Thursday, January 6, 2011

How to wrap a gift card (hint - it involves power tools)

Note: This post has nothing to do with agile, but hopefully it will add some excitement to your future gift card giving experiences.

This Christmas I was tasked with buying gifts for three of my nephews. I bought two gift cards from West 49 and another from Chapters. For some of you these may be fine gifts to give and you are happy to check off three more items on your list. However, my goal in giving any gift is to first give them what they want and second to try and surprise and delight them with something unexpected. A gift card is not surprising or particularly delightful.

So... what to do? For the first gift card, I took a typical approach and wrapped it in ever increasing sizes of boxes with lots of duct tape and topped it off with pretty ribbon and a bow. It was a very delightful looking gift. But, in the end I decided this was a little too typical and unwrapped it while I pondered other ideas.

It was while wandering through the garage that I received my inspiration - an old eight foot 2x6. Here are the steps that followed.

1. Using a circular saw, cut a slit about 3 inches deep and 6 inches long into the edge of the 2x6. After making the cut, make sure that the gift card will fit inside the slit.

2. Next, decide on a shape to create out of the wood (for this example I used a Christmas bell ornament) and cut the 2x6 into pieces accordingly and nail or screw the pieces together to form your masterpiece. Depending on the size of the gift card you may need to cut an additional slit in a second piece of the 2x6 so that the card will fit properly 'inside' your wooden ornament.

Before wrapping your ornament you may want to secure a ribbon to the top so that you can hang it up. At the top of the ornament, hammer in a nail half way. Now wrap a small piece of ribbon around the nail and then bend the nail over completely so that it holds the ribbon in place.

3. The finished and fully wrapped product!

4. Now repeat with other shapes as necessary until all your gift cards are wrapped. I created a Christmas bell, a Christmas tree, and a Christmas ball.

The reactions you get may vary, but my nephews used the words 'best' and 'ever' after opening their gift cards. Also, the look on their faces after they unwrapped their homemade 'ornaments' and before they realized there was more unwrapping to do was priceless.

Hopefully I can wrap more gift cards next year. My brother has already promised it will involve acetlyane torches.