need to be Martha Stewart to come up with decorative ideas for dressing up holiday gift cards. With a little ingenuity and a few extra bucks, you can turn that 3-1/8-by-2-1/8-inch piece of plastic into a thoughtful and
According to an October 2012 survey by the National Retail Federation, six in 10 Americans would like gift cards as a present this year -- more than any other classification of gift. That especially applies to gift card presentations like the one Holly Kile, of Greenwood, Ind.,
created for her mother last year.
Kile, 39, an
online business development consultant and owner of HJK
and the "Headmaster" of Pixie Dust University, wanted
the perfect gift for her mom -- something useful, yet personal. Beginning with
a poster board, Kile created a large one-month
calendar; for each week of that month, she added "pockets" to various
days. "My mother typically goes to Starbucks with one of her neighbors on
Thursday mornings, so I included a Starbucks card on a Thursday pocket. She
meets her best friend every Tuesday for lunch, so in a Tuesday pocket I gave
her a card to one of their favorite lunch spots," says Kile.
Kile added a gift card to the local grocery store on a Friday, her
mom's usual shopping day; a gas gift card into a Monday pocket, so her mom
could fill her car for the upcoming week; and other random cards here and
there. "For one of her Saturdays, she even got a salon card to cover her next
pedicure," says Kile.
Mom's reaction? "She loved
it," says Kile. "It showed her that not only did I pay attention to
what she was doing, but that I also wanted to be a part of that with her in a
Sure, not all of us are as creative as Holly Kile, but a little
creativity makes a big difference when it comes to gift card wrapping
12 hottest gift card wrapping ideas
1. Feed their inner chocaholic. Want the perfect gift for your BFF?
Take a ChoxCard, add a gift card from the best spa in
town, and voila, you have made her day. The ChoxCard makes the perfect
all-in-one gift: part gift cardholder, part greeting card and all chocolate
yumminess. ChoxCards come in a variety of funny, sassy, serious and sweet
designs on self-sealing boxes. Each box contains a bar of milk or dark chocolate,
depending on the design, and fits into a No. 10 envelope. ($5
each, plus shipping)
What on Earth
2. Please the pet people. While cats and dogs often coexist in
harmony, the same cannot be said of their fiercely loyal owners. Slip a gift
card for PetSmart or Petco into a gift for the pet parent -- such as these festive
red-and-white striped "Dog Lover" or "Cat Lover" socks -- and you've hit the perfect
note. (Of course, if you'd like to liven up this year's family Christmas, give
the "dog" socks to rabid canine enthusiast Cousin Carrie, and the "cat"
ones to her twin sister, Crazy Cat Lady Clara. We give them five minutes before
the fur starts flying!) ($12.95 each, plus shipping)
3. Send a messenger. When Nat Gertler, the 47-year-old founder and publisher of About
ex-boyfriend of the year, bought his ex-girlfriend and her new husband a gift
card to a camping store, he chose a special friend to deliver it. This friend --
a teddy bear Nat created at Build-a-Bear -- is dressed in full camping gear, all
the way down to the tiny backpack holding the gift card. (Build-a-Bear animals, outfits and accessories vary.)
Give More Media
4. Give more. "Wrap the gift card in a small
booklet that lets them know you care about them as a person," says Jim
Gould, co-founder of Give More Media, the creator of a variety of
motivational and inspirational booklets, including Cross The Line and Love Your People. The booklets make the perfect gift
cardholders for your employees, team members and clients. ($4.95 each or $3.95
each when ordering two or more)
5. It's a bank, it's a
treasure box, it's a ... gift cardholder? Each fun, personalized Frecklebox bank is a colorful tin container that
makes a perfect gift card disguise. Junior will be penny-pinching faster than
you can say, "Ka-ching!" ($16.99 each, plus shipping)
6. Go Bond. James Bond. Got a 007-wannabe in
your life? Then cruise on over to ThinkGeek.com and snatch up one of these
wicked-cool mini aluminum briefcases. They're perfect for carrying gift cards and block RFID-scanning
technology, just in case an evil villain tries to zap your credit cards. ($11.99,
7. Geek out. If you have a geek on your gift card
list, you're in luck. What cookie-loving Dr. Who-watcher could resist the Dr. Who TARDIS Talking Cookie Jar ($19.99, plus shipping), or the comics store gift card you hide inside it? Want to win the heart of a Firefly devotee?
Tuck a gift card into this classic Firefly "Curse Your Sudden But
Inevitable Betrayal" T-shirt.
($19.99, plus shipping)
8. The way
to a man's heart is through his ... gift cardholder? A manly gift card
deserves an equally manly gift cardholder. Enter the Rockler
Tool Box Gift Card Holder, the metal Mini-Me of an authentic wooden toolbox
-- right down to its latches and carrying handle. Once the gift card is
removed, he has the perfect business cardholder for his desk ($3.99). If your
hubby is a techie, hide a gift card to Apple or your local gadget haven inside this
year's hottest (and warmest!) gloves: "touchscreen" or "texting"
gloves, which keep his fingers warm while he texts on his iPhone or other
touchscreen device. The bonus? His boss will never know he's texting from the
slopes on Whistler Mountain. Find Isotoner
Men's Smartouch Fleece Lined Gloves at Amazon for only $17.99 (plus
shipping) a pair.
9. WOW them. Move over, you unassuming traditional gift cards -- there's a new kid in town, and all we can say is WOW! Target's
WOW! interactive gift cards, created from Target's patented technology, offer
extra features, including lights, sound and motion. The four designs include the musical Joy Snowman, light-up sweater-adorned Christmas Sweater Bear and reindeer-shaped Antler Scrambler Maze (including a magnetic stylus to navigate
the antler maze). The almost-sentient Draw 'n Go gift card comes with a marker and
special Bullseye dog car; using the provided marker, the recipient draws on a
piece of paper and the car follows what was drawn.
10. Make a promise. Give a gift card and make it a date.
Wouldn't your grandma love a day of manis
and pedis with her favorite granddaughter (that's you, by the way)? Slip the
spa gift card into pretty basket of lotions with a note inviting her for a
"girl's day" the following week.
11. Create an adventure. If you don't know what to get your
10-year-old nephew, get an assortment of gift cards and make a day of adventure
out of it. Buy a variety of $10 gift cards -- for the local miniature golf
course, his favorite pizza place, the bowling alley, Taco Bell, the movie
theater and Cold Stone -- and toss them into a hat. Have him pull one out at a
time -- no peeking! -- to determine the next step of your adventure. (Just hope
that he doesn't pick one food gift card after another, or you'll be too stuffed
to play mini golf.)
The Literary Gift Company
12. Book lover's bonanza. For the book lover, reader or writer in
your life, you cannot go wrong with a gift card to The
Literary Gift Company,
or as I like to call it, Mecca. Choose from thousands of books, notebooks,
journals, diaries, bags and more to find the perfect holder for your gift card.
My top picks are the "Go away I'm reading" and "Go away I'm writing" mugs ($15.79 each, plus shipping)
(kids, are you reading this?). For the literary gentleman in your life, tuck a gift
card inside a 100 percent silk, hand-painted Vintage Typewriter tie ($53.96, plus shipping) or a
Shakespearean manuscript tie ($39.68, plus shipping).
See related: CHART: Compare fees, terms on top 63 gift cards
, Gifting, budgeting drive gift card boom