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    38 Fun And Thoughtful Birthday Gift Ideas That Are All Under $20

    Just bookmark this list *now* because it's always someone's birthday.

    We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

    1. An air freshener featuring your lovely face. Hello, there's no better gift than that!

    air freshener featuring someone's face hanging on car mirror

    Get a set of three from Firebox for $19.99 (available in 10 scents).

    2. A celestial-inspired journal featuring gorgeous gold-foil detailing for keeping their thoughts, to-do's, and dates in one stunning place.,

    Promising review: "This journal is wonderful. The pages are lined with a golden sheen and the cover shimmers as well. The pages are very thick which has both pros and cons. The main pro is that your ink WILL NOT show through to the other pages even if you write on the front and the back of each page, assuming you're using an average pen. The main con is that because the pages are so thick the journal won't last as long as one with thin pages. I've been writing in it once daily for about a month now and it's already about a quarter of the way filled. The pages are also a nice cream color with very thin, light lines on each so they don't stand out too much. I will definitely buy another one in a new color when this one runs out. The price is great for what you get; I would suggest it to anyone looking for a unique journal." —Kiersten Hurst

    Get the blue cover journal or the black cover from Amazon for $11.69.

    3. And! A ticket stub diary to organize the piles and piles of tickets they have stored in a shoebox under their bed. Now they can easily flip through and see all of the things they've done!

    the diary opened to reveal different ticket stubs

    Promising review: "My kids have been lucky enough to attend more than a few great events together; I know they save those ticket stubs, and they were so thrilled when they opened their gift on Christmas Day. 'We were just talking about saving our ticket stubs in a box, Mom! This is so cool!'" —Mom of Adult Boys

    Get it from UncommonGoods for $14.

    4. A mug with a lil' animal figurine at the bottom so once they're finished with their hot beverage, there's a sweet surprise waiting for them.

    stack of mugs with different animals at the bottom of each

    Promising review: "I served coffee to my daughter in it on her birthday morning, and it was amazing to see her face when the hedgehog was unveiled. She loved it." —David Jimenez

    Get it from Amazon for $15.98 (available in 19 animals).

    5. A dainty layered necklace so they always have a go-to, simplistic piece of jewelry to rely on. Honestly, it's so cute they probably don't need to own any other necklaces!

    model wearing the layered necklace

    Promising review: "Super adorable! Very versatile. I love the simplicity and delicacy. I love the hammered detail of the larger heart. This could be worn with MANY different outfits and MANY occasions." —The Ordinary Girl

    Get it from Amazon for $12.99 (available in 13 styles).

    6. Tequila Mockingbird — an incredibly fun cocktail recipe book for the friend who's obsessed with fine literature and even finer cocktails.,

    Promising review: "Love the recipes, and the variety: simple, complex, sweet, tart, bitter etc. The literary puns were spot-on, and I liked the idea that the drink could match both the themes at work in the story, and sometimes even the literary criticism surrounding the novel. The suggested games at the end were very funny, and the illustrations also added to the whole presentation." —Spilt Over

    Get it from Amazon for $7.39.

    7. An actually affordable jar humidor to maintain their small cigar collection at peak freshness.

    reviewer image of cigars stored in the jar humidor

    Promising review: "With the addition of Boveda humidity packs, this brilliant and versatile humidifier is my new favorite. I re-calibrated my hydrometer and popped it in this with a Bovida 69% humidity pack and it is spot-on. My temperature is pretty solid in the space where I keep my cigars and I have not seen any major swings in humidity. It's simple, useful, and a fantastic investment for keeping several cigars 'at the ready'." —bearto

    Get it from Amazon for $12.58.

    8. Multichrome nail polish that shifts colors based on the angle. In other words, it's the coolest $10 gift out there.

    model holding the nail polish bottle with shiny iridescent blue nails

    Promising review: "This color is amazing. People stop me all the time wanting to know which salon I went to. They always think it's gel too. I have tried it over black nail polish and it does last longer and I've tried it with just two coats and it's still beautiful." —England86

    Get it from Amazon for $10.

