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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.
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Custom photo gifts are always a nice idea, but if you’re looking for something a little more out of the box, consider one of these top-rated and truly awesome finds. Whether it’s as small as an initial necklace, or as elaborate as a hand-written recipe engraved into a cutting board, these gifts are meant to be cherished for years to come.
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One thing when ordering one of these best personalized gifts: Be sure to check shipping times so you're guaranteed to have the item in time for the holidays. Between their handmade nature and pandemic-related stock issues and shipping delays, it’s best to place your order as early as you can.
1. For the family who is really into puzzles: At the Beach Personalized Family Puzzle
Puzzles are wonderfully time-consuming and stress-relieving—a good thing, especially when you've been cooped up more than you want to be. Treat your favorite puzzle-doing family 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.
2. For the refined person who appreciates longevity: Tumi Nassau Global Double Billfold
If you have someone in your life who looks great in a suit and wants a wallet to match, this gorgeous, masculine leather billfold from well-respected luggage retailer Tumi is a sure bet. It comes in gray textured, black textured and navy herringbone options, it holds a lot of items, and promises to last for years. Monogramming makes it personal, and for no added charge.
3. For your favorite globetrotter: Away Carry-on
Traveling to far-off destinations has never been so easy, especially when you don't have a load of luggage holding you back. Experienced globetrotters know that you should be able to pack everything you need in a carry-on. We reviewed—and love—this sleek, contemporary, hard-case option from Away. It comes in six different shades, has spinner wheels, a USB charger (optional), and best of all, is TSA approved. You can also personalize either an attached tag or the suitcase itself with your giftee's name or initials.
4. For the person who loves to write letters the old-fashioned way: Custom Address Stamp
Help a loved one embrace the nostalgia of a simpler time with this custom address stamp set (includes a self-inking stamper and one black ink cartridge) from specialty retailer Paper Source. Instead of writing out their own home address on every correspondence, this stamp will do it for them, and with much prettier style. Hundreds of scripts, shapes, graphic art and more is ripe for the picking, and the giftee can select it themselves as part of this package. Reviewed's parenting editor, Anna Lane, makes this recommendation. “I love my custom address stamp!,” she says. “It is one of my favorite gifts.”
5. For the audiophile: Apple AirPods Pro
Apple AirPods Pro are one of 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.
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 one who racks up screen time: PopSockets Custom PopGrip
When we tested PopSockets, the PopSockets PopGrip earned our top spot, because it is easy to use and comes 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. Any friend with a selfie penchant will appreciate a PopGrip that looks just as good as they do.
8. For the home chef: Hedley & Bennett All Day Crossback Apron
We just finished testing aprons in our Reviewed labs, and the best apron of all time—the Hedley & Bennett All Day Crossback Apron—is no surprise to our Kitchen & Cooking team, since they've been using them for years. Not only do these aprons offer comfort, functionality (the pockets are great for holding spoons!) and quality materials, you have 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.
9. For the parent whose pet likes to roam: Frisco Personalized Dog or Cat ID Tag
Know anyone whose dog can jump a fence and run for miles? This gift is for them. This stainless steel, bone-shaped (um, naturally) ID tag may be small at only 1 inch by 1 inch by 1.5 inches, but there's plenty of room to engrave a pet's name on one side and contact information on the other. Lost dog no more!
10. For the one who needs a new work bag: Madewell Zip-Top Transport Carryall and Zip-Top Transport Tote
Either of these bestselling soft leather totes is large enough to fit a laptop, work supplies, a lunch, and even some sneakers if you're commuting to and from your workplace on public transportation—with interior pockets and a zipper to keep it all hidden—making them the perfect gifts for your most professional friend. (Opt for the Carryall for a cross-body strap.) What’s more, you can personalize each with up to 10 stamped characters in a variety of colors, so they'll never confuse their bag for someone else's.
11. For the sneaker head who will think you're the coolest relative: Nike By You custom Blazer Mid '77 Vintage
According to Reviewed style editor Kevin Cortez, the Nike Blazer Mid '77 vintage high-top won't ever go out of style. “They were originally made as a basketball shoe but kinda got retconned into a lifestyle sneaker over the years,” he said. The best part of these sneakers, though, is that you can make them uniquely personal by customizing the colors and materials (like leather or corduroy) of their different parts, from the upper and eye stay to the tip, tongue, outsole and iconic Swoosh. Having a limited-edition shoe is every sneaker head's dream—and this is very much one way to get that.
12. For the one who gets nostalgic over family pictures: Shutterfly Custom Photo Book
Whether you can't be at a holiday celebration in person, or you know someone who likes to reminisce over images of events past, consider sending a custom photo book from Shutterfly. It is exceedingly simple to make and impressive to see all bound together with a leather cover. Whether it’s a baby’s first Christmas or a couple’s first Hanukkah together in a new home, this gift can remind them that friends and family are always close at heart.
13. For the one who wants to keep loved ones close to heart: Custom Heart Necklace
A friend or spouse celebrating the birth of a child, a wedding, or any other important moment will love this interlocking heart necklace that can be customized with dates and names. Made of sterling silver and finished in your choice of sterling, 18k gold or rose gold, it's a perfect fit for anyone's style both now and for years to come.
