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Dollar Tree DIY College Survival Kit & Free Printable Card

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Dollar Tree DIY College Survival Kit - printable and basket

Know a high school graduate heading off to college soon?

Consider making a fun College Survival Kit gift basket using our free printable card! We headed to Dollar Tree, but you can fill a basket with items you think your recipient will both need and love as a thoughtful and fun gift idea. This is such an exciting time in a young person’s life!

Dollar Tree DIY College Survival Kit with a printable uses items you can find at Dollar Tree

Make an affordable gift basket from Dollar Tree!

Dollar tree has some great finds to fill a gift basket for college students including large baskets to use as containers! I was able to spot some things that’d be useful for college students right away. I was able to get everything pictured below for about $13!

Dollar Tree DIY College Survival Kit with Printable plus items on a table for the basket

Here are some fun ideas:

  • flip flops for shower shoes
  • ear plugs and sleeping masks
  • laundry detergent/dryer sheets
  • laundry basket/laundry bags
  • hangers
  • food items like Ramen noodles & microwave popcorn
  • shower gel and loofah
  • coffee mugs/cups and instant coffee
  • hand soap/hand sanitizer
  • personal care items like deodorant, toothpaste, etc.

Dollar Tree DIY College Survival Kit

To use this free printable:  Simply print and attach this card to basket using tape. I also wrapped my basket with clear cellophane wrap and attached a bow. This detail is cute, but completely optional.

Dollar Tree DIY College Survival Kit with the printable is cellophane wrapped

This is such a thoughtful and useful gift idea!

My roommate in college had an aunt give her one of these as a freshman, and I remember being super jealous at the time! Ha. Something like this doesn’t cost much, but it can mean so much to someone that you thought of them!


Written by Lina for Hip2Save. Lina is a proud mom of 2 small kids who loves photography, all holidays, cooking, thrift store makeovers, bargain shopping, and DIY makeovers. Her goal is to create a beautiful life and stylish home on a dime! Check out all of Lina’s DIY/CRAFTS and RECIPES created just for Hip2Save.

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Comments 17

  1. Desiree

    My daughter will be heading to college in about 6 weeks. Was planning to surprise her with a basket of goodies when we’re done with move-in. This’ll be perfect! Thanks!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Aw yay! You’re so welcome!

  2. Lana

    Our youngest son proudly walked in the door after his college graduation and plunked down a laundry detergent bottle. He said I gave it to him when he moved in as a freshman and it lasted all four years! You can imagine my reaction!

    Mom of five college grads. I have seen and heard it all!

    • Sharvido

      Thanks for making me LOL!

    • Laura

      That is so funny! My son came home this summer from his freshman year and told me he only used one tube of toothpaste the whole year (I sent him with 3!). We had a little chat about hygiene. Lol.

    • Jill

      After recently picking my 21 year old son up from his first year of living in a house at school, I asked what the stench was, he said, “It might be my sheets. I haven’t washed them since Christmas.” Ughh… then he follows it up with “I guess I should wash them at least once a month”…. I suggested once a week might be a better idea. He’s the oldest of 4, I am sure I have more good times ahead 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

      • Lana

        I used to get onto our oldest son about sheet washing when he was in college and he said they smelled like SLEEP! UGH!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Oh that’s funny!

  3. Amber

    Cute idea

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Thanks Amber!

  4. MommySpendsLess

    I think a great gift for someone moving into their first place would be a basket of the essentials that you don’t think about until you need them and living in an established household you take for granted that they’re there – batteries, a flashlight, a lighter, tape, super glue, a sewing kit, spare light bulb, bandaids, pain medicine, Tums, anti-itch cream, a couple basic screw drivers, a hammer and some nails, etc.

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Love this idea! Thanks for sharing

    • MrsK

      YES. I agree.
      This reminds of when we got a new pastor; Our church gave them a Pounding (yes, we are in the South). Everyone in the congregation brought consumable items to help them set up their new home — food, detergents, toilet paper, etc. I think originally the Pounding was supposed to mean that you brought a Pound of Sugar, or a Pound of Flour, or a Pound of Nails.

  5. acgold

    I have been doing this for years for my younger cousins. I also adds, hand sanitizer, some form of spray cleaner, bandaids, Advil, Neo-sporin type tube, small box of plasticware utensils, flashlight and batteries, and condoms!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Good ideas! Thanks 🙂

  6. Judy Trac

    Condoms from dollar tree?

  7. Karen

    30+ years ago one of my aunts sent me off to college with a cardboard box that had lots of little sections in it — each had useful things that would cost a LOT if you had to buy a package of each — especially “office supplies” — not all of which you’d still need now, I think: little stapler and staples, paper clips, pens, pencils, erasers, white out, paper hole punch, band aids, 3×5 cards… Like your desk and office closet in a small box – that doesn’t take much room in your small dorm room.
    Another aunt sent me a letter soon after I got there — in it she said that whenever I wrote her a letter, she’d send me homemade goodies! So every month I got brownies, cookies, strawberry rhubarb bread…….. 🙂

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