Chocolate nearly always makes a great gift. I say nearly always because I do have one or two friends who don’t like chocolate. I am not sure what planet they are from, but they are still lovely people and I don’t hold it against them. If you’re reading this, you know who you are! I still love you despite your abnormality!
I’m not sure if I‘m alone in this, but I actually prefer just a standard bar of chocolate. Something that can be divided fairly and equitably, and something which won’t instigate arguments about who got the best ones and who got stuck with the ones nobody wants (that would be the Turkish Delights and the Strawberry Cremes and the person getting stuck with them would be ME) and the regretful ‘I wish I had eaten that one instead because this one has a big nut in it’.
But giving a bar of chocolate seems a bit cheap. Having to go all the way to your local Woolies and standing in line at the checkout hardly seems very thoughtful. So they need a bit of spiffing up.
Whenever you see good quality chocolate on sale, grab a few bars and make them special by creating your own wrapper, with whatever sentiment you want to convey. I usually buy the 100g Lindt bars when they are on special. This one was $1.99. Don’t buy anything larger than 100g because the wrapper will be too big for you to copy. You could try doing a bigger one, but it would involve tape and rulers, and would be all too hard in the end. This is supposed to be quick and easy.
Carefully unwrap your chocolate bar, and put the foil-wrapped chocolate somewhere safe and out of reach of little, or big, (or your own) fingers. Have a look at your chocolate wrapper to get an idea of size and how it’s assembled and how it wraps the chocolate. Then create a wrapper. This one I’m making for one of the lovely teachers Cameron had last year for pre-primary. She was married over the school holiday break.
Of course, you don’t have to take a photo. You can do something else, like type your message in bold print, or get your kids to draw a picture that you can scan into your computer. But make sure you put something of you in it though, so the person you are giving it to knows it’s from you.
Open up your picture in the Paint program (or Photoshop if you have it, but I find Paint sufficient) and muck about with your picture; resize it, move it about the page, colour it, add text, whatever you like. When you are happy with it, take a draft copy on plain A4 paper. Then, in pencil, and using the original chocolate bar wrapper as a template, position and trace around it.
When you take your template away, take a note of where the score lines are on the original wrapper and draw them in, just to make sure everything is square. Once you’re finished, you might want to take some measurements from the side, top and bottom of your draft to where the template is positioned on the paper, so that you can put it in exactly the same place when you take your good copy.
Now print out your picture out on something sturdier. I use A4 size 200gsm card, which I got from Office National.
Once your picture is printed trace your template on it and cut it out. Then, using your original wrapper as a guide, take note of the score lines and rule them in. Score firmly (but not so firm you slice bits off your wrapper) with the blunt side of a butter knife. Fold along the score lines, erase any pencil lines, and shape up your box. Secure it in the same manner as the original box with double sided tape or good glue. The bottom and top flaps may need trimming slightly to fit properly (that’s because you traced around a template, and your new wrapper is slightly larger than your original) but just snip away a teeny bit at a time.
All that’s left to do is slide your chocolate bar in and seal it up. I like to cut the name from the original label and tape it to the foil pack with double sided tape (just so that the recipient knows you’re not being uber-cheap and giving them something crappy). You can tizzy it up with a bow or a gift ribbon if you like.
This one I’ve done is specific to one occasion, but multiple production is the way to go with these. Get the whole family involved. They make great hostess gifts, party favours for baby showers or weddings, or Easter gifts. You could make up a whole lot for Christmas with a festive family photo on it, or make a bunch for your child’s teachers for end of year. The possibilities are endless! And inexpensive! And as you are probably beginning to guess, that’s just the way I like it.