26 Thoughtful Personalized Gifts That Aren’t Cheesy or Too Expensive

26 Thoughtful Personalized Gifts That Aren’t Cheesy or Too Expensive

We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission.

I was a kid when the iPod Nano had peaked in popularity. At the time, Apple offered an engraving option where you could put any message you wanted be it a name or initials, a loving note, an inside joke, or really anything on the back of the device. I remember making frequent visits to the Apple website just to experiment with different messages various loved ones might write for me, should they ever decide to generously bestow one upon me. And even though I eventually got one myself sans customization, I was always jealous of friends who had their name or a sweet message from their parents laser-cut on the back. No matter how small, it’s hard to resist a custom-made gift!

Think of the popularity of name plate necklaces, or monogrammed towels. There’s just something so special about getting something made for you and only you. If you’re looking for just the right gift to give for a loved one, or to mark a special occasion, a personalized gift is sure to communicate your thoughtfulness. From jewelry to artwork to kitchenware, you too can find your recipient’s iPod Nano: Something so meaningful, they’ll love and use it for years to come. And luckily for you, we’ve gathered together some suggestions here to make your search a little easier. Read on for 26 of the most unique personalized gifts that money can buy. 

Olivia Bowman

Commerce Editorial Intern

Olivia is an editorial intern on the commerce team at Apartment Therapy. When she’s not writing, she’s probably re-watching The West Wing, reading her horoscope, or researching skincare products. She is a proud University of Oregon alumna and firmly believes that seltzer water is part of a balanced diet.

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West Elm and Minted Are Teaming Up on a Furniture Collection for the First Time

West Elm and Minted Are Teaming Up on a Furniture Collection for the First Time

We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission.

The collection consists of 14 mix-and-match upholstered pieces across the categories of beds, headboards, seating, divider screens, and even footstools. With more than 2,000 different combinations of silhouette, fabric pattern, colorway, and leg finish available, any item you choose will provide the perfect custom touch wherever you put it.

You can expect the modern, often cheery, and independent artist-created patterns you’ve come to associate Minted with, only printed on linen-cotton and married with West Elm’s signature furniture silhouettes and wood finishes. “We’re proud to partner with West Elm on our furniture debut,” Mariam Naficy, founder, co-CEO, and chairman of Minted said in a press release. “Our collaboration amplifies the work of a diverse array of artists from around the world.”

New patterns will be added to the line during special edition drops throughout the year. That means more opportunities for independent artists to have their work featured on a product from two major home retailers, which is no small feat for a designer that’s seasoned or just starting out. Minted holds regular design challenges that creatives can enter regardless of formal training, education, geography, race, or age. Designs are voted on by Minted customers, and challenge winners become sellable designs that artists receive ongoing sales commissions for, in addition to a cash prize.

All of the textiles created for this range are brand-new and underwent the same crowdsourcing design and voting process mentioned above. In many cases, the patterns were created from original paintings and illustrations. Chosen colorways were informed by the voting process, too. Each item from the collection is also made to order on demand, cutting down on the extra waste that can be associated with pre-made furnishings.

Right now, the furniture patterns available span lots of trending categories — eyelets, graphic geometrics, painterly brushstrokes, and more — with the 21 designers who created them hailing from places as varied as the United States, Chile, Switzerland, Kenya, India, and Russia. You can see a smattering of pieces in stores, and shop the full collection online. Prices start at $249 for an ottoman and go up to $2,399 for a king upholstered bed, and, as with all Minted products as mentioned above, a portion of every purchase will directly support the independent artist who designed the pattern.

Danielle Blundell

Home Editor

Danielle Blundell is AT’s Home Director and covers decorating and design. She loves homes, heels, the history of art, and hockey—but not necessarily always in that order.

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