Whether you’re welcoming a new neighbor or saying goodbye to a close friend, having a personalized housewarming gift can speak volumes to your current relationship or a relationship to come. Plus, who doesn’t want a little reminder of you everywhere that they go?
Below are a few personalized gift ideas, from fancier custom products, to more affordable (and fun!) DIY projects that any recipient is sure to love. There may even be a surprise appearance from our old friend, the gift basket…
1. World Travel Map – Oh, the Places They’ll Go!
Whatever the circumstances leading up to the move, a new home inevitably represents a new start. With that comes the opportunity to explore new surroundings, personal goals, and beyond!
Enter the world travel map. There are tons of options available, from affordable DIY projects to custom text prints for family names, quotes, or whatever else strikes your fancy:
Etsy Shop – SoleStudio
If you have a hunch that your recipient would be more interested in travel by region, say Europe or the United States, there are plenty of localized options. Here’s one that includes U.S. national parks, perfect for your more adventurous friends:
Etsy Shop – Artalytics
2. Cityscape, Skyline, or Custom Art Prints
One of my closest friends recently relocated to Boston. Being a bit familiar with the custom print space, I scoured the web for photos of the skyline and other unique images of her new city.
In addition to the many panoramic photos of Boston’s downtown, I stumbled across an array of creative, artsy designs. After the inevitable hour plus of Etsy distraction, I selected this one from artPause:
Etsy Store – artPause
My friend loves the print, and there are plenty of similar styles available for other major cities. If you’re working with a smaller town or city with few art pieces available, focus instead on the state itself. I, for example, attended college in Gambier, OH, an area known more for its Amish population than a vibrant cityscape:
Etsy Shop – Design615
Some prints include quotes or areas for custom text that can add an even more personal touch to your gift. One of my favorite prints at home is an Austin map with the words “You Are Where You Belong” emblazoned across the top. When the city’s notorious summer heat or traffic congestion start to get to me, the print is a great reminder of my true love for the city (especially when combined with a glass of wine).
On the flip side, a canvas print, photo album, or scrapbook with memories of the recipient’s previous home may be an even better approach. My dorm room in college was filled with pictures of friends and family in other states, a comforting display of the people in my life no longer down the street or across the hall. Note to parents: it can also help your college kids remember to call home!
3. Not Your Average Accessories
As someone who often lives far from close friends and family, I love personalized home decor that makes them feel just a little bit closer. “Missing you” throw pillows can be customized with hearts across two or more states, bringing together the location of friends, family, or couples in one unique image:
Etsy Store – iXiDesign
Pillows are another great option to highlight a new city, from more state prints to increasingly popular coordinate pillows:
Etsy Store – FinchandCotter
Nowadays your favorite memories can even be made into custom photo blankets, yet another option for a sentimental (and comfy!) housewarming gift.
4. Return of the Gift Basket
Okay, I know I promised “beyond gift basket” gift ideas. But, when done right, gift baskets can still be very meaningful and appreciated housewarming gifts! The key is to make them personal, ideally with a DIY gift basket that will bring happiness to your friend and your bank account.
When planning your gift basket, think about the particular circumstances for the new house or change in location. New baby on the way? Go with a baby themed basket. First home as newlyweds? Put together a champagne set for their grand entrance. Or maybe your friend can’t wait to start a garden for organic vegetables and her new “clean eating” lifestyle. The diet may pass, but she’ll never forget your DIY gardening basket:
Elizabeth Anne Designs
If you’re shopping for a new acquaintance or there’s no relevant life event, going with a basket of local treats is always a safe bet. Compile a list of food that the new city is known for, and explore yelp to find popular restaurants that would be perfect for a gift card to slip in. Local beer, wine, or other spirits are also universally appreciated. Austin is known for live music, BBQ, and keepin’ it weird, so I try to keep that in mind for my local housewarming gifts.
What are your favorite housewarming gifts? Please share below, gift baskets and all!