14. For the oenophile: Winc Subscription
When stay-at-home orders during the pandemic 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 bottles at the local liquor store. A custom taste quiz on its website allows Winc to select wines that best match the taste of the wine lover in your life, not to mention the convenience of having four bottles delivered right to their door. With a gift subscription, they can set up a profile and get to sipping soon.
15. For the dog parent: Paint Your Life custom portrait
Know someone who adopted a pooch during quarantine? Get them a meaningful gift in the form of a a custom portrait from Paint Your Life, an online service that employs artists to creates photorealistic paintings for customers. In our review of Paint Your Life, we found the process of commissioning the artwork simple and hassle-free, making it worth the price if you're in the market for a unique, sentimental gift.
16. For the beauty guru who hates having a bad hair day: Function of Beauty Custom Shampoo and Conditioner
If you know your giftee really well, you could take Function of Beauty's online hair quiz for them, but it may be best to just splurge for a gift card and let them answer the specific questions about hair type and goals. This vegan and sulfate-free brand custom designs shampoos and conditioner formulas based on need, which is meant to treat an individual's hair in the best way possible. Reviewed's beauty editor tried it herself, and loved the results after six weeks.
If you'd like splurge a little extra on your gift recipient, Function of Beauty's custom holiday shop has bundles for everyone on your list—all you need to know is their hair type. The bundles in function of beauty's holiday shop are up to $50 off and you'll get free shipping to boot.
17. For the grandparents who can't remember birthdays: Minted Photo Calendar
If they always have trouble remembering birthdays, a personalized calendar will make for the perfect gift. So, this holiday season, shore up their calendar confidence with this gorgeous personalized gift that is part artwork and part practical tool. You can submit multiple photos for every month and note dates that are special just for your family, including birthdays, bar mitzvahs, or citizenship anniversaries.
18. For the celeb-obsessed: Cameo Video Message
Have your friend’s favorite celebrity deliver holiday tidings this year. Cameo has thousands of actors, musicians, athletes, comedians, drag queens, and more (even Santa!) available to record custom messages. Simply give a few ideas of what the star can talk about, and they should have a downloadable video recording to you within the week.
Pro tip: As someone who’s gifted this before: 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.
Get a video from Cameo from $20
19. 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 circle 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.
20. 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.
21. For the friend who entertains: Custom Map Coaster Set
Celebrate a new home or present 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.
22. 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 footies, 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 pop of character.
23. 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 a name, initials, or even just grab an ampersand for some punctuation-inspired décor. These vases blend beautiful form with practical function.
24. For the married friends who are extra close: AvonnieStudio Couple Portrait Mug Set
No one likes when a partner "borrows" your coziest sweatshirt, drinks coffee out of your favorite mug, or worse, steals the last bite of your dessert. 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 face is hand-drawn and a proof is sent for approval before printing, ensuring the likeness is spot-on.
25. 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.
26. 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 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 a keychain made with 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.
27. For the one with the family recipes: Handwritten 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 wooden boards are as beautiful as they are functional. They also have gripper feet, so your giftee can feel comfortable putting them to work, but no one would blame them for opting for a display-only setup.
28. For the newlyweds: Personalized Tree Trunk Glassware Duo
This personalized glassware duo is a cute addition to any couple's 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!
29. For the one you love to the moon and back: Star Map on Wood Personalized Constellation Map
Celebrate a love written in the stars with this personalized constellation map that commemorates the special date and location of your choosing with an image of what the sky looked like that night. Perfect to gift to your own honey, or the newlyweds on your list, this star artwork arrives ready to hang. There's even an option to add names and a special message.
30. For the one who’s itching to travel: 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. Leather patches you can have monogrammed ensure your giftee never accidentally swaps supplies with a travel buddy.
31. For the person who loves an afternoon brew: Sips By Tea Subscription Box
Have a friend who loves tea, but not sure where to start? The Sips By tea subscription box eliminates any guesswork 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 brew up.
32. For the one with fur babies: HelloCloudy Custom Pet Portrait
Immortalize someone's favorite pet with a custom portrait that’s delivered back to you 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.
33. For the one with a vacation cottage: 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 a special locale. The cherry wood tray's design is protected under glass, so it will last for years to come.
34. For the history buff and news hound: The New York Times Custom Birthday Book
A few people on Reviewed's staff have either given or received this best-selling coffee-table style book and praise it as one of the coolest gifts ever. Using the front pages of past New York Times editions, this nostalgic book takes a journey through the major news events of your special someone's lifetime, starting with the day they were born. You can order the tome in leatherette or linen, selecting from two or six color options, respectively. The older they are, the longer the book!
35. For the one who likes to look natty in a suit: Silver Plated Cufflinks and Money Clip Set
Everyone has the occasional wedding or black-tie even to attend, and while women typically run around shopping for a new dress to wear, men often have the same old suit that they pull out to wear and then hang back up in the closet until the next special event. But it's nice to feel fancy for an evening, and these sliver-plated cufflinks and money clip will allow the special suit wearer in your life to dress up their look. You can select an initial in a sans serif font that represents their family name.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.
This article originally appeared on Reviewed: 35 of the best personalized gifts we could find—for every type of person