Everybody has that one person in his or her life that is impossible to buy a gift for. Whether it’s the father who always buys what he wants as soon as he wants it or the romantic partner who always says “I don’t want anything” when asked what kind of gift they hope to receive.
It can be frustrating to want to show your appreciation for someone but be unsure of how to do it. Instead of spending hours scouring the internet or searching the shelves at local stores, why not create something unique?
Personalized gifts are an excellent choice for friends, family members, and even co-workers.
Even better, there are so many options available that you are almost guaranteed to find something for your loved one regardless of their age or the occasion.
Check out these ideas as an inspiration for your personalized gifts.
1. Customized Sunglasses
Whether you’re planning a fun-in-the-sun vacation for the entire family or you want to get your bridesmaids a unique gift for your destination wedding, customized sunglasses are as functional as they are stylish.
Bargain hunters can seek out affordable plastic frames and lenses in a wide range of sizes, shapes, and colors. Plastic frames that don’t cost much are a good choice for family vacations.
It’s inevitable that someone will lose his or her pair, so cheaper frames ensure you aren’t out too much money.
If you want something with a bit more pizazz, many high-end labels, including Ray-Ban, offer customization options. Some can also work with prescriptions for even more functionality.
Whether you spend a few bucks or a few hundred bucks, you can engrave the sides or a small part of the lens with a name, a special date or any other tiny message.
2. A Pendant Necklace
If you have a jewelry lover on your shopping list, consider purchasing a personalized pendant necklace. Retailers offer customized pendants at a variety of price points. Whether your budget is K-Mart or Kate Spade, you have plenty of options.
Choose from classic silver or rose gold, or for something even more unique to the recipient. Create a necklace in his or her favorite color. The pendant can include a single letter, such as a first initial, a full name, nicknames and more.
Some retailers can even add a special message just for the receiver on the back of the necklace.
Are you looking for something more sentimental?
Shop for fingerprint jewelry on Etsy. Up-and-coming jewelers can use your fingerprint and turn it into a traditional pendant or even shape it into a heart.
3. The Stars
Okay, so you can’t blast off into space and bring back an actual star (wouldn’t that be awesome?!), but you can purchase a print of the night sky as it looked on a significant date.
Is someone celebrating a birthday? Purchase a print of how the sky looked on the night he or she was born.
Maybe you want to buy a unique anniversary present for your spouse. A framed print of the sky on your wedding night is sentimental without being cheesy.
4. A Story
This is an especially great idea for the children in your life. After all, what kid wouldn’t want to be the star of their own storybook? Several companies offer personalized storybooks that star your child.
Some name the character after the recipient, but others take things several steps further by writing a personalized story. You could draw a character that looks like the special boy or girl. This allows you to record the story in your own voice and more.
If you happen to be a talented writer or artist, you can make a custom book even more special by writing it or drawing the pictures for it yourself.
5. A House
No, you don’t need to save up thousands of dollars and take out a loan. This house is small enough to fit on a piece of paper. Celebrate your loved one’s first home purchase by commissioning an artist to draw it and frame the picture.
Each artist has his or her own style, so spend some time searching for someone who can create something your recipient will appreciate.
Some ideas include an abstract drawing of the home, a detailed painting or even a caricature that includes the family in front of the home.
Whether the recipient’s style is bright colors and bold lines or something more muted, a personalized painting of a new home is a truly unique housewarming gift.
6. Custom Mugs, Plates or Bowls
Custom dishes are another outstanding personal gift idea for a housewarming party. Consider the recipient’s personal style before deciding on a design, though.
If your loved one’s idea of dinnerware is a paper plate and a plastic fork, he or she probably won’t use fine china, even if you design it yourself.
On the other hand, someone who prefers a more traditional table setting may not appreciate a whimsical set of coffee mugs.
Still, your options are practically endless. You can use a multitude of colors, illustrations, saying and more.
Elegant monograms are perfect for something on the traditional side while coffee mugs with inside jokes printed on them will always remind the recipient of your best times together.
