The solution for gift-card lovers or skeptics comes in the form of thinking outside the box — the ubiquitous, gift card-sized gift card box, that is — and in getting creative
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Just look at the typical gift card. Plastic. All the same size. Kind of boring. That doesn’t sound like you, does it? If you’re giving a gift card for a special occasion, it’s time to get creative in how you wrap it.
“Being creative in the presentation will not only show you’ve put your heart into it, but it makes it more interesting for the person who is receiving the gift card. It puts more of a surprise factor into it and makes it more personal,” says Debbie Gray, an Ocala, Florida, graphic designer.
Need some help getting your own creative juices flowing? How about a compact that doubles as a gift card holder? What about wrapping a gift card in a Christmas tree ornament or jammed into a Starbucks cup filled with coffee beans?
Check out these ideas and many more in our list of top 10 creative gift card wrapping favorites:
1. Zip it up: Hallmark’s Funzip gift boxes feature cool pop-up characters in festive holiday designs and are super easy to assemble without scissors or tape. To open, the recipient simply “unzips” the package (starting at $5).
2. Keep it organized: Many of us have gift cards with unused balances lying around the house at any given time, and it can be hard to keep track of them. Wrap up your gift card in the Card Cubby. With spaces to write down balances and expiration dates, you can give your loved ones the gift of organization, too ($23.50 and up)
3. Christmas tree ornaments: The best gift card wrapping can be used long after the gift card itself has been redeemed. Many popular gift-card holders come in the form of Christmas tree ornaments – keepsakes to be appreciated year after year. Seastone manufactures several of these, and the products are only available through retail distributors, which include Wal-Mart, The Home Depot, Walgreens and Kroger stores. Or you can make one yourself: Stick the gift card in a balloon, blow it up, draw some snowflakes on it and add an ornament hook. Voila! You’ve got a fun, pretty gift card wrapper, with an added noisemaker bonus: The recipient has to pop it to get it open.
4. Going to the animals: Kids of all ages will love receiving a plush stuffed animal, especially when that animal has a Toys R Us, Target or Walgreens gift card in its paws. Visit Oriental Trading for a holiday themed plush bear gift card holder ($4.47 plus shipping) or check out this adorable plush (in pink, blue or ecru) from Toys R Us ($5.99 plus shipping).
5. Let them eat candy: A gift card is grand, but a gift card wrapping in the form of candy is dandy. For $5 to $10 on top of the gift card price, you can sweeten the deal with a miniature box of Godiva chocolates. Yum!
6.Sock it to them: Wrap a gift card wrapped inside a fun pair of socks, gloves or slippers that will keep them guessing – and laughing. Go crazy at the Joy of Sox – choose from novelty socks (from sushi to Nefertiti) or holiday socks for everyone you know. (Prices vary, with most ranging from $7.50-$12.)
7. Stick with a theme: It’s always fun to match the gift card wrapping with the gift card itself – hide a casino gift card in a deck of playing cards, a Starbucks gift card inside a pound of coffee beans, or a photo gift certificate inside a picture frame. Combine an Omaha Steaks gift card with a set of steak knives and a cutting board, or drop a Williams-Sonoma gift card inside the pocket of a personalized W-S apron ($19.95 to $39.95 depending on color, plus shipping).
8. The bookmark: Gift cards make perfect bookmarks. Simply purchase a book related to the gift card – say, a book about fashion and a gift card for Macy’s or a travel journal with an airline gift card – and you have a thoughtful present-within-a-present. For the book lover in your life, combine a Borders or Barnes and Noble gift card with a book for the perfect literary gift duo.
9. The gift card extravaganza: One great way to creatively wrap gift cards comes in the form of a wallet or purse with several gift cards enclosed. After all, who wouldn’t enjoy a wallet that’s already filled with spending money for their favorite stores? For kids and teens, fill the wallet with a variety of gift cards in small increments to favorite fast-food places – McDonald’s, Taco Bell and Papa John’s – and in larger increments for iTunes, Old Navy and the local mall.
10. DIY: Scroll through Pinterest for some crafty ideas to make your gift card pop. Or make your own adorable reindeer gift card holder with some pipe cleaners and googly eyes. Or get out those crochet hooks and make up this cozy snowman holder.
Match your effort to card’s value
Gray offers another salient piece of advice to shoppers: Consider the dollar value of the gift card before you choose the type of gift card wrap. “I have disguised gift cards in the past, but I would only use the more elaborate presentations if a gift card has a high dollar amount on it. I wouldn’t use a major type of presentation – a huge box, for example, to wrap a $10 gift card. For smaller amounts, I would use an ornament or a coffee mug, because you don’t ever want to make the recipient think they’re about to receive a great expensive present, and then only have a small amount on the card. That could end up being a disappointment instead of excitement,” she says.
“Package the cards in the appropriate way, and whatever you do, don’t use an empty iPod box for a fast-food gift card!”