Though at times giving a gift card feels impersonal, — as if I’ve “cheated” from spending the time to truly figure out the perfect gift — I’ve come to realize that sometimes, a gift card can be the perfect gift. For teenagers, acquaintances or more distant relatives, or even for someone you know so well that the only perfect gift is to let them pick it out themselves, a gift card can be the gift of letting them choose something they’ve wanted or needed, or of a shopping experience to treat themselves at their favorite store.
But in the midst of a season of packages and paper and bows, sometimes opening a gift card can feel a little bit… flat. As well as personalizing the gift and showing you’ve put time and thought into it, creative gift card wrapping can help the joy and anticipation of the gift to come (when the recipient spends the gift card) begin the moment they see the package!
So ditch that plain envelope! Here are 10 creative ways to wrap gift cards this holiday season:
1. In a box, in a box, in a box. Nope, not just “so nice I said it thrice.” Place the gift card within tissue paper inside of a box. Wrap the small box, and place it in tissue paper or styrofoam peanuts inside of a larger box. Wrap this box and place it inside of another, larger, wrapped box, to place under the tree! Three is a good gag number or you could go really crazy and keep going!
2. Origami. Pretty origami papers can be purchased from a craft store, Target, Amazon, or in an Asian discount store if you have one. Here are some simple instructions for an origami envelope or origami pinwheel, or you can try your hand at a larger or more elaborate design, such as this origami house, origami panda, or origami box. Try your design using lined or printer paper first, to practice, and to make sure your final product will be large enough to fit the card.
3. Duct tape wallet. Fancy colors and prints of duct tape are available at craft stores, and big box stores like Target (I think I even got mine at Bed Bath & Beyond) for a few dollars a roll. Surprise your recipient with a durable “wallet,” like this one from Skip to my Lou, to hold all the season’s gift cards, pre-stocked with a gift from you. I haven’t made one myself but online tutorials swear they’re even easier than the origami!
4. DIY snow globe. If you’re brave enough to submerge the card in water (one tester reports the cards worked fine after 8 hours, and my instinct tells me water shouldn’t affect a magnetic strip), check out this great gift card snow globe tutorial from One Charming Party.
5. In a related non-box. Tuck the card inside another, smaller gift that represents the store, such as a bag of coffee or a mug for Starbucks, with popcorn and candy for movie tickets, or attached to a leash or fun collar for a pet store gift card.
6. In an ornament for the tree. Attach the card to a holiday ornament that represents the recipient, or the gift, or a handmade ornament, for them to keep on their tree long after the money is spent.
7. With a mystery “from” tag. In my family, we try to leave a clue in the “from” section of the gift tag and make the recipient guess before they can open their gift. For example, a gift card from Bed Bath & Beyond might read “Stay clean and sleep tight,” or from Victoria’s Secret, “She’ll never tell.”
8. In a cigarette case. Cigarette cases are no longer just for cigarettes. They’re easily repurposed to be small wallets, receipt holders, or to help organize small items in a purse. They can be found cheaply on Amazon (like this one, for $2, or this Beatles case for $8 + $5 shipping) , or in a smoke shop or many novelty stores. Keep in mind that the dimensions of a gift card (if it’s the size of a credit card) are 3 3/8″ x 2 1/8″, so a metal business card holder will probably be too small.
9. In a bag of their favorite candy. Purchase candy at a bulk store and put in a festive bag, jar, or box.
What is your favorite way to wrap gift cards?