It’s the eternal debate: to gift card or not to gift card? Pragmatists argue that gift cards are fabulously foolproof and guaranteed to be useful, while sentimentalists find them hopelessly impersonal. But they are incredibly popular. In fact, 76% of American consumers will buy a gift card this year. If you’re one of them, consider wrapping gift cards with adorable trimmings, personal touches and clever disguises that make it clear just how much you care. We reached out to experts and asked them how to wrap gift cards. Whether you prefer to make your own gift packaging or buy it, we’ve got you covered. Read on for their creative, cute, ingenious ideas!
6 crafty ways to wrap a gift card
Give your gift a personal touch with these easy DIY gift-wrap ideas (and then click through for tips on how to wrap a gift that’s not a gift card!)
1. Turn wrapping paper into a chic envelope
“Some of my most-requested videos are about how to package and present gift cards, and my answer is usually the same: Fold a rectangle of wrapping paper into a chic, tailored envelope and pop in a candy cane!” suggests professional wrapper Tracie Garrett of Bee and Blooms. “People love the impact but can be intimidated by wrapping something so small.” Check the video below to see the easy how-to:
“You’ll notice that I often make diagonal folds, which help securely encase the card without tape.”
2. Pop it in a box and wrap it in personalized paper
“Even on the tightest budget, you can always find something to wrap a gift card with, whether it be magazine tear-outs, packing paper, old sheet music, pretty paper napkins or other recycled materials,” assures Garrett. “Think creatively about what will have visibility and what might be meaningful to the recipient.” Maybe it’s newspaper comics wrapped around a gift card to a toy store, a map printed off the internet enclosing a gift card for a traveler or printed-out old text messages for a more romantic gift card.
Tip: To make wrapping easier, professional gift wrapper Aleeta Ward, founder of AWard Wraps in Southern California, recommends putting the gift card in a smaller box first, with tissue paper or paper shreds. “That’s my setup for corporate and retail clients, who will often want dozens of gift cards wrapped to dazzling perfection!”
3. Wrap a gift card with paper snowflakes
Indulge your inner elf by wrapping a gift card in paper snowflakes! “This idea takes plain white copy paper and brown kraft paper — two humble but beautiful materials — and transforms them into something charming and nostalgic,” shares Mia Semingson, owner of Boulder’s cult-favorite paper store Two Hands Paperie. Start by wrapping the card in brown paper (it can be cut from a paper bag!) and don’t worry if the corners or tape are messy since the snowflakes will cover it. Next, cut out a paper snowflake from white copy paper and glue-stick or tape over the brown paper. If you like, tie with twine and add a small bow, sticker or other embellishment.
In her design created just for First for Women (above), Mia used Dresden foils, a German embossed paper trim that dates back to the Victorian era and is trending once again (buy at TwoHandsPaperie, $12.99 for 12).
4. Wrap a gift card with a chocolate bar
“This time of year, I love to play Willy Wonka and gift full-size chocolate bars,” says Semingson. “It’s easy to tie a gift card on top and the presentation has a nice finish since both elements are rectangular. Plus, many bars are already packaged in beautiful paper.” Shopping at the drugstore? Don’t overlook a classic Hershey bar, she suggests. “I love the shine of the foil for the holidays and will often remove the paper before gifting.”
5. Wrap a gift card in a balloon
Perhaps the most playful way possible to wrap a gift card is by tucking inside a latex balloon! First, blow air into the balloon to stretch it out, then let it deflate. Next, ask one person to hold a balloon, stretching it at the opening, so you can push a gift card inside.
See the pros at Sunburst Gifts do it below:
6. Wrap a gift card with a funny pun
Sometimes, the magic is in the message, not the wrapping. Slip a gift card into a simple envelope, then write a funny note on the front, such as “Three words: Add. To. Cart.”, “Impulse purchases only!” or “I figured you’d know better than Santa!” Another witty one if your gift card is from a group: Use a tiny clothespin to attach a note saying, “We all chipped in!” to a snack-size bag of classic Lay’s potato chips.
No time to craft? Try these 2 clever ways to wrap a gift card
If you don’t have time to craft and would rather pick something up, check out these options:
1. Give ‘em some frustrating fun
Sometimes the most memorable unboxings on Christmas morning are the ones that come with a good dose of frustration. And this unique box lets you add that playfully infuriating vibe to a gift card: Known as The Really Annoying Gift Box, it features 134 little screws that take about 15 minutes to undo. Laughs are guaranteed as the anticipation builds with every twist and turn. Even better: The recipient can take revenge and reuse it next year for your gift. (Buy at VDKPrint, $34.99)
Tip: For a free and almost equally frustrating experience, wrap your gift card in a spool of yarn and add a tag that says, “PULL!”
2. Go retro with a cute cassette holder
Gifting to a music fan, techie type or child of the ‘80s? This adorable box from Etsy shop ChristineHellmuth is sized like a real cassette tape. (Buy on Etsy, $5). It’s easy to print out and fold. Your $5 download gets you unlimited printouts in all colors — and the results are doubly cool if your gift card is for a vendor like iTunes or Ticketmaster.