Shopping for a birthday gift can be challenging. But the pressure to find the perfect gift can rise even more when it’s a milestone birthday. That's where a birthday keepsake gifts can come into play.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- First Birthday Keepsake Ideas
- 18th Birthday Keepsake Ideas
- 21st Birthday Keepsake Ideas
- 30th Birthday Keepsake Ideas
- 40th Birthday Keepsake Ideas
- 50th Birthday Keepsake Ideas
- 70th Birthday Keepsake Ideas
- 80th Birthday Keepsake Ideas
- 90th Birthday Keepsake Ideas
- 100th Birthday Keepsake Ideas
Here we break down several milestone birthdays and help identify some special age-appropriate gifts. These gift ideas are so great the recipient will want to hold onto them as a special keepsake of a significant day.
Read on for ideas and inspiration.
Tip: For a birthday gift that commemorates and honors a lost loved one, you can give the gift of cremation stones with Parting Stone or a cremation diamond with Eterneva.
First Birthday Keepsake Ideas
The truth is kids don’t really remember their first birthday. It’s almost more of a celebration for the parents for surviving their first year of parenthood.
Thus, these birthday keepsake gifts will be more special to the parents. They’ll also be fun for the one-year-old to revisit later when they’re old enough to appreciate them.
1. Keepsake photo frame with pictures
Many parents obsessively document the first year of their children’s life through photographs. These days, most of these photos go right online and never get printed.
You can save and print some of your favorite photos the parents have posted. Get a photo frame with room for several photos and arrange them as a special gift.
2. Personalized time capsule box
As kids get older, parents have to cut down and get rid of things their kids outgrow. But they often want to hang onto a few treasured belongings as mementos.
Get a nice wooden box and get the top engraved with the child’s first name, the words “Time Capsule,” and the date of their first birthday.
If the parents enjoy it, you’ll be able to give the same box for future birthdays, too!
18th Birthday Keepsake Ideas
The eighteenth birthday marks the entrance to adulthood. When you select birthday keepsake gifts, make sure you’re keeping their newfound maturity in mind.
3. Keepsake photo frame
There are many memorable occasions around your 18th birthday, including prom and graduation.
Get a nice picture frame and have it engraved with the name of the recipient or a special quote.
4. Engraved necklace
Jewelry is a lovely gift for someone turning 18. Get a simple silver pendant in a shape the recipient will like and have their name and date of birth engraved on it.
You can even splurge and have their birthstone incorporated in some way.
21st Birthday Keepsake Ideas
This milestone birthday holds a lot of significance in the United States as it marks the years that people can legally drink alcohol.
While most people might hand over a six-pack and call it a day, we think these keepsake ideas lend a little more class.
5. Personalized birthday champagne
Many companies offer a personalized bottle of champagne. A special label will be printed incorporating the name of the celebrant, as well as a personalized message.
You can wish your loved one a happy 21st birthday by name. The champagne may not last long, but the bottle can be kept as a keepsake long after the new 21-year-old consumes the contents.
6. Engraved cufflinks
People who are turning twenty-one aren’t always interested in alcohol. If you know a young man who’s more of a teetotaller, you can still get him a meaningful gift.
Many twenty-one-year-olds are close to graduating from college and starting their professional careers. A nice pair of engraved cufflinks is a great gift for a responsible young man.
30th Birthday Keepsake Ideas
While you may legally be an adult when you turn 18, most people still have a lot of growing up to do. A lot of people say they don’t feel like an adult until they turn thirty.
Help your loved one celebrate this new milestone of maturity with these keepsake gift ideas.
7. Personalized fortune cookie
Many 30-year-olds rely on takeout for their meals. If you know someone who made it to 30 thanks in large part to food delivery services, gift them with a personalized fortune cookie.
A silver fortune cookie can be engraved with the recipient’s name and a brief message. It’s a perfect combination of a tongue-in-cheek joke and keepsake collectible gift.
8. Engraved navigator compass
Sometimes when people turn 30, they feel a little adrift. An engraved compass makes an excellent gift for someone in that situation.
Personalize it with their name and an inspirational quote that reassures them that they’ll find the right path.
40th Birthday Keepsake Ideas
Many people regard the 40th birthday as the year that you’re “over the hill.” Essentially, people think you peak at 40 and that it’s all downhill after that.
Instead of getting the gag gifts that usually go along with a 40th birthday, try these keepsake gifts instead.
