First off, let me just say that I LOVE puns. I know it make some people sick to their stomach, and I respect that opinion– but I disagree whole-heartedly, especially in the context of thank you gifts. In my book, thank you gifts are something that combines a useful/beautiful/fun object with a funny/silly tag that fits the theme and lets the receiver know that you are truly thankful for all that they do. If you think Thank You cards bring a smile to people’s face and increase the likelihood of them doing more for you in the future, these gifts are the next-level.
I use them most often in my job at a University where I have 30-50 volunteer ambassadors each semester that give tours to our visitors, and each semester I try to give them some kind of adorable gift to go with the gift cards that they earn for all of their hard work. They absolutely love them! And although they do take quite a bit of time for that many people, they are SO worth it. Below you’ll find some of the ideas that I have used in the past for these volunteers, as well as adorable ideas that I found online. Alright, let’s get started!
1) Hand lotion or soap with “Hands Down” pun
As you can see, this idea can be done with literally any kind of hand product. With that being said, I would stick with the one that your receiver will appreciate the most and use the most. In order of practicality, I would say that some nicely scented handsoap would be my first choice, my second would be hand lotion, and other hand products like hand sanitizer would be my third choice, only because it is harder to find cute ones. However, Bath & Body Works has adorable hand sanitizer, so perhaps I should eat my words! Whatever you want to give them just make sure that it smells nice and will be enjoyed by the person you are giving it to. Simple!
2) Lip Balm with “You’re the Balm” pun
Source: Positive Lifestyle LC
Source: Overstuffed Life
I always knew that nice lip balm was a great idea for a small thank you gift, and the “You’re the Balm” pun just matches it perfectly, but what I had never known is how to attach the tag to the lip balm without it overpowering such a small object. Obviously if you were to hang a tag off of the stick (or even more difficult, the sphere of Eos brand lip balm) like you would with the the hand products, the size ratio of the tag may not look right. What I love about these two concepts above is that the Balm is attached to an adorable card. Especially the gray card with the circular edges and the honey bee. I mean, does it get any cuter?
3) Mani-pedi with “Mani Thanks” pun
Source: The Glitter Press
Source: Just Add Confetti
Here are two fantastic examples of how to incorporate an little “Mani Thanks” tag onto manicure products. I’m partial to the tiny little tags on one bottle of nail polish, in which case you could invest in a nicer bottle of nail polish (Essie is always a hit! Below is one that is on sale right now for about $5!) if your focus is on that item.
If you want to do a few more items and create more of a little gift basket, then you could stick to a few dollar store items but give them more choices than just polish, such as toe seperaters, nail brushes, nail stickers, nail glitter… the list goes on and on. You can then attach the adorable card design that has a letter of the word “mani” in each bottle. (Both of the links above have a free printable!) Your receiver won’t know how to “repaint” you. Get it? Alright maybe I should stick to my day job.
4) Nutella with “I Can Nutella How Much” pun
This pun is genius. I am so happy someone brought this into existence! 1) Because Nutella is God’s gift to man, albeit it definitely does not make a nutritious breakfast, and 2) because this punny tag needs to be given to another person somewhere, it’s just that good. I’m actually MOST excited to give this to someone the next opportunity I get. I canNUTELLA how much I love it. Also, there is a cheaper way to do it with small travel packs with a foil lid to peel back (and I believe small jar versions) which they sell at most dollar stores. You will just have to adjust the size of your card attached based on the version you choose.
5) Bundt Cakes with “Thanks a Bundt’ch” pun
Okay, to be honest, these ones are not the cheapest gift you can give, but they are DEFINITELY the most delicious. If you buy them from a professional shop such as Nothing Bund’t Cakes (down here in the Sacramento area) then you will of course be giving something that literally no one dislikes. Perhaps you should save this one for someone you really want to impress, like a boss or great potential client? Or a cute boy/girl in class? Just saying. You could also bake mini bundt cakes yourself using this cake pan and do them in bulk or make them each year for a certain occasion. This would be the perfect gift if you love punny gifts AND baking, just like me! Just bake them in your pan and ooze thick icing over the top out of a tube from the middle out.
Once your cakes are complete, wrap each one in a little plastic cupcake box, such as these. Wrap the box in cellophane bags, tie with an adorable silk ribbon and attach a small circular card that says “Thanks a BUNDT’CH for all you do!” This could apply to anyone in almost any situation, and is guaranteed to make someone feel appreciated. The way to anyone’s heart is usually through their stomach.
6) Extra Gum with “Extra Mile” or “Commit-MINT” puns
Source: The Penny Wise Mama
This is one of the only gifts in this list that is actually not a dessert or a candy, so that means that it is sorta healthy! So definitely save this one for your health consicience loved ones. It’s pretty self-explanatory, but definitely adorable! You could either glue the pack of gum to a larger card, or you could do as picture and place the pack of gum into a small cellophane bag, tie that with a pretty silver ribbon in a bow, and attach a smaller card label to the ribbon. There are two different puns you can go with here: one based on EXTRA, such as “Thanks for always going the extra MILE,” or you could center it around MINT which has many possibilities, the best of which is “Thanks for your hard work and commit-MINT.” Both are perfectly punny and will bring a smile to their face and fresh breath to their mouth!
7) Candied/Flavored Nuts with “Go Nuts Without You” pun
Source: Happy Go Lucky Blog
This one is pretty obvious, but I think the way that they put it together is fantastic. You will need a cute jar for this (pictured is a glass jar with the clasping close instead of a mason jar, but either will work of course), yummy nuts (you could either buy their favorite kind in a couple of bags from the Dollar store or one larger bag from Walmart, or you could candy or flavor your own kinds. The link above has some great ideas for rec.) Fill the jar with these nuts and create a label for the top and front of the jar. I would reccomend simply designing this in Canva using a plain chalkboard background and your favorite white font to write “I’d go NUTS without you!” and “Thank you” for the top round label.
