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Spending so much time cooped up these days has really illuminated how much stuff we’re surrounded by at home. So this year, instead of gifting an item that may end up in the back of a closet, consider something personalized and truly unique—a gift too special to ignore. Your loved ones will appreciate the thought and care you took to customize a gift just for them.
Custom photo gifts are always a great idea, but if you’re looking for something a little more out of the box, consider one of these top-rated finds. Whether it’s as small as a keychain, or as elaborate as sound waves etched into a guitar pick, these gifts are meant to be cherished for years to come. (Be sure to check shipping times. Between the handmade nature of these gifts and pandemic-related shipping delays, it’s best to place your order soon!)
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1. For the beauty guru: MoonwakesDesignCo Makeup Bag
Whether your loved one is addicted to YouTube makeup tutorials, or they just need a place to store toiletries, this highly rated makeup bag is a perfect stocking stuffer. A steal at just $10, it’s handmade from cotton canvas and professionally screen printed so colors look as vibrant in person as they do online, no filters required.
2. For the one who can’t make it home for the holidays: Homesick Scented Candle
Send a loved one the comforting scent of home with a candle specially made for each state. Whether your friend misses Southern California’s lemons and sea breeze, North Dakota’s spruces and winter air, Mississippi’s magnolia flowers, Maine’s blueberries and honeysuckle, or the scents of another home state, this hand-poured soy candle offers a welcome reminder. And with a burn time of 60 to 80 hours, this U.S.-made candle will keep them company for the weeks and months to come.
3. For the one who racks up screen time: PopSockets Custom PopGrip
When we tested PopSockets earlier this year, the PopSockets PopGrip earned our top spot, because it was easy to use and came in a variety of fun designs. Add one more reason to that list since now you’re able to customize the grip with your own image. Your friend with the selfie problem will appreciate a PopGrip that looks just as good as they do.
4. For the home chef: Hedley & Bennett Apron
When we test food-related products at Reviewed, our cooking team rocks Hedley & Bennett aprons, which have been long beloved for their functionality (the pockets are great for holding spoons!) and quality materials. With the option to add up to nine characters in attractive fonts and stitch colors, this apron will have the amateur chef in your life feeling like a pro.
5. For the one who needs a new work bag: Madewell Zip-Top Transport Carryall
Remember commuting to work? When we get back to that, your favorite 9-to-5-er is going to need a fresh new bag to show off—and this one is a bestseller for a reason. The soft leather tote large enough to fit a laptop, work supplies, a lunch, and even some sneakers for the commute home—with three interior pockets and a zipper to keep it all hidden—is the perfect gift for your most professional friend. What’s more, you can personalize it with up to 10 stamped characters in a variety of colors, so they’ll never be caught carrying the same bag as anyone else.
6. For the one who loves to draw: Art2theExtreme Crayon Name Set
It doesn’t matter if your giftee is 10 or 110, coloring is fun for everyone. Make the pastime extra special with a set of recycled crayons shaped to spell out their name, initials, or a fun word. The rainbow of colors varies from one letter to the next, which is part of the appeal, whether the budding artist is working on an adult coloring book or drawing on the walls.
7. For the minimalist: Kate Spade New York One in a Million Initial Pendant Necklace
This 12-karat gold-plated necklace will tell your friend they’re one in a million—literally. It says just that on the back of the simple, round pendant featuring a single letter or a first initial. At 17 inches long, it’s simple enough to wear on its own or layered with other necklaces.
8. For the friend who entertains: Custom Map Coaster Set
Celebrate a new home or gift a nostalgic reminder of an old one with this custom map coaster set. Enter something as general as a state or as specific as a home address to get a set of four coasters that form a vintage-looking map with visible street names and landmarks. Made in Rhode Island, these cork-and-marble coasters can also feature a special message from you to yours.
9. For the one who’s playfully self-absorbed: LitFriends Saint Selfie Custom Prayer Candle
Let your friends know how highly you think of them in the most tongue-in-cheek way possible. This Saint Selfie candle allows you to upload a front-facing photo and custom prayer message of your angelic pal—or yourself as a gag—for a gift that will add some humor to their décor. Shopping for a pet lover? The candles can also accommodate pictures of animals.
