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Wide World of Pranks: Rant

Wrapping Gift Cards

Call me old fashioned, but I think gift cards are a bit crass. Is it really that hard to buy someone a gift? Recently, the answer was yes. It was too hard. I wanted to get a gift for a friend of mine, but his girlfriend was not very helpful. I didn't know if he wanted speakers for his big screen TV, a Garmin GPS or just a donkey punch in the neck.

I prefer the donkey punch.

So I bought him a gift card. Since I am both an old fashioned kind of guy and a prankster, I had to get him a real gift to go along with it. The gift card I purchased came in a plastic CD case, so I thought I should get a CD to go with the gift card since it fit that form factor. So I went down to my neighborhood Goodwill and bought the Soundrack CD to Bridget Jones Diary. This particular copy also had a cover of some terrible Celine Dion CD. So in my mind it was the perfect gift companion.

My next task was to dress up the gift card so it didn't look like it was a gift card to make the whole process a little more fun in hopes of making my friend's night and to help the people who come to this site with their own gift giving ideas. This is a How To guide for how to wrap something small in the weirdest things you can easily find laying around your house and come up with a very memorable gift.

GWALLY.COM: Gift Card Wrap: Gag Gift Supplies

The first step in wrapping a gift card is to lump a bunch of useless crap into a pile and prepare to wrap the gift. I did not end up using all of these supplies, but I had them at the ready for inspiration. You never know where your bent personality can take you.

I thought for sure I was going to use the Grants Ant Stakes box, but after several layers of wrap, the present would not fit.

Celine Dion -- Ewwww
GWALLY.COM: Gift Card Wrap: Celine Dion

Once I added the gift card, the case for the Celine Dion CD would not close all the way, so I placed it into a Ziploc Bag, then carefully taped it shut using gaffers tape. This tape holds really well and you have to admit it looks stylish. I prefer Permacel. I wrote "Happy Kwanza" because I wanted to put a festive message on the CD.

Caution: Celine Dion DO NOT CROSS
GWALLY.COM: Gift Card Wrap: Plastic Grocery Bag

For the next layer I wrapped the CD in 50 feet of yellow CAUTION tape to serve as a warning. This tape says "CAUTION TAPE - DO NOT CROSS" I think any CD from Celine Dion should have a CAUTION sign of some sort. Oh and in case you think I am being too hard on Celine, the price I paid for her crappy CD at Goodwill was only slightly less than her CD cost new on Amazon!

Paper or Plastic
GWALLY.COM: Gift Card Wrap: Plastic Grocery Bag

Next I wrapped it in a plastic grocery bag. I did this for several reasons. It helps to have a plastic bag to separate each layer, so the layers do not stick to each other, which might make this easy to open. I also used the bag as part of the wrapping so I wouldn't have to throw it away later. But the best reason is an homage to Celine Dion and her plastic look for her plastic music.

Bailing Wire
GWALLY.COM: Gift Card Wrap: Baling Wire

For the next layer, I used rusty baling wire. Nobody ever wraps gifts in baling wire. They might wrap bales of hay or perhaps mend fences. But gift cards? Never!

This is a shame because baling wire is the perfect thing to wrap up a present. You can weave it through itself, which makes it very hard to unwrap unless you pay very close attention. After wrapping and weaving, I crushed the wire down to make it even harder to unravel. It took my friend longer to unwrap just the bailing wire than it took for me to buy the gift card, wrap the gift, and take the photos.

Gaff Tape
GWALLY.COM: Gift Card Wrap: Gaffers Tape

After the baling wire, I decided I really wanted something that would obscure the gift. Something that would give a little mystery to what lies beneath. When a gift is wrapped in gaffers tape, it looks really suspicious. Especially when you feel the wires underneath. Plus, I ran out of duct tape, and I needed a layer of tape for the gift wrap. It's become my signature material for gift wrapping.

Shop Trader Joes
GWALLY.COM: Gift Card Wrap: Trader Joes

For the final layer of wrap, I used a Trader Joe's paper bag. I have a closet full of them, the paper was free, and I like the cute graphics on the outside. But the best reason of all to use a Trader Joe's bag is that it makes it look like I bought something at Trader Joe's, opened it, then did a really crappy job sealing up the package.

Gift Bag
GWALLY.COM: Gift Card Wrap: Gift Bag

I placed the whole monstrosity into a gift bag that I had someone sign so it looked like the entire gift was nothing more than a clumsy re-gift. This is important because the gift card is I bought was actually quite valuable. It really should be once you put someone through all of this hell.

Some other notes about gift cards.
Store return policies are becoming anti-customer. The dipsticks at Best Buy will charge you a 15% restocking fee on some products, which is an outrage. It means you have to bring something back and claim it's broken; then you get the full refund. Another thing to remember when buying gift cards is that if you drop say, $100 on the card and the person can only find something worth $90, They do not give you $10 change, they issue another gift card. Unless you pay cash. If you pay cash, then your giftee can get change back in cash. I think it's important to remember because that money on the gift card can only be used at that store. If you lose the card, you lose the money.

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