candy filled recycled jar

Creative gift card upcycled gifts

When it comes to giving gift cards, I follow a very simple equation:

Gift card + candy + recycled container = nice gift.

Why candy? Well, it doesn’t cost that much, it looks pretty and just about everyone likes it, sometimes even better than the gift it comes with.

And why use recycled containers? Well, why not! I save little boxes, baskets and ribbons people give me, as well as nice glass jars when they’re empty. A small amount of time and effort is all it takes to transform them into a special gift for someone.

Dove Chocolate Promises

Dove Chocolate Promises

All the examples show my favorite candy in the world, Dove Chocolate Promises. I always have it on hand and I think the foil wrappers are so pretty. However, the same ideas will work with other wrapped candies.

So here are seven really simple ways to dress up a gift card, cash, stocking stuffer or other small gift.

Gift idea #1: Fancy box

fancy star box

Fancy star box

This is a fancy star box someone gave me which I filled with chocolate and nestled a gift card inside. Topped off with iridescent curly ribbon.

Gift idea #2: Cookie tin

Recycled cookie tin

Recycled cookie tin

I lined this pretty cookie tin with gold tissue paper and filled with candy. The gift card goes right on top or gets buried underneath. Then the tin is tied up with a gossamer gold ribbon.

Gift idea #3: Glass jar wrapped in a doily

Recycled jar and doily

Recycled jar and doily

This is just a plain glass jar wrapped in an old doily I had hanging around. Same story, gift card, cash or small gift inside along with chocolate, and tied with a pretty wired ribbon.

If you don’t have a doily you could use tulle, a fabric scrap, gift wrap, a scarf or a cloth napkin.

Gift idea #4: Sachet

candy sachet

Candy sachet

This is more like a stocking stuffer. The candy by itself could be a gift, tied up in gold mesh with a curly ribbon, or there could be a small trinket inside.

Gift idea #5: Jewelry gift box

recycled jewelry gift box

Recycled jewelry gift box

This is the type of box that jewelry normally comes in, but it’s the perfect size to hold a gift card. Put a bow on top and you’re done.

Small gift with gift box

Small gift with gift box

And here I’m using the earrings and the box they came in, along with the coordinating bow. I just took out the cotton padding, lined the box with gold mesh, filled with candy and put the jewelry on top.

Gift idea #6: Handpainted recycled jar

Handpainted recycled jar

Handpainted recycled jar

One of the simplest things to do is to hand paint an old glass jar to hold your cash, trinket or gift card. Please refer to my glass painting tutorial for ideas and instructions. A pretty wired ribbon finishes the look.

Gift idea #7: DIY gift basket

The most elaborate idea is to make your own gift basket. I like to reuse the baskets I receive to customize a gift for someone else. In this case you could use the whole bag of candy and add other things like cookies, nuts, dried fruit, trail mix, coffee, tea or hot chocolate. These inexpensive items make a more impressive statement when grouped together. Then the gift card could go in an envelope right in front of the basket. The whole basket can be wrapped in a length of tulle and tied with a colorful wired ribbon.

And there you have it—seven easy ideas for gift card giving.

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