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For the holidays, we’ve updated this guide with a rugged tool tote, an initial ring, and a hometown jigsaw puzzle. Flat Bill Baseball Cap
The thrill of having one’s name emblazoned on a unique possession isn’t reserved only for 7-year-olds scoring mini license plates—everyone feels special unwrapping a gift created specifically for them. In that spirit, we’ve collected our favorite personalized gifts, many of which are customizable versions of Wirecutter picks. Whether you want to have a gift monogrammed, custom-made, or personalized in another way, these gifts will show the recipient that you care deeply for them.
Made of rip-resistant and water-repellent fabric, this rugged six-pocket tool bag accommodates up to two lines of text.
Constructed of poke-, rip-, and waterproof polyester in Carhartt’s signature sienna, the Carhartt Foundry Series Embroidered Tool Tote is a great light-duty carryall for the handyperson you love. (If your gift recipient heads to a worksite every day, they’ll probably want something more rugged.) This bag, outfitted with six interior loops and six exterior pockets, is excellent for home projects. For the two lines of personalization, you could go with traditional monogramming, but if your craftsperson rolls their eyes at formality, a tongue-in-cheek nickname or inside joke might be in order.
Choose up to three sans serif characters on an understated ring, available in recycled yellow, white, or rose gold.
Simple, stackable, and just plain lovely, the 14-karat Automic Gold Custom Letter Ring is handmade from yellow, white, or rose gold recycled from discarded electronics and jewelry. Up to three custom characters are fused together on the thin band, forming a personalized tribute. Consider one’s monogram, the initials of their children, or the first initial of their pet. Automic sends ring sizers for free, but if you don’t want to tip off your gift recipient, the company resizes custom pieces for a nominal fee.
Enter any US address, and this company creates a 400-piece jigsaw-puzzle map with the address at its center.
Friends brimming with hometown pride or nostalgia might appreciate Map Marketing’s My Hometown Personalized Puzzle. The image on this custom-printed 400-piece puzzle covers 7.5 miles east–west by 5 miles north–south around a US address. When the puzzle arrives, don’t be alarmed by the box’s generic map image; included inside the box is a folded, full-color map, so puzzle-solvers have something to follow. Note to anyone lucky enough to live near a big body of water: It will have a lot of extra-challenging solid blue.
This vintage-style stamp lets coop owners personalize their eggs before giving them away. Mastering a smudge-free application takes some practice.
We first realized that chickens were hot when our article on raising chickens went gangbusters back in the early days of the pandemic. If someone on your list is the steward of a brood, World of Jay Design’s Personalized Vintage Egg Stamp, available on Zazzle, will surprise and delight. We like this vintage-style version, which you can customize with your pal’s name or their farm’s moniker. Getting the hang of stamping a spherical object takes a little practice—but once they nail it, they’ll never want to distribute a dozen without the stamps.
You can customize this lovely and affordable hardback notebook with details such as monogramming and cover colors.
This custom beauty from Papier isn’t one of our picks in our guide to the best notebooks, but it sparks joy in a variety of meaningful ways. The Papier Hardback Notebook offers a two-tone cover (available in several color combos) and monogramming at the top (in multiple colors, fonts, and sizes), so you can craft the right vibe for whoever is on your list. And with its 96 pages of lined, plain, or bullet-dotted paper, they’ll have plenty of creative space to draft the perfect thank-you note, with no ink feathering or page bleed-through.
These well-fitting six-panel caps come in three sizes and offer tons of customization options (colors, fonts, images) in a straightforward interface.
Embroidering a baseball cap elevates it from sun shield and dirty-hair disguiser to style statement. Staff writer Dorie Chevlen has given and received great VistaPrint hats, which are high-quality and surprisingly affordable. Encompassing more than 10 hat colors, nearly 50 choices for embroidery thread, and dozens of fonts and text sizes, the options on VistaPrint’s Flexfit 6-Panel Baseball Cap are almost overwhelming.
This handsome leather clutch, available in two colors, is a great size and shape, plus it can sport a monogram with up to eight characters in 11 different colors.
