Studies have shown that gift cards are actually one of the most practical and wanted gifts from the receiver’s perspective. From the giver’s perspective, however, they seem a bit dull and inattentive. But not anymore, with these 29 creative ways to give gift cards. So if you are ready to take your gifting skills to the next level, let’s have a look at the most unique gift card presentation ideas.
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How to give a gift card
Before we jump into the 29 creative ways to give gift cards, there are a few things we need to talk about. Because first, we need to deal with some taboos around gifting gift cards and we need to learn how to properly give a gift card. There are six things you need to remember.
#1 Gift cards are good gifts
There, I have said it. Let’s fight the taboo that gift cards are boring gifts and show no affection or effort.
I have also talked about this and the science behind it in the gifting etiquette post. But in short, research has shown that receivers are actually really happy with gift cards (more than half the respondents in the survey of 2021 indicated that they hoped for a gift card under the Christmas tree.)
The only reason why we think it’s a bad gift is because we are thinking from the giver’s perspective. We think it’s boring to give a gift card, while the receiver loves receiving it.
And that’s why these 29 creative ways to give gift cards came into place, to prove to givers that gift cards are awesome gifts.
#2 Give the gift card they ask for
Let’s keep this short. Receivers are happiest with solicited gifts, rather than surprises. So always give what the recipient asks for. (Source)
#3 When in doubt, go for a generic gift card
If you’re doubting between a specific gift card for a small shop or a generic one for a multinational company, go for the latter. As much as I prefer to support local businesses, from the receiver’s perspective the generic gift cards allow them to use the gift card in multiple ways, whereas a specific one is quite limited.
#4 When in doubt, step into the recipient’s shoes
This is in line with the previous tip, but always ask yourself the following question: how likely is it for the receiver to use this gift card?
If you have the choice between a gift card from a mediocre coffee shop next to their home or a great one 30 minutes away, go for the mediocre one.
I know, from a giver’s perspective it sounds wrong, but the receiver is far more likely to get a coffee close to their home than one which requires them to put in effort.
#5 Don’t splurge
Spend an appropriate amount on the gift, don’t overdo it because it will actually make people feel uncomfortable. Plus, studies have shown that spending more doesn’t lead to more appreciation of the gift.
#6 Presentation counts
In end, it all starts and ends with you. If you still think a gift card is a bad and boring gift and you are not willing to do anything about it, it will be a boring gift.
But if you decide to use any of the following 29 creative ways to give a gift card, I am 100% sure that gift cards will soon be your favorite gift!
29 Creative ways to give gifts cards
This post is for everyone, including the not-so-creative people. So if that’s you, don’t worry, you will find plenty of easy ideas to make a gift card stand out.
Fun ways to give gifts cards with little effort
#1 In a credit card holder
This is one of the easiest, yet very unique ways to give a gift card.
All you need to do is buy a cute or cool credit card holder, put the gift card inside, and wrap the credit card holder.
When the receiver unpacks, they may think the credit card holder is the gift, which is a cool gift already, but then you’ve got a fun surprise inside.
#2 Suitcase-shaped envelope
And all you need to do is order the premade envelope, stick your gift card inside and wrap it.
#3 Attach it to something else
Alright, that title probably needs a bit more explanation.
But what I mean is that you can buy something small, such as a cute plant, a Christmas ornament, a box of chocolate, a pair of socks, or literally anything you think the receiver would like to have, and simply stick the gift card to this item. Next, wrap it in cellophane or regular wrapping paper and you’re done.
It’s a great gift card presentation idea for people who really want to add something tangible.
#4 Inside a photo frame
The only thing you’ll need for this idea is a cute photo frame.
Next, you’ll open the photo frame, but instead of putting a photo behind the glass, you will put your gift card.
If you are feeling creative, you can decorate a white piece of paper on which you will stick the gift card. For example with sweet birthday wishes or Christmas decorations. Though as you can see in the photo, it also works with a plain white background.
(Oh and fun fact, it’s actually my bank card, not a gift card. I just wanted to show you a quick example and didn’t have a gift card at hand)
#5 Brain teasing card holder
This is one of the best ways to give gift cards to puzzle lovers; a brain teaser they need to solve before they can access their gift.
#6 Stick it in a flower bouquet
This is one of the best gift card presentation ideas for women. If you don’t want to come empty-handed (even though coming with a gift card is not really empty-handed, but for some people, it can feel that way), simply buy a colorful flower bouquet. Next, stick your gift card in the bouquet, and you’ve got both a practical and beautiful gift.
