DIY gift presentation

Beach bag

Reasons not
to wrap it

By the time you buy wrapping paper, a card, coordinating bow and tissue paper, you can find yourself spending double the amount you intended for a gift. Incorporating the gift itself into the wrapping can trim your gift-giving budget. Try these six clever ideas for using a gift theme to save money.

You have found the perfect gift, met your budget to the penny and are just about to make a purchase that agrees with your paycheck, and then you remember you are going to have to open your wallet one more time just to make the gift presentable. After you buy a card, a gift bag and tissue paper or even just a box, wrapping paper and a bow, you will have easily added another $5 to $10 to your gift.

If you chose a theme for your gift and stick to it, you can incorporate your gift right into the wrapping and avoid the need to spend another dime on wrapping paper and a bow that might be headed straight for the trash anyway.

The sun lover

Need the perfect gift for someone who is ready to relax in the sun or heading on a tropical vacation? You can find a beach towel in a bag at stores like Target or Walmart and fill it with sunny essentials like:

  • A magazine
  • Sunglasses
  • Flip flops
  • Nail polish
  • Sunscreen
  • Lip gloss
  • Manicure or pedicure essentials

Beach baby

Want to give kids something they will actually use this summer, wrapping and all? Find a big sand pail and fill it with goodies. Try outdoor gifts such as:

  • Sand toys
  • Water balloons
  • Water toys
  • Kids' gardening tools
  • Kid-safe fishing gear
  • Tickets to their favorite water park or a zoo

Looking for gifts to keep the little ones in your life fit and healthy? Try this wellness gift guide for kids >>

Romance ready

Looking for the perfect treat for newlyweds or an anniversary gift? Purchase a picnic basket and stock it with supplies; here are just a few to pack:

  • Wine glasses
  • Picnic blanket
  • Bottle of wine
  • Tickets to an outdoor event
  • Cloth napkins
  • Napkin holders
  • Decorative wine stoppers
  • Wine opener
  • Cheese plate and knife

College bound

Now's the time to find a gift for that grad they will really use. Dorm supplies are first on everyone's list, so find a small decorative garbage can and fill it with these essentials:

  • Gift card for gas or a local drug store
  • Pens and pencils
  • Personalized stationary
  • Mini chalkboard or whiteboard
  • Picture frames
  • Alarm clock
  • Book light
  • Paper clips, stapler and hole punch

Need more ideas for that special someone heading off to college? Here are a few care package ideas for college students >>

Perfect to personalize

We all have that hard to buy for person in our life, the one who we end up giving a generic gift to and hoping they don't trade it for cash before we walk out the door. Give them a six pack of their favorite beverage with a treat tied to every can or bottle. Here are a few easy ideas to tie to the top:

  • Lottery tickets
  • Gift certificate to a movie theater
  • Tickets to a sporting event
  • Gas card
  • Key chain
  • Department store gift certificate
  • Personalized "gift cards" (e.g., good for one free night of babysitting, a weekend of dog walking, dinner out, coffee delivery)
  • Free car wash coupons
  • Gift certificate to a local ice cream shop

The picky gal pal

There is always that girlfriend who has everything, including better taste than our own. Sometimes taking the simple route is the easiest way to impress a choosy friend. Find a pretty ceramic pot or a decorative tin and fill it with her favorites:

  • Bottle of her favorite wine
  • Gourmet tea or coffee
  • A cute mug
  • Decorative wine glasses
  • Books or magazines
  • Tickets to a museum or gallery
  • Gift certificate to a restaurant
  • Nail polish
  • Lotion

Whatever you choose it is, of course, the thought that counts, but ditching the wrapping paper and bow will add more pizzazz to your present and buffer your bank account at the same time!

More on gift giving

Etiquette tips for teacher gifts
Top 10 most extravagant celebrity holiday gifts
9 Best grandparent gifts


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Comments on "DIY gift presentation"

Emily June 22, 2012 | 3:17 PM

These are all such fun ideas for gift-giving. It makes it more personal and shows you put more thought into the gift than just the traditional gift bag or wrapping paper. For my friend's engagement gift, I'm putting together a variety of items and putting them in a cute basket. Thanks for all the great ideas!

Mindy June 20, 2012 | 10:27 AM

These are all great ideas! I love the mug selection as that is my go-to gift to give these days. There are so many different mugs out there to meet the taste of your friend and you can fill the mug with gift cards and candy.

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