A Birthday in a Box

My husband’s birthday rolled around last week, but since he is currently serving overseas I couldn’t spend it with him.  Have no fear though – I created a Birthday in a Box to send him!

Birthday in a Box

Birthday in a Box, ready to go!

Yep, all the birthday fixin’s in the standard care package box shipped direct to Afghanistan. I have to admit, I was very proud of my accomplishment! And I was thrilled when he received it the day before his birthday so he could open it on his actual birthday, but wasn’t tempted before! (That part was pure luck – I was worried that it wouldn’t arrive on time.)In case you have someone somewhere who needs a Birthday in a Box, here is how I put it together:

First, the Cake
No birthday is complete without birthday cake. I am into baking lately and have wanted to try my hand at red velvet cake. The problem is, no birthday cake is going to last the weeks it takes to get to a base in Afghanistan. The solution: cakes in a jar. You bake the cake in the jars, attach the lids, and they seal right up. I sent six jars so he could share with friends and kept one for myself so I could see what jar cake tastes like three and a half weeks later – it was surprisingly delicious!

Here is a great tutorial on baking jar cakes that a fellow military spouse friend sent me (she sent her husband pumpkin pie in jars for Thanksgiving!).  Note: you do need new jar lids. I love reusing my jars but for this project I just bought new ones.

And in case you too have a hankering for red velvet cake, you can find a yummy recipe here. And yes, you do need that much food coloring. I know, try not to think about it!

Red Velvet Cakes in a Jar

Red Velvet Cakes in a Jar

The Icing
I didn’t even attempt to make and jar this. Thank you, Betty Crocker, for your delicious, nicely packaged cream cheese frosting fit to sit on a shelf or in a box for weeks (or months).

The Cake Accessories
As we all know, no  birthday cake is complete without candles! I sent a pack of candles, and I hope someone lit them for him so he could make a wish.

Jar cakes (bubble-wrapped to travel!), icing, and candles

Jar cakes (bubble-wrapped to travel!), icing, and candles

The Gift
A care package box isn’t very big, so I decided the gift would be waiting for him upon his return instead. I printed out an image of his gift (some tools that he wanted) and placed it in a gift box with a note on top saying that the tools would be in our garage when he gets home.

The Party Participants
Jack and I donned party hats and sent photos so he would know we were celebrating with him. They were placed on the inside of the card announcing his Birthday in a Box.

jack in his party hat

Jack was more interested in the lizard.

I wrapped each jar in bubble-wrap, placed everything else snugly around them, tagged each item with a little note, and the Birthday in a Box was ready to go to Afghanistan!

A Birthday in a Box

Happy Birthday, Keith!

Leave a comment


  1. Valerie

     /  August 3, 2011

    You ASTOUND me. This was amazing!

  2. Love, Love, Love it. Happy Belated Keith!

  3. Very creative as usual. This must have been fun! 😀

  4. Stacy – Ellen and I were just checking you out. WOW!!!!!! Fantastic art – extremely beautiful = and this blog is superb. So great to feel that we’re still keeping an eye on you. I’m still working in Norway, Nubs is in London, twins still in Bristol and William and Ryoko are having a baby in January.
    Keith is a lucky guy – I hope he is safe, and had a great birthday with the wonderful box.
    XXXXX Mary and Ellen

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