December DIY: Gift Card Bookmarks and other Ideas

I’ve been doing a bit of last minute DIY for Christmas, so I thought I would try my hand at a DIY blogpost.  Here goes…  

Gift cards are a convenient last minute gift, and a great alternative when you aren’t sure which book (or other gift) to get. But rather than leaving it in the store provided packaging or stuffing it into an envelope, why not do a little DIY packaging? Below are a few quick, inexpensive ideas:

First up, a simple disguise involving a sweet treat. I’ve given gift cards in this way twice before, once with Chimes as I’ve used here and the second time with Hershey’s Kisses, and both were well received.  Along with a gift card, you will need:

  • 1 small galvanized bucket (dollar store or Target’s dollar spot)
  • a bag of the recipients favorite small, individually wrapped candy
  • plastic sheet or bag
  • small amount of ribbon or twine
  • scissors


  1. Stand the gift card on one end in the bucket and begin to surround it with candy, keeping the gift card centered. If there is not enough candy to disguise the gift card, start off with a bit of plain, crumpled in the bottom of the bucket.
  2. Place the filled bucket in the middle of the bookworlder_diy_bucket_chimes_2plastic sheet or bag, with the handle of the bucket upright. Gather the plastic and tie tightly with ribbon or twine. This is the perfect time to add a gift tag as well.
  3. Trim any excess plastic above the tie. I like to cut a scalloped edge. It isn’t a blatant shape but prevents jagged edges.  Alternatively, the plastic bag or sheet can be placed in the bucket before filling, leaving the handle free.


A fun alternative of the more bookish variety, is to turn the gift card into a bookmark.  The supply list is small, and can be as simple or complex as you choose to make it.  Along with the gift card, and (optionally) a book or other small gift to place it inside, you may need:bookworlder_gcbkmark_8bookworlder_gcbkmark_1

  • hole punch
  • scissors
  • ribbon or cording
  • optional embellishments to match the recipients age and taste, such as beads, charms, tassels
  1. Taking care not to punch through or alter the magnetic strip or any other important codes, center the hole punch on one of the shorter ends of the gift card and punch a single hole.bookworlder_gcbkmark_2
  2. Cut approximately 6-8 inches of ribbon or cording.  Fold in half and thread the folded ends through the hole, front to back.bookworlder_gcbkmark_3
  3. Thread the cut ends through the loop and pull until taut against the edge of the gift card.  Add any embellishments and trim the cut ends to desired length.bookworlder_dutchbrosgcbookworlder_bngc
  4. Prior to wrapping, place the gift card bookmark in a book or other gift.  If the gift card pretty much took your entire budget for the recipient’s gift, there are fun options at your local dollar store, even a limited selection of books.  Just be sure to have something peaking out, so the recipient finds the gift card right away!


Bonus Gift Idea:  Using the hole punch brought to mind a great idea for the guitar player in your life – practical and fun as well as a way to recycle used gift cards, expired credit cards and even plastic lids.  bookworlder_guitarpickpunch

The DIY Guitar Pick Punch – available at and (not affiliate links).  I purchased the one pictured here from ThinkGeek three years ago for nephew #3’s 11th birthday and it is still going strong.


Feeling inspired to personalize and/or disguise a gift card?  Have an idea you’d like to add?  Let me know in the comments!