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13 Unique, Custom, and Thoughtful Holiday Gifts Under $75

When you’re shopping for Christmas or holiday gifts this month, there’s likely at least one person who you want to get something meaningful for. (Hopefully.)

Perhaps this person has really been there for you in 2015, or they’re simply very special to you. Either way, they matter to you, and that means that you don’t want to buy them a typical or ordinary gift.

The special people in your life deserve something one-of-a-kind that you truly put thought into picking out – something personalized and unique.

But since breaking the bank doesn’t always show how much you actually care, here are 13 wonderful, original, and custom gifts for under $75:


1. The Giving Keys: Engraved and Personalized Jewelry
The Giving Keys specializes in necklaces and bracelets with unique key pendants. No two keys are alike, and the fact that each key is unique is part of what makes this gift extra special. Most jewelry companies charge an arm and a leg extra if you want a customized engraving, but The Giving Keys only charges $5 extra for customization, which allows you to choose any word you like to be engraved on the key. You could get their initials engraved, an anniversary date, a word or phrase that means something to them, or one that reminds you of their qualities.

They make both men’s and women’s bracelets and necklaces. We suggest the customizable “Dainty Key Necklace” ($61), the “Never Ending Key Bracelet”  ($57) or the Classic XL Key Necklace ($66). The dainty necklace is more feminine, but the bracelet and the XL necklace are unisex. The Giving Keys employs those transitioning out of homelessness.


2. Knot Theory: Customizable Bow Ties and Neckties
Knot Theory is a Canadian bow tie company that allows you to choose your own bow tie colours and patterns. Each custom bow tie is only $69.

For example, if you choose the colours blue and white, that bow tie can be tied 6 different ways (all blue showing, all white showing, all blue with a white knot, etc). Knot Theory also sells all-black bow ties with personalized messages embroidered on them in small lettering on one corner of the bow tie’s tip. Messages include “hustle” and “carpe diem.” The buyer can choose the message that they think represents the recipient the most. The great thing is that the bow tie can be worn to hide or show this secret message. Knot Theory sells bow ties in unique patterns such as mini moustaches and houndstooth. If the person you’re buying for has a pet, you can buy a matching doggie bow tie as well. They also have regular neckties where you can choose the colour of the knot for a unique and customized look.


3. Runway Passport: Fifi & Dachs Hand-Carved Driftwood Earrings
Runway Passport is a great one-stop-shop for incredibly unique gifts where you can find the most creative emerging designers from all over the globe. German jewelry company Fifi & Dachs is just one great example. For a unique gift, go for their Gold Driftwood Earrings ($39). Aisha Becker (the creator and designer of Fifi & Dachs) finds and picks driftwood directly from the Rhine river. Once she finds these pieces of driftwood from the riverbank, she then carves them into jewel shapes by hand and rubs them with linseed oil rub to cover them in a gold leaf. After these pieces of hand-carved driftwood are transformed into golden jewels, she enhances them with a row of tiny, delicate pearls and turns them into a one-of-a-kind pair of stunning earrings. They also do incredible hand-carved driftwood rings ($68). You just won at gift-giving, my friend.


4. Urban Outfitters: Shapshot Camera Flask
The Snapshot Flask from Urban Outfitters ($34) is very tricky. It’s a vintage camera around your neck – no, wait, it’s a flask. This rare find of a flask is inspired from and modeled after a vintage-style camera. From afar, it just looks like you’re a tourist with a camera around your neck. Props to Urban Outfitters for this very novel way to carry around a shot of Fireball.


5. The Social Experiment: Unique Gemstone Rings
The Social Experiment is a Vancouver-based jewelry company that specializes in beautiful, one-of-a-kind jewelry. Their rings, for example, are made using semi-precious gemstones and gold-plated, non-tarnish brass wire. Each individual stone used for each ring is unique and special in its own way. There are several to choose from like this gorgeous purple raw amethyst ring, this semi-precious neon turquoise beach ring, or this black tourmaline ring. Each ring is a steal at only $39, and each also comes with an explanation as to what the gemstone’s healing properties are.


6. Sandilou Designs: Jardin Fantastique Hand Painted Silk Scarf from Haiti
At Sandilou designs, each beautiful scarf is one-of-a-kind because each is hand-painted and hand-dyed. These scarves are a rare find, and it’s pretty likely that whoever you gift one to will not know anyone else who has one. Take a look at this beautiful Jardin Fantastique scarf by Sandilou ($55). They’re very soft, 100% silk scarves that make a statement because you’re wearing an original painting from Haiti around your neck. If wearing original art isn’t unique, I don’t know what is.


7. Urban Outfitters: Customizable Decorative Letters
Urban Outfitters has awesome Customized Letter Art, allowing the customer to choose their own letters to spell whatever they like for their bedroom or home decor. Their wooden Henna Letters (2 for $18) are great for someone whose bedroom is more earthy and neutral, while their Metallic Balloon Letters, which come in both gold and silver ($19 each), their Acid Etched Letters (2 for $18) and their Plum & Bow Batik letters (2 for $18) are great choices for a more modern bedroom. A word in giant letters is a great way to dress up a bookshelf or a window sill, so this makes for an awesome gift.


8. Personalized Stationary or Personalized Journals
Personalized stationary and personalized journals are a great custom gift for any friend or family member who likes to write or keeps a journal. You could make it a funny gift by printing a journal for your sister that says “Kate’s Crazy Thoughts” or make it more personal and thoughtful. Even easier is to buy the Anthropologie Custom Crest Journal ($25) and simply choose the first initial of whoever you’re buying for at checkout, or grab a unique and personalized notebook from Denik ($12).


9. Anthropologie: Letter and Stone Stud Earrings with Custom Initials
Anthropologie’s Letter and Stone Post Earrings ($32) come in every letter of the alphabet, so you can customize the letters you buy depending on the first initial of whoever you’re buying for. These earrings are 18k gold-plated and dainty at only 1/4 inch in diameter.


10. JJ Suspenders: Cool and Fun Suspenders
Do you know any suspenders-wearers who only have a plain black pair and need some more colour in their life? Or how about a bow tie wearer who doesn’t yet have a matching pair of suspenders? You’re in luck, because Canadian company JJ Suspenders has quality suspenders in all kinds of colours and patterns so that you can personalize your gift depending on the personality of the person receiving it. Choose from unique styles such as their preppy and playful Red Flag navy and red striped suspenders ($39), their navy blue and coffee brown pin-striped suspenders ($39), or their Red Hot skinny suspenders ($39).


11. Chapters: Frame an Inspirational Quote
For a really personalized gift, simply order a frame online from Chapters ($16 – $44) and go to a photo centre to print out a special inspirational quote that you think your friend or family member would like. It shows thoughtfulness that you picked out a quote and got it framed for them. They can hang this in their bedroom and think of you each time they see it. If you have Photoshop, you can even choose your own fancy font to type out the quote before getting it printed.


12. Anthropologie: Themed Trinket Dishes
Anthropologie’s Themed Trinket Dish ($24) can be used by anyone for something. These are usually used to hold jewelry but they can be used to hold any items, really. Some people even use them as candy dishes or soap dishes for guests. Anthropologie has an octopus trinket dish, a whale trinket dish, a pineapple trinket dish, and several other animal trinket dishes.


13. Chapters – Unique Decorative Pillows
Does the friend or family member you need a gift for have ugly couch pillows? Or, worse, no decorative pillows for their bed? You can change that. Choose from sayings such as “Eat, Drink and Be Cozy” ($27) or “Love You to the Moon and Back” ($27). These make a fun gift, they’re unique, and they’ll add warmth to any room.



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