Thursday, December 5, 2013

10+ Unique & Different Gift Ideas

So if you've been around the blog awhile you may remember my post from last year on Homemade Christmas Gift Ideas for Boys & Men or the easy and fairly inexpensive DIY Couples Christmas Gift. The DIY Individually Wrapped Hot Chocolate was also popular (I use my own Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix recipe). But if you're new here you haven't seen those posts yet (so be sure to check them out!) and you're ready to see some gift ideas!

This year I am putting together a short list of unique and different gift ideas. Some of these are DIY's and some are store bought or you can purchase them from different Etsy stores (which are all linked in appropriate places), but all of these are awesome ideas for almost anyone who loves Christmas! Many of the ideas have come from my Pinterest Board: Christmas Gift Ideas. I also have another board with gift ideas on it and that is the Pinterest Board: Joy of Giving. I have more there if you like what you see here then you should hop over and check that out too!

{photo via Emily A. Clark}

#1 A unique cook book! This idea comes from Emily A. Clark's post: Gifts for the Ungiftable. I personally would love a new cookbook for Christmas! My sweet little brother got me a Betty Crocker cook book a few years back and I use it ALL the time now (especially since moving to the country and not having instant Pinterest access!). It was a wonderful gift that I never would've thought to ask for or put on my Christmas list. In the post linked Emily shares a few other unique gift ideas too. A few that I liked were the classic book ends and a pretty cutting board.

click image to enlarge & read
{photo via Call Me Cupcake}

#2 Brownie Mix in a Jar! Doesn't this just look delicious?! My mom's theory is people should give gifts that can be made up AFTER the holiday season is over because usually at that time you're too busy finishing up all the desserts from the holidays and the Christmas Cookies people give you that you can't enjoy everything as much. This idea comes from the Swedish blog Call Me Cupcake.

{photo via Thistlewood Farms}

#3 Paint Stick Dominoes! This is a DIY project idea from Thistlewood Farms and I really LOVE it! I think this is one of the most creative ways I've seen to make your own domino set!

{photo via Sweet & Savory Life}

#4 $10 Movies & Snacks Gift! Who doesn't love an easy gift? This idea comes from Sweet & Savory Life. I think it's definitely a great last minute idea for someone you may have forgotten to add to your gift list or for someone who really enjoys watching movies! Check out the Redbox Gift Options. Another idea (which could be a bit more expensive, but still fun) is to hit up the $5 movie bin at Wal-Mart and pick out a few movies the person on your list would enjoy.

{photo via A Simple Kind of Life}

#5 DIY Painted Mousepad! I never would've thought to paint a mouse pad, but this is really neat! If you have a creative person on your gift list you could even make this a kit gift by giving them the items necessary to create this and then let them do their own decorating! This idea comes from the blog: A Simple Kind of Life.

{photo via Eat Sleep Cuddle}

#6 Gold Leaf Notebooks. This is a wonderful gift for the writer on your gift list. I think you could totally use gold spray paint to do this project, but the tutorial on Eat Sleep Cuddle uses paper. Very fun and cute idea and of course you could do shapes (heart on the front of a notebook anyone?) or words like "write" or "create" or "dream". Loving this idea!

{photo via Northern Belle Diaries}

#7 Monogrammed gifts! For those girly girls or college students this is a gift where you can take practically anything and personalize it: notebooks, coffee mugs, coasters, cell phone cases, necklaces, towels, pillow cases, laptop decals....the list could go on.

{photo via Mary Kay}

#8 Mary Kay Satin Hands Kit! When I was a MK beauty consultant in my college days this was one of the items I promoted the most. I had bought the kit for myself and fell in love right away! It makes your hands feel so soft & pretty! This is the perfect gift for a mom who doesn't give herself enough 'me' time. The best thing about this gift? It comes in three different scents: fragrance free, peach, and vanilla sugar! I've tried them all and I have to say peach is for sure my favorite! {Locate a MK beauty consultant near you to purchase this item!}

{photo via Little Lovelies}

#9 Paperclip Bookmarks! For the readers on your Christmas list: they can never have too many bookmarks! I know my hubby is always losing his. These are a little girly, but with some creativity I'm sure you could make some boyish paperclip bookmarks too (if a male on your Christmas list enjoys reading that is!). Another easy DIY bookmark idea is to use some cardboard and fabric scraps to create unique bookmarks. Check out the tutorial at The Sewing Dork.

