My friends over at gift card mall recently asked me to come up with some creative ways that people could give gift cards and really personalize them this holiday season.  I called upon nature and did a lot of repurposing to create five inexpensive, unique projects that with or without gift cards are pretty cool gift ideas that could be used in a variety of ways.

Did you know…..a recent study showed that around 60% of consumers out there would prefer to get a gift card for the holidays.  Have to admit, I was a bit surprised by this number actually.  You can learn more by visiting them on Facebook. 

a quick note on recycling gift cards: when your card has zero value…before letting it just get tossed in the trash…ask the retailer if they send them to a recycler…if not, send it yourself…there are recycling companies out there that will take every one you have and make good use of it.  You can also recycle them yourself and use them in art projects or as a painting tool.

I Love, Love, Love this first one.

A handmade fishing pole.

(It could also be turned into a sweet cat toy by adding some feathers or that to the end… Or….. put a magnet on the end and make some homemade felt fish with magnets sewn in to create a fun fishing game for kids.  So many playful options.)

You’ll need:

  • A branch about 36 inches long and half an inch in diameter
  • Wax
  • Screw Eyes
  • String
  • Empty wooden thread spool, buttons, beads, fishing tackle, or other embellishments


Wax your branch for a smooth, finished look (not necessary, it just makes the branch look more polished)

Add small screw eyes every 6 inches starting at the top and working your way toward the bottom.

Wrap the handle with string and run string through your screw eyes leaving a couple of feet or so coming out the end.

Paint the handle for a pop of color if you like.

Add handmade ‘bobbers’ and other embellishments.  (I painted up an old wooden spool and a lure to add to the end of some wooden beads that acted as the ‘sinkers’)

You can hang a sporting goods type of gift card from the end of it, or simply finish it off with a handpainted fish or like I had mentioned earlier, add some feathers and it serves as a fun cat toy.  Heck, if you finish it off with some true fishing gear, you may even be able to toss it in the pond and catch a real fish or two!


Cheers to all the creative possibilities that come from a rustic, handmade fishing pole.





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