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This is the gift I will be giving my children when they leave home. A student survival kit. Not only is the box painted with a universally recognizable red cross so all visitors will always locate the first aid supplies, it is also super-fun to fill up with traditional, as well as non-traditional, bits and pieces. I love the vintage first aid box feel to it.

Although I have called it a survival kit or first aid box, you can use this box for anything your heart desires and paint it in any colors you choose. Make it work for you!

This craft is suitable for all ages and skill levels and is so satisfying to display once completed!

You will need a DIY Art Kit from Three & Me (ask here).

The DIY Art Kit includes:

  • 1 empty pre-constructed wood box

  • paint in white and red

  • re-usable sponge brush

optional: - wooden cross instead of painting your own

- glue

You will need the following tools:

  • a screwdriver

  • glue, if you have the wooden cross

The sky is the limit when it comes to filling up this box. In the presentation below, you will see a quick look into the one I put together for this years' graduates.

Start off with the basic box. Sand it, if you'd like smoother edges, but it's not essential.

The box comes with pre-attached hinges and clasps.

Use your screwdriver to unscrew the hardware. You will get paint on it, if you leave it in place. If that doesn't bother you, leave the hardware on.

If you choose to remove your hardware, store all the little screws and hinges in a safe place, so that you don't lose them while you paint.

The back hinges can be unscrewed from the inside of the box.

If you are not painting the inside of the box, you can probably get away with leaving these attached!

Save the hardware pieces in a safe place.

Use a sponge brush without water, to paint the base coat over all external sides of the box.

If you want to, you can paint the inside too.

Let it dry.

Repeat if you want a deeper color.

Once the box is dry, reattach the hardware.

You can either freehand paint the red cross on the box, or paint the wood version, if you requested it. The example of the unpainted wood cross is below:

If you paint the cross freehand, use a dry sponge brush or detail brush and dip straight into the red paint, without adding water, or your cross will run.

Or do your own design! There are so many ideas!

Optional add-on:

Glue a note into the lid, explaining the contents of the box. Use your imagination.


attach a photo of you and the recipient!

These were the contents I specifically chose for my graduates. Each item was carefully thought out and selected for a reason. You are welcome to use the one below!

You can find the pdf version to print-out here:

survival kit
Download PDF • 510KB

Now you're ready to fill it up!!! It's my favorite part!

Although the box looks small, it actually holds a lot of thoughtful pieces!

Once the contents are used up, by the recipient, they can always refill their boxes with all their own first aid supplies or other meaningful things.

What will you add into yours?

You are not limited to painting the box. You can stencil, decoupage, mosaic, collage or freehand pant it, amongst other fabulous ideas!

For additional tutorials on painting wooden shapes and embellishments, see here.

For multi-use stencil techniques, see here.

For instructions on one-time use stencil techniques, see here.

To see how decoupage works see here.

Please share photos with me of your completed project! I can't wait to see how you make this box special.

Thank you for joining me!


Claire Houlding

#threeandme #woodcrafts #woodworking #survivalkit #artclass #tutorial #studentsurvivalkit #gradgift #firstaidbox #giftbox art and craft events logo


Created. Enjoyed. Reviewed ...

Had the most fun tonight with an amazing instructor and many wonderful friends! Three & Me out did themselves with beautiful presentation and amazing craft that I am excited to display in my home! I look forward to another opportunity to craft with Three & Me in the future!

Camas, WA

What an amazing experience! Claire is an incredible instructor and makes these projects so fun and truly easy for those like me who are not artsy! She is extremely organized and everything is so well thought out and ready in advance. I can hardly wait to take more classes in the future. I would highly recommend Three & Me!

Angela H.

Camas, WA

I just went to my first Three & Me workshop. It was a wonderful experience. Claire is a warm hostess and an excellent instructor. Making everyone feel engaged and successful. The materials are top notch and every detail is well thought out. It’s a great escape for a personal creative moment or a fun way to connect with friends and family while expressing your inner artist.

Camas, WA

Such a fun string art class tonight! Claire is a wonderful instructor and everything was so beautiful; the display, the art, the examples, the supplies, the snacks! So fun!

Camas, WA

This is truly a fun night out! Claire's instruction is helpful, humorous and fun! I love how she allowed us options to be creative and put our own twist on our projects. There is a lot of attention to detail with the set-up, supplies and refreshments which did not go unnoticed.  I can't wait for the next project!

What a fun evening! Claire has thought of every detail and guides you step by step through the whole process! She is such an encourager and makes you feel like you have just made a masterpiece! I highly recommend her classes! I can't wait to take another one!

Camas, WA

I had such a fun evening! Three & Me had everything presented beautifully and organized in a way that made it easy to follow along for those of us that aren't necessarily crafters by nature! Thank you for a fun night!

Courtney H.

Camas, WA

Thank you Claire Houlding for an incredible night! It was so much fun creating with Three & Me!

Hollen F.

Camas, WA

You all did such a great job! Claire Houlding what a fun thing you are starting in our community! Love it. So fun to be there tonight!

Jennifer B.

Camas, WA

I craft a lot at home, but doing crafts in a class with friends is so much better. THREE & ME makes it so easy to do the things I am interested in, without having to find the supplies and figure out how to do it on my own. I've just booked my next ladies night with Claire! I can't wait. 

Vancouver, WA

Tonight, a bunch of lucky ladies got to craft along side one of the very best. Claire's heart, is hands done one of the very best and those of us who were there got to create something amazing that we will proudly display in our homes. Many laughs and much fun was had by all. I highly recommend one of Three & Me classes to anyone in the area! Spread kindness around like confetti!!

Lana E.

Camas, WA

Art is not my strength. I don't have a creative bone in my body. So I came to a workshop because my friend made me... and I made something I now love. I was expecting to sit and watch, but landed up getting fully involved! My husband and kids don't believe that I made it myself. I'm coming again and I'm bringing my sister... she's even worse at crafts than me.

Alyson S.

Washougal, WA

We had such a fun girls night out making Christmas signs. Claire did a wonderful job explaining what to do and they turned out great! We are all looking forward to more events!! Thank you!

Kristine A.

Camas, WA

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