#7 Put it inside a box of their favorite snack
A box of the recipient’s favorite food is always a great gift idea, but it’s even better if they find a gift card inside!
Depending on what type of food the recipient loves, make sure you wrap the gift card in plastic, so it doesn’t get dirty. Next open the box or bag, put it inside, close the box again and wrap it. One example is this box of macarons, which you can easily open and add a gift card to.
The receiver will surely be happy to see a box of their favorite food, but if they see what’s inside they will love it even more.
And if it’s clear that the box has been opened previously, you can make a joke out of it and say you couldn’t help yourself and took a small piece for yourself.
#8 In a keepsake box
If you don’t want the receiver to know what’s inside the gift straight away, you can put the gift card inside a keepsake box and wrap the box.
When they open the gift, it will still be a surprise what’s inside the box. Plus they have a cute keepsake box they can use to store things.
(Make sure you check the sizes of the boxes so that the gift card actually fits inside.)
#9 In a tin box
This is another cute way to give a gift card that requires zero effort. Instead of using a keepsake box or carton box, you can use a cute tin box, such as these ones with a Christmas theme.
#10 Stick it inside a deck of cards
For people who love games, this is one of the most unique gift card presentation ideas.
Here’s what you do.
You buy a deck of cards. Preferably a pretty one (such as this deck of cards in a box) or with a theme that matches the occasion or recipient’s interests. You open the deck, put the gift card at the top, and put the cards back. Wrap it up nicely, and there you have a unique presentation of your gift card.
#11 Inside a zipper bag
This is another one of the great gift card presentation ideas for women. Simply pick a cute zipper pouch, put the gift card inside, wrap the pouch with beautiful wrapping paper and you’re done.
#12 Make it personal
For people who think that gift cards are inattentive gifts, a personal note in which you tell the receiver how much you appreciate them is a great way to add a personal touch to an otherwise generic gift.
Actually, I would advise everyone to always add a personal note to a gift card, even if you use one of the other creative ways to give gift cards from this list.
#13 Wrap with thematic wrapping paper
Presentation counts. And using beautiful and thematic wrapping paper is one of the easiest ways to turn a gift card into a beautifully presented gift.
You can find wrapping paper in literally any theme, so check Amazon to find one for the occasion or that matches the recipient’s interests.
#14 Use a cute gift bag
Are you not really good with wrapping? Here is another simple, but creative way to give a gift card, use a cute bag. Your gift will still look amazing and it requires almost no effort.
Check out Amazon to find gift bags, or reuse one which you received (it’s better for the environment). And if you are looking for more creative ways to give gift cards without harming the environment, check out the next idea.
#15 Cloth wrapping paper
This is one of the best ways to give a gift card to someone who cares about the environment. The idea comes from Japan where they use cotton cloth with beautiful prints to wrap gifts, rather than paper.
#16 Use a beautiful envelope
An envelope is another great way to make a gift card look cute. You can find an envelope in pretty much any theme. Whether you are looking for one with a Christmas, Father’s Day, graduation, or wedding theme, you can find an envelope for the occasion on Amazon. For personalized envelopes, check out Etsy.
Creative ways to give gifts cards with some effort
#17 Go crazy with wrapping
If you don’t mind spending a little time on this gift, then you can go all the way with wrapping paper.
There are literally a thousand different ways to wrap a gift creatively, check out Cosmopolitan’s list to get an idea.
#18 Use a mason jar
This is one of my favorite gift card presentation ideas that require some effort but which is still doable if you are not creative at all.
You simply buy a mason jar and fill it with tinsel, cotton, sand, lights, fake crushed ice, candy, or basically any filling you have at home. I used a jute rope because that was all I had at home, so just be creative. Then you put the gift card inside (if you used candy as a filler, you may want to wrap the gift card in plastic so it doesn’t get dirty). And finally, you wrap it in cellophane and that’s it!
#19 Put it in a glass or mug
Basically, this is the same idea as the previous one. Except, instead of a jar, you now use a cute mug (perhaps in the theme of the gifting occasion, such as this Halloween-themed one) or a glass (for example a martini glass for people who love cocktails).
#20 Simple DIY gift card holders
There are literally a thousand different ways in which you can make a gift card envelope or holder yourself.
