32 Personalized Gift Ideas
Another tie, an itchy sweater, and a card that will inevitably live in the trashcan. It’s time to do better. If finding the right gift for that special someone often leads to anxiety, take a deep breath and don’t fret; the gifting gods answered our pleas. Whether you’re shopping for a family member or friend who seems to either have it all or like nothing at all, these options can help take the pressure off. Not only can every pick be personalized with a monogram—which exudes thoughtfulness—but chances are no one else will have the exact same one. In fact, some picks are so unique, like those that are painted, drawn, or dyed by hand; that it’s almost guaranteed no two will be exactly the same. And who doesn’t like to feel exclusive? From pet-inspired placemats that make cleanup easier, to animal-designed plush towels that wrap an infant in the warmest cotton, to an ultra-chic leather bracelet with its own bow (seriously, it’s a gift that wraps itself), there’s something for almost every person, pet, or price point. Some retailers even offer free shipping and returns for the dissatisfied to make the shopping season all the merrier. So if finding that “perfect” gift seems perfectly impossible, try surprising your loved one with a gift that is all his own. Hardly anything says you’re special like presenting a package chosen specifically for that person. Brownie points if they have a name so unique that it’s rarely found on keychains or refrigerator magnets.
Customize this diamond-embellished ring with a meaningful date for a sentimental gift that she’ll never want to take off. Available in sterling, gold vermeil, or rose gold plated.
To buy: From $125; daniellestevens.com.
Monogram Sock Trio
No more guessing games on laundry day. Ensure that his housemates stop “borrowing” his socks by monogramming each pair. Choose from three embroidery styles.
To buy: $45; nicelaundry.com.
Classic Personalized Beaded Bracelet
Create a bracelet with her initials, nickname, or current mood. Customize a pair as friendship bracelets.
To buy: $29; experimentaljewelleryclub.com.
Vintage Vinyl Bluetooth Speaker
This speaker has an old-school look with contemporary capability; customize by album, genre, or record label.
To buy: From $195; uncommongoods.com.
Large Plank Cutting Board
Taking cues from a traditional red gingham tablecloth, this plaid etched cutting board makes for a unique and casual addition to anyone’s kitchen. You can also add monograms, dates, names, or even a short poem for an extra special personalized gift.
To buy: $90; aherloom.com.
Copper Moscow Mule Mug Set
While traditionally used for the popular 1950s cocktail, these coveted copper cup mugs are now the go-to vessel for just about every beverage. Give these cups an upgrade with personalized monograms for the bar cart aficionado.
To buy: $45; potterybarn.com.
Modern Family Portrait
This hand-drawn piece will bring your family to life beyond the basic family photo. Simply send over the details of the family (including pets, background preferences, and outfits), then you’ll have a one-of-a-kind piece that they will cherish on their walls for years to come.
To buy: From $105; ellothere.etsy.com.
Wooden Name Puzzle
This classic and timeless gift is always a favorite for little ones and their parents. With an organic finish, it’s safe for even teething babies to chew on.
To buy: From $23; smilingtreetoys.etsy.com.
Mark and Graham Double Insulated Wine Tote
Don’t let the sommelier in your life entertain without a smart, easy way to transport his favorite beverage. Designed for easy transport, the tote is chic (it comes in navy polyester and navy stripe cotton canvas) and smart (the insulated interior will keep up to two bottles chilled at the proper temperature). Because wine goes so well with so many things, the carrying case also includes a five-inch by six-inch wood cutting board for cheese or fruit, a wine key, and bottle stopper that can be self-stored. Personalize it by adding his initials in either gold or silver font for no extra fee.
To buy: From $59, markandgraham.com.
Lucille Michieli Flourished Monogram Journal
Give the writer and animal-lover in your life a notebook that speaks directly to her. The whimsically detailed covers created by Parisian illustrator Lucille Michieli feature a first initial monogram constructed from garlands and animals, such as an owl, a squirrel, and a butterfly, to name a few. Gracefully sketched, the books could be used as a home to jot down some of dreams or ideas or simply as a pretty way to keep everyday notes or plans for bigger projects. With more than 250 pages to fill, this hardcover book will last longer than those sticky notes.
To buy: $26, anthropologie.com.