This is also an excellent gift idea for kids. Giving them plates, bowls and cups with their names on them will prevent the ever-growing argument over whose turn it is to use the “best” cup. It’s like it’s a gift for you, too!
7. A Personalized Wedding Ring
If you’re tying the knot and want to get your soon-to-be spouse something special to commemorate the day, design a custom wedding band and engrave something unique to the two of you on the inside.
If your partner prefers a modern style, consider a cut-out ring. Instead of a solid gold or silver band, these rings have a cut-out design the displays your wedding date. Or, it could be the date you met or something else significant right on the band.
For the person who prefers a more traditional wedding ring, you can choose stones based on the month you met your birthstones or even your favorite colors.
Inside, engrave dates, nicknames or a short phrase that has special meaning for the two of you.
8. A Chalkboard Lunchbox
Who doesn’t want a retro-style tin lunchbox with a chalkboard inside the lid? It’s the perfect gift for a kid or someone who is a kid at heart. The boxes are available in a wide range of colors and patterns, which you can personalize with the recipient’s name.
Add an extra touch by writing a special message on the chalkboard and wrapping the lunchbox with chalk, a favorite snack or gift cards inside.
9. A Yoga Mat
Try a custom yoga mat for the fitness guru or yogi in your life. You can personalize literally everything about this gift.
Choose a mat in the recipient’s favorite color, pick a font that you feel matches his or her personal style and add a name or nickname to the mat.
The result is something unique enough that it is obvious how much you care. Plus, your loved one will never need to worry about someone else accidentally grabbing his or her yoga mat after class again.
10. A Birth Year Box
Is there a new baby in your life? Present Mom or Dad with a birth year box that they can cherish now and pass on to their new baby when he or she is older.
Google offers several options if you want to purchase something basic but still customized. A felt-lined, wooden box is traditional and elegant.
Inside, it has enough space to hold a lock of hair, important pictures or other keepsakes from the baby’s first year of life.
The external portion of the box includes the baby’s name, birthdate and a few traits he or she may have based on his or her zodiac sign or Chinese astrology sign.
If this option doesn’t quite suit your needs, consider hiring a local woodworker to create something that matches the parents’ style. It can be as traditional or as modern as you like. And of course, the recipients will love having something so special to celebrate their bundle of joy.
11. A Blinged-Out Wallet or Handbag
If you have a fashion diva on your hands, you know how important glitz, glamour and, of course, glitter is to her style. Plenty of retailers offer personalized, glitzy wallets and handbags.
So you’ll be able to find something whether your accessory-loving recipient is a fashionista who likes a bargain. Or, it could be someone who prefers to shop like it’s Rodeo Drive.
Choose a color, pick some sequins, glitter or another shiny material and add a name in her favorite color.
12. Monogrammed Office Supplies
Whether your child is a budding writer or your best friend has a serious office supply addiction, there is just something official-feeling about having customized office supplies.
From notepads and envelopes to file folders and pens, practically anything in the office can be personalized. For the entrepreneur in your life, you can purchase high-quality stationery with a company letterhead on it.
If you have a little writer or note-taker in your life, choose supplies in fun colors and use his or her initials. This makes it unique to the recipient without posing the risk of the wrong person learning the child’s full name.
13. A Child’s Drawing
What is a more special gift for Mother’s Day or Father’s Day than a drawing made specifically for them? A simple piece of paper with crayon-created stick people is special enough for most parents. But, there are a few ways you can take that special art a step further.
Does Mom like to wear jewelry? Ask your son or daughter to draw a picture of Mom and child together. Then, have it turned into a unique necklace that looks just like the picture.
For Dad, you can custom-print a tie or a t-shirt. You can even give the kids their own drawings as gifts. One company turns children’s drawings into cuddly stuffed toys that look exactly like the piece of artwork.
14. A Puzzle
Puzzles are a favorite pastime for people of all ages, and you can customize one for your child, best friend, parent or anyone else on your shopping list.
For the littlest ones on the list, you can commission a wooden block puzzle made from their names.
