How to Make an Emergency Purse Kit
I love having an array of "emergency quenchers" handy! What a good, efficient feeling to be prepared! You never know when you might need a bandaid... a flosser... a breath mint... a post-a-note... rubberband... birthday candle... a paperclip... something for a headache... All these and more are in my little Emergency Purse Kit!!!
These kits are small enough to keep in your purse, and you'll be the go-to person when anyone you know has an emergency! You can also keep the kit in your glove compartment, stroller pouch, gym bag, or suitcase!
Can you guess what the most asked-for item has been for me? ... PAIN MEDS! But I've certainly used all of the other items at one time or another over the years that I've been making these ~ which has been at least four decades now!
In fact, so old am I that the item I used for a case for the first ones I made was~ NO, I'll save that for the end! Let's jump right in to the how-to's and tips for you brass-tacks or short-on-time people...
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The container I use for these kits is now different from the kit pictured above as Amazon ran out of the above-pictured ones. These new bags below are much more expensive ($15.99 for three), but much better made, and much more durable! Which is well worth it for something you'll be carrying in your purse for many years. (Sorry, but I haven't had time to re-do the kit with the new bag.)
Another cheaper option, a bit smaller, is a 3" X 4" ziplock bag. It's not nearly as durable, but still works.
You just might want to change the baggie every few weeks since it'll get a bit beat up in your purse ~ if your purse is anything like mine!
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Here's what I include in my Emergency Purse Kits:
Here's a list of the kit items with notes about them: (There are a few items in the list below that aren't pictured above ~ cuz I always think of more things after taking a photo! But everything listed here would fit!) Note:
Paperclips - one small, one larger
Rubber bands - 2, different sizes
Mini post-a-notes - Mine are the tiniest: 1-3/8" X 1-7/8." I include only 5-10 sheets in a kit since space is limited.
Piece of gum - in the wrapper, not room for a whole pack
Flosser - (Or you could put a strip of floss into a mini zip-lock bag.)
2 quarters - for a call at a pay phone, if you don't have a cell phone or it's dead.
Meds - 2 of each of my two fav's in a mini zip-lock baggie
Breath mints - 2 in a mini zip-lock baggie
Toothpick - These usually come wrapped at restaurants, so just ask if you can take a few.
Nail file - I cut these down to a size that will fit into my kit. If you get shorter ones, cut them in half; if you get longer ones, cut them in thirds. You only need a couple inches to do an "emergency" job. I cut mine at an angle which provides a point for getting gunk under the nail. You can't do a lot with this small size, but it's for an emergency, not a whole manicure.
Safety pins - 3 different sizes for whatever need arises! (Hey! That's a poem!!!)
Ear plugs - In the photo above, I used a pair of white foam cylinder-shaped earplugs, and put them in a 1.5" X 2" mini zip-lock bag. Some people prefer this type of earplug over the orange bell-shaped ones, which come in prepackaged bags. (I personally prefer the orange ones as they are softer and have a higher decibel-blocking capacity.) I got whole boxes of both types, so I have options. (The 1.5" X 2" mini zip-loc bag is pictured above, but 2" X 2" bags would work just as well.)
Birthday candle + match - in a mini zip-lock baggie. Buy the smallest candles so they fit into your little baggie. (This has come in handy so many times!)
Bandaids - 2 sizes
Hand Sanitizing Wipe - I originally saved the hand wipe packets I got from KFC or a restaurant that has ribs, which you can certainly do, but if you won't be going out (or going there), you can buy a box of 100 Purell Sanitizing Hand wipes on Amazon.
Small pencil or pen - I break a regular-size pencil in half (or even shorter) and sharpen the broken end that has the eraser. If you want to use the whole pencil, sharpen the broken end of the other half, and put a push-on pencil eraser onto the other end.d
Mini Sewing Kit - Here is my blog post on How to Make a Mini Sewing Kit to add to your Emergency Purse Kit or just have in your home or glove compartment. (I didn't include it in my current Emergency Purse Kit only because I have another, larger sewing kit in my purse.)
Here it is from the back: This little kit has prevented many a sewing-based catastrophe!
Other than if you're making a sewing kit, the 2" X 2" mini zip-loc bag is probably the most versatile. The birthday candle and match are in that size bag in the photo below.
The other three bags in the photo below are 1.5" X 2" mini zip-loc bag, which I think are the cutest, but the opening is pretty narrow. (That half-inch makes a difference, especially for larger fingers. Plus this size is way more expensive; no idea why.)
Here are the various items I used these mini bags for:
As you can see, the items that fit into the smallest bag would also fit into the slightly-larger 2" X 2" mini zip-loc bag, so you don't need to get both. (But the candle won't fit into the smaller bag.)
(I got these on Amazon, affiliate links are in the items.)
You don't have to have a label, but if you're a labelaholic like me, here's what I did...
For one of my past purse kits, I created a title in a Word document, and used an oval punch to punch out the title. (This is in the in the left column of the printable.)
