There are plenty of “common” gift options for whenever you need to give a gift to a friend—on birthdays, during holidays, or just because. You can get someone a gift card to their favorite restaurant, a new piece of clothing, or something you know they’ve been eyeing in the store. But if you want to give your friend a gift they’ll remember, you need to choose something truly unique.
Unique gifts tend to make a bigger impression because they’re more of a surprise. They’re also more memorable, and they have the potential to be great conversation starters.
So how can you deviate from the norm and give your friend something they’re truly not expecting?
How to Give a Unique Gift
These are some of the best ideas for how to give your friend a unique gift:
- Shop at weird places. First, consider shopping at weirder places. You won’t find many unique gift options at Walmart, for example. See if there’s a store in your city that specializes in weird, obscure, or otherwise abnormal items. If not, you may be able to shop at a local antique store or a flea market. The less popular it is, and more unique the items are, the better.
- Custom print something. You could also take initiative and custom print something for your friend. You can use a combination of existing photos, new photos, artwork, and other graphic elements to put together the perfect gift. For example, you might print them a custom calendar or a photo book, or something even more abstract.
- Look for artists. One of the best ways to find something unique is to track down some artists and see what they have to offer. Most artists constantly strive to push the boundaries of their art and create new things, so you should be able to find sculptures, paintings, and other creations that deviate from the norm. Visit some local art galleries, or art shows, and get to know some of the artists in your area. If you can’t find institutions like these, consider looking up artists online. Browse their selection of premade art, or request a commissioned piece.
- Create art of your own. Why depend on someone else to create the perfect piece of art for your friend when you could create it on your own? If you have any experience in the art world, you should be able to put something together—even if it’s not perfect. Consider making a few practice runs before making a finalized piece.
- Search for their interests. What kinds of hobbies does your friend have? What do they love? Search for these interests generally; you might be surprised at some of the websites, items, and conversations you find on these topics. You might be able to discover a unique gift idea you otherwise wouldn’t have considered.
- Pick up a new craft. If you’re still stuck, consider picking up a new craft entirely. For example, you can learn woodworking and create a piece of furniture for your friend, or you could learn how to knit and make them a piece of clothing.
- Develop an experience. You could also create an experience for your friend, rather than giving them something tangible. For example, you could plan a scavenger hunt throughout the city, or present them with a series of riddles.
Extra Tips for Success
Giving a unique gift is a great way to make a bold impression, but it can also be risky; if your gift breaks from the norm, there’s no guarantee your friend is going to like it. Fortunately, there are some strategies that can help you mitigate risks in this regard, and give your friend a gift they’re more likely to enjoy:
- Spark a related conversation. Don’t spoil the surprise, but try to gauge their feelings about this particular type of gift. Do they like similar pieces of art?
- Ask other friends for their opinions. Ask other friends and relatives what they think about your idea.
- Start small. If you’re not sure about your idea, consider starting small. Invest only a minimal amount of time, money, and energy, and choose something that won’t have a big impact on your friend’s life.
- Have a backup plan. Finally, have a backup plan. If your art project doesn’t go as planned or if you discover your friend might not like this gift, be ready to switch to an alternative.
Weird and unique gifts can be fun, both because you’ll love seeing your friend’s reaction and because you’ll love searching for the perfect gift. The more you think outside the box, the easier it will be to find unique gift options for everyone in your life.