Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Appreciation Gift Ideas

Pinterest has changed my world. In some ways for the better, but it has definitely upped the stress and expectations of being creative. Plus, I like being creative and come up with all kinds of fun stuff.... and now everyone just assumes even my original ideas came from Pinterest!

So I've succumbed and now I turn to Pinterest first for ideas. It's okay; I think all the pinners are more creative, artistic, and talented than I am. Plus, many are sooo generous and put up a bunch of FREE printables. I'm photoshop and illustrator challenged anyways, so I take full (and grateful!) advantage of these kind folks that offer up their time and creativity to help others out.

The end of the school year has truly snuck up on me. I guess I can't exactly say that, because its still 3 weeks away and (thanks to Pinterest) I have all the teacher and teacher's aides gifts all set and ready to go.  I even had a lot of fun doing it. Actually, I found so many cool and cute, inexpensive gift ideas on Pinterest that I have TOO many gifts made and ready. Maybe I'll end up gifting myself that cool iTunes or Target gift card .

NOTE: NONE OF THESE IDEAS ARE MINE! Just the photos and (at times) my own spin.

I loved the cute, colorful cup and Jamba Juice gift card combo that I saw on Pinterest. Really, it is so cute and easy: a double walled tumbler with straw, free printable that says "Thanks for Sparking my Creative Juices!", and a Jamba Juice gift card. Oh, you can also add candy. Originally I saw it with M&M's but Starburst or any candy would work. Or no candy, and only tissue paper or other filler. They turn out so cute and colorful, if you use a bright colored cup. (but the clear ones also look great and are easier to see the gift card and colorful candy).

Like I said, I created too many printable-gift options so my little girl wanted to give her teacher TWO gifts! So, since I had a target gift card in the other gift, I filled the tumbler with Crystal Light lemonade packets instead of the Jamba Juice gift card. Trying to keep things inexpensive, I purchased the tumbler at the Dollar Store. I know, pretty cheap but it really doesn't seem that much different than the 5 dollar ones I've seen elsewhere. I put it in a little gift bag and tied it with a ribbon.  Looks so cute!
Thank you for such an awesome idea! HERE is where I got this awesome idea

Our community has a brand new Target that recently opened up. Who doesn't like Target? I've always loved it but recently stumbled upon websites that really know how to save a bundle at Target! Thanks to these awesome websites, I now have the Cartwheel app installed, save 5% with my new Target Red Card, and have started diligently cutting and printing coupons to save even more money. It can be addicting, and it can be time consuming, even with the sites! I also have to watch myself because I can easily being 'hoarding' stuff. I mean, how many bottles of laundry detergent or shampoo do I need, even if I got such an awesome deal on it it was free or nearly free? Maybe I should begin donating my great deals to shelters or other places, because I am definitely running out of storage space.

I love Target. So, when I saw these wonderful printable gift ideas on Pinterest from I wasted no time in getting a gift card, and firing up the printer. It printed great, and I got out the glue stick and cardstock and created a true card instead of the original intent of the Pinterest idea. Inside the card, I had an area for my little girl to sign and write a note to her teacher, and then I pasted the little red gift card envelope that Target provides. Super easy. But I wanted to give more than a card and gift card, so I added a Target reusable bag. Around here, these reusable bags are invaluable. I chose  the canvas type that retail for 4.99  but any bag would work.  (I was fortunate enough to come across these bags on sale and scooped up several just for gift giving, as well as my own purchasing needs). I then tied it with twine and put it in a red gift bag. Super easy but adorable! I wonder how many of these pinterest inspired gift ideas the teacher will end up getting?

Another GREAT idea was a printable gift tag that you attach to a tote bag. As I mentioned above, where I live, reusable bags are all the rage, due to a city ordinance banning plastic bags. There are so many great reusable gift bags. My favorites are the Envirosax/Omnisax types that roll up super compact and lightweight, and even better they all nest in a little pouch that can house 5 of these little sacks. Though 'little' when rolled up, they're actually pretty large and very strong. I love these things and love the convenience of having them all together and ready when needed. Another favorite is Baggu. LOVE them too and seriously worth the money. Of course, Target bags are nice, and I do love the canvas Target ones. I have found that these reusable bags create very welcome gifts. I've found the pouch of 5 Omnisax bags online for as little as 32 dollars. You can easily piecemeal the individual bags as gifts (each little sack comes with its own tag/label so they make great gifts individually or if you want to spend more on a person, give them the entire pouch). Just put in a little gift bag, attach the "You are Tote-ally Awesome" gift tag and you're done.
While browsing on Amazon I cam across these pretty cute little lightly insulated grocery bags. They come as a 'set' of 6. I use the word 'set' loosely because they very so wildly in color and design. The cool thing about this set is they come boxed in the same colorful design that the actual bag is. Though the original pinterest idea shows the printable gift tag attached to tote bag, what I have done is attached the gift tag to the box that contains the bag. I then add a colorful ribbon and.... DONE. How easy is that? All for just 4 to 8 bucks, depending on what type of tote bag I choose to give. Thank you for this wonderful printable!