Unique Ways to Surprise Someone with a Gift

I reckon you’re at this post for one of two reasons:

  1. You don’t have a gift yet and desperately need ideas, OR
  2. You have a gift but want to figure out interesting ways to surprise someone with a gift

This post is more about #2, but if you ARE looking for cute gifts you can either try finding something on Etsy, or our own little handmade gift subscription (shameless plug).

But! Let’s talk about reason #2.

Unique Ways to Surprise Someone with a Gift: The Homemade Treasure Hunt

I basically have one absolute favorite way of giving a gift, that you can easily add your own flavor to.
In four words: A homemade treasure hunt. 

Regardless of whether your gift recipient is a child, sibling, friend, or romantic partner, a treasure hunt never fails to delight.

A treasure hunt basically starts with you giving your gift recipient their first “clue” (usually a little paper clue), and has them traveling from spot to spot, finding additional clues. The final location will be where you hide the gift.

I list a couple ways to do it below.

Make a homemade treasure hunt through your own home

This can be especially fun if the gift recipient is someone you live with. You can have the clues be references to things that happened in your house, or items that you own together.

Examples:

Clue says: “You think I don’t know where you hide the chocolate….but I know.”

Clue says: “The mouse’s hiding spot.”
This could refer to that one time there was a mouse in your house, and it was hiding behind the curtain while your partner was shrieking on a chair.

Clue says: “Fido’s favorite sunbathing corner.”

Use a treasure hunting kit to make it easier

Unique Ways to Surprise Someone with a Gift: The homemade treasure hunt!If you’re too traumatized by the idea of creating a treasure hunt from scratch, Tiny Treasure Hunts actually makes a little kit that basically has a built-in treasure hunt. Works great for both kids and adults.

Make a treasure hunt through your shared memories

This is probably better as a treasure hunt for a romantic partner. This journey can be either on foot, bike or via car. Have the clues refer to places you have shared memories together. Since it’s a bit harder to hide paper clues in public places, it’s sometimes easier if you initially give them a sheet with all the “unfinished” clues on it. There will be gaps in the clues that you can have them fill in with answers from the locations you send them to.

Examples:

Clue says: “Our first date spot. What number is the spaghetti marinara on the menu? Use that to dial this number: 424-312-5??3”
Theoretically the missing numbers should fit into the phone number, which should be the business phone number for the next location.

Next Clue says: “Go to this location (from Clue 1). Order our favorite drink.”
If you’re familiar with the staff, give them a clue beforehand to slip underneath your hunter’s drink.

Overall, this type of treasure hunt is a lot more complex and work intensive to pull off. But it can really be a fun and romantic stroll through memory lane.

The Final Gift

When your treasure hunt is wrapping up, it should point to the final location of the gift. If the gift is a physical object, we suggest you wrap it up in a really cute way (we have a tutorial on it here). Or if it’s a sillier treasure hunt, you could do the whole “box within a box within a box” gag. This works better if you’re not worried about your recipient being disappointed when the gift is smaller in size than originally expecting (might not be good for kids).

Homemade Gift Wrapping Ideas

Sometimes people disregard presentation when they’re giving a gift. But having been in the gift industry for almost 10 years now, I know how important presentation actually is. It can make the difference between someone thinking the item inside has a good value or a low value. And it can change the overall “vibe” of the item—you can add a hint of fun, or mystery, or luxury—just based on what type of gift wrapping you choose.

With that in mind, we’ll jump into some really cute and cool homemade gift wrapping ideas to made sure your gift gives off the right impression.

10 Cute Homemade Gift Wrapping Ideas

Homemade Gift Wrapping Ideas

We usually recommend starting with either brown kraft paper (if you don’t have any, cut up any brown grocery bag or lunch bag and voila!). Or, if your box already looks nice, just start from there and add embellishments, like the ones below.

