How to Make a Blessing Bag

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If you’ve ever wondered how to make a blessing bag, these 30 tips on what to put in the bag and what not to are the perfect place to start. My family has been making blessing bags for years and we’ve learned what works and what doesn’t along the way.

Top - two hands reaching for each other, bottom - Pile of colorful personal care items in gift bags with title text reading How to Make blessing bags with personal care items for the homeless

I volunteered at a homeless shelter for street kids back in the 80’s. (yikes!) Since then I’ve worked with populations dealing with homelessness and in crisis all over the country.

After I had children, it was important to me that our family help out in our community. We’ve done many different acts of service, but one of the early ones we did was creating Thanksgiving blessing bags.

I’ve always focused on performing purposeful acts of kindness – act that are thought out to deliver the most help possible. And I’ve worked to teach that to my children.

Through the years and different organizations I’ve worked with, I’ve learned how to make a blessing bag and items that are most helpful. And we’ve made blessing bags with all kinds of themes.

Let me walk you through the steps in how to make a blessing bag filled with personal care items.

How to Make a Blessing Bag

Start with a bag. If you have medium sized new or in excellent condition cloth bags or backpacks, you can use those. When I don’t have those available, I use clear seal top plastic bags. This allows the bag to be reused to hold the items or put to other uses.

piles of wash cloths, deodorant, combs, toothbrushes, toothpaste and soap

Add personal care items. Small, travel-size options are preferable. Maintaining large sizes of items can be challenging. Some popular personal care items for blessing bags are:

  • Individual tissue packs
  • Lip balm
  • Disposable razor
  • Toothbrush in packaging or in seal top bag for cleanliness
  • Toothpaste
  • Flossers or dental picks
  • Bar of soap in a container or small sealable plastic bag so that it can be reused or a hotel sized bar of soap
  • Wash cloth or bandanna
  • Deodorant
  • Comb
  • Hair ties
  • Wet wipes
  • Lotion
  • Sunscreen
  • A gift card to a local fast food restaurant. This will allow the recipient to gain a fresh meal and just as importantly gain access to a bathroom to use the personal care blessing bag you’ve shared with them.
group of colorful blessing bags in clear plastic bags

Add a brief personal note. Keep it positive and uplifting.

yellow daisy with white text that says "take care"

You can get your own free copy of this cheerful Take Care note to add to your blessing bag.

How can I use the printable (what restrictions are there on use)?

You can print these pdf files as many times as you’d like for your personal or classroom use. Please do not share the file with family, friends or coworkers. Please do share the link to this post so they can access their own copy of the printable. All printables are copyrighted.

Simply download this pdf, print out as many sheets as you need and then cut each individual note out.

sheets of printed "take care" notes with pair of scissors

You can still add a handwritten note on the back of the cards.

What Not to Put in a Blessing Bag

  • Perishable Food
    • Due to limitations of living conditions, nonperishable foods are preferable.
  • Large Portion Sizes
    • Without a convenient way to store opened packages of food, single-sized portions are preferable.
  • Sugary Food
    • Limitations of access to dental care and other potential health implications, make very sugary drinks or foods less desirable.
  • Sticky Food
    • The same concerns with sugary foods apply to sticky candies and foods.
  • Hard Foods
    • Again, restricted access to dental care can make eating hard foods difficult.
  • Large Bar of Soap without a Container
    • Hotel bars of soap are a better size when there is limited permanent storage.
    • If you are giving a large bar soap, include a container or plastic bag for storage so it can be used again in the future.
    • Do not give unwrapped bars of soap with no storage options.
  • Large sizes of personal care items
    • Without permanent storage options, large sizes will often be difficult to manage and will go to waste.
  • Cans Requiring a Can Opener
    • Look for cans that open with pull-tabs.
  • Cash
  • Used Items
    • New, clean items are truly a blessing and will last longer.
  • Anything that Could Be Harmful
  • Religious Pamphlets
    • Your actions will speak much louder than any printed words. Take a few minutes to speak with the person. You can ask if you can pray with them after interacting.
    • Respect that they may have different beliefs.
    • What people need is kindness from others more than printed texts.

More Resources on Blessing Bags and More

Be sure to pin so you can find these resources on how to make a blessing bag again in the future.

left - brown gift bags, right - pile of clear care bags
For all my favorite purposeful acts of kindness ideas check out the table below.

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