Beloved by several Wirecutter staffers, Madewell’s The Pouch Clutch works as its own handheld accessory or as an organizer tucked into a larger purse or tote bag. The soft leather wears impressively, and inside, your giftee will find card slots and a snap-close pouch for coins or earbuds. The clutch is consistently available in two versatile neutral shades. To personalize it, you can select between large and small fonts in 11 different colors and up to eight characters. Madewell’s larger custom leather goods are great options if you think your gift recipient would prefer a cross-body purse, a tote, or an overnight bag.
People who have everything don’t always have cute custom napkins. This 50-pack comes in nine colors and a variety of design and typeface options.
Wirecutter supervising editor Hannah Morrill first spotted these at a pal’s house in Miami, where a can of La Croix felt luxurious served atop a conch-shell-and-surname-embossed napkin. Though the website looks a little industrial, American Stationery’s DYO Color Beverage Napkins are notably absorbent, soft, and durable, and customizing them is a cinch. First, select the color of the napkin itself; then, choose the size, color, and font of the text. (Hannah’s friend chose white with orange ink.) Add a relevant “motif,” or clip art, and behold the impact of a simple pack of paper napkins.
The slim, protective, and affordable Gripmunk case is typically plain. But the Smartish Design Studio service offers plenty of ways to jazz it up.
A chilling truth: The average person looks at their phone about 300 times a day. (And the person who doesn’t probably lives a content life of solitude atop a mountain.) Enhance the experience of 21st-century connectivity with a tough and customizable case. The Smartish Gripmunk phone case is one of Wirecutter’s top-rated phone cases for protection against dings and scratches. And on the Smartish Design Studio site, you can easily personalize the Gripmunk for your recipient. Search by “Gripmunk,” select your phone model, and upload and crop your image. A custom phone case will be delivered in under a week. One cool upside: Unlike some printing companies, Smartish allows you to add images from pop culture, so you could add a still from a movie or a popular meme.
This comfortable, soft, sturdy apron offers an adjustable fit and monogram options.
Our top-rated apron makes a special gift when you embroider it with text (up to 10 characters) or initials (up to three characters) in several color options. Food words and phrases are welcome here: “Medium Rare” is timeless, and “Yes, Chef” has recently taken on an extra-sexy appeal. Or keep it simple with a word representing their favorite nosh, such as “Hoagie” or “Chili Crisp.” Of course, initials work, too. Whatever you choose, the Hedley & Bennett Crossback Apron, which offers long, adjustable straps, comes in sizes from XS to XL, and has a lifetime guarantee, is sure to be beloved.
These personalized art prints depict how the cosmos looked at a specific moment in time—for example, the day of a birth.
You know the day that matters most to your gift recipient: Maybe it was the day they were born, the day they married you, or even just the day they submitted the 400-page dissertation that earned them a PhD. Whatever it is, the Night Sky Museum Grade Print—depicting the stars aligned exactly as they were at that location on that date—is a beautiful gift for both its celestial image and the emotional resonance. The image is printed on museum-quality paper or stretched canvas with fade-resistant archival ink, and it’s available in several colors, plus a glow-in-the-dark option. You can also include the location, the date, and a personal message for the text underneath the constellation.
Printed with simple line-and-ink illustrations, these sturdy ceramic mugs offer cute depictions of a loved one’s likeness.
Your circle of family and friends undoubtedly includes a bunch of characters—so why not immortalize their cartoon likenesses with Uncommon Goods’s Personalized Family Mugs? Think of each mug as a ceramic homage that doubles as a vessel for delivering 15 ounces of one’s beverage of choice. Take advantage of Uncommon Goods’s myriad illustration templates—which span more than 40 characters, plus several skin tones, hair colors, and clothing accent colors—to design the perfect mug for your gift recipient. Reviewers love that this novelty gift is beautifully crafted and sparks joy with every sip.
Have a pet’s or person’s mug digitally printed on these polyester, spandex, and nylon socks. Just remember to size up: Snug socks can create distorted faces.
