Browsing Tag

Kids Gifts

Gift Guides

Tip: Use Socks to Disguise Your Christmas Gifts

December 21, 2011

When I was a kid, my brothers and I would love to try to guess what our folks got us for Christmas. With so many mysterious treasures under the tree, taunting us, we couldn’t help but lift, shake, and squeeze them in hopes of guessing their contents. Okay, the truth is, we still do it.

Cassie, Luke, and Beau, 1993
Much to our dismay, my mom is an expert at making sure that her gift selections stay under wraps until Christmas. She has put rocks in boxes to throw off the weight, stashed tiny gifts in giant boxes, wrapped notes explaining that the gifts were actually somewhere else (e.g. “Look in the closet for your real gift”), among many other tricks. One of the sneakiest ways she’s gotten me, and yes, I’ve been fooled by this more than once, was the good ol’ sock trick–with new socks, of course.

The sock trick is an easy way to disguise an easily guessable gift. It’s also a way to get away with giving kids socks for Christmas. You’ll just need a few pairs of socks, wrapping paper, tape, and ribbon.

First, figure out how many pairs of socks it will take to cover your gift. The 100 Shapes Stencil Book is pretty small, just over 7 x 7 inches and about 1/2 an inch thick, so I used four pairs of socks to make my gift package extra cushy.

Wrap the socks around the gift, making sure that the “padding” covers both sides. If you keep the pairs together, you’ll get a little extra cushion.

Once the gift is hidden in socks, you can continue wrapping as usual. I start by placing the gift on the paper, then cutting off the amount I’ll need. I tend to stick to a simple wrapping technique. I fold the sides of the paper over the gift, tape, and fold the ends up toward the middle before taping again. I also finish it off with a simple a bow.

If you’re looking to get fancy with your wrapping technique, you can get some tips from a pro by checking out our How to Wrap a Gift Box and How to Tie a Gift Bow videos.

When you’re finished, the present will be nice and squishy, so the recipient will probably think they’re getting a sweater, decorative holiday towels, or something else less fun than the awesome gift you really picked out for them. And they get some bonus socks.

What’s your favorite way to disguise a gift? Have you ever been tricked by a sneaky gifter? We’d love to hear how! Share your sneaking gifting stories in the comments below.

Gift Guides

Holiday Gifts Your Teen Will Love

November 22, 2011

The holiday season is is in full swing, and we’re pouring through our assortment selecting great gifts for everyone on your shopping list! Many of our picks are inspired by our Twitter contest winner, Jodie. She won a $500 UncommonGoods shopping spree earlier this year, and we’ve had a ton of fun helping her choose the perfect gifts for her favorite people.

After creating guides for babies and kids based on Jodies’ nephews, age 8 months to 6 years, we realized that although Jodie doesn’t have a teen on her shopping list, many parents, aunts and uncles, and grandparents (to name just a few) do. With this in mind, we picked a few of our favorite gifts for teens.

Remote Control SUV Kit- It may not be time to hand over the keys to a new car, but you can hand over this cool kit. The Remote Control SUV kit starts out as a puzzle and snaps together to become a motorized vehicle.

Bike Bells- A great stocking stuffer, these hand-painted bike bells are functional, funny, and stylish.

Guitar String Bracelets- Whether the teen in your life is a musician, music-lover, or just likes to look good, these unisex accessories are chart toppers.

Sneaker Customization Kit- Designer shoes are expensive, but this kit, which includes sneaker wipes, paints, and a high-quality paint brush, makes it easy for your favorite teen to create their own.

Dancing Lion Speaker- Plug an iPod or another music device up to this lively lion and he dances and sings along. Check out our video to see the King of the Jungle boogy.

Recycled Cotton Animal Mittens- Trendy, but still uncommon, these cozy, cute mittens are made from yarn spun from leftover fabric from upholstery factories that would have otherwise been discarded. They’re also available in mink and skunk.

Black Cat Headphones- More comfortable than earbuds, these hand-crocheted headphones have a vintage feel that still appeals to modern teens.

Big Grips iPad Case- Available in blue or green, these grippy foam covers make your teen’s favorite electronic sidekick easier to hold on to.

From fashionable accessories and beautiful jewelry to techie gadgets and fun games, we’ve got all kinds of great gifts for teens. Stay tuned for more gift guides to find perfect presents for everyone in your life this season!

Need a gift recommendation for a hard-to-shop for teen? Leave a comment below.

Gift Guides

Baby’s First Christmas Gifts

November 21, 2011

When our Twitter contest winner Jodie told us she’d be spending part of her $500 UncommonGoods shopping spree on her young nephews, we got excited to help her pick out some fun kids gifts!

Her youngest nephew, Mark Anthony III is 8 months old, so this will be his first Christmas. We know that parents often think baby clothes and booties are adorable, but we decided to skip the apparel and go right for the fun stuff! We thought Mark Anthony would have a better time playing with these cool toys than sitting around just looking handsome in a babysuit.

Stacrobats- These stackable acrobats are colorful, soft, and help your little one develop dexterity and coordination.

Pull Along Cowboy- A modern take on the classic pull along toy, the cowboy kicks up his boots as his trusty horse gallops along when pulled.

Lollacup- This little penguin looks like a fun toy, but it’s actually a special straw cup designed to help baby drink comfortably and minimize spills.

Organic Cotton Teethers Veggie Crate- Made of 100% hand-picked organic Egyptian cotton, these vibrant veggies help soothe baby’s gums as new teeth come in and aid in imaginative play as the little one grows!

