Everyone loves getting gift cards as gifts. They get a bad rap for being impersonal, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
A gift card allows the recipient to get something you know they’ll enjoy versus the gift giver simply guessing at what they’d like.
But if you want to make the gift special, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve collected 17 fun and unique ideas that will make your gift card stand out from the rest.
Why not surprise a friend or family member with a gift card or prepaid debit card they won’t forget? Check out this list for inspiration!
P.S. You’ll want to check out our post on creative cash gifts, too. Lots of clever ideas there!
Christmas Gift Card Ideas
Looking for the perfect last-minute gift for the holidays that doesn’t scream “I waited until the last second to get this?”
Gift cards or Visa debit cards are great presents, especially when you wrap or present them in a fun way.
You’ll never have a hard time with holiday shopping again after getting inspired to give gift cards in new and creative ways.
1. Gift Card Wreath
This gift card wreath idea from Down Redbud Drive is SO FUN! It’s a game of gift card roulette and is the perfect gift for the holidays.
Only one card has money on it, so the recipient has to call the number on the backs of all the cards (or check online). It’ll be a big hit for a White Elephant game or just to gift to someone.
It’s also a fun way to pass along unwanted gift cards if you have any.
2. Gift Card in a Jar
Turn your gift into a magical snow globe for Christmas. This gift card in a jar idea from Cutefetti is a special gift card presentation idea that is pretty and decorative.
Kids will love the Disney gift cards along with some cute presents and faux snow inside.
I’ve also seen a version for Father’s Day with a shark that reads “Fishing you a Happy Father’s Day.” You can do so many themes with this idea!
3. Felt Gift Card Holders
Sew some beautiful felt gift card holders like these from DIY Candy.
They’re totally adorable, and the recipient can reuse them by gifting them to someone else or storing their credit card in during the Christmas season.
These festive felt card holders are sure to make anyone smile!
4. Printable Gingerbread Man Gift Card Holder
Print this gingerbread man gift card holder from Crafts and Printables for a fun and easy way to give a card or gift certificate this year.
There’s a full color version or a black and white version for kids to color.
They’ll love the colorable option for giving their friends and teachers gift cards.
5. Elf Snot Gift Card Idea
Okay, this idea is gross, but kids will love it—Elf Snot!
This fun DIY from Down Redbud Drive is sure to get lots of laughs as the recipients stick their hands in the “elf snot” in the mason jar to pull out the gift card inside.
Not only do they get a gift card, but they also have some cool green slime to play with afterward as well.
Grab the free printable elf snot sticker to make labeling your jars super easy.
Leave these out for the kids on Christmas Eve as an end-of-season gift from their Elf on the Shelf!
6. Washi Tape and Toilet Roll Gift Card Holder
Recycle empty toilet paper rolls (or purchase new ones on Amazon) to make these easy peasy washi tape gift card holders from Confessions of an Over-Worked Mom.
This idea can easily be adapted for any holiday, occasion, or season simply by swapping out the washi tape colors and patterns.
This is the best option if you’re limited on materials and on a tight budget. Just about everyone has empty toilet paper rolls to spare.
7. Take Out Boxes
Turn take out boxes into cute gift card holders like you see here from The Country Chic Cottage.
A touch of gold paint and some beautiful white snowflakes or poinsettias on the front transform these tiny containers into beautiful boxes for gift giving.
Add a card to their favorite store or restaurant for a beautifully presented gift.
You can find take out boxes here.
You can also add other little things like a personalized ornament, piece of jewelry, or a mini-figure for the kids to help fill out the box a little.
8. Gift Card Tree
Feeling extra generous? Give someone a gift card tree!
This thoughtful gift idea from The Simple Parent is a fun way to give someone lots of gift cards for the holidays. It’s also a wonderful gift idea for an entire family.
The cards don’t need to be large amounts, though. Five or $10 on each card is still thoughtful and fun.
Gift Card Ideas as Gifts for Birthdays + Graduations + Other Occasions
Gift cards aren’t just for the holiday season. Buy gift cards all year long to give as gifts for birthdays, weddings, new parents, Valentine’s Day, and all those other special moments throughout the year.