    9. A tarot card set for beginners that'll give them a fun new hobby to pour their attention into.

    reviewer image of the tarot card set spread out on table

    The essentials set comes with a 78-card deck and a book that explains the fortune telling elements of each card.

    Promising review: "I purchased this for one of my teenagers a year ago. Honestly, this is ideally suited for a rookie. It gives the beginner an idea of tarot cards in general. It's an affordable and nice starter set. Don't get me wrong...this kit is appropriate for beginners and seasoned souls. I only mean if you're looking for an introductory set this one is great. My 16-year-old loves it." —Oregonians

    Get it from Amazon for $16.19.

    10. A DIY bath bomb kit because the best gifts let them create something really pretty...and then use it to relax.,

    Promising review:"I bought this to make bath bombs for my co-workers for Christmas. It is the PERFECT SET! It includes everything you need (supplies) to make homemade bath bombs! Labels, wraps and the molds are excellent quality! There is also a little guide book to give you ideas for recipes! If you’re reading reviews trying to figure out wether you should go with this company or not, my vote is YES! Perfectly priced, (I honestly can’t believe they don’t charge more) HIGH quality supplies!" —Pampered Herbs

    Get it from Amazon for $19.99.

    11. Or if they're more into crafty things, a calligraphy how-to book for newbies. Just think of how pretty their thank you card to you will be!

    cover of "A Beginner's Guide to Lettering and Modern Calligraphy"

    Promising review: "I LOVE this book!! I’ve wanted to improve my penmanship and learn modern calligraphy and lettering for a looooong time. I thought I’d give this book a try and I’m so confident in my lettering now. I’m excited to create my own projects and show off my new skills!!" —KHenderson

    Get it from Amazon for $5.85, and don't forget to grab a calligraphy brush pen for $6.65.

    12. A coffee subscription box so they can drink coffee from countries around the world even if they haven't bean there before., Emmy Favilla / BuzzFeed

    Atlas Coffee Club delivers you fresh coffee from all over the world! You can purchase individual bags to sample (though some are only available with a subscription), or sign up for the delivery service so you can receive different bags biweekly or monthly. And because Atlas Coffee Club doesn't mess around, they offer coffee from over 50+ countries! Hello, good morning!!!

    Get it from Atlas Coffee Club starting at $9 per month (certain bags available for individual purchase).

    Read BuzzFeed's complete review on this subscription service.

    13. If coffee isn't their ~cup of tea~, then an actual loose tea subscription box that'll satisfy any tea-lover's cravings with a variety of new options to try each month.

    Every month they receive three-four premium teas, and the first month's box includes a tea infuser.

    Promising review: "I'm so glad I ordered this! I got four delicious varieties and I can't wait for my next batch! Their Instagram is adorable too." —Sarah F.

    Get it from Cratejoy for $9+/month.

    14. A gemstone pin to match their birthday month *and* add a cool pop of color to their best denim jacket.

    product shot of different pins shaped like gem stones
    Alphabet Bags / Etsy

    Promising review: "The product is amazing. Just as you'd expect from the pictures! (2) The branding and packaging is equally as professional and personal! I bought this for myself but it truly made me want to buy one for every birthday I have coming up." —Kathryn Tyson

    Get it from Alphabet Bags on Etsy for $10.70 (available in all birth months).

    15. Spicy honey you better bee-lieve they can smother on all their favorite foods since it tastes amazing with everything. When in doubt, always gift delicious condiments.


    Promising Review: "Saw this on a Food Network show and decided to try! LOVE IT! Great honey taste with just a bit of heat at the end. My husband loves 'hot' foods and even grows his own peppers to put on anything. He really likes this on his French toast and I like it with peanut butter. However, I just made baked beans and added a tablespoon of Mike's Hot in addition to the brown sugar (reduced amount) and they were the BEST baked beans ever!" —Ritakc

    Get it from Amazon for $8.99.

    Read our full review of Mike's Hot Honey.