But if you are looking for relatively easy gift card presentation ideas, I would recommend going for this one by K Werner Design.
I am not the most creative person out there, but even I managed to follow her steps and create something pretty. I didn’t have wrapping paper at home though, so I just used a page from an old magazine and only did the first part of the video.
For more advanced DIY projects, check out #27.
#21 Free printables
If you are not too much into crafts, you can also go for the free printables from How Does She.
They are cute wrapping and decoration ideas and all you need to do is print, cut, and fold them and you’ve got a great DIY gift card holder.
You do need to sign up for the email list in order to get access to the printables though.
#22 Attached to a helium balloon in a box
Who doesn’t love opening a mystery box?
And what’s even cooler is if a helium balloon flies out with a gift card attached to it.
One word of warning though; make sure the balloon doesn’t fly away!
Add a string to the balloon to which you attach the gift card, and to prevent the balloon from flying away, you can attach something heavy to the string as well or tape the end of the thread to the bottom of the box.
You can buy helium balloons at Amazon, a helium tank at most party stores, and you’ve probably got a cardboard box at home. If you don’t, go to a grocery store nearby, they usually have plenty of boxes to spare.
#23 Inside a balloon
If you don’t want to buy a helium tank, then this is another cool gift card presentation idea.
Simply buy a beautiful balloon, stuff the gift card inside, blow it up and let the receiver pop the balloon.
It’s a bit of a challenge to stretch the balloon wide enough for the gift card to fit in, but trust me it does fit in any regular-sized balloon.
#24 Fill a Christmas ornament
If you are looking for unique gift card presentation ideas for Christmas, this is a cool option.
Simply buy a clear plastic Christmas ornament that you can open. Make sure the ornament is the right size. Gift cards usually measure around 3.37 (85.6mm) by 2.125 inches (53.98mm), so that’s the bare minimum.
Next fill the ornament with whatever filler you want; candy, cotton, fake pearls, glass sand, or just anything that makes it look cute. Then stick the gift card inside and wrap it up.
Oh, and make sure this gift is handled with care, you don’t want the filling or spill all over the place.
#25 Hidden inside a foam ball
This is a great gift card presentation idea for someone who is into sports.
Find a small foam ball on Amazon, cut it in half, make a cut on the inside of both halves, stick the gift card inside one of the halves, place the other half back on top, and you’ve got a gift card hidden in the ball.
#26 Use a picture stand
A picture stand doesn’t require much creativity, but it requires a bit of effort to find and print the photos to go with it. This is why I included it as one of the creative ways to give gift cards with some effort. But once you’ve printed the photos, all you need to do is add the gift card and wrap it up.
Creative ways to give gifts cards with a lot of effort
#27 Advanced DIY gift card holders
Alright, these creative ways to give gift cards are for people who love crafts and who don’t mind spending some time putting the gift together.
These are some of my favorite unique ways to give gift cards.
- Owl-shaped holder
- Snowman crochet holder
- Coffee cup holder
- Mini stockings
- Fabric Christmas tree
#28 Dirty ways to give gift cards
Alright, before you continue. I only recommend this idea if you and the recipient always play pranks on each other. Otherwise, this is an awful idea. Gifting should be fun for the receiver, so if the receiver can’t laugh at this prank, it’s not a good gift.
Now, how do you give gift cards in a dirty way?
You take a box and line it with plastic, or basically anything that prevents leaking. Then you make sure the gift card is properly wrapped in plastic (you don’t want the actual gift to get dirty).
Next, you fill the box (or whatever you’ve decided to use), with something that feels disgusting, for example, cooked spaghetti or gingerbread mixed with water. Then you put the gift inside, make a small hole for the receiver’s arm, so they won’t see what’s inside, and tell them to get their gift out of the box.
Again, this is only funny if you and the receiver know each other well and playing pranks on each other is how you guys roll. For a less disgusting way to prank the recipient, check out the next idea.
#29 Wrap it in multiple boxes
Alright, the last idea on this list is another way to prank the receiver. You simply put the gift card in a box, which you will place in another box, and then you place that box in another box. And well, you get the point. You can continue doing this for as long as you want to prank the receiver.
Save these gift card presentation ideas
Final note on gift card presentation ideas
Alright, these were my 29 unique gift card presentation ideas. I hope that these ways have convinced you that giving gift cards does not need to be boring. And if you need some more convincing of why gift cards are great gifts, check out the gifting etiquettes!