Every December, we think back to those late summer days and remember saying to ourselves, “This year, I’ll get my Christmas shopping done early, so that I can really take the time to get everyone the perfect, thoughtful gift.”
Right. Cut to December 16th and a long list of names, with no checkmarks next to them. With holiday traffic reaching its peak and the window of “guaranteed delivery by Christmas” shutting rapidly, it’s difficult to make that perfect gift happen. Enter the gift card and the cash gift.
Photo: NJ Gold Mine
They’re not the most personal of presents, and they can be seen as cop-outs or even thoughtless by some. Even for the hard-to-buy-for individuals who actually welcome a couple benjamins or an iTunes card, it never hurs to add a little personal touch here and there.
Luckily, if you’re up for getting crafty, you can turn gift cards and money into gifts that really do show you care. It’s all in the packaging! From handmade pouches to mason jar snow globes, here are a few of our favorite ways to take giving a little do-re-mi up an octave. Click the photo links for how-to’s!
1. Felt Coffee Card Mug
If you have a coffee lover in your life, and know a coffee house gift card will be put to great use, why not wrap it in a handmade felt coffee mug? Sew on a few decorative buttons and a colorful stitch here and there, and this card goes from boring to pretty darn adorable.
2. Emergency Fund Frame
We love this fun way to give a little cold, hard cash. Frame up whatever denomination of bills you’d like to give, and suddenly a gift with very little personality now has some to spare.
3. Snow Globe Gift Card
Photo: Creative Mama
An empty mason jar becomes gift-worthy when you glue a gift card to the lid and fill it with glitter and ornaments to shake around. We’re not quite sure how long that snow globe will stay intact, though. The bestsellers list is calling!
4. Floral Print Pockets
Photo: Silhouette Blog
If you load up on beautiful, patterned paper, you can create stylish envelopes to pop your gift cards into. Why not hang these on the tree, or perhaps attach them to a nice bottle of wine or a homemade batch of cookies. Whatever you decide, this gift card wrapping is sure to grab their attention before they even make it to what’s inside.
5. Mani-Pedi Gift Box
Photo: Jacolyn Murphy
Give the gift of relaxation and pampering. Fill a gift box with cotton balls and the recipient’s favorite shade of polish, then place the gift card right on top. The effort apparent in the extra steps taken, makes this feel a real gift and not just an afterthought.
6. Mini Felt Envelopes
Photo: Paper ‘N Stitch
These are simply precious! Stitch or glue some felt into a mini envelope, then add a stamp and an address label. It’s simple and inexpensive, but at the same time looks like you spent a lot of time on something that would otherwise have taken you only moments to stick into a standard paper envelope.
7. Wedding Gift Origami
Photo: Homemade Gifts Made Easy
This origami money fold takes a little skill and time, but we think it’s totally worth it. If you’re going to give money at a wedding (or any occasion,
really) this is a pretty special way to do it.
8. Mix-Tape Gift Card
Photo: Megan Hoeppner
If you have a picky music lover on your list, an iTunes gift card can be a great way to go. We love how this crafter made a cassette tape as a gift card holder and paired it with a set of earbuds! Unique and thoughtful!
9. Money for a Bright Future
Photo: Good Housekeeping
A lightbulb jar (you can order online) is a great little vessel for gift giving. Money is a great contribution to any child’s “bright future,” and this crafty wrapping expresses that perfectly.
10. Photograph Gift Cards
Photo: Disney Family
If you stage a photo shoot with your children holding boxes or gifts, you can use the prints as creative ways to give your gift cards. Simply wrap up the cards with a little paper and twine, and strategically place them in your children’s arms. So fun!
If you add the right personal touch, a wad of cash or a gift card really can be the perfect gift. And even better, there’s still time to get them made and placed under the tree. (Just don’t wait too much longer!)