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Gifting is always personal, so consider ditching generic presents this year and give friends and family something that is uniquely them. Customized gifts are the perfect way to show you’re thinking about someone specifically, making the gift that much more special. And while you might think of monogrammed gifts as a little cheesy, there are plenty of options out there that are surprisingly stylish (and useful). Whether you're shopping for a dog parent or an astrology buff, we’ve found a special one-of-a-kind gift for every type of person.
Here, the best personalized gifts to buy this year.
Birthdate Co. Birthdate Candle
Have a friend who's always trying to read your birth chart? Give them the perfect gift for astrology lovers with the Birthdate Candle, which is customized with the date the recipient was born. Simply choose the month and day of their birth, and you’ll be directed to a customized candle embellished with astrological details. It's extremely personalized—even the scent is influenced by the characteristics of those born on that day.
Papier The Jag Daily Planner
For your friend who’s always organizing group plans, this Papier planner will help them track to-do lists and habits, as well as challenge them to consider their goals. Best of all, the planner is undated, so they can use it as they need it. It's available in a wide range of colors and designs, but this tiger-themed option is particularly striking. Customize it with their name on the front cover, so they’ll never lose the little book that ties together their days.
Weezie Monogrammed Piped Edge Hand Towels
Help anyone feel fancy with these Piped Edge Hand Towels, which can be embroidered with a personalized monogram for an extra $15. These towels from Weezie come in a set of two and in ten different colors—and with ten different monogram fonts, four different word fonts, and 15 different embroidery colors, the possibilities are truly endless. Even better? These towels are plush, organic, and made from 100 percent long-staple cotton, so they're fantastic quality.
Casetify Custom Phone Case
Chances are high that you know someone who’s always losing their phone. One solution: Get them a case labeled with their name, so they’ll have an easy time picking it out in the lost and found. Casetify's Custom Phone Case lets you to choose from seven colors, six fonts, and six layouts for a truly unique phone case, whether they have an iPhone or Galaxy. The case is compostable and made from plant-based materials, proving that fashionable finds can be eco-friendly too.
Mark & Graham Printed Acrylic Tray, Shadow Printed
This acrylic initial tray can be customized to say any 3-letter word or combination of letters, meaning it can be perfectly crafted to the tastes of even the pickiest person. You can also choose between two different sizes, both of which offer tons of functionality. Serving drinks? Try the large tray! Shelf-top staple? Go small! Either way, you'll have over 50 lettering styles to choose from, and a gift that anyone who's working on decorating their home will love.
Shutterfly Photo Gallery Collage Puzzle
You’re never really done building memories, right? But with Shutterfly's Photo Gallery Collage Puzzle, you can capture a memory in a creative manner—and rebuild it again and again. Ranging from 60 to 1,014 pieces, this puzzle satisfies all puzzling skill levels and can display up to 17 different photographs. Customize your puzzle with words, photos, and design for a gift that’s thoughtful, fun, and sure to provide entertainment for a long time.
Anthropologie Tiled Margot Monogram Mug
Inspire some nostalgia with Anthropologie's beloved Tiled Margot Monogram Mug, which is made from decaled stoneware that makes it look much more sophisticated than your average mug. Personalize it with an initial, and no one will get away with stealing their morning cup again. The mug holds 15 ounces and has an eye-catching decal at the bottom, which will let you know it’s time to refill. The only downside is that it's not dishwasher-safe, but it's so pretty they're sure to use it all the time anyway.
Rifle Paper Co. Personalized Flat Notes
There’s nothing quite as satisfying as writing on personalized stationery, so consider customizing a set to create a gift that’s both intimate and practical. The floral initial design on this Rifle Paper Co. set is elegant and classic, and will accent any note in an understated way. Choose a font color, a greeting, and the desired quantity for a signature gift that is bound to make their life easier. You'll even get sent a digital proof so you can approve the design before it ships!
Aluratek Aluratek LCD Digital Photo Frame
Preload this digital picture frame with up to 32 GB worth of your most precious memories, and give this sentimental present to a loved one. The frame automatically switches between photographs, making it the easiest way to remind someone of all the incredible times you’ve had together. Its modern design makes it a top choice for displaying high quality photos. Just add a USB or SD card, and you’re ready to start reminiscing!
Minted Custom House Letterpress Portrait Art
You know home is more than just a physical place. Nonetheless, it's worth celebrating the house that makes the home. This gift is perfect for a sibling or parent who wants to be reminded of the place they set down roots, or for a friend who just moved into a new home. You'll inspire true nostalgia with this home portrait line drawing from Minted, which can be further personalized with text, a color theme, and a frame.
Artifact Uprising Instagram Friendly Books
This is one personalized gift guaranteed to get all the "likes". Artifact Uprising's Instagram Friendly Book is specifically designed for square images, and you can connect your Instagram directly to the site to pull photos, rather than wasting time individually uploading each one. A standard book is 30 pages, but you can add up to 100 or 380 depending on the size book you choose, and each page is made of high-quality matte paper.
Gorjana Wilder Alphabet Necklace
Dainty necklaces are always in style, so why not take a more personalized approach with a letter initial piece? Understated yet stylish, it’s the perfect layering piece for anyone who likes to add a personal touch to every outfit. The 18k gold plated necklace has a 16- and 18-inch closure, and instead of the letter hanging off the chain, it's built-in slightly off-center. From A to Z, this necklace is a true knockout gift.
What to Look for in a Personalized Gift
Personalized gifts have a lot of variety, so first think about the kind of relationship you have with the recipient. If you're friends but not extremely close, something simple like a monogrammed mug or phone case is a great way to make a more generic gift feel special. On the other hand, if you're shopping for a close relative or BFF, consider something more personal like a pet portrait or photo book. They'll have a custom-made gift forever and always think of you when they see it, which is a win-win for everyone.
Is the gift you're shopping for commemorating something special? Is it a holiday or birthday gift? Considering the purpose will help you narrow down a good personalized gift. Celebrating a new house or wedding calls for something more personal, while a birthday gift can be a bit more casual. Also consider the gift's functionality and whether or not it serves a purpose. For example, you probably don't want to gift a monogrammed necklace to someone who never wears jewelry, while a personalized piece of décor is a great idea for a new homeowner.
It's true that custom gifts tend to cost more than non-custom options, but that's not always the case. Monogrammed mugs and jewelry typically cost the same or similarly to their non-monogrammed counterparts, and can easily be found at budget-friendly prices. On the other hand, custom monogramming (which is most often used for linens, robes, and décor) usually results in an extra fee on top of the product's price. Consider your budget and the type of gift you want and go from there.
Why Trust MyDomaine?
Celine Macura is a Fall 2021 Commerce Resident at Dotdash, specifically working with the MyDomaine team on commerce content. She is currently a student at Northwestern pursuing a B.S. in journalism. To write this gift guide, Celine considered out-of-the-box gift ideas that combine functionality with style and work for just about anyone on your list.