Was there any greater joy as a child than a present personalized with your name? Whether a custom keychain or an initial-emblazoned backpack, these items were special because they were really, truly yours — created for you by those who knew you best.
This year, relive that excitement through customized treasures that take one-of-a-kind gifting one thoughtful step further. Since your favorite song, scent, motivational message, ice cream flavor, or creative tool of choice can say more about you than the spelling of your name, we’ve looked beyond traditional inscriptions to suggest unexpected gift ideas that are sure to elicit that particular, familiar joy in any lucky recipient. After all, each one will be singular, surprising, and really, truly theirs.
Make a music lover’s day with a sound wave necklace inspired by a meaningful song or saying (FioreJewellery, $48 and up). Just submit the audio file of your choosing to shop owner Didi, who forges each piece by hand. Buy it here.
Add to a flourishing artist’s toolbox with a set of colorful wax crayons that spell out his or her name (MySilverPenguin, $6 for seven). Buy it here.
Pay homage to beloved pets by allowing Argentina’s Ximena Carreira to hand-paint their portraits on egg-shaped wooden ornaments (zime, $45). Buy it here.
For cyclists, a personalized leather carrying handle that makes easy work of wielding your wheels (viveo, $24.50). Buy it here.
Give a special gardener a planter in the shape of his or her initial, crafted from reclaimed wood and customized in dozens of colors (RootedInSucculents, $49 for a DIY version or $109 fully planted). Buy it here.
(Almost) too sweet to eat: Present a dessert devotee with a custom cookie cutter 3D-printed in his or her likeness (Copypastry, $29). Buy it here.
For the rapacious reader who always has her nose in a book, a handsome leather page marker bearing her initials (VantlerLeather, $9). Buy it here.
Present an avid traveler with a heartfelt reminder of home — or a favorite destination (FinchandCotter, $38). Buy it here.
For shutterbugs, commission a tiny polymer clay Nikon D90, Leica M8, or Canon 5D Mk III camera charm showcasing a photo of your choice (Tyndall’s Polymerclay, $16 and up); dozens of models are available and can be fashioned into necklaces, keychains, bookmarks or other irresistible accessories. Buy it here.
Commemorate a friend’s writerly wisdom with a journal designed to hold highest hopes, deepest dreams, and most far-fetched fantasies (zany, $22). Buy it here.
From lavender to lemongrass, patchouli to peppermint, treat your favorite spa-goer to a custom blend of up to five essential oils (ComfortByChristine, $20). Buy it here.
These hand-crocheted cozies can be stitched with any name, daily reminder, or delightfully silly slogan you like (MillieandUbu, $10). Buy it here.
Guarantee sweet dreams for ice cream enthusiasts with a handmade paper maché mobile, customized according to favorite flavors, colors, and cones (Jikits, $49). Buy it here.
Cheer on a devoted runner with hand-stamped motivational shoe tags to help maintain their momentum (SweetPeasStamping, $12). Buy it here.
A personalized guitar pick will encourage your favorite musician to play on, even when you’re not present (TheBeadPotCanterbury, $8). Buy it here.
Help budding adventurers catalog their travels with a sticker-friendly map; before it’s wrapped, add stars for the places you’ve visited together, then save the rest of the markers for dream trips to come (ChildrenInspire, $130). Buy it here.