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a housewarming welcome kit…

A Housewarming Welcome Kit

A Housewarming Welcome Kit

With so many of my friends, family members, or co-workers buying houses or moving into a new home recently, I wanted to come up something I could give them as a welcome kit for their new home. Yes, I could give them a fancy cooking appliance they'll never use, but instead I like the idea of giving them something that they can use during those first couple weeks when your house doesn't yet feel like home. 

I've partnered with Honest (a brand I love and have used in my home since they started 4 years ago), to make this Housewarming Welcome Kit which includes some functional things to get them through those first couple weeks as well as some celebratory things for them to bask in the glory of a new space!

Here's how to make it…

A Housewarming Welcome Kit

If I'm giving a gift in some sort of container, I always want the recipient to be able to use that container again. So we used a simple tool box as our vessel and painted it in this painterly watercolor style to make it feel extra special.

To create the painterly toolbox, you'll need:

– a large wooden toolbox (you could also make a small one)

watercolor paint tubes and white acrylic paint

– at least 2 paint brushes

Here's how…

A Housewarming Welcome Kit

1. To spruce up the plain toolbox, we came up with this technique to give a watercolor effect on wood. First cover the surface of the wood with a wash of white paint.

A Housewarming Welcome Kit

2. While the white paint is still wet, dab small amounts of the watercolor paint right out of the tube in several areas on the board. We used three different colors and made about 2-3 dabs each.

A Housewarming Welcome Kit

3. Wet a large flat brush and pull the brush across the painted surface in the direction of the grain. Go back and forth over the surface no more than 3 or 4 times to lightly mix the watercolor with the white paint. Don't mix it too much or the color will lose vibrancy. Allow to dry overnight.

4. The wood should then be sprayed with a sealant, like this to make sure that the pigment does not wash or rub off. Once the sealant is dry, you can build the box according to the directions and pack it with goodies for the new homeowner.

A Housewarming Welcome Kit

A Housewarming Welcome Kit

Our must-haves:

1. Toilet paper — Because when you haven't unpacked yet, everyone needs some TP.

2. Coffee — for those late nights unpacking or early mornings in your new home

3. A plant — nothing brings life to a home like a little greenery 

4. House Cleaner — including Honest's Floor CleanerGlass Cleaner, and Multi-Purpose Cleaner (will link to products) for getting your space nice and shiny before setting up shop

5. Hand Soap — a new bathroom necessity

6. Dish Towels — one of the first things you need in the kitchen even if your cooking supplies are still in boxes

7. Hammer — for hanging art and making repairs

8. Chocolate — because everyone needs a little treat after a big move

9. Champagne — to toast and celebrate a new home!

10. Cheer — To make it a bit more festive, we also added some fun paper poufs, disposable flatware, and fun straws.

A Housewarming Welcome Kit

A Housewarming Welcome Kit

I'd spend anywhere from $50 to $100 on a nice housewarming gift for a close friend, so all the items in here fits in that range and can be made closer to $50 or closer to $100 depending on how fancy you get with the kind of chocolate or coffee you get or the specific items you choose (ie. drop the champagne if you want to spend a little less).

A Housewarming Welcome Kit

We love how versatile the toolbox is for a new homeowner because they can use it in so many different ways (apart from an actually using it as a toolbox) like…

1. cleaning supplies under the sink

2. magazines/books next to a couch

3. towels in the bathroom

4. gardening supplies

5. cups and silverware for alfresco dining

And that's it! It's such a fun gift to make because you can customize it however you want with both the practical gifts and the indulgent gifts.

Honest has kindly offered an Oh Joy reader code to get 25% off your first cleaning essentials bundle with code "OHJOY25OFF”. See terms below.

*This post is sponsored and compensated by Honest—a brand I love and use daily. Thanks for supporting the sponsors that make Oh Joy possible.

Promo Terms: 25% off your first bundle. Offer valid only for first-time bundle buyers at, now through November 30th, 2015, 11:59pm PT. This offer can only be redeemed once per customer and cannot be applied to International Surcharge, taxes, shipping, previous purchases, current Bundles, the purchase of gift cards or gift Bundles. Offer cannot be redeemed for cash or combined with any other coupons or promotions. Terms of offer are subject to change.

{Photos by Casey Brodley, crafts and styling by Ariel Fulmer, creative direction by Joy Cho.} 


  1. Interesting idea, love that you make your own toolbox. I felt the coffee was bit of a misfit in the box specially without a cup 🙂 but I am sure friends and neighbors would love to receive this thoughtful housewarming welcome kit.

  2. What a great idea. I recently moved & found that soap, dish soap, and dish towels were the first things we needed and of course couldn’t find them. We love all the Honest Co products we’ve tried.

  3. Thanks Dot! Sometimes these items may not seem super glamorous or the first thing you’d think of to gift, but they are so useful!

  4. What a great idea! Seems more personal, too, instead of getting some expensive cookware. Always love a good idea that’s useful for the recipient. With the stress of moving, I’d probably cry tears of happiness upon seeing the coffee and chocolates!

  5. This is such a great idea for house warming gifts! I’m going to make this kit for an upcoming house warming party for our dear friends who just bought their first house 😉

  6. This is such a great idea! I love that the gift is DIY and personal. I also love that the items in the box are not just the typical house warming gifts. There is such a variety of gifts in there and reusing the box is a perfect touch to the home.
    Love this!

  7. I love practical and pretty gifts! Toilet paper never goes to waste for sure 😉
    The only one I don’t feel is useful is the hammer: If you’re moving, chances are you should have a sturdy hammer lying around already. And if you DON’T have a hammer, chances are you don’t have nails, either! And what’s the use of a hammer without nails? I *would* give a tool set, but a lone hammer seems a little random to me. I know I sound neurotic but I’m actually serious lol. I guess all the other gifts seem great because they can be used up.

  8. This is a really nice idea for a gift and someone bringing it to me on moving day would have gotten so many hugs.
    My favorite item to have on hand when moving is a shower curtain liner – there’s nothing like finishing a day of moving and realizing that you can’t take a shower without flooding your new bathroom.

  9. I love this. This would also make a great bridal shower gift from a bride’s young cousins (always looking for gifts that the little cousins could give at a shower, don’t you?)I love the pastels on your toolbox.

  10. Lovely! The present is gorgeous! It is such a fresh and cool idea to paint the box yourself. Your technique is really good. I will try to paint this way! It is really unique! I also have friends who have just moved to their house so I need present ideas! Thanks for sharing!

  11. Oh! This is a terrific idea! I also have friends who are planning to move to their new house and I wanted to come up with some very cool and original present! At first I was thinking to disguise their van like one of these cool vans :, because my friends both share passion for cars and vans. I really like the box and the way you have painted it! I think that the idea with the van is too crazy and it is better to think of something more practical and simpler! Thanks so much for the idea!


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