What could be more custom than a pair of socks featuring one’s own face—or, better yet, the face of someone they love? The answer is: not much. And to that end, DivvyUp is one of the easiest services to use. Upload an image of a beloved visage and then select a background color or print. A couple of weeks later, face socks will arrive on your gift recipient’s doorstep. Depending on the intended recipient, consider different mugs. A friend from work? Maybe it’s their particularly hilarious ID photo. A pal from high school? Use the yearbook photo they nearly forgot about. Your doggy co-parent? Fido, obviously. Made from a durable blend of polyester, nylon, and spandex, these socks are stretchy and soft, and they hold up well.
This timeless structured bag is made from durable, long-lasting canvas, and it’s available in multiple colors, sizes, and handle lengths.
The person on your list probably has one or two tote bags already, but they may not have one that’s unequivocally, without a doubt, theirs. For that, give them a tote with a monogram. The L.L.Bean Boat and Tote Open-Top is one of our favorites from testing, thanks to its heavy-duty cotton and tight stitching, which can withstand weights of up to 500 pounds (though we doubt that your gift recipient will ever need to haul that much). In addition to personalizing the bag with your loved one’s initials—or an ironic phrase—you can also customize the size (small, medium, large, or extra large), color (10 options, including deep mulberry and regatta blue), and handle length (regular or long). L.L.Bean now offers a fully monochromatic bag, too, on which the handles and the canvas body match—a particularly modern upgrade from the old-school contrast handles.
This vintage-style portrait offers a dignified depiction of your favorite furry (or non-furry) friend.
For people who put their pets on an emotional pedestal, Crown & Paw’s Custom Pet Canvas portraits can visually elevate an animal’s rank to royalty. Whether the pet is a pig, puppy, chicken, or cat, Crown & Paw can swiftly re-create a 19th-century or Renaissance-era portrait in their likeness. One Wirecutter staffer was deeply impressed with the quality of these prints, noting how well the image captured their dog’s goofiness and brindle coat.
Kids (and adults) can sip through their name with these colorful BPA-free and phthalate-free plastic straws.
For the kid who’s territorial over their beverages—or the adult who just needs a more whimsical way to hydrate—a straw that bends and curves to shape their name is a charming gift. You can customize the Krazy Straws Krazy Namesake Straw with the name of your gift recipient and choose from among several opaque and translucent colors. Unfortunately, cleaning the straw isn’t nearly as fun as drinking from it: Your loved one will need to wash it right after use, by running tap water through it end to end and soaking it in warm, soapy water.
Available in sterling silver or gold vermeil, these delicate birthstone bracelets can accommodate customization with up to six stones to commemorate important months.
DaniqueJewelry’s Minimalistic Birthstones Bracelets, available on Etsy, are pleasing in their simplicity, featuring a dainty silver or gold-filled chain of varying lengths to fit your gift recipient’s wrist size. Maybe you’ll select just one gem—your recipient’s birthstone, perhaps. Or, if you’re buying for a romantic partner, consider adding both of your birthstones. Staff writer Dorie Chevlen, one of the authors of this guide, has this bracelet with a blue topaz and a moonstone, which represent the birth months of her parents, plus a citrine gem for her three siblings (who, like her, were all born in November). She wears it whenever she needs a simple accessory or wants to feel connected to them.
Offered in a variety of straps, footbeds, and color combinations, these rugged sandals are almost endlessly customizable.
Durable and adorable, Chaco Custom Sandals are beloved for their ability to withstand rigorous outdoor activities while looking cute and staying comfortable. “I’ve worn my pair constantly since I received them, and I’ve gotten compliments,” said Wirecutter’s Rozette Rago. You can customize the straps, footbed, and soles of the Michigan-made sandals with photos, favorite phrases, embroidery, and myriad color combinations. Although Chaco sandals are renowned for their durability, the company also offers an inexpensive repair program for owners.
This beautifully simple leather bifold is a straightforward and—more important—functional wallet that isn’t as expensive as it looks and feels.
The Leatherology Thin Bifold Wallet, one of Wirecutter’s favorite slim wallets, has a subtly luxurious look and feel. (And it will stay with your gift recipient for a long time when you include a Bluetooth tracker, too.) Make this gift even more special by adding a foil-debossed monogram of up to four characters in gold, silver, or rose gold (the company also offers a colorless option). Plus, since you have many sophisticated leather colors to choose from, you can design a Leatherology wallet perfectly suited to your giftee’s taste.
