30+ Gifts For Friends to Show Your Appreciation


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In life, it’s the little things that matter most. Remembering to say thank you, offering a helping hand, and just being there for all of life’s challenges and milestones. These are the things that matter at the end of the day, more than any grand gesture.

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Small Gifts

Practical Gifts

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Friends are the ones who choose to surround ourselves with. They might not be related to us by blood, but these bonds are tighter than ever. If you want to say thank you for being a friend, you might want to offer your friend a small gift to show your appreciation. 

You don’t have to spend a fortune (or anything at all) to show your friends you care. These are just a small reminder that you’re thinking of them. Whether your friend is going through a tough time or you’d really like to make their day, try these 30+ gift ideas on for size. 

Affordable Small Gifts for a Friend

Affordable gifts for a friend

If you’re hoping to gift someone inexpensive, there are a lot of options to choose from. It truly is the thought that counts, not the number on the price tag.

1. Journal

You can never have enough journals. Whether your friend uses this for their inner thoughts, daily musings, or even at work, they’re sure to put this small gift to good use. 

Better yet, dedicate a few pages in the journal to them. You might write a letter, a thank you note, or a best friend bucket list to do together. 

2. Mug or glass

You can never have too many mugs or glasses around. These small gifts are as practical as they are fun, so there’s a lot of room for customization. Consider your friend’s favorite beverage and make your decision from there. 

3. Photo frame

In this digital age, we don’t always take the time to print and frame the photos that mean something to us. Printing your favorite photo of your friend group, framing it, and gifting it means a lot. This is a memento they can look at again and again. 

4. Candle

A candle is a symbol of warmth and comfort. This is a great anytime gift, but it’s also the perfect gift for a grieving friend

There are so many handmade, customizable options to choose from depending on your friend’s favorite scent. The best part is these tokens of kindness are very affordable. 

5. Flowers

Don’t underestimate the power of flowers. Whether you give a bouquet of local blooms or something smaller, this is a small gesture of kindness he or she won’t forget soon. 

DIY Small Gifts for a Friend

DIY gifts for a friend

If you don’t have the budget for a gift or you’d prefer to make something yourself, there are a lot of DIY options as well. Because you made these yourself, they carry a lot of meaning as a gift. 

6. Thank you card

The art of letter writing and cardmaking has fallen out of practice, but it’s time to revive it. Taking a few moments to make and write a thank you letter to a best friend is a gift that’s truly from the heart. 

7. Photo collage

Another great option is to put together a photo collage. All you need is a few cherished photos, some crafting paper, and glue or tape. This is something they’ll want to hold onto for years to come. 

8. Baked goods

Who doesn’t love snacking on something sweet? Homemade baked goods like cake, cookies, and brownies are very inexpensive, and they make the perfect gift for any occasion. 

9. Homemade meal

Similar to baking something, whip up your friend’s favorite meal. You can cook it in a reusable container to drop off at their home or invite them over for a friendly feast. Food brings people together, even for those you already feel close to. 

10. Self-care goodies

If your friend is in need of some self-care, help them put themselves first. Things like bath salts, bath bombs, lip scrubs, and body care are easy to make with things you might already have at your house. With a bit of TLC, they’ll be feeling refreshed and ready for anything. 

Practical Small Gifts for a Friend

Practical gifts for a friend

We’ve all received gifts that weren’t easy to put to use. While they might have been thoughtful, there’s no fun having to put things in storage. Instead, give these practical small gifts that they’re sure to use all the time. 

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11. Tote bag

There’s no such thing as too many tote bags! You can easily make one yourself or purchase an inexpensive one that suits your friend’s needs. These are perfect for quick runs to the store, work, school, or just throwing in your car. 

12. Gift card

A gift card is the perfect practical gift for when you’re not sure what to get. By getting them some cash they can use at their favorite store or restaurant, they’re sure to make the most of this kindness. 

