My idea for a better gift giving experience… Paper Prototypes

When I give a gift, I want the recipient to be able to choose what they want but Gift Cards are too impersonal. Plus I know that they don’t always get used. But buying something for someone — or even worse making something — cuts out their input, especially if I want it to have some element of surprise. I also really like to send something in the mail so people have a little something to open.

Recently, I landed on what I thing might be a great solution! And I experimented with the next two birthdays that came up. For my daughter’s roommate, I simply said “Hey, I’d like to make you something for your new apartment for your birthday.” Then we talked about the decor and came up with the theme of Boho Elephant with Teal. It was really fun to work on because I knew she’d like it. But, it lacked in the “something to open on the actual birthday” aspect.

So at the next chance, my son’s girlfriend’s Birthday, I busted out some of my Industrial Design techniques. I knew from my son that she liked fairly large earrings and that she’d probably like leather earrings. But leather is a little spendy to just guess what she’d like. Plus I didn’t want her to feel obligated to wear something she hadn’t picked out for herself. So, what I sent her was a set of nine paper prototypes of earrings that I could make for here. I used some patterns I found at Jennifer Maker with my Cricut to quickly produce paper prototypes of the earring I could make for her out of leather.


The 3 designs she chose

She chose these three designs in purple and mustard-yellow leather. Because I included the earring wires, she could even check to see if she wanted the size modified. So now I can proceed with confidence that the outcome will be something she really likes. Plus, it lovely to have a sit-down with her  so that we could discuss what she likes and, in the process, get to know each other better. I’m not trying to scare anyone, but you know I can do amazing wedding decorations with my craftiness… if anyone happens to be having a wedding 😉