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How To Make An Impersonal Gift Like A Gift Card, Personal.

Updated on February 3, 2011

If you just give a gift card, you might look like you didn't give it any thought...

Gift cards are great. My brother-in-law just gave us a Toys R Us gift card for our newborn son Klaus. Though we'd love to buy him toys with it, I was laid off recently so money's tight and we used the card to buy much needed clothes instead. The beauty of that, is that we were able to fill a need instead of a want.

Therein lies the genius of the gift card, if done right. The same style card, same from Sotheby's or Jareds might not have done as much for our family, although my wife may beg to differ! A gift card from Target, Walmart, Ace Hardware, Bed Bath and Beyond... these sorts of places would have been great gift cards for a family like us. In our case, buying a gift card is pretty easy. In our case, making it personal is as easy as thinking, just for a moment, what do these folks need?

There's a world of gift cards to give: iTunes gift cards, Scrip gift cards, Amazon gift cards, Patagonia gift cards, Bass Pro shop gift cards, The Home Depot gift cards, Maurice's gift cards, you name it.

Here's a great image of some Apple gift cards. Now how do you make this gift personal?
Here's a great image of some Apple gift cards. Now how do you make this gift personal? | Source

Gifts for individuals

Here's where it gets a little tougher. A gift card for an adult, especially the kind who has everything, can be a bit more daunting. Nowadays most gift cards can be bought online, so if you don't life near Michigan Avenue in Chicago and you can't walk to the Sharper Image store or the Apple store or Tiffany's, you can just go online and order one of these cards.

So you have the gift card in hand, now what?

Well, you could just buy a bow and stick it on there and you're done. You might look like a thoughtless jerk doing it this way. On the other hand, if it's a man-to-man gift, say for an old buddy or something, this might be enough. If it's for your wife, mom or girlfriend though, you've got a little more work to do.

One way to personalize a gift is to fool the person into thinking you bought them something that doesn't cost anything.

You could, for example, write a basic poem. Then put the poem in a card or some other paper stock, and hide the gift card on the back with tape. Anyone can write a few personal words, give it a try. Or you can go with the old standby and purchase a greeting card and tape the gift card to the back. If you want to be especially clever you can cut out a piece of paper the size of the card and sandwich it between the back and the card.

Another way to personalize a gift card is to give it as another gift, usually a smaller, less expensive one. Hiding it on the other gift can be fun again, but you don't necessarily have to do it that way. So for example, you could buy a potted plant, something that will throw them off like an aloe vera plant or a fern or something, then put the card in between the stems.

You could also go the opposite route and buy a very expensive gift, say a Rolex watch, then put a goofy gift card on top of the box, in an obvious spot, say a Kmart gift card or a Graffiti store card or something, that hides the big ticket gift. That would be good for a laugh.

In conclusion, just remember to go the extra mile with a gift card. Receiving a gift card is great, but with just a little bit more thought you can really make the gift something unique.


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    • Ben Zoltak profile imageAUTHOR

      Ben Zoltak 

      3 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      I love that idea Suzanne, and now you have made me hungry for chocolate and coffee! Seriously though, that is a great suggestion!

      Thanks for stopping by!


    • Suzanne Day profile image

      Suzanne Day 

      3 years ago from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

      Interesting topic! I find that if I'm a bit hard up, a small gift card put into a decorative food basket can be a lovely surprise hidden in there. A while back, I made a chocolate and coffee basket for someone and putting a gift card in that would be perfect! Voted useful ;)

    • Ben Zoltak profile imageAUTHOR

      Ben Zoltak 

      6 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      Aha! I love the idea of using a rock Peggy, that would be funny as well once they open it.


    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Ben,

      One could also deliver it wrapped up in a huge box stuffed with lots of crushed newspaper to throw them off the track. Attach it to a large rock to put some weight in the box and also make sure that they find the gift card. :))

    • Ben Zoltak profile imageAUTHOR

      Ben Zoltak 

      7 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      Thanks sharing the sky. I especially like the poem idea, there's a lot of room for various different types of people to receive gift cards and personalizations either humorous or sincere that way.

      Thanks for reading!


    • sharing the sky profile image

      sharing the sky 

      7 years ago from United States

      Nice suggestions. I agree with you that a little personalization can add a thoughtful touch to a gift card. I'm definitely a believer in that since I feel like gift cards are quite "flat" (no pun intended). I typically took a little extra time to gussy up a greeting card before placing a gift card in it. I've also done poems or drawings for some added fun.

    • Ben Zoltak profile imageAUTHOR

      Ben Zoltak 

      7 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      Thank you wisejargon. I like your idea of buying multiple cards too. It gives you a lot of opportunity to personalize each gift according to the specifics of the receivers life. Good to meet you too!

    • wisejargon profile image


      7 years ago from Indianapolis, Indiana

      This column is right on! You and I think along the same lines. A couple of years ago for Christmas, I started purchasing cards for family members with thoughtful statements on the outside of the card, but blank inside. I then write a note of encouragement for the coming year.

      Good to meet you here on Hubpages!

    • Ben Zoltak profile imageAUTHOR

      Ben Zoltak 

      7 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      Thanks Ingenira, aiming for the thought, always aiming for good thought, with gifts or life in general.



    • Ben Zoltak profile imageAUTHOR

      Ben Zoltak 

      7 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      Thanks Hello, hello, doing my part, to impart something personal forward!


    • Ingenira profile image


      7 years ago

      Impersonal gift cards are certainly more thoughtful and more appreciated. GOod thought !

    • Ben Zoltak profile imageAUTHOR

      Ben Zoltak 

      7 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      I like that idea jobister, I hope people check out the gift card site you recommend, or any of the sponsors here on this page as well ;oP

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      7 years ago from London, UK

      That is a wonderful thought and great hub.

    • jobister profile image


      7 years ago from Anaheim, California

      You can also make a lousy gift card more personal by giving out customized gift cards. You can make customized gift cards at Pretty cool service.


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