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Business & marketing advice, news and features, design inspiration, and the art of gifting.

#DIY Promotional Giveaway: Two-Tone Concrete Letters

By Fausto Mendez

    If you’re a fan of #DIY crafts for personalized gifts, promotional giveaways and event supplies, you should consider adding a personal touch to your next gift, giveaway or event with two-tone concrete letters.

    While browsing the Web for interesting fonts this morning, we stumbled upon a handy DIY guide for two-tone concrete letters. Wit And Whistle has the full guide, but we break it down to the essential steps below.

Step 0 - Hit the Shops for Some Essential Ingredients

+ Hollow Cardboard Letter(s), found at many craft shops

+ Box Cutter

+ Breathing Mask

+ Disposable Gloves

+ Two Plastic Spoons

+ Two Disposable Plastic Bowls

+ One Disposable Cup

+ Concrete Mix

+ Cement Color

+ Water

Step 1 - Hollow Out the Letter

+ Cut the back of the cardboard letter off. This will serve as your concrete mold.

+ Remove any filler material from the inside of the letter.

Step 2 - Prepare the Concrete and Letter’s Interior

 If this filler is simply cardboard strips, you can use it to create the divider for the two tones. Otherwise, you’ll have to find another solution. 

+ Mix two separate batches of concrete using your gloves and mask. You don’t want to breathe in any toxic dust. Don’t forget to add some color to at least one of your concrete mixes; the goal is two achieve a two-tone look. 

Step 3 - Add the Concrete

+ Fill in the letter interior.

+ Once you’ve filled in the interior as much as you can, remove the divider and add any concrete to any holes or gaps that are left. Don’t forget to check the sides for gaps too. 

Step 4 - Remove the Mold

+ Wait 24 hours for the concrete to dry.

+ Finally, cut away the mold to revel the letter.

    If you’re going to use the letter as a promotional gift (that raises brand awareness) to a special client, lead or partner, I recommend bundling it with other promotional giveaways that actually show the name and logo of your brand. Check out AnyPromo’s no-minimum page for promotional products that can be ordered in smaller quantities, such as iPad Cases, iPad Cases with built-in keyboardsBuilt Messenger Bags, leather shoulder bags and high-end  portfolio / writing pads - all of which feature your own logo, name and message. 

    The letters can also make for some very interesting, custom supplies for events and parties. For example, you might assign guests a letter or number, and they would then sit at the table that features the letter or number. You can also make a whole name or sign from several letters, such as “happy birthday”. You might also use the letters to make an attention-attracting sign for your booth at the next trade show.

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DIY Promotional Giveaway: Chocolate Bouquet


By Fausto Mendez

    If you’re a fan of DIY crafts for personalized gifts and promotional giveaways, you should consider adding a personal touch to your next promotional gift with a homemade chocolate bouquet.

    This DIY giveaway is perfect for courting leads that happen to be recent grads - especially masters and PHDs - since they might be moving up the corporate ladder soon. You might also send one to your clients’ kids if you’re close enough and not creepy about it. Top it off with some relevant promotional giveaways, such as a pen set or an iPad case, to add some brand boosting power to your gift. Don’t forget that the point of a promotional gift is to raise awareness of your brand in your target audience.

    Furthermore, you can adjust the design to fit a variety of themes, holidays and events. You are only limited by your creativity. Now, let’s make a chocolate bouquet.

    First, you should do some basic research to determine the best type of chocolate to buy. Some people really prefer dark over milk, and others love white chocolate. Some people love caramel while others prefer (or have allergies to) certain nuts. A little bit of homework goes a long way.

Step 0 - Gather Your Cooking Materials


+ Mini Reese’s peanut butter cups or a similarly shaped chocolate candy.

+ Square-shaped (not cubed) chocolate candies or candy melts (that you melt and reshape into a square). Reshaped candy melts work best.

+ Lollipop sticks

+ Mini M&Ms

+ Colored candy decorating pen

+ Flower pot

+ Styrofoam cylinder (that fits inside the flower pot)

Step 1 - Prepare the Cups


+ Insert each stick into the top of the peanut butter cup. You might need to make a hole with a toothpick before inserting the lollipop stick. This helps to keep the cup intact as you insert the stick.

+ Most likely, your hands are too warm for the peanut butter cups, so they are starting to melt. Place each of peanut butter cup right side up on a plate. Stick them in the refrigerator for ten minutes to help them solidify. 