9. Engraved family tree
As people reach middle age, they often become more interested in exploring their family history. You can order an engraved family tree for the person in your life who has begun to explore their roots.
As they build the tree, they can also order engraved discs with the names and birthstones of family members to place in the appropriate branches. It’s a perfect blend of decorative and practical.
10. Custom photo album
40-year-olds are young enough they likely take most of their photos on their phones. They’re also old enough that they grew up with photo albums.
Appeal to their nostalgia by printing out some of their favorite photos and putting together a personalized photo album for them.
50th Birthday Keepsake Ideas
The 50th birthday is a milestone. If you’ve made it to 50, you’ve been alive for half of a century, which is an event worth celebrating.
Here are some excellent keepsake gift ideas for the occasion.
11. Personalized hourglass
When people turn 50, they sometimes begin to face their mortality.
A personalized hourglass is a nice decorative element. It can also serve as a visual reminder that they have plenty of time to accomplish their goals.
12. Travel diary
Do you know a fifty-year-old who loves to travel? Get them a personalized travel journal for their next holiday. You can get their name and their travel destination printed on the front.
They can write the details of their trip inside, and include ticket stubs from attractions they see. It’s a cool, interactive memento.
70th Birthday Keepsake Ideas
By the time you’ve turned 70, hopefully, you’ve retired. If you have (or if you’re just a few years off) these keepsake gifts would be great to receive.
13. Personalized wind chime
Once you retire, you have a lot more time to enjoy the world around you. If you know a soon-to-be 70-year-old who enjoys taking in the morning from their front porch, you can gift them with a personalized wind chime.
They’ll think of you every time the wind creates a little music.
14. Autographed book
When you hit retirement age, you often have a lot more time to read. If you know a 70-year-old who is a book enthusiast, find out their favorite book or favorite author.
You can attend a book signing or contact the author via social media, and potentially acquire a personalized autographed book. It’s a thoughtful keepsake that won’t break the bank.
80th Birthday Keepsake Ideas
By the time you’ve turned 80, you likely have children and grandchildren to celebrate with. They might provide you with these keepsake gifts to commemorate the occasion.
15. Personalized music box
Music is a powerful force that can connect us with our childhood memories.
If you know an 80-year-old who has a fondness for a nostalgic song, you can get a customized music box that will play it for them. You can even get a message engraved for them.
16. Letter book
Many older folks hold onto letters from their youth. But at a certain point in time, they may not be able to easily read them anymore.
You can type up some of their treasured letters and have them printed as a book for them in large print. Be sure to preserve the original letters as well!
90th Birthday Keepsake Ideas
You may think that a 90-year-old might not have the mental or physical energy to celebrate. But thanks to medical advancements, they are often more energetic and sharper than you would imagine a senior citizen could be.
These keepsake gift ideas would be appropriate for the 90-year-old in your life.
17. Write a biography
You don’t live until 90 without living some incredible stories. Take the time to talk to your loved one about the adventures they’ve experienced in their lives. Ask for permission to record them, then transcribe these stories into a book.
They’ll appreciate the interest you’re taking in them, and your family will be grateful to preserve these memories.
18. Reel viewer
Most kids can remember using reel viewers, the little red plastic toys you could hold up to your eyes and view photos through. They were first introduced in 1939, so someone who’s currently 90 would have been around 9 when they came out.
These days, you can get customized photo discs for them with photos of special memories. This custom gift is lovely and nostalgic.
100th Birthday Keepsake Ideas
If a half-century of living is worth celebrating with a keepsake gift, a century of living deserves something extra special.
Here are our suggestions:
19. Engraved family tree keepsake
A lot of times, our older loved ones end up in nursing homes and care facilities if we’re unable to care for them ourselves. In these cases, it helps them to be surrounded by memories of their family.
You can get a family tree engraved on a glass collectible. It’s a great reminder of family that doesn’t take up a lot of space.
20. Personalized snow globe
You’re never too old to celebrate the holidays. You can order a snowglobe for your loved one that holds a lot of nostalgia for them.
For example, order one from a place they loved to vacation. You can also get it engraved with their name and the current year.
Birthday Keepsake Gift Suggestions for People of All Ages
No matter how old you are, it’s nice to receive a birthday gift. And it’s even better when someone puts the time and care into picking out something special.
We hope these birthday keepsake ideas help inspire you the next time you shop for a loved one’s milestone birthday.
If you're looking for more ideas, read our guides on the best keepsake gifts and baby keepsakes.