Waterhog Pet Mat, Personalized Placemat
Your favorite furry family member deserves a clean place to grub, even if he isn’t the cleanest eater. That’s where a quick-dry feeding mat that has a ridged border to tamper food and water spills, and a fabric that makes it resistant to mildew, shedding, and fading, comes in. It is big enough to fit most water and food bowls (mats range in size) and the rubber backing ensures the mat stays in place. Pet parents can choose from five different neutral colors and customize the mat with up to eight characters, including spaces.
To buy: From $39, llbean.com.
Pottery Barn Beckett Leather Catchall
There’s metal, lucite, and ceramic, but few catchalls seem to cater to both men and women. This gender-friendly version, wrapped in cognac leather and outfitted with topstitching detail, is the exception. Made by hand, it’s a great addition to a bedside nightstand, an entryway table, or the top of a desk. And proof that good looking can also be functional, it is large enough to hold reading glasses, coins, keys, jewelry and more. For an additional $9, a monogram can be etched into the interior of the tray, ensuring the owner has a special place to put those disappearing car keys.
To buy: $35, potterybarn.com.
Mark and Graham Pompom Keychain
Cheer her on and complement her style at the same time with a personalized keychain that stands out from others. For the young woman who likes to wear her personality on her keys or purse, this cute faux-fur pompom accessory comes in six different colors (blush, plum, chestnut, navy, Kelly green, and red) and is large enough at five inches in diameter to be found easily. The free monogramming on the genuine leather tag makes this gift personal and thoughtful. The recipient will always be reminded that she’s being cheered on, even if from afar.
To buy: $49, markandgraham.com.
Madewell Leather Pouch Wallet
For the minimalist who still wants something fashionably forward, this tiny leather pouch is just the thing. And it does triple duty. At only four by five inches, this little wonder has built-in slots for credit cards, an internal snap pocket for loose coins, and a zippered top to hold and keep cash in place. Because the product is made from vegetable-tanned leather, expect the color to fade to a natural shade with wear. For an additional $10, the pouch can be outfitted with up to three letters—just allow two weeks for delivery. How’s that for awesome? Madewell offers up to triple-initial monograms in traditional block letters.
To buy: $30, madewell.com.
Anthropologie Woodshop Monogram Letter
If rustic is his style, then look no further than these hand-carved monogram letters. Made from acacia wood and available in letters A to Z, and the symbol &, the letters are large enough to make a bold statement. No two carvings are exactly alike, but woodshop enthusiasts can take their love of personalization even further by adding an accent color to the letter. Whether one letter is enough or more are needed to spell out an important phrase or name, the letters’ simplicity would be great in a nursery, bachelor pad or a family home.
To buy: $22, anthropologie.com.
Victorinox Swiss Army Huntsman Knife
He never stopped being a Boy Scout and that’s a good thing. Show him how much you appreciate his MacGyver skills with a personalized Swiss Army knife that’s handsome and versatile. A portable mini-toolbox, this little wonder has everything necessary for quick fixes. At only three inches long, the smooth wood case includes a large and small blade, a corkscrew, a can opener with a small screwdriver that can also be used for Phillips screws, a bottle opener with a large screwdriver and wire stripper, a reamer, a key ring, tweezers, a toothpick, scissors, a multipurpose hook, and a wood saw. Personally monogram up to three letters for an additional $9, but shipping is free. Proof positive big things sometimes come in little packages.
To buy: $54, potterybarn.com.
Pottery Barn Kids Nursery Critter Wraps
Bathtime doesn’t have to drain the fun out of either parent or baby! These warm, soft, and protective towels roar to life with a series of adorable animal designs made of thick cotton velour and terry for ultimate absorption. If wrapping baby in cozy bunny ears, a chick beak, or a lion’s mane isn’t enough, the towels can be personalized with letters, numbers, or punctuation. Whether the recipient loves bears, sharks or penguins, there’s probably an animal out of the 18 choices that will make a statement. Get ready, because babies wrapped in these cute towels are a must-post on Instagram.
To buy: $40, potterybarnkids.com.
