A guest post from my friend Melanie at Plan for Awesome
Looking for a last-minute birthday gift idea for one of your kids? This is the perfect gift for girls or boys of any age, and there’s even a free printable!
I have a confession to make. I wouldn’t say I forgot my 9-year-old daughter’s birthday; it just snuck up on me. I have been trying to come up with a cool birthday gift to give her for over a month, but have talked myself out of every idea I’ve had. I guess I kept thinking that I would magically come up with the perfect idea sometime soon, but that idea never came. I searched gift guides on Pinterest and even went to Amazon to see what I could get shipped here quickly. But nothing grabbed me.
The days went by, as the days tend to do, and I found myself frantically panicking the DAY BEFORE HER BIRTHDAY with NOTHING. Not even a cute little squishy or stuffed animal. No cute pair of earrings or new backpack. NOTHING. I just couldn’t bring myself to buy one more THING to put in this house. Then it hit me.
I realized what I really wanted her birthday gift to accomplish, was to make her feel special.
My brain started going a million miles a minute. How about a mani/pedi? A fun lunch, just me and her? Taking her out to ice cream and a movie? A shopping spree? I couldn’t decide! None of these ideas alone seemed big enough for an entire birthday present. And then I thought…how about all of it? How about an entire day of fun and nothing but Hallie? YES!
My first thought was to make a bouquet of gift cards. But there were 2 problems with this idea.
#1 – I didn’t have time to go and collect gift cards from all of the different places I wanted to take her.
#2 – I didn’t want to have to decide on a dollar amount to spend at each place. What if lunch ended up being less than the standard $25 gift card? What if she wanted to spend more at Target and less at Claire’s? I didn’t want her to feel like she had to come in under a certain amount at one place, or end up with a bunch of gift cards with $1 or less left on them.
So I decided to make a personalized balloon bouquet of my own gift cards for her.
This was one of my favorite gifts I have given any of my kids. And it only took about a half hour to pull together!
How to Make Your Own Birthday Balloon Gift Card Bouquet
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Things That Would Be Nice to Have When Making This, but You Could Totally Improvise
- Mason Jar – I only had the small pint-sized mason jars on hand, so I went with a pickle jar that I happened to have just washed because we ran out of pickles. It was a little bigger than the mason jars I had, so I went with it. But if I were going to choose my primo jar, I would get this size.
- 11.75-inch lollipop sticks or wood skewers (I used wood skewers for the longest ones because I was out of the long lollipop sticks and I had some of these skewers leftover from a different project)
- Glue Gun / Glue Sticks – if you don’t have a glue gun, I would highly recommend this one. It has all the features! It heats up quick, has a stand (that works!), has a defined tip for the glue to come out of, has 2 different heat settings, and if you want, you can select the option with a light for $5 more.
- Ribbon for the top edge
- Recipient’s favorite candy (or anything else to fill the jar with – it could just be tissue paper – whatever you have is fine). Hallie loves the buttermints they have at the chiropractor, so I filled the jar with those ?
- Print out the cute free printable linked above on CARDSTOCK.
- Normal paper is too flimsy and just trust me. Use cardstock.
- Cut out the balloons and the birthday banner
- Hot Glue sticks/skewers to the backs of all the balloons and birthday banner with staggering heights, but make sure the birthday banner is on the tallest sticks. Yes, I said HOT GLUE. Right on the cardstock. Yep.
- Hot glue is best. I did this whole thing with tape and had to re-do it. I used masking tape, then scotch tape, and then finally broke out my glue gun. Save yourself some time and start with the glue gun. You won’t regret it. Tape just isn’t strong enough to keep everything in the exact places you want them.
- Put a dab of hot glue on the top edge of the jar and place the ends of the birthday banner sticks on. Hold for a few seconds until the glue sets.
- Do the same with a few of the other sticks of varying lengths, angling the balloons outward.
- Fill your jar with whatever you are filling it with (candy, tissue, crinkle paper, etc).
- Stick the remaining balloons in the middle.
- Tie a ribbon around the top edge of the jar.
- Take a picture and show all your friends how awesome of a mom you are. Cuz dang, girl. You are awesome.
Money-Saving Tips for Making this Birthday Balloon Gift Card Bouquet
- Lollipop Sticks – the prices for these lollipop sticks on Amazon today are about the same as Michael’s or JoAnn, which are the two stores I have purchased these from in the past. You can find them in the cake decorating aisle. Amazon is kind of weird with pricing though, so to give you an idea, a pack of the short lollipop sticks is usually $4-$5 and the longer ones just get a little more expensive on up from there. The 6-inch sticks are super cheap today ($3.99) on Amazon, but who knows what the price will be tomorrow. I just wanted to give you an idea so you know if you are getting ripped off on Amazon or not!
- Wood Skewers – you can usually find the long (12-inch) wooden skewers at the Dollar Store. I have never seen the nicer white lollipop sticks at a Dollar Store, however.
- The absolute cheapest way would be to get a pack of skewers from the Dollar Store, and then cut the skewers down to different lengths. Then you only need to buy one pack of sticks, and it’s only $1.
- White Cardstock – the link above is a great price on Amazon (today, anyway)! I usually buy the Georgia Pacific 110lb white cardstock at Walmart, and it’s $4.99 for 150 sheets. So this 110lb cardstock is a better deal than the stuff I’ve been getting at Walmart, because it comes with 250 sheets! Looks like I’ll be buying it from Amazon from now on. But you also can’t go wrong with the Walmart stuff. It’s cheaper than anything I have found at Staples or Target…
And there you have it! A quick, easy, totally customizable birthday gift!
What are your favorite gift ideas for kids? Comment below – we have a lot of kids and I could always use ideas for all ages/genders!
Be sure to pin this idea for later!