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21 Last-Minute Gifts That Are Actually Thoughtful

Being gracious doesn't have to require $$$. The products in this post were updated in May 2018.

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1. Personalize their favorite drinks.,

You can customize their Cokes here. If they're more of a Jones soda person, then you can personalize that too right here.

2. Personalize a cutting board for the family member who likes to cook.

The Art Of Doing Stuff

All you need are wax paper and a printer, and the possibilities are endless. See all steps here.


3. Create a typographical art piece with their favorite quotes.

5. Or if you've already taken one, hand-stitch that road trip and frame it.

For that craaazzy road trip you took with your BFF during the prime of your youth. Instructions here.


6. Bake them an overwhelmingly large mountain of their favorite foods.

Erica Cherup CC BY-ND, jpellgen CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Or take them to their favorite sweets/meats/cheese shop and let them splurge.

8. You can do this with lamps as well using a similar technique.

9. Make some coasters out of tiles.

You can pick up tiles from most home appliance stores, and other than that, you need nail polish remover, a spoon or knife, and a brush. For the photos, make sure they're printed with toner ink and not laser ink. See instructions here.


10. Agree to embark upon a new life-changing habit or project together.

If exercising was a goal of theirs, then perhaps make a pact to run with them every week or sign up for that hip-hop class they were interested in. Learn to knit together. Get better at photography together. Make better arguments by testing them out on each other. Anything!

13. Or make some Scrabble coasters that preserve your best inside jokes.

Gourmet Gab

You'll need Scrabble tiles, glue, spray, and a thin cork board (although you could probably do without it as well). Instructions here.


15. Store some memories in a jar using OLIVE OIL.

Goods Home Design / Via

OK, well olive oil can be pretty expensive so use whatever liquid you want (but probably experiment first to see what erodes the picture and what doesn't). See more here.

16. Also, it never hurts to make giant jars of light for friends who really love twinkle lights.

Design Mom

You can actually drill a hole through jars, safely! You should pour cool water over the jar as you drill. Instructions here.

17. And while this may seem like a way to skimp on gift giving, write them a well-thought-out letter.

Shannon Brown / Via

However you want to do this (either write one letter or write multiple letters for them to open throughout the year), it will absolutely mean a lot to them in the long run.


18. Construct a personal zen garden that'll help them de-stress whenever.

19. While there's the classic Sharpie on a mug option, here's a unique watercolor method to decorate mugs.

Down A Little Lane, Audra Kurtz

The only thing you need is nail polish! Watch the tutorial here. And for the Sharpie method, see details here.

21. Cleverly disguise messages in some fortune cookies.

Just A Taste

You can put quotes, affectionate thoughts, or types of activities you plan on doing with them in the future. See how to make these here.