Low Cost High Touch Gift Ideas
If your bank balance forces you to be budget-conscious - don't despair! You can always compensate with a gift that is thoughtful and personalized!
These are also great gifts for those who have everything. You can be pretty sure they'll appreciate these.
You can use sites like zazzle or snapfish or even your local walmart or walgreens to create many of these inexpensive gifts. The key idea is NOT to do anything too sentimental and to keep it light and funny. Well sentimental is okay if the person you're giving it to appreciates that kind of stuff!
I have tried each and every one of the ideas below and my friends remember them (some even ten years later!)
- Coffee/Travel mugs - there are several different ways to personalized coffee mugs - special paint, markers or you can even buy the travel mugs that allow you to insert a piece of paper and then seal it. However you choose to do it, just add phrases, nick names, special places or favorite foods or TV shows. Add some graphics or icons and voila! A mug that they will cherish.
- Alphabet Poem - if you are creative with words, this always wins. Create a poem where each line begins with a letter of the recipient's name. Print it out on nice stock paper, with a photo of the two of you and then stick in a pre-matted frame. My friend cried when I did this for her and it still holds a special place in her living room.
- Witty Mouse pads - find a funny photograph and then edit it in Paint or Photoshop if necessary by adding 'elements' (horns, tail, you get the idea). Add a caption.
- Photo Slide Show - You can use a number of sites online to create a beautiful photo slideshow - smilebox is just one of them. It has some beautiful templates and music as well. Just upload your photos (select a theme), add captions and hit send.
- Wishes Website - you don't have to be creative for this one nor do you have to be a programmer - just use a free website creator like freewebs. This takes a little pre-planning though so start it a few weeks in advance though people will not respond unless you give them a deadline. Just send out an email to all your friends and ask them for a special message or special memory. If this is for a holiday message it could be "what this holiday means to me" or "my funniest memory of this holiday is..." If it is for someone's b'day, you could just ask them to write a special message for the person. Then you basically copy and paste the messages into the website and send the person the link. A variation on this theme - copy and paste the messages into a power point show, get a projector and present it live to your intended audience with mood music. There's often not a dry eye in the house (and I'm referring to men as well!)
- A Photobook - create a beautiful glossy coffee table book of your favorite photos of your friend and yourself. Add favorite quotes or other images to places you traveled to, plays or movies you've seen, logos of favorite coffee shops etc. You can build one fairly easily through photosites like zazzle, walmart, walgreens or cvs.
- Cookies - everyone always appreciates something made with love. And if you can't make it with love, buy some high quality cookies and stick a nice note on them.
- Gift Basket - with mini versions of the recipient's favorite things (a bars of dark chocolate, a single serving of premium coffee etc).
- Magazine Subscription - Ok I admit this is not very creative but for under $15 you can give someone a gift that keeps on giving throughout the year. Try to choose magazines that aren't easy to find in your local drug store (example - for techy guys you could choose Wired, Fast Company, Technology Review)
- A plant - this may not work depending on where you live but an unusual plant in a beautiful pot can make a nice gift for those with a green thumb. Be sure to stick a sweet message or a quote that goes with the plant and or the recipient's personality
Remember, the best gifts are not always those that cost the most but those that are given with much "heart"!