West Elm Mid-Century Box
For people who want quiet elegance, this mid century-inspired box works well enough as a stand-alone objet, or as a lovely way to corral clutter. Made from engineered wood, the 10.5-inch wide by five-inch tall box features antique brass hardware and comes with one removable tray. Ideal for jewelry storage, it can also be used to protect valuables or use it as a container for letters or to hide other items that need safe storage. For $10 extra, the box can be personalized with a monogram of up to three letters or characters in a variety of font styles.
To buy: $88.50, westelm.com.
Kate Spade New York ‘Wrap Things Up’ Leather Bow Wrap Bracelet
Made of supple leather and available in three colors (black, vachetta, and apple cherry), Kate Spade New York’s “Wrap Things Up” bracelet is a stylish accessory that can be worn as a stand-alone statement piece or stacked with other materials and bracelets to create a trendy look. The lightweight piece wraps twice around the wrist and the gold-plated hardware can be monogrammed for an extra $10. This is for the gal who loves to add her own accent to a look, without going too bold. The customized piece accents a casual jeans-and-tee-shirt outfit, and would also work with something a little dressier.
To buy: $88, katespade.com.
Custom Pet Pillow
If Fluffy always ends up sleeping on your pillow, maybe it’s time he gets his own. Made to order in Portland and illustrated by hand, each pillow features an artistic rendition of your dog or cat on canvas, which is stuffed with a non-allergenic, soft fiberfill. The backing is reinforced with gray upholstery-weight fabric that helps the pillows stand up straight. Make sure to order at least four weeks in advance for processing (the vendor promises six weeks is maximum waiting time) and don’t forget to include a photo of your furry friend when ordering.
To buy: $65, karaburkeillustrates.etsy.com.
Black and White Minimal Ceramic Pet Bowl
Pets can be particular about their food and water bowls, and finding a set that both pet and owner like can be a challenging task. So why not order a set of white ceramics that stand out because they have her name on it? Hand decorated with black oxide from heat boosted to 1,922 degrees, these simple bowls that measure in at two inches tall, five inches wide, and six inches deep, make a grand statement. Another reason pet parents may love this set? The bowls are dishwasher and microwave safe, making things just a little easier.
To buy: $35, delftbluecufflinks.etsy.com.
Serena & Lily Schoolhouse Letter Pillows
Personalized bedding is a great way to customize a space. Whether it’s a blanket with your child’s name on it, or this cute cushion with just an initial, it can really make a space feel like your own. This Serena & Lily pillow is great for kids (or grownups!) who want a pop of color and a pop of personalization at the same time. Choose a letter from A to Z and the 14-square-inch cotton pillow will be customized in either red or navy. Shipping is fast (up to seven days after the receipt of the order) and exchanges or refunds are honored within 30 days of receipt of product if unsatisfied.
To buy: $58.00, serenaandlily.com.
Astrology Embroidery Kit
Do you know someone who checks his or her horoscope on a daily basis? Anyone who is tuned in to their zodiac will appreciate this stitch-your-own-sign activity. The pattern is pre-printed onto the navy fabric for an easy-to-follow, hour-long endeavor (it even comes with extra fabric to serve as a practice piece—just in case). A five-inch embroidery hoop not only provides support while working, but also serves as a nice display for the finished artwork. Available in all astrological signs, and a variety of other designs, like constellations, monograms, and arrows are also available.
To buy: $20, miniaturerhino.etsy.com.
Memorial Signature Ring
Totally custom jewelry, without a staggering price tag. Send the jewelry designer a picture (an iPhone photo will do) or a scan of the handwritten name (or short phrase) you want recreated in a sterling silver or gold-filled ring. The unique bauble comes with a gift box for convenience—just add a pretty satin ribbon. Other jewelry, including bracelets, necklaces, and charms, are also available. Because each item is made to order, be sure to allow approximately eight to 10 days for production, plus a few days for shipping (rush orders are occasionally possible—contact the seller for more details).
To buy: $26, caitlynminimalist.etsy.com.
Custom Laser Cut Map
Personalized doesn't have to mean something that has his initials or name on it. Instead, highlight one of his favorite places—try a map of the college campus he just graduated from, the city he grew up in, or the place where you got married. At just five by seven inches, each map is just the right size to sit atop a desk (though larger sizes are also available). The stainless steel design comes already framed, so all you have to do is wrap. Other trinkets, including ornaments and even iPhone cases, are also available in the laser cut location of your choice.