Step 2 - Assemble the Hats


+ Use the candy pen as adhesive to stick the square chocolate onto the bottom of the peanut butter cup. Do not penetrate the square chocolate with the stick.

+ Sit the hats upside down for about ten minutes to allow the adhesive to set.

+ Create the graduation cap tassel with the candy pen, and use an M&M to create the button that holds the tassel onto the hat.

+ Arrange the caps within the flower pot by using the Styrofoam to hold them in place.

Step 3 -  Dress it Up


+ Use tissue paper (preferably cut into thin, long strands) to add some flare and hide the Styrofoam. 

+ Decorate the flower pot with a message or art.

Step 4 - Add Promotional Products that Raise Brand Awareness


+ If you’re using this concept as a promotional gift, you’ll need to add some customized promotional products with your brand logo on it. We have a number of suggestions below, but can also browse the AnyPromo No-Minimum section for products that don’t have to be ordered in bulk. Don’t forget to add your brand’s logo to any of these products.

+ Many grads have a laptop, and have developed some level of addiction to it. A promotional messenger bag for 11-inch or 13-inch notebooks would be a useful and long-lasting gift.

+ Some grads might enjoy a custom flag or vinyl banner customized with a band or sports team’s logo. 

+ If your target is a drinker, he or she might enjoy a corkscrew / coaster gift setWriters or heavy note takers might prefer the leather notebook version.

+ Targets with business cards may enjoy a custom sculpture shaped out of their business cards and then placed inside a glass bottle. It’s a new take on the boat-in-a-bottle concept. From 18 wheelers to aircraft carriers, there’s definitely a sculpture that will appeal to your target.There’s even a sculpture of business man behind a desk!

    Join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ or Linkedin, and stay ahead of the game with an occasional laugh and non-stop marketing & business advice, news and analysis. Brought to you by Thanks to Chica Circle for the pictures.

Build Your Own Promotional Giveaway: #DIY Food-Shaped Envelopes


    If you’re a fan of #DIY crafts for party favors and trade show giveaways, you should consider adding a personal touch to your event with homemade envelopes in the shape of a related object. This guide is specifically for dumpling-shaped envelopes, but with a little creativity, you can adjust the instructions to create other shapes, such as tacos or muffins.

    Themed envelopes can carry anything, including an invite to a lunch pitch or a thanks note coupled with a restaurant gift card. In this case, Erin Jang of The Indigo Bunting put together a set of custom invitations for a friend’s baby shower. The invitations take the shape of a dumpling, and this is how she did it (along with our advice on customizing the project for other shapes/themes).

Step 0 - Gather Your Materials

The envelope is made of three layers: an inner layer made of thick paper, a transparent mid layer made of tissue paper, and a touch-friendly outer layer made of cloth. You will also need scissors, a stapler and either a printer or coloring materials, such as markers.


Step 1 - Design, Print and Cut

+ Write or print the invite details on a small piece of paper. Put it to the side. We’ll use it again in step two.

+ Cut a circle-ish shape from dark paper, and fold it in half (like a taco). You can write the first part of your message on the outside of this inner layer. To maximize interest, use a general statement that doesn’t give too much away, such as “let’s have lunch” The mid-layer of the envelope takes the shape of the dumpling itself, though it’s very flat and transparent. 

+ To customize this guide for other shapes, you can cut these inner layers in any shape that fits your theme. You can also adjust the colors to fit your desired shape. For example, if you’re building an apple, use a white circle made from construction paper for the inner layer. Use red tissue paper for the mid layer.


Step 2 - Assemble the Inserts

+ Place the invite details into the inner layer of the envelope, and cover the inner layer of the envelope with the middle white layer.


Step 3 - Close the Envelope

+ If you want to maximize the “wow” factor, give your envelope some depth. In this case, Jang inserted candy  between the mid layer and the outer layer.

+ Finally, close the outer layer of the envelope with staples. For custom shapes, a different closing mechanism, such as glue or stitches, may be more appropriate. For example, staples could work for muffin-shaped envelopes since the dumplings look a bit like muffin tops. You’d just add the muffin bottom. On the other hand, tacos would require glue and an additional ornament that sticks out of the top, such as spiky green paper, to represent lettuce.

+ If you can spare a few more minutes, check out the whole guide for more, including an idea for a book of comments submitted by the party attendants. Jang used this idea to collect wishes from invitees, but in a business context, you can use a similar idea to collect comments from clients or suggestions from partners. 

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