{photo via GreySkiesBlue on Etsy}

#10 Best Friend Coffee Mugs! I now have best friends in three different states and being so far away sometimes it's nice to have something that makes them feel closer than a few hundred miles away. This gift is sold on Etsy (made to order!) but I'm sure that you could totally DIY because I've seen tutorials for things like this such as the Chalkboard Paint Coffee Mug from A Beautiful Mess Blog or the DIY Painted Mug Tutorial on My Crafty Spot and the Sharpie Art Mug from Whipperberry. If you're in need of inspiration for your design check out this Pinterest search I did.

{photo via Cynthia Shaffer}

#11 Cookies In A Tin! If you like baking and giving cookies as a gift to neighbors and church friends you might be interested in this project. Thrift stores have lots of old Christmas tins floating around most of the year, but especially around the holidays. Pick up a few, get some spray paint and start up-cycling them into something pretty to give your gifts in this year!

This item has already sold.
{photo via HuckleberryVintage on Etsy}

#12 Unique Wood Salt & Pepper Shakers! Awhile back, when I was feeling more crafty & creative, I took a set of old wood salt & pepper shakers, sanded them, painted them, sanded again and then glazed them to make my own set of vintage shakers. They were adorable and turned out so well! This is on the unique ideas list and you can totally find someone who has already done all the work for you if you're not up to making some yourself (just browse Etsy!). Here is a blue set via VintageChichiean I found while searching for options available.

{photo via Mr. & Mrs. Adams}

#13 Build A Pampering Kit! This idea is fun because you can do so many different things with it! Some things you might want to include: fun chocolates, cozy socks, bath salts, candles, magazines/books, hand creams/lotions, lip moisturizers, scented body wash, herbal tea packages, perfumes, pumice stones...or anything else the girl(s) on your list might enjoy! Check out some other themed basket ideas such as a baking kit, car washing kit, and the movie time kit all of which are found at The Lady Wolf.

{photo via Pinterest}

#14 Random Plates! Strange as this gift may sound, there are several uses for beautiful random plates. If you're a thrift shopper I'm sure you come across many random plates on the shelves in the home section of the store. This is a gift you'd have to give to someone you know really well, or to someone who already has a plate collection going on. Some people might use plates as decor in their home (as shown in the photo) or if you know a food blogger you could always give them different solid color plates & uniquely shaped dishes for them to photograph their creations on. (I know I would love a fun collection of different solid colored dishes to spice up my food photos!)

{photo via Simply Kierste}

#15 Family Name Sign! If your shopping for multiple families, or just want to do a single gift for a family, a family name sign is both pretty & practical. There are TONS of ideas on Pinterest for family name signs (just do a general search and you'll find plenty) and then of course there are Etsy shops who offer to make these for you so you don't have to mess with the work. One such store is MagnoliaMommyMade who custom makes and frames a beautiful sign, click link to view. Another Etsy shop which does the wood signs is SugarCreekLane. The wood blocks in the photo just above is probably one of the most unique 'signs' I've seen yet and is a DIY tutorial.

{How To: Gift Wrap A Box by Blue Eyed Beauty Blog}

As a bonus, of sorts, I'm going to include the photo tutorial for how to gift wrap presents which I wrote last year. I love wrapping boxes because they are the easiest, but you could easily use this tutorial for things that aren't in boxes and still end up with a decently wrapped gift. Enjoy!

As you can see, I have lots of ideas! I could probably keep going, but didn't want this post to be overwhelmingly long so I will stop with these things here. Thank you for reading through and don't forget to leave your comment to the question below!

What are unique/different gift ideas you like?


  1. Hi Helen!! Thanks for this awesome list. Just when i needed it. My friends birthday is coming up and I needed ideas. So thankful to you for this post :)

  2. I LOVE those coffee mugs. One of these days I'm going to make a pair just to say I made them. LOL

    Some good ideas on your list. :)


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