40 Thoughtful Birthday Gift Ideas

Celebrating someone special on their birthday is plenty of fun. It’s even better when you have the perfect gift for them. Whether they love baking, gardening or relaxing with a book, we have some unique ideas to share. Our list of 40 birthday gift ideas ranges from keepsake boxes and personalized candles to woven baskets and wall art. Look through our list to choose the right one for a parent, friend, sister or coworker.

If you’re celebrating a milestone birthday and looking for something specific like a sweet 16 gift, consider a photo book filled with favorite memories from the year.

1. Custom Mug

birthday gift ideas custom mug

Source: Shutterfly

Brighten their mornings with a personalized mug. Choose photos from a girls’ weekend if you’re looking for gifts for mom, or opt for a landscape shot for dad.

2. Geometric Clock

Try this beginner’s woodworking project. With a few basic tools and materials, you can construct a geometric clock that looks store-bought—great for a living room, bedroom or office.

3. Monogram Necklace

birthday gift ideas monogram necklace

Source: Shutterfly

Small gifts sometimes have the biggest impact. Engrave a necklace or bracelet with your loved one’s name or initials. These pieces come in every style, from rose gold to silver.

4. Handcrafted Bookmarks

birthday gift ideas handcrafted bookmarks

Source: Smitha Katti

Whether you’re looking for birthday gifts for him or her, a bookmark can be a simple yet welcomed present. Write an uplifting quote in colored pencil on the bookmark that they can use when reading novels or nonfiction.

5. Personalized Water Bottle

birthday gift ideas personalized water bottle

Source: Shutterfly

Perfect for someone with an active lifestyle, design a custom water bottle with a photo or inspiring quote. The best part? They’ll use this gift all 365 days of the year.

6. Dyed Woven Baskets

Dip woven baskets into colorful dyes, like pastel blue and pink. The result is a set of beautiful containers for storing items like jewelry, keys and knick-knacks.

7. Glass Coasters

birthday gift ideas glass coasters

Source: Shutterfly

Etch a design into a set of glass coasters for both a timeless and practical gift. These beautiful coasters add personal meaning and style to any living room, dining room or home bar.

8. Monogram Wall Art

If the birthday person loves nature, this monogram wall art will make a great addition to their home decor. Cut leaves out of paper and arrange them in the shape of their first initial or last name.

9. Keepsake Box

birthday gift ideas keepsake box

Source: Shutterfly

The best birthday gift ideas have a personal touch. Design a keepsake box for storing items like jewelry and watches. This beautiful piece will be a welcomed addition to any bedroom or bathroom.

10. Decorative Cheese Knives

These DIY cheese knives are made with polymer clay. Not only are they stylish and functional, but they’re easy to create in a variety of colors. The birthday guy or gal will love using these for carving and serving assortments of cheese.

11. Canvas Wall Art

birthday gift ideas canvas wall art

Source: Shutterfly

Gather favorite photos to provide a meaningful, memorable birthday gift that won’t wear its use out. The possibilities for canvas wall art are endless, from a special family moment to a beautiful natural scene.

12. Tea Box

If the birthday person loves to drink chai or chamomile, consider gifting them a beautiful tea box. Fill the box with tea bags of their favorite varieties—plus new ones to expand their collection—for a gift they’re bound to enjoy.

13. Photo Trivet

birthday gift ideas photo trivet

Source: Shutterfly

Create a piece of home decor that will see plenty of use: a custom trivet. Choose a family portrait or vacation photo to embed into the base of the trivet. Whenever a warm meal or hot kettle is brought to the table, they’ll think of you with love.

14. Homemade Soap

birthday gift ideas homemade soap

Source: My Poppet

It’s not just about what’s inside—in this case, handmade soap—that can make a person feel special. Create your own stained fabric gift wrap to add that unique touch to your already special homemade gift.

15. Air Plant Terrarium

Terrariums make a peaceful addition to your living room, bedroom or kitchen decor. These tiny works of art can display a variety of air plants, and make great birthday gifts for any time of year.

16. Custom Calendar

birthday gift ideas custom calendar

Source: Shutterfly

Design a gift that will accompany them throughout the year. Gather favorite photos of your loved one to fill the pages of a custom calendar. Each month, they’ll enjoy seeing the photos you selected and the captions you wrote.

17. Custom Birthday Card

Make a birthday card that matches their style, whether that’s a beach-themed design or one that’s all about fashion. Write a heartfelt message inside to celebrate the great year they’ve had.

18. Personalized Beer Mug

birthday gift ideas personalized beer mug

Source: Shutterfly

Want to get something unique for a 21st birthday? Customize a beer stein with a quote, photo or their name. They’ll surely enjoy this gift for years to come!

19. Cosmetic Bag

birthday gift ideas cosmetic bag

Source: My Poppet

Follow a sewing pattern to design a zippered cosmetic bag that can be filled with makeup and toiletries. Choose a fun design like polka dots or flowers for a birthday gift that will see plenty of use.