    16. A variety pack of sheet masks that'll hydrate, tighten, and brighten their skin while forcing them to enjoy some dang R & R for once.

    the different masks laid out

    Promising review: I love the variety in this package! I shared them with my family, all of whom have different skin care needs and so this was perfect! I used the hydrating masks and they left my skin feeling wonderful." —Jennifer Lee

    Get a 15-pack from Amazon for $16.97.

    17. AND, a silk eye mask set with a removable gel insert and refillable pouch they can fill with lavender or flax seed.

    reviewer photo of they eye mask and inserts removed

    Promising review: "I have tried many different eye masks and pillows and combinations with the gel mask and was still looking for the right one. This one has all the features I wanted. I love the silk, it's the only way to go because it's natural and breaths nicely and stays cool to the touch and lightweight. The ability to change the inside bag with various things and adjust the weight is another awesome feature. But one step further and this definitely tipped the scale, if you put the gel eye mask in the fridge/freezer for a couple of minutes and then remove the muslin sack from the eye pouch, you can put the gel mask in the silk eye patch for a fabulous cooling sleep eye mask. The band on the back is soft and easy to adjust as well." —Colleen Myers

    Get it from Amazon for $16.95.

    18. A non-stick pizza and pastry prep mat, because there is not a soul in the world who doesn't love pizza, and therefore, would not want this mat.

    pizza mat

    Promising review: "I've never used a mat for baking before but I'm never looking back now. This is a nice solid silicone, while remaining completely flexible. I love that it is super big so I can keep everything contained too. Cleanup is a breeze, everything wipes right off. I have a marble countertop and this mat stays exactly where it put it like glue. It has all the measuring equivalents right on the mat, no more googling with floury fingers. I can lift the mat to slide the shell right into the pan, no sticking. All around great purchase!!" —Kathy Henninger

    Get it from Amazon for $16.95+ (available in two sizes).

    19. A pillow cover based off of The Office they'll love more than bears, beets, and Battlestar Galactica combined!

    pillow cover that says "Dwight, you ignorant slut"

    I will never stop putting this in gift posts! For one, I have this in my apartment and it never fails to start conversation. The fabric is great quality and has held up incredibly well. TL;DR: this is the best thing you could ever spend $8 on.

    Get it from Amazon for $8.99.

    Psst! The pillow insert is *not* included, but you can get one from Amazon for $8.49. I have this exact pillow insert and cover and I can confirm: It's all great quality.

    20. A large sideways initial necklace they can pair with literally any outfit for a dainty but statement-making accent. I don't know how those two things go so well together, but they do.


    Promising review: "This necklace is more pretty in person. I love the large size of the letter pendant, chain length, and how it's attached to the chain to give it a offset angle once you put it on. It looks really trendy and personalized once you match it with a cute outfit." —Erin Delancy

    Get it from Amazon for $8.99 (available in every letter in the alphabet).

    21. A super helpful book that covers practically everything home-related. If they own a home, rent an apartment, or are in the market to buy, then no need to look any further for a suitable gift!

    cover of "Home Comforts"
    Rachel Miller / BuzzFeed

    Seriously, this book is amazing! Read a BuzzFeeder's full review on Home Comforts here.

    Promising review: "From age-old advice to updated, improved information on everything home related, this book is a gem. It's practical, easy to read, interesting and detailed. I first borrowed it from the library and then realized we needed it on our bookshelf. My husband refers to it as well, as the seasons turn and home care varies from winter to summer. There has been an unexpected additional benefit to this book: We appreciate our house, our possessions and our domestic time together even more." —Cozy Cottage

    Get it from Amazon for $15.53.

    22. And! A deck of encouragement cards so they can leave themselves (or others) sweet life reminders. There's even space on the back for personal messages!

    different cards with illustrations and kind messages laid out

    Promising review: "I LOVE these little cards! I’m old school and actually handwrite letters, cards, and notes. I love adding one of these in them for a pop of color and as a keepsake. These are great to put in my lunchbox too as a pick-me-up during a hard week. Also super fun to leave for your servers or strangers. A little kindness goes a long way!" —Abby B.

