Struggling with that last minute gift for everyone on your list? Look no further than a gift card, and Michele Beschen, host of PBS and Create TV's B. Organic and HGTV's B. Original has tips on how you can personalize them just in time for Christmas!
Candace Rose: With so many different gift card options available, how can we be sure we're getting the right one for everyone on our list?
Michele Beschen: "Well, I think gift cards are really an easy gift to give and of course like 60% of consumers out there, they are looking for gift cards for the holidays, so I think you can't go wrong with a gift card. And a lot of the times you really tailor the person's interests, their hobbies- things they like to do with gift cards and there is such a great selection of them and they're as easy to get anymore as when you're shopping at the grocery store- there'll be a kiosk or an end cap that is just full of hundreds of different retailers for you to choose from and literally something for everyone on your list."
Candace Rose: How can we personalize gift cards to restaurants?
Michele Beschen: "Well, I think it's really important to package up the gift card to really personalize it; customize it. You can be very creative with every kind of gift card that you give. For a restaurant gift card, what I did- what it's really all about is getting somebody out for the night whether it's with the guys; with the girls; celebrating date night, so getting it on the calendar is half the problem getting out sometimes. What I did is I took a dry erase magnetic calendar that you can get at any office supply store and put a nice wooden frame around it; put a little magnetic paint on there and then I created all of these little wooden pieces, painted up the numbers, added a magnet to the backside. Some of them are even marked for girls night out; guys night out; date night and so forth. And then I took an Applebee's gift card, put a magnet on the backside of it, attached to it, and isn't that a really fun, playful presentation of a restaurant gift card? And they have this calendar they can hang and use all year!
Candace Rose: And what if I want to buy someone a gift card to an outdoorsy store?
Michele Beschen: "Well, for the person that enjoys the outdoors on your list or even men that are sometimes a little bit more difficult to shop for; what I did was- this is a branch from outside, I added some screw eyes and a string and had fun turning it into a fishing pole and then on the end of it what I did was I attached a Bass Pro Shops gift card which really ties in with the fishing pole, the outdoorsy theme. And again it's about really thinking about the type of gift card you're giving somebody, coming up with a creative way to present it. This was a fun one to put together, and it doesn't cost anything to do either so you can really focus your funs into the gift cards that you're giving."
Candace Rose: How about a gift card to a spa?
Michele Beschen: "Okay for spa gift cards, that's all about relaxing and really pampering yourself. I took- I do a lot of repurposing like I said, you know, any of the handmade projects that you do to help present the gift card. They don't have to cost a lot, and a lot of them can be made using just things you happen to have lying around. This is a wooden cigar box and I filled it with a variety of different teas that we were also able to purchase at the grocery store and then on the inside of the lid I attached a Spa Finder gift card, so when they open up this box they have a nice gift card to look at; they have some teas to enjoy and the box itself acts as your wrapping, so all you have to do is add some ribbon or a bow to the top and it's all ready to give."
Candace Rose: And with kids, iTunes gift cards are very popular; how do you suggest personalizing it?
Michele Beschen: "This is a fun one. T-shirt scarves are very easy to make and they are so graphic, they have great sayings on them so what I did was I took a variety of different concert t-shirts (anything that was music oriented) but out some 12×12 panels of those shirts, stitched them together and I created a one of a kind scarf. I took the sleeve off of another shirt, added it to the front side so that we had a pocket and then that's where I slipped the iTunes gift card. They have a great scarf to wear and once they've spent their gift card they can use that pocket to store their iPod, their MP3 player, so it's really a great gift all the way around."
Candace Rose: What if you don't know what someone needs or wants this year. How can you make a gift card special?
Michele Beschen: "You know what, you can't really go wrong with a gift card to a department store either and for that I just kind of decked it out in a more home decorative type pf a way. I took the front off of an old drawer – the cabinet was kind of falling apart- I used the drawer front; you can also use a scrap piece of wood. I added some knobs and some hanging hardware and some other embellishments and I then hung a JCPenney card from one of the hooks; so again really fun way to present it. These are all really simple and easy to make and again you can use materials you have lying around the house."
Candace Rose: Do you have any additional tips or information you'd like to share?
Michele Beschen: I think, you know, like I said gift cards are very; they're convenient anymore. By shopping at the grocery store you're going to find a nice variety of them and I think it's important to be creative with how you present that gift card instead of just putting it in an envelope. Give it some thought- the type of gift card that you're giving, try to tailor a nice idea or a handmade item that can go with that gift card. It makes it a lot more fun to give and it makes it a lot more memorable for the person that's getting the gift card as well. And we'll have all of these ideas available- you can get pictures of everything and how to go about it if you go to Facebook.com/GiftCardsRock, so lots of tips and other ideas there as well."