Use Stamps

If you have any stamps around the house, adding one to the top of a plain kraft box can really add a lot. Hearts are a great stamp idea, as well as feathers. If you don’t have any stamps, we recommend cutting one out of a rubber eraser, and then using ballpoint pen ink (or lipstick) as your stamp ink.

Leaves or Flowers

Probably our favorite type of homemade gift wrap embellishment, leaves and flowers can give a very organic feel to the gift. If you’re doing flowers, we recommend picking a test flower first and seeing how long it lasts before it starts to wilt. Make sure it will last long enough to get the gift to your recipient (lavender lasts a long long time).

For leaves and twigs, sometimes dead or dried ones work best. But if you find eucalyptus leaves, those last a long time fresh, and smell really nice. Certain herbs work well too (fresh), like rosemary.

Ribbons, twine and lace

Our favorite type of item to use to close it up is with gardeners twine. You can get it both at an arts and crafts store, and also at your local hardware or garden center. Additionally its available on Etsy.

“Wrapped with Love” Tag

To give it that finishing touch, attach a little tag that says “Made with Love” or “Wrapped with Love”, or even just has a little heart drawn on it. It seals in that homemade touch.

Summary

Summary: Keep it simple and cheap when you’re doing homemade gift wrapping. You should be able to find enough stuff around your house to fashion an adorable little gift.

Berry Bowl Dessert Set

November’s surprise has arrived and we think you’ll be thrilled with it just like we are. If you’ve been looking for that perfect piece to add a splash of color while entertaining your friends or just want to add a bit of charm to your afternoon snack, we think this berry bowl will do the trick.

local-artist

ceramic-bowl

Like most of the Fair Ivy items, this piece was designed just for our subscribers. This handmade pottery is sculpted from white stoneware and fired with a food safe glaze. A stamped texture adds extra detail and has been carefully applied to each piece by hand.

berry bowl

Completing this sweet little berry bowl set is a matching scoop. The scoop also features a hand stamped texture and is sized just right. We admit that this piece is great for special occasions but are thrilled that it is dishwasher safe and truly designed for everyday use.

stamped-pottery

The hands behind this ceramic bowl belong to Natalia Martinez, owner and artist at Misfit Dynamo. Her pieces are all handmade and created in small batches so that each detail can be carefully crafted. Her shop is filled with beautiful pieces of ceramic ware designed to bring warmth and charm to your everyday life.

handmade-pottery

If you’d like to see more of Natalia’s work or shop for some great pieces to compliment your berry bowl, be sure to visit her at www.misfitdynamo.com. If you are a Fair Ivy subscriber, there is also a special discount on this month’s artist card.

Crystal Bracelet

The October artist of the month hails from the Seattle area and has designed a lovely set for our Fair Ivy subscribers. Simple details with a bit of hammering and a bezel setting, this crystal bracelet and ring is modern, classy and full of warmth and light. Can’t wait to find out more about this month’s gift box? Scroll down to check out all the details and find out more about the artist of the month.

minimalist-jewelry

Each gift box has two items designed and made by Natalie at Modest Elements Jewelry . Both pieces are crafted from 14k gold fill and are lightweight pieces that embrace minimalist lines- simple, easy to wear alone and they play well with others too. Much of Natalie’s work incorporates natural materials such as stones and crystals and you’ll also find layered necklaces, geometric shapes and daintily linked chains.

boho-jewelry

The ring in this month’s surprise package has been hand forged and lightly hammered on the ends to add texture and detail. Each ring is open ended to allow for a cozy fit that isn’t too snug. The thin gold band can be stacked with other rings to make a bolder statement or worn by itself for just a bit of shine.
hammered-ring

subscription-box

Along with the hammered ring, October’s subscribers received a delicate crystal bracelet, handmade from gold fill chain and set with a spring clasp. The chain bracelet has an understated elegance and is an easy to wear piece that is perfect for everyday use. With an extra long tail, this gold bracelet is a breeze to clasp and lets you find the perfect length for a comfy fit.

gold-chain-bracelet

crystal-bracelet

If you’d like to see more offerings from Natalie, check out her Etsy shop  and be sure to follow her Instagram feed for updates on the latest pieces she’s created. For our Fair Ivy subscribers, a special discount code has been included in each package.

