Gift cards are predicted to be a hot commodity this holiday season, but one question lingers: How do you give someone a gift card without coming across as insincere? Gift card holders are the solution to this common conundrum. A creative holder can turn cold plastic into something personal, intimate and clever; especially when you develop a theme around the person and card.
Yet crafting holders for a husband, son, father or male co-worker can get sticky. One with frills and flair doesn't quite click in the masculine mind and will likely find its way to the trashcan by New Years. Guys want something practical they can ultimately reuse. The best holiday gift card holder pulls double duty as a container one day and standalone present the next.
To get your yuletide ideas brewing, here are 10 of the best gift card holders for men, including both the store-bought and handmade variety. Feel free to adapt or alter any of these to suit the recipient.
1. Altoids Tin
The iconic little red and white can is immediately recognizable and, conveniently, the perfect size for a gift card. Either buy a new batch of mints or repurpose an old tin. Wrap the card in festive paper before placing it inside.
2. Vintage Jeans iPod Case
This is the ultimate trifecta of the frugal gift card world: It transforms a used pair of jeans into a gift card holder, which in turn becomes an iWhatever case. Pretty cool, right? The instructions are fairly straightforward and can be adapted to fit most gadgets. Include an Apple gift card (hint, hint) and bundle it in white paper to keep it from falling out.
A word of warning: Be careful with this approach. If the recipient doesn't already have an iPod or other player, the case implies a gadget is on the way. Don't get his hopes up with a card for $20.
3. Jewel CD Case
Now that MP3s have largely replaced CDs, you likely have stacks of old cases lying around, waiting eagerly to be regifted. Remove the black insert, layer wrapping paper or another fitting design along the bottom and place an iTunes gift card inside (however ironic it may be). This approach would also work well with old cassette holders, if you have any taking up space or have picked them up at garage sales.
4. Miniature Handmade Bag
A card-sized drawstring bag gives you tons of options to customize, accessorize and spice-up plastic from any store. Include guitar picks with a TicketMaster gift card, cuff links with a Macy's gift card or headphones with an fye gift card. If you're the crafty type, try making a hand-sewn gift card holder from fabric scraps or fashioning one from a tube sock.
5. Bass Pro Shops Tin
Consider this the Altoids tin for the angler set. This $1.99 case packs gift cards one day and fish bait the next. It won't smell minty fresh after a few years in a tackle box, but then again, fishing isn't about pleasant smells. Obviously, you'll want to fill this one with a Bass Pro Shops gift card.
6. "Jacob's Ladder" Trick Holder
You've seen the "Jacob's Ladder" trick before: Place a dollar bill beneath straps in a wallet-like contraption, close it, flip it open, and the bill is mysteriously transferred to the other side. Kids will get a real kick from this gift card holder. A DIY version is surprisingly simple to create with these directions and can be customized any number of ways.
7. Wallet with Multiple Cards
Loading a wallet with plastic and calling it a gift card holder seems like cheating, but this is the perfect all-ages gift. Fill a trendy wallet with clothing gift cards for a teen, a money clip with restaurant gift cards for a college student, or a leather billfold with just about anything for just about anyone.
8. Home Depot Gift Card Holder
As gift cards make their way onto more holiday shopping lists than ever, merchants are coming up with intricate Christmas gift card holders of their own. Home Depot has several holders inspired by handymen, including a functional level, miniature toolbox and the familiar orange-tinted apron and paint bucket. As of now, the holders are only available in Home Depot stores for $2.99 apiece and, with the exception of the working level, they're too small for home improvement projects. However, they make for cool ornaments.
9. Business Card Holder
Business card holders add quick sophistication to any office, but as a gift, they're pretty dull. Rather than wrap another box, open the holder and leave it beneath your tree with an office supplies gift card propped inside.
10. Unmarked Best Buy or Target Gift Card Holders
Much like Home Depot, several other stores roll out special gift card holders around this time of year. Unlike Home Depot, however, Best Buy and Target don't slather their name across every square inch, meaning the tins can be used time and again, no matter what card you decide to buy. Drop by any store location and pick one up for around $1.99.