10. For the audiophile: Apple AirPods Pro
Apple AirPods Pro are our favorite wireless headphones for a few reasons: They’re simple to use and connect, and they have surprisingly great sound quality (far more expansive than what you’ve come to expect from Apple’s wired earbuds) and noise-cancellation capabilities. But the best part for holiday shoppers? Purchase a pair of AirPods Pro and Apple will engrave the wireless charging case with up to 16 characters or even an emoji completely free of charge. Talk about music to your ears.
11. For the friend with cold feet: MyPupSocks Custom Face Socks
Part fun, part functional, your friend with a good sense of humor will appreciate a gift of truly unique socks. To create these custom socks, you can upload an image of your face, their face, or a fun group pic, and decide the placement and color. Your friend can sport them with shorts or keep them hidden under formal business attire for a fun little secret.
12. For the oenophile: Winc Subscription
When stay-at-home orders made it more difficult to go on regular shopping trips, we decided to test wine subscription service Winc—and we may never go back to browsing in-store. The wine lover in your life will love the convenience of having four bottles delivered to their door, and the custom taste quiz allows Winc to select wines that best match their taste. With a gift subscription, they can set up a profile and get to sipping soon.
13. For the one who loves flowers: The Alphabet Vase
Help your friend display their latest bouquet in style with a porcelain vase made in the U.S. by New York-based designer Tracey Llewellyn. Spell out their name, their initials, or even just grab an ampersand for some punctuation-inspired décor. These vases blend beautiful form with practical function.
14. For the couple who became co-workers in quarantine: AvonnieStudio Couple Portrait Mug Set
No one likes when your co-worker steals your favorite mug, but it’s especially awkward when that person is also your spouse, who you’ve been cooped up with since March. Help your favorite couple-friends avoid an argument by gifting them this set of mugs with their own charming mugs displayed on the side. Each is hand-drawn and a proof sent for approval before printing, ensuring the likeness is spot-on.
15. For the one who cherishes vinyl: Personalized Record Doormat
We may not be rolling out the welcome mat for visitors anytime soon, but this record-shaped doormat will be the perfect way to greet the music fans among them when we do. This recognizable retro design can also be personalized with both the family name and a custom phrase.
16. For the gardener: Close to Her Heart Personalized Garden Stone
The gardener in your life will love a chance to keep their family with them as they water the flowers or enjoy an afternoon outside. Made of polyresin and sand, this stone can display up to 21 names in eight different colors. My own grandmother received this as a gift last year and proudly displays it by her patio so she can see all the grandkids’ names while she enjoys some fresh air. The colors are still vibrant almost 12 months later, even after enduring harsh New England weather.
17. For those who want to keep loved ones close: TomDesign Custom Keychain
Whether it’s a doodle from a child, or a message from a loved one, your giftee will appreciate this custom keychain as a way to carry a special token with them wherever they go. Simply upload an image of a drawing or message and a high-precision laser carves it into your choice of brass, copper, or silver. Reviewers love it as a way to remember loved ones who have passed, or to keep their family top-of-mind when they’re traveling.
18. For the one with the family recipes: MorningJoyCo Recipe Cutting Board
Turn Grandma’s famous cookie recipe into a usable piece of art fit for any kitchen with this laser-engraved wooden cutting board. Expertly cut to capture the original recipe’s handwriting, the beech boards are as beautiful as they are functional. They’re food-safe, so your giftee can feel comfortable putting them to work, but no one would blame them for opting for a display-only set up.
19. For the new parent or grandparent: AquarianThoughts Birthstone Stacking Ring
Celebrate a parent or grandparent’s new bundle of joy with a minimalist stackable ring that features the baby’s birthstone. Just about as thick as a dime, these 14-karat gold-filled bands are slim enough to stack one for each kid, and the genuine natural gemstones complement each other beautifully. Reviewers love displaying their selections, whether it’s a single ring or a stack of half a dozen.
