Wednesday, June 20, 2012

From Blah-b to Fab: DIY Thrifty Gift

Thrifty Gift: Riddles and Rhymes

No one likes showing up to a birthday party without a gift. But at times there are reasons beyond your control for not being able to have one. Perhaps you couldn't find the coveted jewelry they wanted, completely forgot about the party until day of and didn't find anything gift-able, or, worse yet, didn't have the money to get anything. But what if you could make a sentimental, heartfelt, and enjoyable gift for just under $10?

Back in November, I had just started seeing my boyfriend, J.S. We were planning to celebrate his 25th birthday with a low-key dinner and bowling night, but of course I wanted to get him something special as his girlfriend. In late September, I took a trip back to California for family matters. At the airport, preparing to go back to Texas, I realized that both my debit card and driver's license were missing. I was fortunate enough to have enough information on me to make the flight back home. However, my two cards were still missing. 

I got that all sorted out eventually, but in the meantime, I had NO idea how I was going to get a gift for J.S. with just $30 cash in my name for the next week or so. I decided that I wasn't to spend more than $15 on his birthday (gift and bowling included), that way I saved the other half for gas, food, and other necessities until my replacement debit card came in the mail. I did the math and decided I needed to save at least $6 for the bowling alley. But what could I get for under $9 at such sort notice that really meant something? 

And so began the gift that actually impressed my boyfriend and showed him how thoughtful I can be:

The Thrifty Gift: Riddles and Rhymes

Total cost for this gift: $7.86
Total time spent: 1 day
Appreciation towards gift: Undoubted

The riddles and rhymes gift became a combination of Pinterest pins involving inexpensive gifts. I whipped them all together with a few of my own ideas for a 6-piece gift. Each piece had a numbered riddle attached. A note in the gift explained that he was to start with #1 and work his way to #6, trying to guess what each gift was based on the riddle before opening it. Each object inside was tailored towards a specific item he had mentioned liking in passing as we dated. It's perfect for those celebrating their 6-month-iversary, 6 year anniversary, or a birthday with your significant other. (Please forgive the terribly unfocused pictures. As you can imagine, it was a pretty hectic week, and I hadn't quite figured out my phone's zoom and focus features just yet! But an out of focus example is better than no example,right?)

Wrapping paper: $1 at Dollar Tree
Ribbon: leftover ($1 at Dollar Tree)
Greeting card covers used as numbered riddle cards: leftover ($2.50 at Staples Center)

I noticed that a set of thank you cards I already had somewhat matched the polka dot pattern of my wrapping paper. So, I used scissors to cut off the decorative front and pasted the riddles on the back of it.

J.S. had told me that he doesn't drink much soda pop, but when he does he prefers Coke Zero. So, using this information, I added the soda riddle to a wrapped up single bottle of Coke Zero. 

Coke Zero: $1.32 at gas station
Total so far: $2.32

J.S. had also mentioned his fondness of pistachio nuts over others. I thought the cheesy but cute riddle was a great touch to giving him that snack.

Pistachio Nuts: $1.25 at grocery store
Total so far: $3.57

The boyfriend never mentioned liking Rice Krispy Treats, but I couldn't help but add this one in!

One Rice Krispy Treat: $1 at gas station
Total so far: $4.57

I was always stealing his gum, so I thought this was a great way to repay him for all the times he attributed to my minty breath.

Orbit gum: $1.29 at gas station
Total so far: $5.86

Alright, to explain this one I have to let the cat out of the bag. J.S. and I actually met on Plenty of Fish, a free online dating site. I had just moved from California and was looking to meet new people, friends or otherwise. He had been in Dallas from Michigan for some time with no luck in meeting the right person. And there you have it. I threw in some Swedish Fish candy to the mix in order to add this clever, personal riddle.

Swedish fish: $1 at Dollar Tree
Total so far: $6.86

This last one was by far my favorite item of the bunch, and actually the most cost-efficient! I found out through a random Pinterest posting that it's possible to create your own, printable subway art at Wordle. Using terms I knew about J.S. in the few months we dated and taking advantage of the extra Matte photo paper I had on hand from a previous photography course, I created a keepsake he still displays in his room.

Photo paper: leftover ($4.99 at Amazon and eBay)
Picture frame: $1 at Dollar Tree
Total for gift: $7.86

The boyfriend was touched that I had put so much thought and effort into this gift; it didn't matter the cost. I, personally, would be so appreciative if someone took the time to set up a gift like this for me. The 'ole saying "It's the thought that counts" really rings true in this case.

All of the riddles (save for #5 and #6) are available for print from The Dating Divas.

If you try this out, let me know how it works out for you! I'd love to see your completed gift sets! :-)

In the end, J.S. and I enjoyed a great evening with dinner and bowling for his birthday, and I got my new debit card in what seemed like no time.

Until next time, stay FABulous and stay Thrifty Nifty. 

Sarah B Texas


This post has been featured on:

the Grant Life

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  1. Replies
    1. Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it :-) J.S. was definitely touched.

  2. new follower from TEXAS BLOGGERS!!!! Glad to be new bloggy friends!

    1. Awesome, thank you so much! What is your blog URL? I would LOVE to follow you back! Us Texas bloggers gotta stick together ;-)

  3. Also like you on Facebook and following twitter!

    1. Thank you so much! I will return the favor right now!

  4. What a great gift idea! I'm going to have to remember this for our anniversary!

    1. Thanks for the compliment! I think it would make a GREAT anniversary present! You can even get creative and add more riddles/gifts for however many months/years you are celebrating! :-) Good luck, let me know how it turns out if you end up doing this!

  5. That is a fantastic idea! I am definitely keeping this one in mind for my boyfriend's birthday coming up :) Thanks so much for sharing!!

    1. You're very welcome! Good luck, and hope your boyfriend enjoys it as much as mine did! Let me know how it turns out :-)

  6. Okay--the first thing that I want to share is how cool it was to see how much you listened to all the little things your boyfriend enjoyed! That in itself makes him a lucky man! ;) I think this is such a neat idea! I'm so glad I found you on NOBH! I will be using this concept, for sure!
    Love and God Bless,

    1. Hey Christy! So sorry I didn't get to your comment sooner! I thought I had replied, but sometimes things get lost like socks in a dryer on the interwebs! ;-)

      Thank you so much for visiting my blog, and for your comment! He's a lucky man, but then again I'm a very fortunate girl to have him in my life, as well! :-)

      Hope this concept turns out well for you!

  7. This is so great! I love personal gifts like this. I did a scavenger hunt one Easter for my then-boyfriend-now-husband and sent him all around town and places we went on dates/where we met/etc. So cute! Thanks for linking up to Pin It Thursday!

    1. The scavenger hunt sounds awesome! I'd love to do something like that one day! I love showing acts of appreciation and kindness to the boyfriend. Lord knows he deserves it!

      Thanks for visiting :-)


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