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I think Animoto videos make for truly awesome gifts. I know, I know — I’m biased, both as an Animoto team member and as a pro photographer. But trust me: over the years, I’ve seen the priceless reactions of people who get my videos as gifts and, even as the giver, it still brings me so much joy.

So here are 5 different ways to package your Animoto video — because sometimes (let’s be honest), it’s nice to get a tangible present to unwrap versus just clicking on a link.

Custom USB and gift box

This is the cadillac of packaging. You can find companies that’ll create a custom box to house a custom USB, with the recipient’s name or a special message engraved on the box.  Some of them even have room for actual photo prints as well. I personally love The Hanging Branch shop on Etsy; he makes lovely little boxes that are made out of pure maple. In fact, I gave these boxes to all my family members this past Christmas.

Personalized Gift Box

DIY gift box and USB

A gift box doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg, and stores like The Container Store have a dizzying array of packaging options. On a low budget, you can even use a shoe box and cover it in gift wrap or construction paper. Pick colors with the recipient in mind, and coordinate everything from the box down to the tissue paper and ribbon. I’ve used crinkle-cut paper shreds as a little nest for the USB drive inside the box, and it works out great. You could go one step further and include other items that you think the recipient might like — sort of like a care package.

DIY DVD case, sleeve, or label

Burning your Animoto video to DVD isn’t hard at all. And once you have the DVD, there are so many fun ways to make the DVD unique. From decorating a paper DVD sleeve like in the image below (get the kids involved!), to printing out a custom case cover or label sticker (any office supply store will have what you need), you can really get creative this way.

DIY DVD Case Gift

Custom blog or webpage

This one isn’t as hard as you think. You can quickly set up a free blog with Tumblr or WordPress, and embed your Animoto video directly on it. Then pick a template that matches either the personality of the recipient or the theme of your video. Here’s a screenshot of a Tumblr site that Megan from the Animoto team made to share a Happy Birthday video with her mom.

Happy Birthday Video Website

Include a video url in a paper birthday card

Sometimes it’s nice to go back to paper and pen and keep things simple. How about picking out a thoughtful card, and including the URL to your video along with a personal message?

Those are just some of my ideas for packaging an Animoto video, but what are some of yours? I’d love to hear about them.

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