Creative Gift Ideas for Family and Friends

Creative Gift Ideas for Family and Friends

Use these customized gift ideas to add a personal touch and never have to use a gift card again.


Tired of giving the same boring gifts? Then it's time to get creative! For inspiration, check out some of these creative gift ideas.

Themed Gift Baskets

Instead of hunting for the perfect gift basket, make one yourself. Pack a decorative basket or box with items that fit the recipient's hobbies and interests. Here are a few ideas.

  • The Movie Buff — Get a good gift review by including movie tickets, gourmet popcorn, licorice and a movie trivia game.
  • The Food Connoisseur — Appeal to her tastes with new measuring spoons and spatulas, upscale food products, wine and a new cookbook.
  • The Crafter — Stimulate her creativity with scrapbooking supplies, paints, beads and a crafting book.
  • The Handyman — Instead of a basket, use a canvas tool bag. Stuff it with new drill bits, a tape measure, work gloves and a home-project idea book.

Photo Gifts

Photo websites make it easy to create photo keepsakes anyone would treasure. Use your favorite photos of family or friends to make a beautiful photo album, wallet-sized flipbook, calendar or poster collage. Or give them a one-of-a-kind piece of art by transforming a photo into a classing oil painting, watercolor painting or a modern piece of pop art.

Personalized Gifts

Finding a personalized gift doesn't require a visit to your mall's gift-engraving store. You can personalize a gift yourself by making it extra unique and thoughtful. For example, take a basic canvas tote bag and iron on the recipient's initials. For the frequent traveler, purchase a leather luggage tag and then create a personalized printed insert using your computer and printer. Or personalize stationery by stamping on the recipient's initials.

Charitable Gifts

For the person who has everything, how about giving to her favorite charity, organization or school? For the animal lover, try gift memberships or giving to an animal adoption center. Or pick a charity that's special to the recipient and make a donation in her name. If your friend loves his alma mater, contact his old high school or university. Some schools may have name-engraved bricks, park benches or other landmarks on behalf of alumni who make donations.

Say goodbye to gift cards. Make this the year that you get creative with gift giving!

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