Remember to get a gift receipt with your gift card just in case there’s an error.
Occasionally, the money doesn’t get added correctly to the card, but with the receipt, the recipient should be covered.
9. Game Controller Pop Up Card
Any gamer will go nuts for this game controller pop-up card from Jennifer Maker that includes a slot for holding a gift card. Use Design Space and your Cricut to make quick work of cutting all the pieces.
This fun idea is definitely a card that will be saved and displayed for years to come.
Plus, the gift of video games always goes over big with tweens and teens.
With a gift card to their favorite store, they can pick out the exact games they want.
10. Duct Tape Gift Card Holders
Design some Minnie and Mickey duct tape gift card holders like you see here on Crafts by Amanda.
Wouldn’t this be a fun way to gift a trip to Disney to the kids with some gift cards they can spend in the shops?
11. DIY Kawaii Gift Card Idea
Make this Kawaii gift card envelope from Handmade Charlotte by stitching on plastic canvas.
Follow along with the step by step photos to cut out the pieces, add the stitching, and pull it all together.
Gift cards are a lot more personal when you put effort into them, like this adorable envelope. A Santa or elf face would be a cute option for Christmas!
12. In Case of Emergency
We’ve all had caffeine emergencies, right? This “In Case of Emergency” gift card idea from Mama Cheaps is so relatable!
It’s also a super fun and easy gift card idea that’s easy and inexpensive to set up.
Just grab the printable, a cheap frame, and a coffee shop gift card, and you’re all set.
13. Starbucks Coffee Cup Gift Card Idea
Add some brown paper shred and a gift card to a Starbucks iced coffee cup, and you’ve got yourself a cute gift for the coffee fanatic in your life.
You can do this idea from Drugstore Divas with a cup from any coffee shop, though, so there’s no need to limit yourself to Starbucks.
14. Graduation Cap Gift Card Holder
Say congrats to the grad with this amazing graduation cap gift card holder by Skip to My Lou.
Use the printable template as a guide to cut the black cardstock. Embellish with a black brad and tassel.
The tassel is made with embroidery floss and is a really nice touch.
Check out these graduation money gift ideas for more grad inspo!
Teacher Gift Card Ideas
Give teachers gift cards with a personal touch using these creative ideas.
Gift cards are a popular gift for teachers because they already get lots of handmade items and snacks from their students.
A gift card to an online retailer like Amazon or Target can allow them to replenish their classroom supplies or splurge on something special for themselves.
15. Apple Teacher Appreciation Gift Card Holder
Sure, a handwritten note to a teacher is nice, but do you know what teachers can really use? Gift cards! Send a Target gift card, Amazon gift card, or one to Starbucks inside this cute apple gift card holder from Sarah Hearts.
The apple is cute enough to display long after the gift card is used!
16. Teacher Bookmark Gift Card Holder
Grab this free printable teacher bookmark gift card holder from Yellow Bliss Road for a cute and memorable present for your favorite educator.
You can add any gift card to it, but it’s an especially cute idea for a gift card to a local bookstore, Barnes & Noble, or Amazon.
17. Target Gift Card Holder
For the teacher who’s right on target, make this fun Target gift holder from Skip to My Lou. It’s a free printable, but the fun part is that the end of the arrow is movable.
Slide it out to reveal the gift card.
A Target gift card is one of the best gifts!
Related: Preschool Teacher Gift Ideas
So, there you have it, 17 great ideas to give gift cards this holiday season or for birthdays, graduations, Teacher Appreciation Day, and so much more.
Gift cards are great when you’re in a time crunch, yes, but they can also be really personal gifts when you put in the effort.
We hope this list has given you some inspiration and that you are now armed with plenty of ideas for ways to surprise your loved ones with a little bit of plastic magic.
Do you have a favorite way to give gift cards? Let us know in the comments!
For More Way to Give Gifts
- 30 Non-Toy Christmas Gift Ideas for Kids - 10/31/2023
- 50+ Fun Family Christmas Gift Ideas for Every Budget - 10/31/2023
- 19+ Creative Birthday Money Gifts - 08/04/2023