover the box, inside and out, to create a black box that was still functional.

Then, using some yellow card stock that I had, I fashioned a sunburst by cutting around the outside and gluing a squarish piece of black paper in the middle, which I secured to the top of the box with mod podge. Using gold and silver pens, I hand drew in the title with the help of an old school stencil and little light bulbs and “star bursts”. I also added some to the front flap, along with some hashtags, to add character.


Now that I had my box “theme-ified”, I was ready to start adding goodies inside; and where better to start than with the book…?

All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr was the first book that came to mind when I first saw the theme – I haven’t read it myself, and I want to, but I have seen it around Instagram frequently – and I thought the title said it all.

Sticking to the black, I wasn’t able to find any black tissue paper anywhere near me, so I had to settle for crepe paper instead; I also found some cute black and white paper bags for a few rand that I thought would be great – the items are lumpy and it was easier to put them in bags than to wrap them.

Since the book is obviously the last item that will be opened, it would be at the bottom of the box; I figured that I needed something zoosh to be on top. I wanted something that would break the ice and bring a smile and adding a couple of novelty items should do the trick.

Stationery is always a hit with bookish person so what better way to add colour to the darkness and brighten up the mood? So I added in some bright and bold pens (I use these myself and I love them), some washi tapes, some journal stickers and a notepad & pencil.

But because I am who I am, I had to make some unique things for my book swap partner.

But what is a book without a bookmark? I made some brightly coloured corner bookmarks for this box (see Easy Corner Bookmarks) but I felt they were a little too plain… so trying to keep with the theme but also not have everything the same, I drew some Christmas light bulbs (with the same pens that I added to this box, btw) on some white card stock, cut them out and attached them to the bookmarks with mod podge.

I  found a picture of a kind of fancy bulb on the internet and I traced this onto some white card stock; then I added the word lumos on the inside as the filament and coloured it in Gryffindor colours. I then added some black card stock to the back, to make it nice and sturdy (the back can be used as a silhouette in photos) and cut it out. A “Happiness can be found in the darkest of places, if one only remembers to turn on the light” Harry Potter quote bookmark, that I received in a book box a while back but never used, also went into the box.

The item I am most proud of is the Lightbulb #TBR Jar.

So I found these really cute plastic light bulb containers that stands upright and has a screw top lid and I got a couple. Originally, I was just going to fill it with candy and it could be reused however my partner saw fit. But I it needed a bit more flair.

I have a friend who designs and cuts vinyl for a living; so I quickly created a small #TBR sign and he printed them for me. I stuck the sticker on the bottle,filled it with sweets, and packed in a little box of it’s own.

If you’re in the Cape Town area and you need some vinyl cut for you, custom is welcome, then be sure to give my buddy, Harold, a call and tell him I sent you. Visit Award Signs today!

All that was left to do was to put everything together…

I wrapped everything up and added a little rhyme to each package as a clue, put it all in the box and sent it off.

I’m so excited to be participating in the third SA Book Swap this year (unboxing day is 6 September 2019) and the theme is “Second Time Around”, incorporating a 2nd hand book, either bought at a thrift store or from your own shelves and a small budget of R150.00 (approximately $10).


Keep smiling

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