Whisk & Flour Review: A Unique Baking Subscription

Whisk and Flour ReviewThere’s no two ways about it. I’m in love with my Whisk & Flour subscription! I mean, who wouldn’t love mail day when it brings such a fun, adorable and delicious activity to your doorstep?

What is Whisk & Flour?

Whisk & Flour is a new baking subscription that sends a unique baking kit to your doorstep every month. For $28 a month (including shipping!) you receive the main ingredients, an adorable recipe card, info about the recipes origins/background, and my first one even came with a little kitchen product as a surprise gift!

My Whisk & Flour Review: October Box

So I obviously jumped on board as soon as this subscription released. It promised to have everything I love—surprises, adorable packaging, and delicious treats. Plus, I love when mail I receive turns into an activity for the evening.

So this October, I got my first box! The packaging is too adorable for words. Upon opening, you find two notecards—one with the recipe, and the other describing the dessert and it’s background. This month was Matcha Green Tea Cookies! Which sounded so unique. I jumped right in (and roped my boyfriend into the baking fun).

Whisk and Flour Box Review
What is Whisk & Flour?

Each of the ingredients comes in its own eco-friendly packaging, and are all packaged inside a cute linen baggie (that I’m going to re-use for crafting supplies—yay!). Plus, we got a bonus gift in our box this month—a silpat baking sheet.

I also love that all the ingredients have little baking puns on them. My favorite was “Stop and smell the {all-purpose} flour”. Hehe.

Whisk and Flour Subscription

The actual mixing process was easy (thanks to the instruction card), and I really liked that there was an hour when the mixture had to cool in the fridge. It added a real element of anticipation to the event. We watched an episode of our favorite tv show while we waited, happily knowing dessert was coming soon.

Whisk & Flour Baking Sub

When the cookies were finally baked and cooled, we found they were delicious. My boyfriend was a bit worried at first because he normally only likes chocolate-based desserts, but we were both pleasantly Whisk & Flour Box Contentssurprised. And they were such a fun color.

I love that Whisk & Flour gets you to try desserts and recipes you wouldn’t normally choose. It’s opening up a whole new baking world!

Plus, I do feel like this is a really cute activity to bring together friends or family members for the evening. We enjoyed it as a couples activity, but I could see it being really fun for a mom/kid, or even for an easy-going girls’ night activity.

Overall, I’m a huge fan. Can’t wait to see what the next few months bring!

Check out Whisk & Flour here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gold bunting necklace

September may bring cooler weather and falling leaves but here at Fair Ivy, September means our subscribers are getting some shine, sparkle and a bit of glitz added to their everyday style. This mini bunting necklace is sweet with just a bit of edge and was handmade just for Fair Ivy. Read on to see the adorable packaging and this little bit of handmade loveliness.
triangle-necklace

Arriving in the tiniest box ever, the monthly gift box for September is brought to you by Bunnies in LA, located in the heart of downtown Los Angeles. We simply love the mini bunny stamp adorning each little box and the artist card.

monthly-gift-box

pennant-necklace

Carefully tucked inside, Fair Ivy subscribers will find this lightly hammered bunting necklace. Each triangle is formed by hand and gently hammered to add a little bit of texture to the front surface. The necklace itself sits along the collarbone and has a lobster clasp to keep it firmly in place.handmade-gold-necklace

In business since 2012, Bunnies in LA makes necklaces, charms , rings and other pieces. Their designs are a little bit of dainty and a little bit of edginess, with an easy to wear style. Although this bunting necklace was made just for Fair Ivy subscribers, be sure to check out the Bunnies in LA shop to see all of the other lovely pieces they offer.

gold-triangle-necklace

bunting

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