Oh wow, I bet it's a gift card.
November 24, 2013 2:15 PM   Subscribe

Looking for fun ideas to wrap restaurant gift certificates for Christmas that will disguise what the gift is a little under the tree. Difficulty: less than $10.

For example if it was a starbucks card I'd stick the card in a starbucks cup for wrapping; a sporting goods store I'd wrap them in socks; or if it was a kitchen related card I might wrap it with some measuring spoons or something.
posted by Mitheral to Shopping (21 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
For certain restaurants, packaging the gift certificate with a nice bottle of wine would be a fine pairing.
posted by Faint of Butt at 2:19 PM on November 24, 2013

Butcher paper? Or is it a vegetarian restaurant?
Some nicer looking take out container?
posted by travelwithcats at 2:20 PM on November 24, 2013

Chinese take-out container is probably the classic here, but depending on the restaurant there might be something that fits the theme of the restaurant.
posted by jacquilynne at 2:26 PM on November 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

My uncle always gives cash at christmas (best relative ever) but he generally tries to present it in an amusing way. My favorite one was inside of a small jewelry box (especially funny because I do not wear jewelry). I opened it up, there was a post it note that said something like "we both know this isn't jewelry." The little plastic insert that held a bracelet was still in there, so I took that out to look under it, where there was another note that said "oh come on, that would be too easy." So I looked in my other hand, and there in the lid of the box was another post it that said, "see, I knew you were the smart one in the family, love you sweetie!" and under that was taped a bunch of cash.

Amusing, made the unwrapping more of a process, easy to guess but not obvious.
posted by phunniemee at 2:26 PM on November 24, 2013 [9 favorites]

Go to Goodwill and look for some ugly trinkets for 99 cents, preferably ones you can hide the certificate in. You could even do mugs or cocktail glasses, etc. Then wrap the whole thing.
posted by thorny at 2:32 PM on November 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

If it's a gift card for a department type store that doesn't lend itself to a theme gift, then wrap it in a whole "unopened" tube of wrapping paper with the ribbon / bow inside and say "some assembly required." Maybe tie on a wrench or include a tool inside to weight it.
posted by mightshould at 2:35 PM on November 24, 2013

I recommend creative and preposterous reconstruction of cardboard boxes. For example, to your standard rectangular box you might attach a long, thin rectangular (or cylindrical) "arm" to the side, to make it appear that the container holds a saucepan or some similar object of awkward dimensions. You'll need to take extra care wrapping, but the overall effect should be worth it.
posted by trunk muffins at 2:41 PM on November 24, 2013

Stick it into a CD jewel case. Include a mix CD with songs about food!
posted by showbiz_liz at 2:46 PM on November 24, 2013 [2 favorites]

I'd try to wrap them in somewhat useful things -- so a mug that is decorated with something that makes you think of the restaurant, or a cooking pan or utensil that is associated with the type of food, themed spices or chocolate or soap, etc.
posted by jeather at 2:55 PM on November 24, 2013

Get a nice cloth napkin and put the gift card in the middle and roll it up and tie the ends with ribbon or napkin rings -- to look like a Christmas cracker... or learn some good napkin folding techniques and put it inside the behind of a napkin swan or tulip. They unfold it and the gift card falls out.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 2:57 PM on November 24, 2013

Gift bags and a lot of tissue paper. Then another gift bag, and so on until you hit your spending limit or get bored.
posted by Canageek at 3:32 PM on November 24, 2013

Goodwill often has cookie tins, or get a tin of popcorn on sale at BigBoxMart. Fill with popcorn, tape giftcard to the inside of the lid. Or Rolaids/ tums/ Alka-Seltzer. Get some nice cloth napkins (all cotton or linen, synthetics are useless) use a piece of carboard as stiifener & to tape the card to and wrap them in tissue and ribbon. If it's for a woman who wears makeup, some nail polish for a night out, for a guy, a tie. I've seen beautiful silk ties at Goodwill, so even if he doesn't wear it, doesn't matter. or a roll of quarters for parking.
posted by theora55 at 4:02 PM on November 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

Target is currently selling prank gift boxes - think "Bacon Scented Dryer Sheets". I think they run about 5 bucks.
posted by PorcineWithMe at 4:28 PM on November 24, 2013 [2 favorites]

How about going to eBay or thrift stores and getting old albums or 45s. Even better if you can get them of songs each person liked or TERRIBLE albums. Put the gift card in the sleeve.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 4:54 PM on November 24, 2013

I can't take credit for either of these, but

- flatten a corrugated cardboard box, cut a slot in the edge of one flap by destroying some of the wavy middle layer but preserving the flat sheets on either side, and insert the gift card into this slot. Glue the cardboard box back together and fill it with packing material (foam peanuts, wood chips, air bags).

- Cut a slot in a brick, insert the card most of the way, and put a ring of hot glue around the rim of the slot to hold the card in place Excalibur-style. The hot-glue should peel right off, although to be safe you can wrap the gift card before inserting it.
posted by d. z. wang at 5:54 PM on November 24, 2013

Buy a cheap 2nd hand book and then hollow out the book.

This happened to me one Xmas. They hollowed out a book and put a CD inside. It was awesome!
posted by St. Peepsburg at 6:23 PM on November 24, 2013

So, for the (awesome) ideas of hiding the card in ugly tchotkes or media you know the recipient will never use, make sure you make it blindingly obvious that the card is in there if you aren't going to be around when the gift is opened: I recently found an unused $25 gift card to a chain restaurant tucked away in what was obviously a gag gift at my local thrift store, looks like the person it was supposed to go to just chucked the entire thing into the donate bag w/o examining closer.

I'm partial to sticking gift cards into puzzle mazes.
posted by jamaro at 6:36 PM on November 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

Does it have to be cards or can it be cash? One of my most treasured Christmas memories was when my grandpa taped 20 one-dollar bills together in a long row, then he taped it to a candy cane and looped that over the edge of the stocking. When they let us out of the coral on Christmas morning, he hollered, "Grab those candy canes first, girls!" and took pictures of us as we yanked them up and the money came trailing out. It was fantastic! Of course, age is a factor here, I think I was 9 or so.

You could also dumpster dive for ridiculously huge boxes to wrap up, or do a version of an unbirthday. That's where you take something of the recipient's and wrap it up like a really nice gift, in this case with the gift card included.
posted by mibo at 8:11 PM on November 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

Poster tubes. No one will expect a card in those.
posted by DigDoug at 8:40 PM on November 24, 2013

Take a small bag of beans or rice and tape or wrap the card to it with plastic wrap. Place in box (the bigger the better). add lots of news paper. wrap!
posted by royalsong at 7:03 AM on November 25, 2013

My favorite way to wrap things like this is to wrap things in a series of stacking boxes. Place the gift card in the first box, then stick that wrapped box inside another wrapped box, and so on and so forth. It's hilarious when the recipient thinks they'll be getting a huge box -- only to find they've got to open five other boxes to get to the "good stuff."
posted by PearlRose at 2:31 PM on December 16, 2013

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