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Our 10 Favorite Personalized Gifts They’ll Actually Love (And No, It’s Not A Photo Book)

First off I want to say that we also love photo books, so 100% no shade if that’s what you are or want to give this or any other year! But that’s already a go-to when thinking of a thoughtful personalized gift, right? So Em and I were talking about the personalized gifts that she has either given, gotten, or just really loves the idea of and how that should be a post. To me, this list is a gift in and of itself because while I love the idea of getting a personalized gift, I equally panic at the “non-returnability” of it all. What if they don’t love it and now they are stuck with it? This may be an unpopular opinion but I am a huge proponent of exchanging gifts you don’t love. But I honestly feel that these ideas assuage any worries of that. You can personalize confidently:) Plus over half of these are from small makers so it’s a double win. Let’s get into this now, because you might need to order these asap to have them get to you on time…

Wood Music Box

Emily bought and personalized one of these (two different designs) for each of her kids last year. They both love them, are super special making them something they can keep forever, AND supports a small maker. It’s also a beautiful gift if someone in your life just had a baby. We honestly can’t imagine this not melting everyone’s hearts. 10/10

Watercolor House Portrait Ornament

Do you know someone that moved last year?? Pretty sure everyone just raised their hand. This is an ornament that is not only very cute but would mean so much to them! This one is also cute and more affordable.

Painted Pet Or House Ornament

These are two ornaments that Em actually got last year for their Buttercup and Oscars ornaments and for their LA house portrait when they sold it. She says they are SO BEAUTIFUL. Emily Henderson approved.

House Portrait

Ok, this is the final “house portrait” recommendation I promise. Look it’s a design blog so we loved celebrating people’s homes. There are a ton out there and it depends on your (or their) style, but Em really likes this one. Plus this idea is great for those who don’t celebrate Christmas and ornaments aren’t something they’d use.

Embroidered/Monogrammed Sweatshirt

When Em sent this idea over I almost immediately bought it for myself. It’s so freaking cute and under $40 (not including shipping). I would feel very loved if I unwrapped this puppy. For another kids only option, Em likes this one, too because of the cute font.

Photo Ornaments Of Kids

By now you should know that the Henderson’s are “fun/memory ornament” people now. Once Em realized that a Christmas tree is like a scrapbook the floodgates opened. Happy memories are now all over their tree and she loves these because of how cute and funny they are.

Weekend Bag

I use my weekend bag all of the time. I tend to take a good amount of little trips (especially this past year) so it’s the perfect way to throw all of my necessities in a cute bag and be on my merry way. So when Em showed me this cutie, my immediate response was “oh ya, this is awesome.” They have a bunch of different colors to choose from too. (I know cream isn’t the most dirt friendly but it’s just so pretty:))

Packing Cubes

Em was super surprised by how much she loves these packing cubes and I am right there with her. I haven’t jumped on the cube train yet, but after my friend visited me a couple of months ago and I saw how they made her life so much more organized I was in. There are also more colors but I really love this idea as a gift. Thought, practical and pretty darn cute:)


From Em: “If you really want to spoil someone, get them this awesome luggage.”

I agree and absolutely love this green color. If you don’t necessarily need to personalize your gift but have a friend that loves to travel check out this post too!

Leather USB Keychain!!

Em had no idea these existed and thinks they are so smart and she’s right. As someone who says weekly, “if my phone dies, I’ll call you back later” this would be an invaluable gift. Plus depending on your budget it’s also a really great secret Santa gift.

Ok, One More:) Cardholder

This one is just from me. My very wonderful aunt gave me a zip cardholder she had on hand when she saw me rummaging through my very unorganized purse, looking for my credit card. Now I’m a convert. Having your cards on the outside of your wallet just makes like SO much easier. The one she gave me isn’t quite my style so when my brother asked me what I wanted for Christmas I said this! It’s so pretty, personalizable, and I personally love the red so it will be easy to spot in my bag.

That’s it! Hope this was helpful and gave you some solid ideas for your loved ones. Let us know in the comments what personalized gifts you received that were awesome (or some cautionary tales if you have them). Sharing is caring:)

Love you, mean it.

Opening Image Credits: Photo by Sara Ligorria-Tramp | From: Jess’ Bold Berry-Infused, Cozy Modern Holiday Apartment

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2 years ago

Love these! For kids, I’ve recently done a couple of personalized books (I used the company I See Me) and they were big hits.

2 years ago

I’m stunned. You do you, and love it if you do, so buy it for yourself if you want to. But if this is intended to be advise on what “they“ (old people?) will actually love, think again. I’m old. What do I want my family to buy? Nothing! More stuff will not make my good life better.

2 years ago
Reply to  Lill

I think ‘they’ just refers to the recipient of the gift. The first example is a gift for a child.

2 years ago
Reply to  Lill

I kind of agree, except for the ornaments because all ornaments are little tchotchkes so who cares if someone gifts you one…but the rest are just un-re-giftable items that if the person doesn’t actually like will take up space in storage or get thrown out. But gift giving is not my love language haha!

2 years ago

That one is really good lots of choices thanks.

Feeling Silly
2 years ago

Okay! So! A couple of years ago, I commented on a Link Up asking if it would be possible for all of the links to open in a new tab or window or some such because a few (but not all) redirected in the same tab—and I was somewhat gaslit by the response from EHD saying they all were (honestly, it was a pretty big ouch for me at the time!). After the reply, I painstakingly went back to find the ones that didn’t open in a new tab and listed them out to see if maybe it was a backend thing the team member could tell from there end. There was no reply to my subsequent comment. Anyway, I know it’s an extremely persnickety thing, and I can’t tell you how silly I feel writing all of this again, but…is it possible? There are a few links here that redirect in the same tab for me. Ultimately this is all because I’m a huge EHD fan and I honestly find that if the site changes over in the tab I’m on, I just won’t go back—in part because the images/ads on EHD tend to make it a long load… Read more »

Feeling Silly
2 years ago
Reply to  Feeling Silly

Oh dear. *their end!

2 years ago
Reply to  Feeling Silly

Hey, I’m just a commenter but I wanted to respond to you anyway. Websites and the people who run them absolutely want consistency of behavior bc that is considered a benchmark for “is this website well designed?” So, I think it’s good that you let them know something is wonky. They still may not be able to do anything about it – sometimes you just can’t find the reason why a website is being weird for the longest time and your eventually have to do your other work. (My husband is a programmer who mostly works on backend stuff that readers or the internet never see, but years ago he started as a website designer then specialized in content management systems. It was crazy how often weirdness would poop up for this or that browser and there’s just no answer for why, even if he contacted support for the programs he was using.) That said, all is not lost for you. There is a way to force links to open in a new tab with every browser. It will matter what browser & OS you use, but if you do a websearch for “how to force links to open in… Read more »

2 years ago
Reply to  DeniseGK

Well, that is a lot of typos. Sorry for the difficulty in communicating. Enjoy that one that is funny!

2 years ago

Walgreens currently has a sale on ceramic photo coasters, $15 for a set of four. I designed Pantone style color chips for my friends with their favorite colors and quirky names and numbers, they turned out super cute and personal for cheap!

2 years ago

I love personalized gifts!

Side note, as an artist that paints house and pet portraits, most of us have hard deadlines that are coming up soon (mine is Saturday!). So if anyone is wanting to get these as gifts, make sure you order early!!