Sunday, 20 January 2013

A going-away gift

I first made a going-away package for my friend Imogen when she went traveling a few years back. This year my childhood friend Charlotte is moving abroad to start a new job, so I’ve put one together for her. Below is a guide to making your own for anyone you know going off an adventure.

Firstly, you’ll need an empty box of some kind. Personally I think a shoebox or similar is a bit too big, as the whole idea is the gifts are compact. Part of the fun lies in finding small gifts to include, and the recipient probably won’t have a lot of room to pack a large collection of presents. The box I’ve used is an empty Ferrero Rocher box (mmmm), it’s an ideal size, and I like the aesthetic of the gifts behind the transparent plastic.

Now the fun bit: tracking down some cute little presents to include. Charlotte loves making a house into a home, so I’ve included some little homey bits for her new apartment: little fridge magnets, a photo frame, a teabag holder. Think about the personal situation of the friend, to help you find appropriate gifts. Where are they going? Is it for pleasure, a new job, a new relationship? Are they likely to be homesick? What will they be doing? An example: if your friend is hiking, you could get some new shoelaces, a little compass, or an energy bar.

Aim for a mixture of useful gifts and some frivolous humourous ones. I’ve used labels to make the gifts a bit more special and raise a smile (Suki’s Box of Labels). The Eric Carle strawberry badge is an in-joke: we used to have a giant strawberry cushion in our old flat. The linen heart was a great find, now Charlotte can have a little piece of the UK hanging up on her wall.

To encourage her to keep in touch (and because she loves stationary and will be working in an office) I’ve packed up this cute letter set, and some sticky notes and stickers. These are great because they are lightweight and pretty, perfect for Charlotte to stow in her case. All these came from Artbox.

I just love the look of all the little presents nestled in the box!

I rubber stamped a large sticker for the top of the box and finished it off with pink ribbon. This is a really unique way to send your friend away smiling. To turn the concept on its head, this could also be a great goodbye gift for a friend or relative if YOU are going away – a Don’t Forget Me box, perhaps!


Some other ideas for traveling/farewell gifts: 
  • Small pieces of jewellery
  • Keyring
  • Handwarmers/socks/cute tissues
  • Non-perishable food: energy bar, sweets/candy
  • Little notebook/pen
  • Small toiletry items: chapstick, hand cream, toothpaste etc.
  • A photograph of a favourite local haunt, pet or friends
 Have a go!


  1. This is such a lovely thoughtful present! and looks really fun to put together too! x

  2. Thanks Rachel, it was great fun. And Charlotte loved it which is the main thing :-)

  3. This is such a lovely present. I'll sure she'll love it! So cute. Followed!
    Katie xx

  4. What an adorable and thoughful gift idea! I love all of the little touches and notes that you left, which I think makes the whole thing even sweeter. I'm glad that she liked it!

  5. This is one of the most gorgeous things I have ever seen! This is so thoughtful and the little notes you left make it even more special. Your friend is lucky to have you!

    Christina from Passion Obsession x

  6. Thanks very much guys, I'm really glad you liked it. Thanks very much for visiting!

  7. I love this so much! You gave me a lot of ideas of gifts I can give to some special people in my life! Thank you very much for sharing this with us! =]

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