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Mini gifts and 'tuck-ins': Ideas for thank you gifts that fit in a card or envelope

"May no gift be too small to give, nor too simple to receive, which is wrapped in thoughtfulness, and tied with love."
Attributed to L.O. Baird
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Surprise the recipient of your thank you card or note by including a gift in the envelope, or hidden inside the card. These little 'tuck-ins' will emphasize your gratitude and bring a smile to the recipient's face.
It's always so nice to receive a little extra something in a card, or together with a note. Anything small and reasonably flat can be used as a 'tuck-in', although more fragile items may require you to use a padded envelope rather than a normal one. Here are some creative, thoughtful and fun ideas for small tokens and gifts to make your thank you notes and cards that little bit more special.

Note: Do remember that there is always an element of risk in sending anything in the mail. Don't send anything of high value without using the appropriate registered mailing service.

The ideas are divided into four sections:

Thoughtful little 'tuck-in' thank you gifts that cost nothing!

10 ideas for little things to send with your thank you card or note that are not only easy to source, but also free! Make your card or note extra special with one of the following:

1. A thank you poem, one you've written yourself or an old favorite. If you have nice handwriting, copy it out on pretty paper.

2. A favorite recipe: perhaps something sweet, or a dish that you have enjoyed together?

3. A newspaper cutting, clipping or picture that the recipient might find interesting, for example an interview with a favorite celebrity, or a book review of an author they especially like.

Origami makes a great tuck-in giftOrigami makes a great tuck-in gift
4. Origami: take a square of colored paper and fold into the classic crane, a pretty butterfly or – if appropriate – this lovely origami heart.

5. Discount coupons for products or goods that you know they buy, or would like to try.

6. A homemade coupon for something you would like to give – for example an evening's babysitting, a back rub, or a morning's yard work. Make sure you make good on your offer!

7. A favorite joke or two written out on a slip of paper, a comic strip that you've found amusing, or a horoscope or astrological chart.

8. Beautiful pressed flowers or leaves from your garden. Skeleton leaves – if you can find them – are great too.

9. If both you and the recipient are crafty types, then how about a copy of a favorite knitting or cross-stitch pattern?

10. A perfume or cologne tester strip (the kind often included in magazine perfume ads).

Flowers – with the exception of pressed flowers, see above – are obviously not suitable for sending in an envelope. However, with Flowercard you can send an attractive greetings card with your own personalized thank you message that contains a beautiful miniature fresh flower bouquet. They really are lovely – do take a look!

Thank you gift cards, vouchers and more...

Gift cards and vouchers aren't the most imaginative of gifts, but at least you can be pretty sure that the recipient will be happy to receive it! Here are the standard options, together with some slightly more unusual ideas:

1. A gift card or voucher for a favorite restaurant, café or coffee shop.

2. A gift card or voucher for a favorite brand or store. It can be online or 'bricks & mortar', but do make sure that it is for somewhere that the recipient will actually WANT to shop!

Print-at-home thank you gift cardAmazon print-at-home gift card
3. A gift card. This is a great last minute standby (choose the 'print at home' option if you're in a rush), and sure to be appreciated by pretty much everyone.

4. An iTunes gift card.

5. A Visa, Mastercard or AMEX gift card that works like a debit card – a great way to send cash.

6. A phone card or cell phone top up card (if you know which mobile network the recipient is on).

7. A lottery scratch card.

8. Money – although don't send more than a small amount in the mail. Maybe try some dollar origami? Make sure you choose a design that will lie flat.

9. Tickets to an event or concert, perhaps something you can attend together?

10. A home-made voucher for a 'special service' you're offering to the recipient - perhaps a batch of cookies every month for a year, some DIY help, or a home cooked Sunday lunch.

Thank you note tuck-in gifts for kids

Make your thank you note to a child more fun and exciting by adding one of the following:

1. Bright, colorful stickers.

2. Temporary tattoos.

3. Novelty items such as fortune telling fish and mini puzzles.

4. Origami – try these animal ideas.
Balloons as thank you mini gift. Photo: flickr.com/photos/psycho-pics/Have fun with balloons!

5. A comic strip cutting or joke.

6. Party balloons.

7. A packet of seeds – wildflowers or pumpkins are good choices for kids. Or send your note on a 'plantable card' embedded with wildflower seeds.

8. Confetti, glitter or spangles.

9. A friendship bracelet or wristband, or hair clips and accessories.

10. Small sweeties, candy hearts or sticks of gum.

More ideas for thank you gifts to send in envelopes...

Once you start thinking of little tokens and cute trinkets that will fit in a card or envelope, it's hard to stop! Here are more creative ideas for fun, novelty items to send with your thank you note or card:

1. Charms: lucky charms for bracelets or keepsakes, or cell phone charms.

2. Novelties such as travel playing cards, fortune telling fish and mini puzzles.

SwissCard pocket toolsSwissCard pocket tools
3. Credit card sized gadgets: lots of 'boys toys' come in wallet-friendly (and hence envelope-friendly) sizes, for example torches and calculators and, for the musically inclined, guitar plectrums. You can even get credit card sized spanners and survival tool sets such as the Victorinox SwissCard.

4. Scent, perfume and cologne samples, mini sachets of potpourri, lavender, bath salts or scented soap leaves.

5. Postage stamps – especially if they are new issues or commemoratives.

6. A mini cross-stitch kit or pattern, embroidery threads or a needle case.

7. Stickers, gummed seals, transfers or scrap booking supplies.

8. Collectors' cards or vintage cigarette cards.

9. A prayer card or small rosary.

10. A CD, DVD or computer game (in a paper case rather than a jewel case).

11. Tea bags (individually wrapped) or gourmet coffee samples.

12. A mini calendar or diary. Calendar cards about the size of a credit card are great to keep handy in a wallet or purse, or taped to the side of your computer screen.

13. A bookmark: simple paper or fabric ones, or clip or magnetic ones.

14. A fridge magnet: perhaps with a favorite quote or a theme that the recipient enjoys or collects.

Vintage jewelry. Photo: flickr.com/photos/playingwithpsp/Vintage jewelry
15. Jewelry: earrings, a pendant, necklace or locket. Perhaps a friendship bracelet? Be sure to secure any wires or sharp parts with paper and tape so they don't poke out through the envelope.

16. Flower seeds, or write your note on a plantable card embedded with flower seeds – perhaps the ultimate gift in a card!

17. A miniature gift book.

18. A keychain.

19. Sweets and candy, such as sticks of gum or candy hearts (if appropriate).

20. Little ornaments or seasonal decorations that are crocheted, knitted or felted, and therefore small and light enough to fit in an envelope. Etsy and Folksy are bursting with ideas for these kinds of little gifts.