10 Unique Gift Ideas for Friends on Any Occasion

Woman giving another woman a bouquet of flowers

The gift of good friendships improves your quality of life.

They're the gift that keeps on giving-- friends show up for you, share tears of laughter and sadness, and create life-long memories with you. To keep a friendship healthy and happy, you should invest in giving them your time and energy whenever possible. This creates feelings of mutuality, which continues to build a fulfilling relationship.

If you want to show extra appreciation for those that mean the most to you, consider offering them one of these 10 gift ideas for friends.

1. Give Them the Gift of Life

Plants are a timeless and effortless gift. While most people opt for fresh-cut flowers, you can make this option unique by giving your friend a living plant.

If your friend isn't much of a green thumb, opt for low-maintenance cacti, succulents, or potted flowers. You can even put the plant you choose into a self-watering plant so that it takes care of itself.

Giving the gift of a plant will remind them of your love while improving their indoor air quality, stress levels, and health.

2. Write a Gratitude List

If you're looking for a sentimental, low-budget option, consider writing your friend a list of why you're grateful for their friendship.

Get as specific as you can. This will make the other person feel seen and understood.

A gratitude list with beautiful penmanship won't only make your friend feel good. Research shows that expressing gratitude leads to increased optimism and happiness.

This is also a great option in addition to other purchased gifts.

3. Pass On Your Favorite Book

Regardless of the season, who doesn't love to cozy up with a good read?

Rather than giving your friend a random, best-seller book, give them something from your personal collection. Choose a book that inspired, challenged, or entertained you.

You can make this gift extra special by signing the inner cover with a personal note. Alternatively, you could get the book signed by the author.

Regardless of how you go about it, giving a friend your favorite book spreads the joy that you gained from the experience of reading it. It also gives you something to talk about once they finish.

4. Experience-Based Gift Ideas for Friends

If your friend is a do-er, get them an experience-based gift. 

You can choose one-time experiences like a massage, a fancy dinner, or a do-it-yourself art kit. If you want to give a gift that keeps on giving, get them a recurring experience like a yoga or cooking class.

When choosing an experience-based gift, choose something that your friend would like. By being aware of their interests, you can invest in experiences that further their interests and passions.

5. Commission Artwork

Thanks to social media, you now have a world of artists at your fingertips.

Without leaving your couch, you can find an artist online to commission a piece for your friend. This could be a painting, stained glass, pottery, or anything that you feel fits your friendship.

The benefits of commissioning a piece of art are that it's personal and one of a kind. You can ask the artist to make something inspired by a person, place, or thing that your friend adores.

This option is a win-win, as it's both a gift for your friend and direct support to an aspiring creative. 

6. Send Them a Gift Basket

The best way to make your friend feel special is to send them a gift basket full of lovely items.

This is a great COVID-era gift, as gift baskets can be enjoyed in the comfort of one's home. If you want your friend to have a relaxing experience, consider a spa basket that's full of calm-inducing products.

Gift baskets are things that your friend can enjoy with their family, too. They can contribute to meaningful experiences with those who they share them with.

A movie night basket, for instance, can bring your friend and their loved ones together through sharing popcorn and candy.

7. Sign Them Up for a Subscription Box

If your friend is a complete nerd about something, consider getting them a subscription box related to their interests.

These are monthly boxes sent to their home filled with things that they're bound to love. They can focus on pets, children, coffee, plants, science, or anything that you can think of.

You can always keep it simple by giving them an organic food subscription box. Just be sure to set the time frame of the subscription so that you don't accidentally forget to cancel it.

8. Make Them Tasty Treats

Hand-made gifts are classic, but many people don't feel creative or artistic enough to pull them off.

If you find yourself in that situation, consider making your friend a delicious food or drink item. You can find easy recipes online that are fool-proof and inexpensive.

You could make liqueur with plants from your garden, simple syrup for their morning beverage, or hot sauce that will knock their socks off.

Should you still be nervous about making them something, you can always pick up fresh bread or pastries from a local bakery.

9. Tie a Bow on an Adornment

Adornments are wearable gifts. You could choose jewelry, a pocket square, a bag, or a comforting robe for your friend.

This gift option has a wide price range, making it accessible to many people. Just keep in mind that you're shopping for your friend, not yourself. 

10. Be of Service

Some people are hard to shop for. If your friend is one of those people, consider giving the gift of service.

You can offer your time via babysitting, making them a home-cooked meal, or walking their dog.

To make a service-based gift feel official, be sure to write down what you're offering on a card or letter. You could even make your own redeemable coupon for the service you're offering. 

Give a Thoughtful Gift Today

With these 10 unique gift ideas for friends, you can choose something thoughtful and relevant to the person you care about.

If you want to give an all-inclusive gift, shop for a gift basket to make your friend feel loved.

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