"Return to OZ" Picnic Lunch




About: I try to push myself each day to be more resourceful, innovative, & creative. I am constantly inspired by some of the brilliant minds here on Instructables, & I hope that I can inspire others as well. I thin...

It's nearly time for my daughter to start school for the FIRST time, so I wanted to make the most out of the few days we have left to spend together. I wanted to plan a special picnic lunch for the kids & started mulling over a few ideas. I could recall watching, "Return to OZ," as a child & how magical it all seemed. In particular a scene in which Dorothy picks a strange looking "fruit" from a tree & discovers a picnic lunch inside. I remember wishing such a thing REALLY existed; so I decided I would turn this fun concept into reality for my children. I'm glad I did! It turned out to be a very rewarding adventure for us all! Plus my daughter has a unique lunch pail for school!

Step 1: How to Make the Pail

To make the lunch pail you will need:

1 empty 24 oz sour cream or cottage cheese container with the lid (1 per pail you want to make)
6 large fake leaves with the wire branches. (usually can be found at a dollar store, also per pail)
1 can green spray paint 
1 can red spray paint
1 piece floral foam that will fit on top of your lid. (per pail)
Optional: Brown duct tape

Crafting glue gun

* First spray paint the outside of your container red & the lid green. You can also add a little green to the top boarder of the container to make it look a little more organic.

* Remove all the leaves from the wire branches & braid or twist together about 3 of the longest wires. Cut of the shorter extra wires. Then bend the bottom section of the branch over creating an L shape. (You could wrap the wires with brown duct tape if you would like)

*Using your craft glue gun, hot glue the foam onto the top of the lid. Then drill down through the center of the foam & through the center of the lid. (You can set the lid on top of the duct tape roll as you work so you don't drill into the table top)

*Push your wire branch up through the lid & foam. Then bend the twisted branches over to create the stem/hook for your lunch pail. The L shape will act as an anchor for your stem. 

* Glue the leaves onto the foam piece & overlap them so that the foam can not be seen. 

TA-DAH!!! One very cool, yet cheap, lunch pail!

Step 2: Setting the Scene

Now that you have your lunch pails SECRETLY made. It's time to set the mood & create the scene...

* Retrieve your movie & start it up to get in the "OZ zone", meanwhile...(This movie may be difficult to find so plan ahead)

* Make a picnic lunch for the kiddos. My pails had: 1 PB&J sandwich, fruit snacks, cheese, & some grapes. (If you want to be TRUE to the film, you'll want to make a ham sandwich, but I just made what I had on hand.) Pack the meal into the pail. Cutting the sandwich in quarters then stacking them. This allows for more room for your other goodies. Place a folded napkin on top then seal it up. 

* Sneak outside during the movie & hang your pails up in a tree, & spread a blanket out nearby. Then return to the movie...

* Once you have returned, the movie should be near the lunch pail scene. (If not just cuddle up & enjoy the movie a little while longer) When you reach the right scene PAUSE the film for lunch time!

Step 3: A Magic Moment

Now get your camera ready, to record a truly magical moment!

*Once outside lead the children over to the tree where they can each "pick" their lunch. (You may need to help them so they don't damage their pail, or the tree.) 

* Open the pails just as you would normally, by lifting up on the lip of the container. (DON'T pull on the stem to open it) 

ENJOY A FANTASTIC LUNCH TOGETHER! ...then return to the movie & continue your adventure. 

This was probably one of the BEST activities I've done with my kids! I loved every moment of it & will always remember the expressions on their faces. It will always be a cherished memory & I hope it inspires them to someday make their dreams a reality.



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18 Discussions


5 years ago

that is so cool plus if you cant find the movie you could read them the book I forgot witch one it was though

3 replies

Reply 3 years ago

Thank you for the info! I'll have to look it up!


Reply 3 years ago

great idea! I didn't even know there was a book!

This is awesome!! The lunch pail in the movie says Lunch btw. It's one of my fav movies


5 years ago



5 years ago

This is probably the cutest Instructables I've seen! I want to do this for my niece but maybe substitute it for a fairy movie or even Alice in Wonderland. So adorable!


Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

I'm happy you liked it! This has been my favorite project so far! Happy Creating & thanks for the support!

Dusk Shadows

6 years ago on Introduction

Go ausies!! oh wait..this ible is still cool but...GO THE AUSIES YEAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH


6 years ago on Introduction

They no doubt had a great time! Their faces prove it!


6 years ago on Introduction

I thought you meant you were returning to Australia, till I saw the pics.

Such a thoughtful activity to show your kids appreciation and love. And a wonderfully fun concept. You are such a cool parent.  :)

1 reply