DIY Gift Card Envelopes

DIY Gift Card Envelopes

Jason Rodway
Dec 16, 2011

Giving a gift card is a mixed bag. On the one hand it definitely helps with boxing day sales the next day and can help towards a bigger purchase however it can be perceived as a thoughtless gift. A way to pull it away from being impersonal is to wrap it in a thoughtful and creative way. Making a little card or envelope to give the gift card in is surprisingly cheap and far from difficult to put together. Here is a quick DIY to inspire or help you on your way to making someones holiday just a little more special when you hand them a cute mini iPhone card.

What you'll need:
Scissors
Black Colored Paper (Or alternating colors for different designs)
Glue
Ruler
Pencil
Printer (Optional)

Supplies are pretty basic and can be found around the house. Additional supplies won't cost a whole lot from an arts and craft store either. Once all the necessities are gathered, it's time to choose a form to shape the paper into. Listed here are three different types (as well as a bonus quickie.)

The Door
Imagine a card where you swipe to unlock and find a gift card hidden? The Door is interactive without a lot required to make other than a steady hand. The end result is a sleek little card with a surprise hidden inside.

"The Door"

Step 1: Cut and Fold

Draw out the layout onto the back of the paper to scale and then cut carefully the outline along the outside against the bold line. Once the template has been cleared from the paper, fold down the middle as well as the two glue flaps.

Step 2: Perforate and Glue

The difference between the Door and the others is that it's the only one that has a perforated edge which can be made with a box cutter. Lightly tracing over the perforated line with a ruler on the outside without pushing too hard is very important. Once the line has been set, it's all a matter of gluing and letting it dry. I recommend using glue stick but white glue works if not overused.

Step 3: Decorate

Whether giving to an Android, iPhone, WP7 user or a gamer, decorating is purely up to you from this point on. Printing a screen and gluing to the front is advisable for clarification or further sprucing.

The Envelope
They say that you must start with the basics and the envelope is simple and highly effective. The important part of this project is to shape the package into a miniature smart phone or portable game system and the Envelope is definitely the easiest on this list.

"The Envelope"

Step 1: Cut, Fold and Glue
This is a really easy job that will at most take 30 minutes to construct. The bulk of the work takes place in cutting and waiting for the glue to dry. Trace the template and cut out from the paper. Make sure there is a little wiggle room for the card so it doesn't get stuck. The best thing about the Envelope is that it's not bulky or thick like the others might be considered to be.

Step 2: Decorate

The rectangular shape opens up more possibilities than the Door does since it doesn't have to be standing and can be landscape. The final result is easy on the eyes with a minimal design and open to individual creativity. The choice is up to you whether a little bit of penmanship for a simple from/to on the front or a decked out glitter fest of green, red, silver and gold to razzle dazzle.

The Pull
Like a cracker except without the loud popping sound. Inspired by the PSP's design (although it can take any form) the Pull hides the card entirely and is slightly larger than the other two. It's sturdier and is more suited to craftier people but this guide should see you through.

"The Pull"

Step 1: Cut and Fold

The design of the Pull is slightly more complex, to start measure carefully on the sheet. Next cut along the outside of the oval shape all around. Once the template is in your hands carefully cut it as straight as possible from the top (left) down to the folding line and a little to the right before heading straight down the rest of the way.

Step 2: Glue Carefully
Not all the flaps need to be glued. If all the flaps are glued, the whole thing will stick together. All the X's on the template are areas to be worked over with an even layer of glue and needs to sit for drying afterwards. Be mindful of the gaps and keep the two pieces separate until the drying process is over. Make sure that everything fits into each other with the gift card in place. It needs to be a tight fit so that the card keeps them together.

Step 3: Assemble and Decorate

Like the Envelope it can either go landscape or portrait. My inspiration for this design was to make it look like a PSP although it could be any manner of smart phone, point and shoot camera or mp3 player.

Bonus: The Laptop
When all else fails, take a bit of scrapbook paper from the crafts store. It's thicker than colored paper and can be quickly made into a tiny MacBook, Vaio or DSi. This is by far the easiest and requires no glue or sticky substances other than a little bit of tape. Make a firm and weighted fold down the middle and decorate the card to look like a laptop or DS. This was a good time to use one of those Apple logo stickers that I've collected over the years, particularly the one that came with my Nano was just small enough to fit. Although the inside won't be as fancy, roll a bit of tape and stick the card to the inside so it doesn't shift inside from place to place. This leaves the bottom portion of the card to write a message. Not to mention your hard work can be properly displayed with all the other cards.

Happy Holidays!

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