5 fun ways to wrap a gift card

By Michael Lloyd

Despite the fact that people hesitate to buy gift cards because they feel they're a fall-back gift option with no thought or effort, people seem to love receiving them. It makes sense -- who wouldn't want a gift that would allow them to buy whatever they want?

A December 2015 poll conducted by department store Debenhams found vouchers were the most requested present in the lead up to Christmas.

But while gift cards may be popular, there isn't much fun in opening one -- usually. If you want to give vouchers but would like a little more ceremony than simply handing over a small envelope, try packaging your card in a more imaginative way. fun-gift-card-packaging

1. Slip it inside old media.
You can pick up an old piece of vinyl, a CD, a book or even a DVD for very little cash. You can even grab one from a second-hand shop if you feel you've already spent enough on the voucher itself. Place your gift card in the sleeve of the item, or in a position where it will be likely to fall out while it's being opened. As well as a few quid to spend with their favourite retailer, the recipient of your voucher will also get to enjoy the music, film or book you selected.   

2. Place the card in a new purse or wallet.
A new wallet or purse makes a great present by itself, but will be all the better with a gift card or two slipped inside. If you don't want to spend too much more than you've already laid out on the vouchers, you could buy a cheap card holder and decorate it yourself.

If you're feeling a little more generous, go for a higher-end purse or wallet that comes in its own packaging. Carefully take it out, slip your gift card inside and pack it back up again. The voucher will then be a nice surprise, especially if you ensure the packaging doesn't look like it's been tampered with.

3. Put it in a balloon.
Place your vouchers in a balloon and blow it up. Ask the intended recipient to pop it, causing the gift card to burst out onto the floor dramatically. You can make the process more festive by putting some glitter or confetti in the balloon with the vouchers, or by using helium-filled, opaque balloons.

This will, of course, be easiest with paper vouchers, but should still be achievable with plastic cards as long as you're using robust balloons.

4. Hide it in some sweets.
Buy a jar from your local stationary, kitchen or craft store, fill it with sweets and conceal your gift card within. Make sure it's not visible from the outside, and that it will take a while to find. If you have a large enough jar, tuck your voucher or card away close to the bottom, checking that it can't be seen from beneath. The larger the jar and more concealed the gift, the more fun it will be for the recipient to open (and for you to watch).

If this sounds like a bit too much trouble, simply grab a large chocolate bar and slide your gift card or voucher inside its packaging -- Willy Wonka-style. You could even pull the whole thing together with a pun, by writing a note wishing them a "sweet holiday."

5. Hide it in a pair of socks.
Use the lacklustre feeling of getting socks to your humorous advantage by wrapping the gift card with a few tasteless pairs. On top of enjoying the faux gratitude the recipient displays when initially opening their gift, you'll be able to revel in their relief when they realize that socks won't be all they get from you this year.

Don't feel limited to socks; gloves or a hat work just as well, especially if they are bland colours. You might like to go for an item that looks particularly cheap to make the vouchers you give even more of a welcome surprise, or push the boat out and buy the recipient some luxury products.

See related: Understanding gift card risks

Updated: 21 December 2015