To buy: From $30, cutmaps.etsy.com.
Monogrammed Kids' Fleece Robe
For the kid who wants to be just like his mom or dad when he grows up, a personalized fleece robe (with kid-friendly features, like a belt that’s stitched down in the back to keep it secure) will keep him cozy during those cold winter months. The plush polyester fleece, which features deep front pockets and a collar that turns up to keep his neck warm, is machine washable, too. Available in toddler and kid sizes, as well as in six vibrant colors (apple red, azalea, blue, hunter, purple blue, and tidal blue).
To buy: $40 (add $8 for a monogram), llbean.com.
Alphabet Earring Studs
For the trendy gal who knows nothing has to match anymore, this asymmetrical pair has one sparkly post and one fun shape. An everyday go-to, this tiny (each stud is less than a quarter-inch wide and high) gold (or silver) stainless steel duo looks just right with jeans and a white tee for everyday wear. Make each set completely your own by choosing two different letters or a combination of shapes (some even have rhinestones!). Purchase a set for every woman on your list—discounts are available for purchases over $75 (not including shipping charges).
To buy: $18 for two, ingredientsforlovely.etsy.com.
Because blankets are like travel upgrades—hard to come by, that is—your jet-setting sister will love an oversize cashmere throw for her next plane ride. At 50-inches wide and 60-inches long, it’s big enough to fully wrap around her shoulders or cover her legs on a cold winter day—or year-round in an office with an overactive thermostat. Available in a rainbow of nine colors: cherry, clementine, honey gold, ivory, madeira, porcelain blue, simply taupe, smoke gray, and twilight blue. Add a monogram (choose from a handful of styles and thread colors) for an additional $9.50.
To buy: $47, potterybarn.com.
Custom Embroidered Yoga Mat
Tell the yogi in your life to breathe easy: With a personalized mat, she’ll never take the wrong one home again. The mat, which is two feet wide and six feet long, is available in 20 colors, including black, dark blue, dark brown, burgundy, dark lavender, forest green, gray, teal green, light lavender, light blue, light green, light purple, olive green, orange, pink, purple, red, grey, white, and yellow. Choose from 18 different vibrant thread colors, too. A matching embroidered bag for toting the yoga mat to and from class is also available (for an extra charge).
To buy: $50, mycustomyogamat.etsy.com.
Personalized Bar Pendant Necklace
For those who love fashion accessories that stand the test of time (so, basically any style maven on your list!): a 22k-gold plated or sterling silver necklace with custom engraving. Choose from special characters like the hashtag, ampersand, or dollar sign. Thanks to its versatility, the dainty piece is sure to earn a permanent spot in her weekly rotation. The necklace would also make a great gift for a new mom! Each 1½-by-¼-inch rectangle charm can be customized with up to 12 letters, numbers, or symbols of your choice (all letters will be capitalized). The pendant comes on a 16-inch chain with a lobster clasp.
To buy: $98, nordstrom.com.
Customized Wine Barrel Lazy Susan
For the wine enthusiast, this rotating oak barrel end with three lines of custom engraving serves up much more than just your classic red or white. It’s especially functional for dishing out cheese and antipasto at dinner and holiday parties alike. The lazy Susan spins, so it’s easy for everyone at the table to get his or her fair share of everything the host has made—no awkward “please pass the cheese… again” required. Add a personal message (a name, a date, a phrase, or a combination of the three) of up to three lines (15 characters per line).
To buy: $169, vivaterra.com.
Monogrammed Beaded Clutch
A fold-over silk clutch with a custom monogram, a short name, or their favorite acronym (think: OMG, Yolo, WTF, and more) is a dazzling accessory a girlfriend can call her own. Beads come in 21 different colors (pewter, black, navy, green, orange, bronze, lime, yellow, metallic red, turquoise, silver, metallic lime, fuchsia, white, metallic turquoise, hot pink, pink, antique pewter, red, purple, and antique gold), so there’s something to suit every woman and every occasion. Because bags are custom, please allow four weeks for production on all bags (two-week rush orders can be accommodated for an additional fee).
To buy: $55, shabbysheikness.etsy.com.