This weekend was a baby shower for one of my friends, and the wedding of one of my college roommates. Of course, gift registries make it easy to find something that you know they'll like. And I definitely make use of those registries most of the time! But I also like to try to put just a little extra effort into my gift-giving. (Remember my gift baskets from last Christmas?) Don't get me wrong, sometimes I'm such a last-minute shopper that I have to shove everything into a gift bag -- no tissue paper or anything -- and call it good.
Problem: For the baby shower, I purchased several little random items from the registry, and I didn't want to wrap them individually or throw them in a storebought gift bag.
Solution: Assemble a fun (and inexpensive) gift basket.
White gift basket from World Market: $4
Yellow shred from Walmart: $1
Gift basket bag from Hobby Lobby: $2
Since the bag was clear and you could pretty much see everything inside (which kinda takes away from the surprise factor), I also tucked some squares of different-colored tissue paper around the basket. Add some curled ribbon and a balloon, and voila!
Problem: For the wedding shower gift, I purchased a glass canister set off of the registry. Perfectly fine by itself and it's already packaged in a box which makes wrapping easy, but it still seems a little...boring.
Solution: Since the canisters will most likely be used for some kind of food storage, include some favorite recipes as a bonus.
I went through my recipe binder and picked out 8 of my current, tried-and-true favorites (several of which I've blogged about). I typed them out, printed them onto white cardstock, and cut them into cards. To make them a little more sturdy, I took the cards to work and laminated them (which will also make it easier to wipe off splatters). Then I punched a hole in the top corner of each card and used a little key ring to hold them all together. It still seemed to be lacking something, so I tied some ribbon onto the ring to add a little color.
I thought this "booklet" would be a nice idea because everyone has to eat, and therefore everyone can use recipes, right? You could definitely get more elaborate with this and use prettier paper, more recipes, etc.
What do you do to add a personal touch to gifts? Do you go by the registry or take a risk and "off-list" it?