The best gifts I’ve ever given, or received, have been the really personal, meaningful ones: My A necklace after my son was born, the custom ornament of my husband’s childhood home, the photo books we put together each year for the grandparents. They’re things we’ll have forever, or wear every day. Today, I wanted to take a moment to round up some of my favorite personalized and sentimental gift ideas.
From family portraits to ways to commemorate family recipes to ways to turn a child’s drawing into a tangible gift and more! These gifts are perfect for parents, grandparents, best friends and any of those extra sentimental folks in your life. Several of these are items I own or have gifted, and almost every single item is from a small business!
Sentimental Jewelry Gifts
Sentimental jewelry is something I wear every day. Pieces inspired by loved ones or big life events quickly become family heirlooms that are passed down for generations.
Birth Flower Necklace
Another unique take on a gift for a new parent, a birth flower necklace! The tiniest pressed flowers in the most beautiful brass pendant.
Sentimental Book Locket
This locket can be engraved with an initial, a note and even tiny family photos. A very sweet gift for a bookworm or homebody in your life!
This is an item I wear every day. These necklaces are simple, delicate and beautiful. Great for a new mom or grandma. And you can send them back to add additional initials if and when your family grows.
Birthstone Stacking Rings
These birthstone rings are so simple and delicate. They would be perfect for anyone who has a “stack” of rings/bands they add to for meaningful life events.
Morse Code Rings
I love the idea of an important date, initial or name being commemorated in a unique way, like these morse code rings. It’s a great, new alternative to a monogram or birthstone.
Custom Mom & Me or Friendship Bracelets
How sweet would mom & me friendship bracelets be for a mom and daughter duo in your life? You can completely customize the colors, size and personalization.
Important Date Calendar Charm
Commemorate a birthdate, anniversary date or other important day in someone’s life with these keepsake calendar charms.
Sentimental Gifts That Preserve A Family Recipe or Letter
Family recipes and letters can now be memorialized forever on a piece to use in your kitchen or home.
Family Recipe Pie Plate
Have a cherished family recipe in your family? This would be the perfect way to commemorate it. This shop has all sorts of ceramic dishes and will print the handwritten recipe right on it! This is something I see being passed down for generations, just like the recipe on it. 😉
Engraved Family Recipe Cutting Board
For the sentimental entertainer in your family, have a handwritten family recipe custom engraved into a cutting board! They can set it out at every gathering as a cheeseboard and it will be the perfect conversation piece.
Custom Handwritten Letter Blanket
If you ever found any old family letters, perhaps from someone who has passed, this custom letter blanket is an incredible way to commemorate their words.
Handwritten Leather Key Fob
A sentimental gift perfect for someone who recently lost a loved one: have their signature or a short note engraved on a leather key fob to always keep with them!
Children’s Drawings Turned Gifts
There are so many parents out there that love kid art, I’m one of them! These gifts turn children’s drawings into gift items to treasure.
Child’s Drawing Ornament
There couldn’t be a sweeter gift for grandparents than a child’s drawing turned ornament for their tree!
Child’s Handwriting Sweatshirt
This is a perfect gift for dads. A child’s handwriting embroidered on a sweatshirt! You can choose a hoodie or a crew neck style, and from a number of colors!
Plate with Child’s Drawing
Such a sweet gift for a parent, aunt, uncle or grandparent, a plate with a child’s drawing on it. Makes such a sweet and sentimental gift that you know they’ll keep forever.
Necklace from Child’s Drawing
For the sentimental kid-art loving parent, a necklace made from a child’s drawing!
Sentimental Portrait Gift Ideas
Whether it’s a portrait of a family home, or the family themselves, sentimental art gifts will last generations.
Custom House Ornament
One of my favorite sentimental gifts I’ve ever given is the custom house ornament I had made of my husband’s childhood home.
Custom Ceramic Platter
For newlyweds or parents celebrating an important anniversary, one of these custom platters would become an instant family heirloom.
Freehand Embroidered Family Portrait
One of my most cherished positions is the freehand embroidered portrait Michael Birch-Pierce did of our son. Freehand! On a sewing machine! The talent.
Custom Watercolor House Portrait
If you know someone who moved into a new home recently, how perfect would this be? Same goes for someone who especially cherishes their childhood or family home. The watercolor style is stunning.
Custom Black & White Portrait
This unique portrait artist asks you to submit a variety of things a person loves, and creates a black and white sketch of the person as represented by their favorite things!
Custom Photo Gifts
Photo gifts are the biggest hit with grandparents and parents.
Personalized Photo Books
We make personalized photo books for the grandparents every year. This one makes it super simple because you can connect your Instagram and select photos from there, or simply upload from your camera roll!
Custom Photo Calendar (That turns into art prints!)
If you want to commemorate a family trip, special place (like Disneyland or a family lake house) or other sentimental memory, this custom photo calendar is a beautiful gift. The best part is, the photos are perforated and tear off to become art prints after the month is over!
Though Starters for Personalized and Sentimental Gifts
Here are a few questions to ask if you’re trying to figure out which of these are the perfect personalized gift for someone on your list:
- Is there a specific photo they love of someone close to them or someone who has passed? Turn it into a freehand stitched portrait!
- Do they love to cook or bake? Is there a family recipe they’re “famous” for? Engrave it on a cutting board!
- Is there a past home (or other building, like a local restaurant or family shop) that they always talk about? Have it memorialized in ornament, or painting, form!
- Are they a new parent? Give a gift with the child’s initial or birth stone.
- Do they always have their children’s art displayed on the fridge or in their office? Turn a favorite piece into a coin dish!
- Do they have a pet they cherish? Have a magnet made of their cute furry friend!
Photos by Jeff Mindell
Understandably, custom gifts can have quite a long lead time. Consider ordering as soon as possible. Or, if the shop can’t meat that Christmas deadline, wrap up a hint or preview of the gift instead! Gifts like these are always worth the wait.
Is there another sentimental gift you’ve given or received that was extra special to you? Would love to hear it below!