Mixbook offers the best book-building experience, modern design options, and vibrant, color-accurate photo quality. It also offers great customer service and an impressively powerful app.
Mixbook, Wirecutter’s pick for the best photo-book service, is a great place to have custom photo books made year-round. But the holidays are the perfect time to curate special images into a gift that will keep memories alive forever. Whether you hope to give a photo book centered on a holiday theme or a past vacation—or even a book that’s just a compilation of older, scanned images—Mixbook’s easy-to-use design software offers tons of customization options. If you’re looking for more photo-gift inspiration, check out our guide to other personalized photo gifts we love.
These affordable custom note cards are printed on luxuriously thick paper, and you get enough color and design options to create something that feels extra-special.
Epistolary correspondence still beats email, text, and Snaps for grace, style, and posterity. The problem is, custom stationery usually costs a fortune. The letter writer on your list will appreciate the high-quality Joy Creative Shop Classic Monogram Personalized Stationery set (available on Etsy), which lets you select from 10 cheery colors for the envelope and 30 hues for the text. The 110-pound card stock has a satisfying heft and a slightly textured feel, and the printing is opaque and consistent, with no blips or errors.
A wider profile makes this stainless steel Yeti tumbler feel at home on a farm, at a construction site, or at camp. The MagSlider lid reduces the likelihood of spills, though it’s not leakproof.
A longtime Wirecutter pick for a particularly sturdy tumbler, the 20-ounce Yeti Rambler Tumbler is great. It’s so great, in fact, that if your giftee loses it, the lucky finder is unlikely to jump through hoops to give it back—unless, of course, you’ve personalized the mug, and they can’t enjoy it ethically! Yeti makes those customizations easy: Add text or monogramming in a variety of fonts and colors, pick a design from among Yeti’s collection (including sports logos, Greek letters, and some inoffensive clip art), or upload your own black-and-white image. The customizable area is relatively generous—all the better for adding a meaningful quote, an inside joke, or detailed lost-and-found contact information.
These iconic sneakers go with everything and look just as cool when they’re squeaky clean as when they’re worn-in. Plus, they’re well priced and easy to find.
One of our picks for the best white sneakers, Converse’s Chuck Taylor All Star low-tops are also especially customizable, allowing you to choose the colors and prints for the inside and outside body, the tongue, the eyelets, the laces, the rubber, and every other part of the shoe. You can also have them embroidered with up to six letters on the outside low rear or on the heel stripe. (Initials on the heel stripe are a stylistically safe bet when you are giving a gift.) And fear not: Though half of the iconic shoe’s sartorial appeal lies in looking effortless, a bespoke pair of Chucks will preserve that same low-key cool.
AirTags leverage Apple’s huge network of devices to track down a suitcase or any other lost item, and they’re impressively accurate in pinpointing the precise location.
For the person who’s always searching for their keys, wallet, or purse, a Bluetooth tracker is the perfect problem-solving gift. Our favorite for iPhone owners, the Apple AirTag leverages Apple’s huge network of devices to help recover a lost item, and it’s impressively accurate at pinpointing the exact location of someone’s stuff. What makes it more special and gift-like, though, is the option to add custom engraving with up to four characters or emojis when you order from Apple. Customize the tracker even further with a key-ring hole or an adhesive back; you’ll find innumerable options online from both Apple and third-party companies.
We love finding gifts that are unusual, thoughtful, and well vetted. See even more gift ideas we recommend.
This article was edited by Hannah Morrill and Jennifer Hunter.
Dorie Chevlen is a staff writer from Youngstown, Ohio, now living in Los Angeles. She has worked as a copy editor, fact checker, and sandwich maker, but this is probably her favorite gig. Beyond her Wirecutter work, Dorie writes screenplays and contributes frequently to other sections of The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The LA Review of Books, and Slate, among others. She has been called—both flatteringly and not—“a lot.”
Mari Uyehara is a staff writer for Wirecutter’s gifts team. She was previously an editor at GQ, Saveur, and Vice, and she won a 2019 James Beard Award for her column on American cooking in Taste. The daughter of a potter, she has long been a believer in the power of a well-made thing.
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