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Thursday, 7 August 2014

DIY thoughtful gift for friend

Tomorrow is the birthday celebration for a very dear friend of mine.  We are going out to celebrate with a few beverages.  I also wanted to gift her a small something to remind her how much she means to me and so many people.
I wanted the gift to be just right, but of course, not too expensive.

I finally decided on making her a set of "open when" letters.  I had seen this idea circulating Pinterest as a gift idea for a romantic partner.  Yet, with a little customizing I thought it would be a sweet heartfelt gift for my dear friend to last her all year.

In case you, my gentle readers, are unfamiliar with the idea "open when" letters are a set of letters/notes/small gifts for the recipient to open when a specific time is reached or event occurs.  "Open When.. It's Your Birthday!" or "Open When...You Need a Laugh" are common examples.

I spent a total of $14 on this gift.  Yes, it's close to double what I usually spend, what can I say?

I started with some on hand envelopes and card stock.  I just started writing Open When statements on the front of the cards.  I thought about Lindsey's life, her goals, her strengths and times when she might most need a friend or a reminder of love.

Inside I wrote a little note or motivational phrase.  When possible and relevant I included a small token/gift,

 I started with the obvious: Open when.. It's your birthday.
I intend for this to be opened at her next birthday since the whole series of these letters is her gift for this birthday.
I wrote a quick note and included a Birthday Girl pin along with a few balloons.
Its your birthday
Open when..You reached a milestone
"She believed she could so she did" and a small bag bag of confetti for celebration purposes. :)

You reached a milestone

 Open need a little encouragement
"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over it became a butterfly"
Followed by a terrible attempt at a butterfly.  Seriously, so much respect to artists!

You need a little encouragement

 Open're sick
"It seems that germs, like everyone else, find you irresistible! Get well soon"
Along with an adorable ice pack. Scored this one at the dollar store, how cute is it?!
You're sick

 Open need to feel pretty(er)
True beauty comes from within, the outside is fun to make up!
Along with a three pack of mini nail polish.  Also a dollar store score.
You need to feel pretty

 Open need a laugh.
Along with a card stuffed with awesome jokes.  For those of you who don't know, I'm hilarious. So this envelope is really quite a gem. :)
You need a laugh
 Open when...It's Canada Day
Along with a pack of sparklers (to be used with care and responsibility, of course).
It's Canada Day
 Open feel like giving up.
Just a few motivational words from someone who cares.
You feel like giving up
 Open when..its Earth Hour and have some fun!
Earth Hour (when all the lights/electronics get turned off for an hour) can be a great family fun night when you crack open a few glow sticks.  Which is exactly why I included a pack of ten for her and her family.
Its Earth Hour
 Open when...You forget how loved you are.
Included were some pictures my daughter couldn't wait to create for Lindsey and a note that explains why I included them.
You forget how loved you are
 Open's been one of those days.
We bottle our own wine at one of those "Brew Your Own" places. Since we do not often drink we have roughly 42 bottles of wine in the basement.
I thought there might come a day when Lindsey could appreciate the comfort of Merlot.
It's been one of those days
 Open need a hug.
You need a hug
 Open when...the boys are telling you they are bored and no one slept last night and you're not feeling well and you just need a minute to think!
Included with this is a package of Sponge Bob stickers, coloured craft sticks, pipe cleaners, feathers, pom poms and a bottle of craft glue.
Also a small note that encourages Lindsey to allow the mess to happen if it means she will get the moment of mental stillness she needs.
The boys are telling you they are bored and no one slept
last night and you're not feeling well and you just need
a moment to think!
 Open've had a great day!
"Time to celebrate the every day"
Along with a bag of confetti.  Yes, I did repeat the confetti idea.  But really, confetti is so much fun it should be included in celebration whenever possible.
You've had a great day!
 I wrapped up all the little gifts that did not fit inside the envelopes.  I attached envelopes to any gifts with curling ribbon.  The whole lot will go into a large gift bag and be presented to her during birthday festivities.
The whole lot
This is a gift that speaks to my heart because its not about a gift at all.  It's about helping people understand that they are more important, thought of and valued than they might realize.

Happy birthday, friend!


  1. what a great idea! I might just have to try this one )

  2. What an awesome idea. Hope she really enjoys your thoughtful gift!

  3. This is one of the most thoughtful, loving gifts ever, it's amazing :)