13. Coffee or tea

If your friend is always caffeinated, you know they’ll love some extra coffee or tea. Pick up a local brew near you to make their morning cup a bit more special. 

14. Phone case

If you know the type of phone your friend has, gift them a case to keep it protected. While they likely already have some form of case or cover on their phone, these wear out quickly. A new one might be just what they’re looking for! Look for customizable options to make it even more special.

15. Sweater

There’s something inherently warm and comforting about a sweater. This is something your friend can use indoors and outdoors, and they’ll think of you every time they put it on. 

Small Self-Care Gifts for a Friend

Self-care gifts for a friend

Self-care doesn’t always come easy. If you’re trying to help a grieving friend or simply remind him or her to take time for themselves, try these small self-care gift ideas. 

16. Slippers

Slippers are the ultimate comfort gift. They’re inexpensive, and perfect for those chillier nights at home. They’ll want to cozy up in no time. 

17. Lip balm

Lip balm is something that’s never easy to find when you need it most. This is a gift that’s perfect for any guys or gals who are always reaching for a lip treatment, especially in cooler climates. 

18. Beer or wine

While you shouldn’t always look for beer or wine when it’s time to unwind, there’s something inherently stress relieving about sharing a glass with friends. Bring their favorite beer or wine, along with a fun game or conversation topics. 

19. Face mask

A face mask is a way to take a few minutes for yourself a few times a week. Gifting a selection of face masks to serve a variety of purposes makes a simple, thoughtful gift. 

20. Cookbook

If your friend enjoys spending time in the kitchen, the best form of self-care might be cooking. A new cookbook is just what they need to find some food-inspiration.

Small Birthday Gifts for a Friend

Birthday gifts for a friend

Finding the right birthday gifts for friends isn’t always easy, especially if your friend already seems to have it all. Here are the perfect birthday gifts that aren’t too over-the-top. 

» MORE: Everyone's wishes are different. Here's how to honor your unique loved one.

21. Subscription service

A TV, movie, or music subscription service is a small token of kindness that goes a long way. You can find some inexpensive subscription packages to offer a few months free for your friend. 

22. Pajamas

Nothing feels better than putting on a nice pair of pajamas at the end of a long day. Gifting a cozy set to your friend is the perfect way to help them unwind. 

23. Blanket

You can never go wrong with a blanket. A comfy, neutral throw is perfect for snuggling up and staying in. 

24. Oil diffuser

Hook them on aromatherapy with a simple oil diffuser. Gift some relaxing oil blends to freshen up their space and soothe their mind and body. 

25. Potted plant

Plants are becoming a common way to bring the outdoors in. Whether your friend has a proven green thumb or they’re just getting started as a plant owner, gift them some easy indoor plants for some greenery. 

Small Gifts for a Friend That’s Far Away

Gifts for a friend that's far away

If you and your friend are separated by distance, don’t let that keep you apart. There are a lot of gifts that help you feel closer than ever before. 

26. Stationery

Gift some gorgeous, luxurious stationery so they can easily write letters to send your way. Bonus points if you include stamps! 

27. Travel mug

If they’re on the go, a travel mug keeps their favorite beverage warm no matter what. This is perfect for when they jump on a plane or road trip your way. 

28. Planner

Make sure they never miss a phone or video date by sending them the perfect planner. These are highly customizable, whether they’re keeping up with homework, work. Or personal assignments. 

29. Bestselling book

Another idea is to send one of the top bestsellers on the charts. You can read this pick together, swapping opinions and thoughts along the way. 

30. Photo album

Last but not least, gift a photo album to share all of your moments together. Your friend can fill this book with new memories for when you catch up in-person. 

Show Them You Care

These small appreciation gifts for friends prove that the thought really is what matters most. You don’t need to gift anything over-the-top to show just how much you care. These simple gifts above are thoughtful, practical, and guaranteed to be put to use. 

Gift-giving is one of the many things that bring people together. Offering a small token of kindness when someone needs it most goes a long way. It doesn’t take much to make someone’s day. 

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