Creating Festive and Functional Gifts

A memorable gift isn’t just about the “wow” factor of the opening, the best experience spurs ongoing enjoyment. Sparking joy, (and isn’t that what it’s about?!) means creating a “multi-merry” combination.

  • You want people to be delighted by a gift and compelled to use the contents early and often. It could be the attraction of an artisan piece, for example, and pouring a beverage into the tumbler to admire the look and feel of it. Perhaps it’s the aroma of fresh coffee and the urge to brew and sip from a steaming cup. Or to grab the spoon and start mixing. Think of combinations that say, “use me now!”

  • People love a quick taste of caramels or flavored mints in gifts. It satisfies the instant gratification need in all of us. And, as a side benefit, it adds color and texture.

  • Now to the functional issues, the number and size of items in the gift matters. Sweet and savory flavors, or accessory items, need to be small, or at least compact – and preferably light. Big jars of food don’t work well. Neither do bulky air-filled bags of nuts or popcorn where there’s more air than snacks.

  • Next, think about how recipients will use the gift container. As makers of a hand-crafted gift box, we have fun with recipients, encouraging them to “Clink Outside the Box.” A postcard of ideas on how to use the gift box, complete with a photo on the back, now goes into each one. This way the recipient can pick and choose what works for them in terms of box use: Inbox for mail? Programs on the wedding day? Coffee and tea supplies? And the gift box is on display for the recipient to enjoy and for others to see and comment (multi-merry!). Placing the gift in a thoughtful container – basket, bucket, box - makes it both unique and functional.

  • A note on engraving here… many people like to personalize with engraving. Consider that the engraving will still be on display 10 years from now, and plan accordingly. Sometimes a corporate logo is a perfect choice, other times, it might be best to use the recipients’ initials instead.

We’ve learned to pay close attention to these small but important details that have a lasting impact. It’s a careful combination, but a winning one!

Simple Ways to Enhance Your Gift Box Photos

Pop of Color

A touch of color in accent pieces can go a long way to highlight the elements of your gift box. These extra items don’t have to be expensive, but they do need to attract the eye. They can also add a festive element to the artisan pieces they complement. Red berries or colorful tea towels, are two examples. I don’t pass up a chance to pick up accent pieces when I spot options out on the road. Even if the items are out of season, pick up a few and keep them stashed for the future. It never fails that some gift boxes need a dash of bright to complete the look.  


Adding fullness, or dimension, can enhance the gift box items, especially if you have a few flat surfaces together. Pine cones or air plants for example, can attract the eye and make the flat surface more interesting in the photo. Even if the item is beautiful, if it’s a flat surface, you may lose the full effect without something to enhance its features.  

Zoom Zoom

We’ve had some fun, unique pieces in our gift boxes - like a pewter spinning top - that make for a cool close-up shot for social media or on the web. Photograph the unique pieces individually, outside the gift box, to add interesting diversity in your pictures.

Make sure the accent items you select match your company's personality – fun, elegant, festive, adventurous? If it’s really “you” then it will work.

Read more tips on how to make the most of your photo shoot. Or, see how we've integrated color and design accents into our gift boxes.