    Get it from Amazon for $9.95 (available in three other categories).

    23. An initial wax stamp for anyone in your life who still loves to send letters — which should be all of us, people! *Chants* bring back the joy of snail mail!

    Sweet Zakka House / Etsy

    Get it from Sweet Zakka House on Etsy for $12.95+ (available in two styles and all letters).

    This Etsy listing also has the option to add wax and make it a kit, or you can get wax from Amazon for $10.09.

    24. A Rick and Morty card game even cranky Rick would approve of. Game nights just got a whole lot better.

    reviewer image of the Rick and Morty card game

    Promising review: "I've played a lot of board games and card games; a favorite is Cards Against Humanity in our house. After 15 minutes of play I feel this game will be another favorite. It's simple enough to learn in 10 minutes yet complex enough to keep advanced players on their toes. I was surprised at the complexity of the rules, to be honest, and the fact there are two versions (standard and advanced) allows you to tailor the experience depending on the players. Also it is very small so it's easy to take with you. A worthwhile purchase if you like board/card games, even if you don't like Rick and Morty. Recommended." —Geoff C.

    Get it from Amazon for $9.19 (also available in a board game).

    25. A pair of trusty headphones you can *cough cough* give to to the headphone thief in your life.


    Promising review: "Compared to MANY other earbuds that I've had that cost $75, $100, $150, these sound as good as any of them. I'm astounded! I use these for running, and I've attached them to my sunglasses along with my iPod Shuffle. I figured for $8, I could afford to sweat up a few of these and replace them whenever I needed to. I'VE RUN 1,500 MILES WITH THESE in the last year and a half! I've gone through four pairs of New Balance shoes, two iPod Shuffles, three pairs of sunglasses, and am on the SAME set of earbuds! And, THEY STILL SOUND GREAT!" —Gene Goodell

    Get them from Amazon for $9.17+ (available in 15 colors, and with or without a mic).

    See BuzzFeed's full write-up of these headphones.

    26. A sweet fill-in-the-blank book that'll straight up tell 'em exactly why you love them! The pages have enough blank space for you to write additional messages and add photos.

    reviewer pic of the fill-in-the-blank book

    Promising review: "For Christmas, I wanted something personal for my boyfriend. Sometimes I feel like there isn't enough time to show your appreciation for the one you love. After doing some researching, I decided on this fill-in-the-blank book. Some of the questions were a bit goofy and a laugh for us both but I loved being able to fill out and answer the questions. It was a gift that he definitely will remember and it made my day to see how much he appreciated hearing all the things I love about him!" —Jenna G.

    Get it from Amazon for $9.70.

    27. A set of Africa stud earrings made of resin and 24K gold flakes for some seriously special charm your jewelry collection will adore.

    Mercia Moore

    Mercia Moore is a Black woman-owned business creating stunning pieces with epoxy resin and acrylics. Be sure to check out the rest of her incredible pieces inspired by people of color and her heritage.

    Get them from Mercia Moore for $15 (available in three colors).

    28. And in the theme of hydration, a The Golden Girls water bottle. Let Sophia hold them accountable to keep up their water intake. Thanks, Sophia!

    water bottle with "The Golden Girls'" face and text that says "Golden since '85"

    Get it from Toynk for $19.99.

    29. A gorgeous set of tapestries for that person who knows the lunar phases like the back of their hand and swears Mercury is in retrograde.

    tarot tapestries of a star, earth, the moon hung on a wall

    Promising review: "VERY impressed with the material quality. Its really thick and sturdy with solid grommets and comes with everything you need to put up immediately." —Tara

    Get it from Amazon for $13.91+ (available in three sizes).

    30. ChocoVine — a chocolate wine (!!!) that combines the best of both worlds: A full-bodied French cabernet and premium Dutch chocolate, creating possibly the best drink ever. Tell them you're coming over for a glass, duh.