20. For the music lover: NewtonAndTheApple Personalized Wooden Plectrum
Tell your loved one you care this holiday season with this upgraded guitar pick customized to showcase the sound waves of a favorite song or special audio message made by you. Handcrafted with mimosa wood (the same kind used to make many guitars), this plectrum is also perfectly functional in case your giftee is so happy they start strumming.
21. For the newlyweds: Personalized Tree Trunk Glassware Duo
Whether your favorite couple enjoys wine, beer, or a bit of both, this personalized glassware duo will be a cute addition to their bar cart. Hand-etched in Tennessee, the set can include two wine glasses, two pilsner glasses, or one of each, both featuring initials “carved” in a tree trunk and a special date. Cheers to the happy couple.
22. For the family who got really into puzzles this year: At the Beach Personalized Family Puzzle
Unlike most of us, puzzles are having a great year: They’re wonderfully time-consuming and stress-relieving, and there’s a good chance your giftee endured a weeks-long backlog just to get their hands on one. Treat them to a new challenge with this 200-piece wooden puzzle that lets you customize up to 10 people and pets, down to hair color, skin tone, and more.
23. For the one who has recently become a baker: Rory Dobner Monogram Silicone Spatula
This collaboration with British artist Rory Dobner features whimsical illustrations that any baker would proudly display on their kitchen counter. Pick a letter (or spell out a name or initials with a few!) and watch as your loved one opens a gift that’s both fun and functional. The BPA-free silicone spatula head, which is heat-resistant up to 600°F, is perfect for everything from frosting cakes to scooping brownie batter out of the bowl.
24. For the one who’s itching to travel again: ClarkandTaft Personalized Dopp Kit
Help a friend prepare for their next big adventure by gifting this waxed canvas toiletry bag that’s durable to withstand any flight or road trip. It’s water-resistant both inside and out, so there is no worrying about shampoo bottles opening en route. Monogrammable leather patches ensure your giftee never accidentally swaps supplies with their travel buddy.
25. For the one who coveted Michelle Obama’s “VOTE” necklace: BELKYmood Letter Necklace
Was your bestie obsessed with the “VOTE” necklace Michelle Obama wore at the Democratic National Convention? The internet sure was. You can score it from the original designer, or you can head to Etsy for a similar version that spells out “VOTE,” or any name you’d like, in gold, silver, or rose gold letters. There’s even the option to add symbols like a butterfly or lightning bolt.
26. For the tea lover: Sips By Tea Subscription Box
Have a friend who loves tea, but not sure where to start? The Sips By tea subscription box takes the guesswork out of tea gifting by offering customizable samples from around the world. Take a quiz (or opt for a gift card if you’re not sure) to identify taste and tea varietal preferences, and your friend will enjoy a monthly gift of brand new options to try.
27. For the one with fur babies: HelloCloudy Custom Pet Portrait
Immortalize your giftee’s favorite pet with a custom portrait that’s delivered as a digital file, so there’s no shipping required. (Just leave yourself time to print it and get it framed.) Using an image of the pet and any available notes on their personality, the artist gets to work to illustrate their likeness between two vibrant sets of flowers. A name underneath makes for a perfect finishing touch.
28. For the little one: Wooden Name Puzzle
Kids love puzzles, especially those that can help them spell their own names. These wooden ones are hand-carved and hand-painted in muted colors to please any toddler, and attractive enough to double as bedroom décor.
29. For the one with a beach house: Coastal and Lake Art Serving Tray
Help your loved one celebrate their favorite vacation spot or childhood home with an elegant serving tray that depicts the lake or coast of their choosing. With options from around the world—and by state and county in the U.S.—you’ll have no trouble finding their special locale. The cherry wood tray’s design is protected under glass, so it will last for years to come.
30. For the celeb-obsessed: Cameo Video Message
Have your friend’s favorite celebrity deliver holiday tidings this year. Cameo has tens of thousands of actors, musicians, athletes, comedians, drag queens, and more (even Santa!) available to record custom messages. Simply give a few ideas of what they could mention and your star should have a downloadable video recording to you within the week. (Pro tip as someone who’s gifted this before to happy recipients: Watch a few example videos on each page to get a feel for quality and overall tone.) Fees vary by person, but the excitement on your giftee’s face will be priceless.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.