The Gifted Blog

September 14, 2009

Wrap Story: Souvenirs from the Sea

This Wrap Story is part of a mini-series, documenting every present I’ve wrapped since the launch of The Gifted Blog. Click here for the whole series!

We were lucky enough to vacation in Hawaii with my family this summer. Gorgeous! The beach house where we stayed put handmade soaps in every bathroom. When I found out these luscious-smelling bars were made locally, I wanted to check it out.

We saw a flier for a factory tour and went. The tour itself was slightly underwhelming (a drying vat of soap doesn't provide much entertainment), but we got to sample more of their products and pick out omiyage for friends back home.

I got a bar of mango soap and a lip balm for my friend M.'s birthday gift. And, not knowing exactly what I would do with them, I collected some sea glass, pebbles, and shells from the beach.

At home, I found some organza bags, formerly favor packaging at my cousin's wedding. I put the sea-things in one of them, along with a business card from the shop and the lip balm.

The other bag just fit the bar of soap.

This idea - gift-wrapping with mementos from a particular destination - can work many ways. If you plan to give a gift from a certain locale (even your own town!), keep an eye out for something to wrap it with. Something that's ubiquitous one place can be novel everywhere else. Commonplace things (a take-out menu, local newspaper, tourist map, bus token, fallen leaf, etc.) can be used as wrapping paper, the gift tag, or an embellishment.

I was excited to make the gift, made in Hawaii, even MORE "Hawaii" with the things collected from the beach. M. was happy to receive the present, and said the glass, shells, and pebbles would find a place in her beach-themed bathroom. Perfect!


  1. As the recipient of one of these island gifts, I was very blessed by your extra thoughtfulness. It is a good reminder that part of the joy of giving can be the package just as much as the gift!

  2. woah! this looks great!


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