Older kids may enjoy a custom, large-piece jigsaw puzzle made from a photograph of their parents, siblings or a favorite pet.
For the adult puzzle enthusiast in your life, you can order a more complicated jigsaw puzzle made from personal photos, children’s artwork, special dates or favorite quotes.
No matter which option you choose or how old the recipient is, a puzzle is sure to provide hours of fun.
15. A Travel Pillow or Blanket
The hardest part about personalizing a travel pillow or blanket for the jet-setter on your list is deciding how to do it. You can go to nearly any photo lab and have a personal photograph printed on a pillow or blanket.
This is actually a good choice if you’re on a budget but still want to do something special.
If you want to spend a bit more to create something more unique, hire someone to design a skyline pillow or blanket. The image will be a line drawing of the skyline from the recipient’s hometown or city. You can include coordinates or a name on the item as well.
Your traveler will have a piece of home with him or her no matter where the airplane is heading.
16. Pet Supplies
You can’t forget about the furry family members on your gift list. Your pups and kitties love gifts just as much as your human loved ones do. So, why not purchase custom pet supplies for them?
Traditional options include food and water bowls or a placemat with your dog’s or cat’s name on it. Other options to consider are a blanket, collar or toy.
Of course, don’t forget to personalize a pet tag as well; after all, the best gift you can give your pet is that of safety.
17. Holiday Ornaments
The idea may not be as unique as some on this list, but it is still special. For decades, people have purchased customized holiday ornaments for their children, pets, spouses and other loved ones. Why not carry on the tradition?
Adults love having keepsakes that they can pull out and reminisce about each year.
For children, you can purchase a special ornament that relates to the previous year each holiday season. When they grow up and move into their first place on their own, you can give them all the ornaments for their first-holiday tree.
18. Wall Art Based on Things Kids Say
Nearly everybody has at least one story about that time their son, daughter, sibling, niece or another child in their life said something hilarious. Now you can turn it into an art print.
From silly quotes to misheard song lyrics, turning a child’s most interesting thoughts into a painting or illustration is a unique way to give a lighthearted gift.
Are you artsy? You can make it even more personal by making the gift yourself.
19. A Recipe Book
Are you related to the next Gordon Ramsey (perhaps without all the insults)? The chef in your family probably spends hours pouring through Pinterest boards, Facebook videos, recipe websites, cooking magazines or handwritten notecards of family recipes.
Make the cooking life easier for him or her by gathering the favorites and turning them into a personal recipe book. Go the sentimental route by only including family recipes that have passed through generations. Or, you can make it practical by adding in favorites from across the internet.
For something even more extraordinary, ask someone to illustrate each recipe.
20. Handmade Gift Baskets
Sometimes, you want to give someone you love a gift but don’t have the resources to purchase something extravagant. That doesn’t mean you can’t still gift him or her with a unique, personal and thoughtful present.
Try creating handmade gift baskets. They’re affordable, personal, fun to make and even more, fun to receive. The options are nearly infinite.
For a college student, choose a small laundry basket. Fill it with essentials, such as laundry detergent or shampoo and conditioner.
Then, add in some fun items like their favorite snacks, a few bucks for the dorm’s vending machines, fun reading books, monogrammed journals and anything else a college student might need or want.
Are your parents about to celebrate their anniversary? You don’t need to foot the bill at an expensive restaurant to give them a tasty anniversary meal.
Grab an affordable pot and fill it with a jar of pasta sauce, their favorite pasta, chocolate and a bottle of wine. Toss in a romantic music playlist or the movie they saw on their first date to complete the gift.
Homemade gift baskets are all about creativity, so feel free to create your own theme from scratch. If you need a starting point, popular ideas include baskets based on a movie night, new baby, spa day, coffee and tea, or sports.
Idea list for Personalized Gifts is not exhaustive
Consider what is special to your loved one and come up with your own ideas based on his or her passions and interests.
From romantic wedding gifts to whimsical birthday presents, a customized gift shows the recipient that you think of him or her as someone truly special in your life and wanted to go above and beyond the traditional to provide something never to be forgotten.