20. Ceramic Tile

birthday gift ideas ceramic tile

Source: Shutterfly

Showcase a single photo or a collage of beautiful moments with a custom ceramic tile. The birthday guy or gal can display it in their kitchen or living room on an easel stand—a classic addition to any space.

21. DIY Striped Mugs

birthday gift ideas diy striped mugs

Source: Club Crafted

Refresh a set of white mugs with ceramic pens. Create a modern geometric design with stripes in rainbow colors. Ceramic pens are simple to use but can make a big statement on a boring piece.

22. Stemless Wine Glasses

birthday gift ideas stemless wine glasses

Source: Shutterfly

Does the birthday girl or guy love wine? Design custom wine glasses—complete with their name and a favorite quote. You can even pair this gift with photo coasters for a complete sipping ensemble.

23. Stamped Clay Bowls

Make beautiful stamped bowls out of air dry clay. This is a lovely DIY birthday gift that can be customized by changing up the stamps and inks to create delightful works of art.

24. Tea Towel

birthday gift ideas tea towel

Source: Shutterfly

Customize a tea towel for a practical and personal birthday gift. Imprint the towel with a photo, quote or favorite recipe. This idea is great for anyone who likes to bake or host guests!

25. Bath Salts

birthday gift ideas bath salts

Source: Unsplash

Pamper your special someone with relaxing bath salts. Choose a single aroma, like lavender, or a blended variety. These luxurious bath salts will give them the experience of a spa at home.

26. Cotton Tote Bag

birthday gift ideas cotton tote bag

Source: Shutterfly

Totes are great for carrying everything from books to groceries. Personalize a tote bag with a photo, quote or song lyric. It can be used for work, home or a day out with friends.

27. DIY Velvet Bow Scrunchie

Sew a cute and comfy scrunchie out of velvet and elastic. Add a bow for a stylish touch. Pair this gift with hair products like shampoo or foam curlers for a complete ensemble.

28. Plant Stand

Build a mid-century plant stand out of wooden dowels and glue. Secure a potted plant in the middle, like a succulent or indoor houseplant.

29. DIY Body Scrub

Blend curcumin and coffee together for this luxurious DIY body scrub. It will soften and improve the radiance of their skin, all while being natural and chemical-free.

30. DIY Travel Chess Set

Does the birthday guy or gal love board games? Construct a travel chess set out of wooden cubes and a drawstring bag. They can take this on road trips or for relaxing days in the park.

31. Glitter Photo Frame

Add some extra magic to your favorite photos with glitter frames. Select candids from family hangouts or friend gatherings. The birthday girl or guy can hang these on their fridge or display them on their mantel to enjoy every day.

32. Leather Notebook

It can be hard to find gifts for people who have everything. Consider a leather-bound journal that can be used for everything from jotting down their bucket list to recording favorite memories.

33. Zodiac Wall Art

birthday gift ideas zodiac wall art

Source: Fox + Hazel

Looking for unique birthday present ideas? Print zodiac wall art for their home. They can hang it in their bedroom or living room for personalized decor.

34. Chocolate Dipped Cookies

Whip up a batch of sugar cookies and dip them in chocolate for a professional look. Opt for regular or white chocolate, depending on their favorite flavors.

35. Scented Candles

birthday gift ideas scented candles

Source: Unsplash

Whether it’s their 50th birthday or their 30th, a candle is a beautiful way to bring joy and comfort to their home. A scented candle, like lavender or vanilla, offers a relaxing aroma.

36. Cactus Mug

birthday gift ideas cactus mug

Source: Unsplash

Looking for creative gift ideas? Plant a cactus in a mug for home decor with an eclectic vibe. The new plant can rest on a windowsill or end table.

37. Personalized Coffee Stencils

Have a coffee lover in your life? Treat them to a personalized coffee stencil. They can lay it over the top of their coffee, then lightly sieve a design onto it. Best when used with cinnamon, nutmeg or mocha powder.

38. Travel Mask

Looking for birthday gift ideas for someone who loves to travel? An eye mask helps to block out light, which makes a huge difference when they to catch some much-needed rest after jet lag. Sew a custom mask out of cotton and fleece for a cozy accessory that will become a must-pack item.

39. Succulent Decor

Ideal for a plant lover, succulents are easy to care for and add beauty to any space. Arrange succulents in the shape of a heart or star for a more personal touch.

40. Lip Balm Locket

Perhaps your special someone values simple, natural items. Gold locket necklaces are a timeless treasure for such a person. Make the gift even more special by crafting your own lip balm to put in the locket.

When your loved one opens your gift, they’ll appreciate the time and thought you put into it. Choose a custom gift to represent the season, like an outdoor patio pillow or a fleece photo blanket. By making your gifts both practical and personal, it’ll be treasured for years to come.