If computers are not your forte, I would recommend painting with white paint or white nail polish onto piece of black construction paper or black poster board. Just cut out the piece that you would like first, one a round rectangle for the side of the jar and the other a circle about the size of the lid. Once you have written/painted on them, glue or tape them to the jar for presentation. Also don’t feel shy about tying a nice bow or colored string around the top of the jar, it will make it feel like an even more special gift. People go… what’s the word? …Crazy? …for that stuff!!
8) Donut(s) with “Donut Know What I’d Do Without You” pun
Source: Happiness is Homemade
Who wouldn’t want these? Presented in an entire box of a dozen, this would be a wonderful gift to give to a whole team, department, small company or group of friends or family that you want to thank. If you can find a local shop that will package up the dozen donuts into a nice pink box, your theme is already half-way done! (This is making me miss Voodoo Donuts, back in Portland OR where I’m originally from. Ugh Sacramento has nothing like it.)
There are two different ways to present the card with the gift. You could 1) attach a small card with ribbon tied around only one donut inside, which is a cute little surprise to the group of people when they open the lid. I personally love putting the exciting item inside of something to spark that feeling of joy for the receiver when they peak inside. It would be fun for each person coming across the box to open it and see what the purpose was of the Donuts and who is appreciating them.
The other way to do it would be to create a much bigger “card,” perhaps the size of an entire 8.5×11 piece of paper that has the message and glue that to the top of the donut box. This could still be adorable, but of course wouldn’t be as much of a surprise to the opener. On the other hand, your Thank You message would be on display for all to see more often when the box is closed to keep the donuts fresh. Whichever you choose, include a cheesy donut pun such as “We DONUT know what we would do without you!”
Source: It’s Written on the Wall
This one is not original, but it is definitely a classic. I love the way that they put this one together. You will need a small white circle card that says “You’re a LIFESAVER, thanks for all you do!” with the word ‘lifesaver’ in a rainbow of colors. If you are making these in bulk as shown with red, green and yellow, use those as your theme colors in both the word as well as the cardstock or colored paper underneath the little white card. Make the white card a circle but the colored paper underneath with scalloped edges, and then tie the tag around a tub of Lifesavers with the same colored embroidery string (found at any craft store) as the color of the tube of candy. You may just save their day by brightening it up with some good vibes and good candy! (Note: I would recommend bringing some lifesavers gummys into this equation, because those things are way tastier than the hard candies in my book!)
10) Gummy Bears
When I had originally come up with this concept, I was picturing a little classic brown teddy bear holding a baby food jar full of gummy bears. What ended up happening was even better! I think it may have been because it was the last week of November or the first week of December, but I was delighted to find mini and round little jars or sparkling cider. I simply poured the sparkling cider into one large mason jar to drink later, washed out the mini jars, filled them with some large bags of gummy bears I bought for a couple dollars each at Walmart, and they were ready to be presented as the main event of the gift.
Also at the Dollar Store, while looking for those typicaly brown teddy bears, I found something much cuter for the occasion: mini polar bears! They had cute little Christmas scarves and their shapes were perfect for holding these jars. In order to make your bears hold their jars, simply face them towards the jar and tie a ribbon all the way around their back and tied around the bottom of the lip of the jar. If you tie it tight enough, the jar will not slip out unless the receiver tilts it down and pulls it out from the bear’s grip. It’s perfect!
As for the card, you can either make a small one, hole punch the corner and slip the ribbon through the hole first before tying it around the jar, OR you can make a label by designing a long and narrow “card” and use a glue stick to place it over the label it comes with. Or of course, do both and really customize it to the situation! (i.e., their name on the label, or an ingredients label that says some kind of joke like :ingredients: pure delicious joy.) Whatever you decide, I recommend incorporating “Thank you Beary Much” somehow.
11) Reese’s Pieces
This pun is quite clever actually. All you will need is a cute glass or plastic jar (or as pictured, an empty Crystal Light container), enough Reese’s Pieces candy to fill jar(s), and white labels the size of a normal jar label. Copy the “pieces” part of the Reese’s pieces logo and paste that into the middle of your homemade logo, and write “Thank you for sharing” above it and “of your knowledge with me this year!” You could also tweak it slightly to fit your situation with words like “Thank you for sharing pieces of the load with me this year” or “Thank you for sharing pieces of your expertise with me this year” or even change it up but still include PIECES with ideas such as “I’d go to pieces without you!” The list can go on and on, just use a little imagination.
12) Succulent or Cactus
Since succulents are all the rage these last couple of years, why not take advantage? These work for boys and girls alike, they are extremely stylish, they almost NEVER die (which is great for a not-so-green-thumb like me) and the best part– they only cost $2.50 at Walmart for the small versions! Make an adorable little card that says an edgy pun such as “You don’t SUCC” or “Thanks for dealing with me, even when I’m PRICKLY.” Clever right? I loved giving these to the Ambassador volunteers so much that I made one for myself too.
The great thing about Thank You gifts is that it is hard to go wrong. Unlike a birthday present, Thank You gifts are often unexpected and the receiver is usually pleasantly surprised. If you were to give them anything at all they would likely be delighted. Mix in an adorable eye-roll worthy pun into the gift? You will make someone’s day, I guarantee it. So when you or your child are wrapping up the school year with a great teacher, turn to this list. When someone volunteers to go out of their way and serve your church or organization for nothing in return, turn to this list. When someone has just been so good to you over the years and you want to thank them for nothing in particular, create something from this list and comment below with how it went. I would LOVE to hear about how it light up their face!