Repurposed Sweater Animal Mittens- We know we said we were skipping the baby clothes, but these comfy mittens don’t really count. They’re pretty much stuffed animals for little hands, so even though they do keep fingers warm, we bet they’ll make baby’s list of favorite toys.

Giraffe Lovie/Blankie- Providing the security of a baby blanket and the fun of a stuffed toy, the Giraffe Lovie is made for close contact with sensitive skin. It’s made from certified organic cotton fabric and contains no chemical dyes, so you’ll feel comfortable letting baby get comfy!

Peek O Fabric Activity Box- Baby will be surprised when he opens this fun gift, and the surprises keep getting better! The interactive box includes a variety of panels featuring fun activities, and the best surprise, the stuffed dog who lives inside the box.

Indestructible Nursery Rhymes- Indestructibles ™ live up to their name! These illustrated books are tear-resistant, drool-proof, and dishwasher and washing machine safe.

Like these baby gift ideas? We have many more where these came from! And, if the kids in your life are a little older, don’t forget to check out our gift guide inspired by Jodie’s older nephews.

Need a personal recommendation for your favorite nephews? Leave a comment or tweet @uncommongoods !

The Uncommon Life

Comments of the Week

October 29, 2011

This week our community voting app is popping with comments with staying power that won’t soon be erased!

As a matter of fact, CMT popped in to share an up vote for the colorful Pop the Dots Calendar.

Glad you love the calendar, CMT! If you want to see it enter our assortment, make sure to tell your friends to vote.

CMT found the perfect product, but Sharri’s still searching for one that will stand up to her high standards.

We figure she must really want to know who’s interested in the Titanium Multi-Tool Collar Stays to ask seven times over.

We think the the stays would make a great gift for fashion-forward on-the-go types, but Akiko and Karen answered the question for us.

Another potential product, the Deletus Eraser, generated a mini Q&A session as well.

While Josie can’t compute who would want to backspace the old-fashioned way, Susan and Tea hope this delete key sticks.

Thanks for the feedback, voters. We love to see this kind of friendly discussion in our voting app, and we can’t wait to see what you have to say about our next batch of fresh goods!

Design

Bear Essentials

October 26, 2011

Halloween is almost here, and we’re excited to celebrate with some sweet treats. These adorable gummy bears aren’t edible, but they can do an impressive trick. Give them a squeeze and they light up!

If you love these bright bears, you may also enjoy these Spooktacular Uncommon Goods!

Design

Comments of the Week

October 14, 2011

This week our top comments come from voters telling us what they think of a little book that lets kids have fun with food, porcelain bowls that look good enough to eat, a kit that’s sure to be a cup of tea, and special pillows to celebrate new babies.

We’re glad you love Melanie Mckenney’s Salsa Bowl Trio, Karen! Although we don’t have a bell pepper bowl up for voting, we do have another scrumptious design– her Cantaloupe Bowl Set.

Speaking of scrumptious, another item up for voting this week, My Food Passport , makes trying new foods fun. But Kimberley isn’t so sure it would do the trick.

If it were full of foods like ice cream and pizza, you probably wouldn’t need the passport. Although some of the foods may seem strange to kids, they’re worth a try! We think this handy book might just help your picky eater discover that they love mangoes, mushrooms, or avocado. We’re glad to see that Liane and Cassandra agree.

Since we’re on the topic of having fun with food, we’ll also take a look at a comment from Patricia, who’s ready to have fun with a drink.

Thanks for the comment, Patricia! We want to see your vote as well. If you love the Tea Leaf Reading Kit don’t forget to give it a “Thumbs Up” in our voting app. You can also leave your email address, if you’d like, and we’ll let you know if we decide to carry this product.

We offer the notify feature on all of the products up for voting, but Summer isn’t interested in an announcement.

It didn’t take long for Jana to step in and explain why these Birth Announcement Pillows would make great gifts.

Which of our top commenters do you agree with? We’d love to hear your opinions on these (and many more) potential products up for voting in our community voting app this week!

Gift Guides

Gift Lab: Alphapets

October 11, 2011

I’ve always thought that origami was pretty neat. I’ve seen people fold paper into those prophetic fortune telling contraptions, make beautiful swans out of napkins, construct geometric fish in just a few creases, and create those highly fashionable newspaper hats. However, to be perfectly honest, aside from the occasional paper airplane, I had never made an origami figure of my own.

Of course, when I was offered the opportunity to test the Alphapets Origami Book, I had to give it a try.


Continue Reading…

Design

Comments of the Week

October 7, 2011

Each week we add a bundle of prospective new goods to our community voting app. We love sharing these uncommon designs, and we’re glad our community loves telling us what they think! We’re excited to share a few of the star statements from this week.

We’ll start this week’s comment roundup with some very enthusiastic feedback from Christine.

Thanks for the feedback! We know Christine truly loves the Crawlings Knee Pads. That many exclamation points can’t lie.

Our next commenter skipped the excited punctuation.

Although the Boyfriend and Girlfriend in a Bottle are just the right size to take with on the go, they do not symbolize unhappy relationships. As a matter-of-fact, they can be used as cute little reminders of actual, human boyfriends and girlfriends while they’re away.

Lynn and Sareen both see the humor in these plastic partners.

We think this item could make a great gag gift, too!

Speaking of great gifts, we think the Baby Voodoo Doll would be a great gift for an expecting parent, but Christy isn’t so sure.

If you have suggestions to help Christy think of people that might love this precious pincushion, visit our voting app and send your suggestions her way! We think it could make a great baby shower game.

We can’t wait to hear how you would gift these uncommon items. So, don’t forget to leave some comments of your own. And, yes, it is fair to say you would gift them to yourself!

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