I love thinking outside the box when it comes to giving gifts. When it’s time to pick out a gift for someone, I want it to be perfect. I want people to cherish the gifts I give them. I want them to be meaningful, yet creative. When it came time to think about First Anniversary gifts for D, I had no idea how I was going to be creative with paper. But then I sat down to really brainstorm ideas and I discovered many different ways to give a paper gift. Here are my favorite ten paper gifts – perfect for your first anniversary or for any time really!
Scrapbook – This may be one of my favorite gifts to make and give. While making the scrapbook, you get to remember all your good times with that person. If it’s your first anniversary gift, make it a scrapbook of your honeymoon or your first year together. You can include cards you’ve received, movie or concert tickets you’ve been to, pictures of your favorite times together – the possibilities are endless! The best part is you don’t need a lot of equipment to make this … you can buy a simple scrapbook and use things you have around your house to decorate it. There’s really no need for all that expensive scrapbook stuff!
Bouquet of paper flowers – Everyone loves flowers, but they eventually die. Why not make a bouquet of paper flowers that will last forever? There are so many instructions on how to make paper flowers – my favorites are this one from TLC, these roses from Martha Stewart, and these watercolor roses from Martha Stewart.
Paper wallet – This is a perfect gift for that special man in your life. Every man needs a wallet – and they seem to go through them like they are going out of style! There are many different instruction guides online – this one is my favorite. You can use heavy duty paper (like a brown paper grocery bag) or reinforce the wallet with duct tape.
Tickets to a concert, theater, sports event – This is, obviously, my favorite pick. Especially if you can find an upcoming event that is meaningful to you and the recipient! Think creatively – maybe that band that you saw on your first date will be back in town. Or that show that you’ve both always wanted to see is coming soon. Or maybe it’s as simple as a movie that you’ve been dying to see – add a homemade coupon for dinner at your favorite restaurant, and you’ve got the perfect date night combination!
I have to give all the credit to my mom for this idea – she sent us a blank journal with this written inside the front cover:
You may have many journals lying around already. I bought this for you in hopes that you will leave it out on your bedroom table or dresser and each day of the next year write a note to each other. It doesn’t have to be much, just whatever thoughts you might have that morning or evening. You will find each other looking forward to checking the journal to see what is waiting for you.
I have to admit – it has been one of the best gifts we have ever received.
Love letter – Some of the most memorable gifts are the ones that you can keep in your dresser drawer forever. This is one of those gifts. Remember how great it was to receive a love letter from your first love? With email and texting, we’ve lost the power of writing on paper. Grab some paper, go to a local park, and write your heart out. This will be one of his (or her) most cherished gifts for many years to come!
Recipe book filled with recipes from your favorite meals together – One of the best ways to spend time together is to cook and eat together. There’s something about making a meal that makes it more special than going out to eat. Create a recipe book with all your favorite recipes – or if you haven’t cooked together much, pull in all the recipes you want to try in the next year. You can use a notebook, recipe cards and a box, or if you want it to be fancy, consider using Tastebook. We made a cookbook for our families for Christmas and it was quite a hit!
Self-publish a book – Are you a writer? Collect all your favorite writings and make a book out of them. Lulu is a great resource for self-publishing. I found a notebook full of poems I wrote when I was in high school and published them exclusively for D this Christmas. There’s only one copy – and it’s his! Or if you haven’t written anything up to this point, sit down with a pen and a piece of paper and see where your thoughts take you. You might be surprised!
Book – This may seem simple, but books can make great gifts! Pick a book that you know they’ve always wanted. Or go out on a limb and pick something you just know they’d love. You could also pick a book you can read together. Reading books together can make for great conversation!
Plane tickets and a map planning out an upcoming vacation – D & I traveled quite a bit before we got married. When our first anniversary rolled around, we realized that we hadn’t really been on vacation since our honeymoon! Map out a road trip or purchase plane tickets to that place you’ve always wanted to go. It’ll get you away from real life for a while and help you relax your mind and enjoy one another’s company!
There are so many other creative paper gifts out there. What’s your favorite?