Introduction: "Creative" Gift Wrapping

I don't know about you, but my family always tries to be as "creative" as possible when giving gifts.  We wrap new mp3 players in old big screen TV boxes, put gift cards in puzzle boxes, etc.  So when I decided to give my girlfriend a new digital camera this year, I knew I had to do something special....

This instructable will give you a few pointers on how to use goodwill toys to conceal other more expensive gifts.  It'll only take a little bit of work and almost no money, but the look on their face will be priceless!

Step 1: Materials

Step 1 - Pick out your present.  It will need to be small in size, so a camera/iPhone/mp3 player/jewelry would be ideal.

Step 2 - Go to Goodwill or any other thrift store.  They've got plenty of old toys that only cost a few bucks.  You'd probably spend that much on a gift bag anyways!  Choose one that is much bigger than your actual present.  It should also be easy to disassemble - i.e. have clearly visible large screws somewhere.

Step 3 - Gather your tools!  Most toys can be taken apart with the following:
  • Screwdrivers
  • Scissors
  • Chainsaw (optional)

Step 2: Rip It Up

Remove any batteries that may be in the toy.  The batteries I found in the tank were corroded, so I disposed of them properly, then I had to rinse out the battery compartment.

Carefully remove the screws holding the toy together.  Try not to strip them, since you'll have to put it back together soon.

Once you have it open, start removing "unnecessary parts".  It is best if you can fit your gift in without removing anything, b/c then the toy will still be functional when they open it.  But if you need more room, start unscrewing motors and snipping wires.  Be careful not to remove any structurally important parts.

Note:  These toys often have useful electronics in them that may be used for future projects.  So if you're going to salvage parts, be careful with them!

Step 3: Insert Goodies!

Now you can put your present in.  You may have to take it out of the box to get it to fit, but you can always give them the box and papers afterwards. 

Pack the present tightly so it doesn't move around if they shake it.  I used duct tape, but if that isn't an option you could just stuff the toy with bubble wrap or paper.

Step 4: Finishing Touches

At this point, you have 2 options.  (1) Reassemble the toy by fastening the original screws or (2) add a hinge to make it easy to open, like a box.  I prefer to reassemble the toy to make it look as much like the original toy as possible.  Either way, wrap it up and give it to someone special!  Please post your own stories!

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