Are you in need of a gift for a close friend? It may be for a happy occasion like a birthday, wedding, or graduation. It may be for a more somber occasion like sympathy gifts for a death in the family. Sometimes you may just want to give your best friend a gift for no reason at all.
Whether you’re commemorating a happy event or providing comfort after a tragedy, small gifts for friends can help brighten their days. Check out our list of gift box ideas for a treasured friend.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- Homemade Gift Box Themes and Items for Friends
- Where Can You Purchase Pre-Made Gift Boxes for Friends?
Homemade Gift Box Themes and Items for Friends
If you’re the kind of person who sends “thinking of you” messages for no particular reason, you may want to create a DIY gift box. Curating a gift box geared to your friend’s tastes is a great way to help your friend feel cared for. These homemade gift box themes should give you inspiration for a DIY gift basket of your own.
1. Travel-themed gift box
Does your best friend have a touch of wanderlust? Put together a travel-themed gift basket. Pick up a decorative box with a globe or map motif and fill it with the following items:
- Travel books
- A travel notebook with a nice pen to record their journeys
- A silk sleep mask and memory foam neck pillow so they can doze more easily on long flights
A gift like this is a great way to show your friend that you support their interests.
2. Buzz basket
Does your friend seem to always have an energy drink in hand? Is he only half-joking every time he asks whether coffee comes in IV form? Get your friend a caffeinated gift box.
It can include some (or all!) of the following items:
- Ground or whole bean coffee from a local roaster
- A portable French press for making coffee
- Coffee mugs with funny sayings
- Chocolate-covered espresso beans for a speedy snack
- An assortment of energy drinks in unconventional flavors
- A collection of loose-leaf black tea
- A portable tea mug with a built-in diffuser
3. Craft basket
If your best friend likes to create beautiful things, make an effort to support your friend’s hobby. Put together a custom gift basket with the tools of the trade. If your friend is a knitter, you can fill up a box with specialty yarns in a wide range of colors and textures.
If your friend enjoys painting, fill a basket with high-quality paints, nice brushes, and a few small canvases. If your friend is interested in art but doesn’t have any experience, buy some adult coloring books and fun markers.
4. Craft beer basket
If your friend is more inclined to kick back with a cold one than to pick up some knitting needles, this is a great gift basket idea. Visit a store that carries craft beer and local brews and select an assortment geared toward your friend’s taste.
You can curate a collection of hoppy pale ales if your friend prefers IPAs. If your friend’s tastes run deeper and darker, you can pull together a stockpile of stouts. It’s like a party in a box.
5. Self-care basket
Everyone needs to wind down and relax sometimes. But it can be hard to take that initiative. Make sure your friend has no excuse not to take some time for self-care by giving a box full of self-care items.
It could include items like:
- Scented candles
- Bath bombs
- A cool gel eye mask
- Aromatherapy diffuser
- Lip scrub
- Sheet mask
6. Culinary gift box
If your friend loves to experiment in the kitchen, a culinary gift box is perfect. Visit specialty stores and look for interesting and offbeat spices, sauces, and condiments.
You can get infused olive oils, flavored balsamic vinegar, exotic seasonings, finishing salts, and more. With a gift basket like this, you may even be lucky enough to get invited to dinner.
7. Games and puzzles gift box
If your friend has a sharp mind, put together a gift box to help hone that intelligence. It can contain items like crossword puzzle books, Sudoku books, and trivia cards.
You can even throw in a word-of-the-day calendar for a gift that keeps on giving.
8. Gardening gift basket
If your friend has a green thumb, assemble a gift basket. Include a trowel, fun gloves, and an array of seeds. You can stage all the items inside of a watering can for a cute presentation.
Where Can You Purchase Pre-Made Gift Boxes for Friends?
DIY gift boxes are thoughtful but they aren’t always practical for everyone. If you’re short on time, choose a premade gift box instead. Premade gift boxes also make great gifts for long-distance friends — you can order them to be shipped right to your friend’s door.
Etsy is a website where artisans can sell handmade goods or vintage treasures. Many of the independent sellers offer gift baskets.
You can get themed gifts with assorted bath and body products, gardening-related items, and much more. Not only can you find unique items, but you can also support indie makers instead of big corporations.
Milk Bar edible gift basket
Are you friends with a sweet person who happens to have a sweet tooth? If so, get a gift basket from the famed and innovative bakery Milk Bar, which offers a whole array of gift baskets for birthdays, holidays, and more.
Over the past few years, a handful of specialty sites have begun offering niche subscription boxes. These boxes can be delivered to your best friend every month for a particular stretch of time, often for as long as a year. Signing your friend up for a subscription box is a great way to show you care. Here are some of our favorites:
- Ipsy: This subscription box sends five sample-sized beauty products for just $12/month. The items inside could be makeup, skincare items, or hair care products. This is a great gift for a friend who likes to try out new products and engage in self-care.
- Book of the Month: If your friend is a voracious reader, consider registering for this low-cost service. Each month, the company lists five new books and the recipient can choose the one she wants. Book of the Month offers gift subscriptions for 3 months, 6 months, and a full year, so you can offer a subscription at various price points.
- Universal Yums: Is your friend a fan of international snacks? A global snack box from Universal Yums is the perfect gift for someone with a daring palate. Your friend will get an assortment of snacks from a particular country or region that should take the edge off a craving for adventure.
- BarkBox or Meowbox: People devoted to their pets will adore this monthly delivery of treats and toys. Your best friend can share this with his or her favorite furry friend.
Is your friend into minimalism? You can still give a gift without cluttering up your friend’s personal space. Digital gifts can be just as meaningful as more tangible presents. Here are a few fun suggestions:
- Audible: For just a nominal monthly fee, Audible provides people credits that they can use toward downloading a book. Depending on the level you choose, your friend could download one or two audiobooks each month. It’s a great option for someone who loves to read but is always on the go.
- Disney +: This streaming service gives you plenty of bang for your buck. It’s your one-stop shop for everything from Marvel movies to Pixar films to incredible nature documentaries. You can give the gift of fun to the whole family.
- Acorn TV: This streaming service features the best television series and miniseries from the U.K. Whether your friend likes dark crime or slightly more lighthearted crime procedurals, your friend should have plenty to choose from with this streaming subscription.
Gourmet gift baskets from Williams-Sonoma
If your friend appreciates the finer things in life, a high-end culinary gift basket from Williams-Sonoma is a thoughtful gift. Williams-Sonoma offers several different gourmet gift baskets for a variety of palates.
You can get a charcuterie hamper filled with cheese and smoked meats. You can get a basket filled with nuts and dried fruits. You can even get a DIY sushi kit. These ideas barely scratch the surface!
Get a Gift Box for a Variety of Occasions
Whether you assemble them yourself or get premade ones from a specialty store, gift boxes are the perfect present for many occasions. Gift boxes make ideal sympathy gifts, birthday gifts, holiday gifts, and more.
Get a premade gift basket for an easy gifting option or put together a special gift box designed specifically for the recipient. No matter what, give a memorable gift!