“Whether you’re a kid, a parent, a teacher or any adult who works with children, you’ll find hours of creative, entertaining projects inside Pack-of-Fun magazine. Easy-to-follow patterns, detailed instructions and colorful photos make activity projects a breeze for families and classrooms”; that was and still is the creed of the Pack-O-Fun scrap craft magazine.
My grandmother had stacks of these magazines, among countless others with craft and needlecraft articles, in her home as long as I can remember. When I was old enough to read I started “rambling”, as Grandmother and Granddaddy called it, in those magazines and wanting to try the oodles of fun projects bursting from the yellowing pages. They couldn’t keep me out of them. Pack-O-Fun has been around since at least the 1950’s, but I’m having a very hard time trying to find any real info about the magazine. Anyway, the 1970’s ones were current when I was a kid, and as well as having fun going through Grandmother’s old editions, I began to anticipate the new issues.
Pack-O-Fun centered around making things from stuff around the house that one would normally throw away; egg cartons, shoe boxes,popsicle sticks, fabric scraps and old clothes,bottle caps, milk jugs, etc. Most projects involved a few supplies from a craft store,like glue or sequins, but I think its main goal was to provide entertainment and encourage resourcefulness without having to buy much of anything. Now that I think about it, I wholeheartedly believe that my constant studying of this magazine, as well as following Grandmother’s example, truly taught me how to be creative in seeing something–a simple object– as having the potential to be something else. A plastic easter egg can be a puppet eye, a ball-shaped bath oil cap makes a great puppet nose. My dad is the same way; he has a model train layout, and he is always making adorable little houses and buildings and such from found objects.
I also learned to make Jello box puppet heads from this magazine. This is a sort of crazy way of doing them,leaving them uncovered, but this technique is totally responsible for Oranjello:
Alas, when my grandmother’s home was cleared out for an estate sale when she went to her assisted living home, the magazines vanished.
Pictured at the top of the post is a lot of Pack-O-Fun’s I recently found on eBay, and I am so excited about them. Not only because I’m looking forward to revisiting all those project ideas , but see the one with the dancing skeleton marionettes on it? THAT is the issue that I remember the most fondly and that I wanted especially badly. Most of the others in the stack are direct from my childhood. It’s gonna be great seeing these old friends again.