September 20, 2011

Working With What You’ve Got

Posted in Family, Gifts tagged , , , , at 9:12 am by BetweenWeekdays

We celebrated our nephew’s fourth birthday this past weekend. (Seriously, where does the time go?) With a little ingenuity, I made sure his gifts from us were the best dressed at the party.

I’m all for reducing clutter, but when I see something that could be repurposed, I tend to hold on to it slightly longer than I normally would. For example, read this post about a jam jar I couldn’t get rid of. It’s not something that happens often, but I’m always happy when I’m resourceful enough to give something new life.

Our nephew is obsessed with balls (as most young boys seem to be). Specifically, he’s obsessed with baseball. He joined a TBall team when he was 3 and was one of the few who didn’t need to bat off the tee. That’s right. Our 3-year-old nephew could regularly hit a ball pitched to him. He’s talented, and we couldn’t be more proud.

So, when I saw real wood bats that were customizable, I knew he had to have one. I didn’t care how much it might cost; it was going to belong to my nephew. In case you’re wondering, we found the bats at Dollywood where a gentleman was able to wood burn his name into the bat in a matter of a couple of hours.

To see bat product details, click here.

Like any good aunt and uncle, we realized he needed balls to go with his bat. So we spent weeks finding different balls (baseballs and practice baseballs included) to give him with his bat. We bought balls that were filled with glitter and balls that bounced really high and balls that bounced all over. You get the picture. He’s our only nephew, after all.

Eventually, I realized I was going to have to wrap a baseball bat and a plethora of balls. What a buzzkill this thought was. A simple gift bag wouldn’t do for our nephew. No way.

And then I had a eureka moment. Enter: empty ornament containers from Hobby Lobby.


I mentioned that I’ve been working on Christmas prep (read more here, here, herehere and here), so I had some containers left over. The cylindrical shape was perfect for housing balls and the baseball bat. And it was free!

The containers had some sticker residue on them, so I decided to cover one with foam shapes of different balls instead of wrapping it. I found the foam pieces at Michaels and hot glued them all over the cylinder. The husband then stacked all of the balls into the empty container and taped the lid back on. I added some ribbon and bows to make it even more festive. It was adorable and perfect for an energetic boy’s fourth birthday.

We ended up using two containers to house the wooden bat. We put the bat in one of the containers and then slid it into another container. Voila! Then we wrapped it like a Tootsie Roll and added red ribbons. (Sorry there are no pictures of the actual bat. I don’t think my nephew’s name should be seen here. I’m overprotective like that.) Once it was wrapped, it was impossible to know what was inside. Plus, it was ADORABLE!

I know my nephew is too young to appreciate the wrap job on his birthday presents, but it makes me feel good to give him something I’m proud of. Even though we don’t live close to him, I still want him to know how much we adore him.

I’m happy to report that he loved his presents. The balls were a huge hit with all of the kids at the party, and his parents adored the personalized baseball bat. (To see another personalized gift, click here.)

What have you been repurposing lately?


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