    Bottle of ChocoVine next to a wine glass filled with the chocolate wine drink

    Psst! This is available through the alcohol delivery service, Drizly. There you can choose from a huge range of alcohol and have it delivered to their house in ONE HOUR. My dad loves sending me gifts through this service, so be sure to take advantage of it this for any last minute birthday gifts. It's the easiest, most hassle-free way to gift amazing spirits, even if your person is on the other side of the country. *See the list of participating cities here.

    Send a gift through Drizly here and get ChocoVine for $10.99+.

    31. A sparkly eye shadow because birthday stars deserve all the sparkly things. This silky formula glides on to create a glittery sheen and the sets to stay there. No creasing here, folks.


    Promising review: "A beautiful, sheer shimmery tint for eyes that adds some brightness but looks really natural. The products and customer service have been amazing. Do not hesitate to try it, it does not disappoint!!" —Kerry

    Get it from Glossier for $18 (available in six shades).

    32. An absolutely gorgeous eyeshadow palette (what's prettier, the packaging or the colors?!) with 18 super pigmented shimmery and matte shades thats proves you don't need to drop $100 to gift them the perfect palette.


    Promising review: "I was super excited to get this palette and it did not disappoint. Super pigmented colors that all go gorgeous together. I think 'Need' and 'Haus' are my two favorites of the set, but really, they’re all beautiful." —Catherine

    Get it from ColourPop for $14.

    33. A can filled with gummies for the friend who could simply not enough sweet and sour treats if they tried. This is the ~sweetest~ gift you could give them, good job.

    Pucker Up paint can filled with different sour gummies

    Get it from Dylan's Candy Bar for $17.

    34. Legendary Ladies — an empowering book filled with GORGEOUS illustrations of 50 legendary goddesses and a brief description of why they are so extraordinary.


    Promising review: "Ann always smashes it with her illustrations. This book is packed with heart and soul. It's perfect if you are looking for a coffee table book with summarized information on goddesses from different areas of the world. It even gives you tips on channeling each goddess; I think that is my favorite detail. Incredible follow up to Bad Girls. She's a great artist to look up to." —Cherie Adan

    Get it from Amazon for $17.96.

    35. A stretchy bracelet set with layers of jewels, rhinestones, metallic, and stone beads they can mix and match, or where all of them as is. Basically what I am saying here is they'll have options on options!


    Promising review: "The bracelet itself is made up of a large stack of different smaller bracelets. You can wear all of them, one of them, or whatever number you might want to wear for the day. For the money, I was very very pleased with this purchase and will probably purchase more. I give this purchase an A+" —marciakm

    Get it from Amazon for $15.99 (available in two sizes and 34 color sets).

    36. A face mask refreshing spray to give their worn-in face mask a scent boost when washing it daily just isn't in the cards for the week.

    person holding spray near a face mask
    Bespoke Post

    The spray is made with grapefruit and lavender essential oils.

    Get it from Bespoke Post for $13.

    37. A neon rainbow light that'll brighten up any rainy day — ok, at least inside the house.


    Promising review: "Beautiful rainbow that’s the perfect size. I love that you can plug it into a USB cord AND/OR you can use batteries. Yay! So easy to use and it gives off just the right amount of light. It’s very well made and I plan to purchase more." —Suzie

    Get it from Amazon for $17.98+ (available in five styles).

    38. Shake & Shot face masks — their new fun way to enjoy some much needed R&R. These rubbery modeling masks form to the face and deliver a dose of hydration their skin will be thankful for during dry winter months.

    Dr. Jart+ smoothie masks

    Promising review: "The consistency of these masks is awesome. The cool rubber really feels luxurious. Making it felt a little stressful because I didn’t want it to harden so I had to move fast. The leftover product takes a bit to absorb after you remove it but that’s alright. Really loved this product and I can’t wait to try the other ones." —steffskii

    Get it from Sephora for $12 (available in six mask types).

    Actual footage of them opening your gift:


    Reviews have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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