In the above photo, you can see that I used a scalloped oval punch to add another border of color around the title oval. I decided to leave that off my main example (below) so you would have one less thing to buy if you're one who has to do it just like the sample! As you can see, it's just as cute without it:
I also used a larger decorative-edge punch for another fun layer ~ the peachy one above. Not at all necessary, and you could even just cut the labels into rectangles, and still have something pretty!
I first lightly glued the oval onto the larger decorative piece, and then glued that to the outside of the case or bag.
Here's a FREE printable of these labels for you! There are two versions of the same document:
Emergency Purse Kit
in Word / editable
Emergency Purse Kit
PDF / not editable
No matter which label you choose, I highly recommend putting a piece of wide, clear, thicker tape over your label to protect it, and to make sure it doesn't wear off in your purse.
If you don't have wide tape, just use a few strips of narrower tape. You'll hardly notice, and it'll still look better than a scuffed-up label 5 days (or in my case, a mere 5 hours) after being put in a purse.
OTHER OPTIONS FOR CASES
Here are two alternative options for the cases, especially for those who might actually have one or even both of these items on hand! CD cases and cassette tape cases! For both of these options, I used the flexible plastic type of case that snaps shut, not the clear hard plastic types as those will crack or come apart at the hinge too easily, and not stay shut.
CD Case: As thin as these are, they can actually hold most of the items!
You can see the contents even better because the items are more spread out and not overlapping as much. If you use one of these, be sure to get thinner versions of gum, meds, and mints.
Avoid putting items in the very center where the circular CD snap-in holder is located. And place thicker items away from the outer edge of the case, or it won't close.
Going back even further in time, another option ~ that you "slightly olders" may even have on hand ~ is to use a...
Cassette Tape Case: I used these to make my first kits ~ which I'll say more about in a moment! If you can find one of these, there are two plastic prongs inside that you'll want to clip off as close to the base as possible. Don't just wiggle them off, or a chunk of the case itself can come off with the prong. I used toenail clippers. And hold your hand (the one that's not doing the clipping) over the clipping operation so that IF the prong decides to fly upon cutting, it'll hit your hand, not your eye!
And, for any of you who have one more minute, I will end with...
A BIT OF HISTORY
I started making these kits back when cassette tapes were IN! Yes, I'm that old!!! I even remember when cassettes first came in and were up-n-coming, amazing technology! Waaaay better and more compact than clunky 8-track tapes!!!
We produced and sold audio tapes of several workshops I presented at homeschool conventions, so we bought these cases 500 at a time!
But CD's eventually replaced cassettes, so we had tons of cassette cases left over. I've used these many times for groups I have led, and let my guests put together their own kits with the contents that I had gathered and set up for them.
To that end, I put all the items into a Pampered Chef square-brownie pan. This was passed around the table for gals to take "one of each item" for their own kits:
(Please note that you can also make actual brownies using this wonderful pan!)
One of the uses was as a party favor for the Moms at the first birthday party of one of my grandsons! The gals loved them!!! In fact, wanna here a bit more? ...
Our daughter called their youngest, Weston, "My Little Prince," and used that as the theme of his one-year-old party! So I created a label with a crown on it:
This was 8 years ago, so I wasn't blogging yet, nor did I even get a photo of it. But when I did an Internet search for "emergency purse kits " just to see what was out there, the only picture that came up was mine!!! ~ the exact one that we made at Weston's party!!! (That was a long time ago; now there are many photos of emergency purse kits on the Internet!)
What had happened was that Gayle, a friend who was at the party, wrote a column for our local newspaper, and she (with permission from me) did one of her columns on this Emergency Purse Kit! She included her own kit in her article, and then someone else, somewhere in the world, had saved it, and posted the column in their "$5 and Under Christmas Gift Ideas" article!
Further into the article, she showed the contents spread out on her table:
(Sorry about the poor photo quality; this
is a screenshot of a screenshot!)
Several items you saw in my kit above, but additional items in this kit are: a credit-card-size calendar from Hallmark, a Mini Sewing Kit, a packet of salt (from a restaurant, who I asked if they'd let me have 20), a bite-size Milky Way (for those chocolate emergencies! ~ we had to flatten it just a bit to make it fit in the cassette case), and a packet of NutriSweet (or Equal, sugar, etc.).
These kits are fun to put together, fun to receive, and so nice to use when you have a need! In fact, at a dance recital a couple days ago, I was out in the lobby during a break, and a guy I'd never even seen before came up to me, and, holding his hand and covering his fore-fingernail, said "You like like someone who might have a band-aid! Do you?" And indeed I did! (And even anti-biotic ointment!)
When I got back to him with the band-aid I fetched from my purse, he showed me the reason he needed one: a black fingernail that had pulled mostly off his fingertip!
So you don't even need to know about Emergency Purse Kits to be grateful for what's in 'em! But now that you do know, get one made so that you can make someone else grateful!
Let me know
in the comments
if you make one of
these, and what you
included that I
didn't think of!
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