A good gift doesn't have to come in a big box and cost a paycheck. A small, affordable gift can be the best kind of present to give (and get), especially when it's thoughtful.
Consider the person you're buying for. Do they have hometown pride or are they looking to travel the world? Did you both go to camp together every year, or do they host an annual summer solstice party? Thinking of a shared memory or a person's standout characteristic is a good place to start when trying to come up with a meaningful gift.
Here are 17 small, affordable gifts that are full of heart to get you started.
Anthropologie Mini Matte Latte Bowls Set of 4
Besides cereal bowls and pasta/soup bowls, there's a third essential bowl size: mini. Mini bowls can be used to hold all the toppings at an at-home taco bar, for soy sauce to go with sushi, to hold olives at the bar cart, and more. These matte mini bowls are the ideal size for just about any small serving need.
Oxford Pennant Read More Books Pennant
A bookshelf isn't the only place to declare a love of books. Designed and crafted in Buffalo, New York, this wool pennant will add a dose of retro-cool nostalgia to anyone's home or reading nook.
Level up the classic scented candle gift by giving a fragrance diffuser. Brooklinen, known best for their sheets, also makes an aesthetically pleasing and effective diffuser. What makes this a thoughtful gift is the scent, called Bright Idea. With the fragrances of vetiver, geranium, and cardamom, Bright Idea is supposed to help declutter the mind and provide clarity of thought.
Brass Monkey Sudoku With Some Balls
Sudoku has always been a game that can only be played alone—until now. Brass Monkey developed this version of Sudoku involving colored balls instead of numbers that allows the game to become a group activity. It comes with a booklet of puzzles you can set up and solve on your own. You can also take any Sudoku puzzle you find and ball-ify it by assigning each number a colored ball and setting up the board to match.
Afloral Dried Floral Hoop Styling Kit - 2 Hoops
DIY and décor are a match made in heaven. Afloral offers this sweet set of dried florals, hoops, and all the supplies you need to put it all together and make pretty cottagecore-style hangings.
Meg Quinn The Cheese Board Deck
Foodies and entertainers will enjoy The Cheese Board Deck. Similar in size and storage to a pack of cards, the Cheese Board Deck features 50 cards for BYOB (building your own board). In addition to cheese boards, there's also inspiration and instructions for making hot-dog topping bars, vegetable platters, and dinner spreads.
Perfect for anyone who constantly loses their phone charger or always needs to borrow yours, Courant's Catch:1 is a sleek, pretty charger with wireless charging capabilities. It's made to last, with a braided nylon cord, a weighted base, and non-slip backing.
Chefanie The World is Your Oyster Cocktail Napkins
Paper cocktail napkins are nice, but fabric cocktail napkins are a statement. This set of four from tablescapes company Social Studies declares that their owner hosts fabulous summer happy hours and can open an oyster in one try.
Sobremesa Roly Poly Hand Blown Glass Decanter With Stopper
For the person in your life who shops local, eco-friendly or cares about human rights, try shopping fair trade. Fair trade products go from the maker to the store to you, meaning that their profits go entirely to the maker and store that sells their creations. Zee Bee Market, a fair trade store, offers this beautiful hand-blown decanter made by artisans in Guatemala. It holds 26 ounces, or a bottle of wine, and comes with a stopper ball made of teakwood. Buying this decanter helps provide employment, educational opportunities, and medical care to the artisan women who made it in Guatemala.
Zee Bee Market Premium Coffee and Chocolate Gift Basket
Enjoy a one-stop-shop gift with this coffee and chocolate gift basket from Zee Bee Market. The chocolate purchases support small farmer co-ops in South America and Africa, and the coffee purchases support indigenous farmers in Peru and hospitals in the DRC. The handmade mug supports artisans in Mexico, and the grass basket supports makers in Bangladesh. You can email Zee Bee Market to substitute any of the flavors or coffee or chocolate, and domestic US shipping is free.
Modern Picnic The Snacker
Modern Picnic offers insulated and stylish food storage options that don't scream "I'm on a middle school field trip" like most other food storage does. The Snacker is one of their smaller bags, but it's perfect for holding items like yogurt and berries, baby carrots and hummus, or a power bar and a small water bottle.
Plant Proper Cebu Blue Pothos
Boasting narrow and silvery blue-green foliage, a cebu blue pothos (Epipremnum pinnatum 'Cebu Blue') is a unique cultivar of the pothos plant that looks unlike any of the pothos commonly available. Easy to care for and fun to see grow as the the vines trail down, this plant will have any plant parent who receives it singing your praises.
Fable The Coffee Dripper
Dinnerware company Fable makes a gorgeous ceramic dripper for pour-over cups of coffee. The dripper will work with any mug as long as the opening is under 4.7 inches in diameter. Grab any standard sized filters and a bag of beans, and you've got a full gift ready to go.
Paint By Number Kit Cocktail on the Sun Paint By Number Kit
A crafternoon well spent is one where you: A) get to do a DIY project, and B) create something you actually want to keep. This paint-by-numbers kit lets any creative type make a stylized cocktail art piece that's worth hanging on the wall. The kit comes with all the paint you need already mixed, and you can choose if you want the canvas only or the frame to go with the final product.
Rifle Paper Co. 5x7 Picture Frame in Bon Voyage
Give your favorite globe trotter a travel-themed picture frame. For an extra thoughtful touch, print out a picture of you and the gift's recipient on a favorite trip together. You could even add a ticket stub or other paper souvenir from the trip.
Minimalista: Your Step-by-Step Guide to a Better Home, Wardrobe, and Life
Shira Gill's Minimalista book is an affordable gift option that homebodies and organizers will love. It teaches a strategy of curating your life not for the sake of curation, but because you're working toward creating the life you want. With tips for downsizing your possessions, wardrobe, and other bits of chaos at home, Minimalista will be a gift that keeps on giving.
Bloomscape Wooden Plant Stand
Plant parents, design enthusiasts, and home bodies will love a plant stand. This one from Bloomscape, made of wood and bamboo, adjusts to hold plants 8 to 12 inches in diameter and with a weight of up to 200 pounds. If they prefer to do their gardening outdoors, the plant stand works for outdoor use, too.