Finding meaningful gifts for moms - especially moms who don't need anything or gifts for moms who "don't want anything" - can be a challenge. These personalized gifts for mom are truly thoughtful ways to show that you know them, love them and appreciate them.
I have two sisters, so my dad spent years in a house full of women. He grew up as one of three boys and lettered in four sports in high school and then raised three daughters. I’m sure my childhood home was a never-ending shock to his system. Bathroom outlets exploding with curling irons and flat irons and hair dryers. Squealing packs of girls in the basement and constantly clogged phone lines (please tell me at least some of you remember calling friends on phones, getting busy signals and then redialing over and over).
God gave my dad girls because that’s what he needed - and what my mom needed. My dad coached my softball teams and intimidated my boyfriends and moved me in and out of at least eight dorm rooms and apartments during my late teens and early 20s. He’s amazing at a lot of things, but he would tell you himself that gift-giving is not his love language.
And my mom loves...no strike that...is obsessed with giving gifts. Mom also appreciates receiving meaningful gifts. That’s where my sisters and I come in. We were trained in the art of thoughtful gift giving by a seasoned pro, and we’re pretty darn good at sniffing out meaningful gifts for mom. Personalized gifts for mom that she’ll really like and actually use. Thoughtful gifts for moms who don’t necessarily need anything, and gifts for moms who “don’t want anything.”
Below are some of my favorite personalized gifts for mom:
Scout around for a cherished family recipe in a loved one’s handwriting and add it to one of these gorgeous cutting boards. You choose the type of wood and size and send a scan of a handwritten family recipe. I chose this particular board because it’s engraved. Other options were a little less expensive, but were photo transfers. The Indiana-based shop also received rave reviews.
These stamped bookmarks can say whatever you like! Choose a favorite quote or a bible verse and then decide if you want it stamped on a copper, aluminum silver or brass bookmark.
I recently discovered the affordable and personalized world of custom wine labels that celebrate different occasions. This label lets you upload your own photo and overlay text if you choose. You see a final proof and then the Etsy shop owner drops the label in the mail for you to add to your own bottle of wine.
This label ships to you on flexible, moisture-resistant paper, but if you start looking around at other options, watch carefully because some retailers charge for the label design and require that you print at home on your own adhesive paper.
These beautiful book displays are made by a woman in my area and sold on Etsy. I have a set with my three kids’ names sitting on my shelf, but you can also request meaningful phrases and change the number of books and type of ribbon to get just the look and message you want.
For moms on the go, Yeti tops the charts for tumblers that keep hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold. This Etsy retailer customizes Yeti tumblers, and we’re talking 13+ color options and 18 designs - anything from a first name to a monogram inside a pineapple. Personalization is laser engraved rather than a vinyl sticker, so designs are permanent.
These bags, from give-back company The Shop Forward, will get your creativity going as you come up with four heartfelt or hilarious words or phrases. Give a teacher mom: Caffeinate, Educate, Sleep, Repeat. Or let a mom know how well you really know her: Coffee. Soccer. Friends. Books.
Though Red Giraffe sells jewelry on Etsy and in 50+ retail locations nationwide, we trust and love it because it’s founded in our area. A student I mentored gave me a pair of Red Giraffe stud earrings that I wore almost every day until I tragically lost one. The Etsy story has a category specifically for customized jewelry, including these cuff bracelets and necklaces.
I’ve given Blink Boxes as baby gifts but the new Bucket List Journal is a great personalized gift for mom. This Blink Box gives moms a bucket list item checklist with 36 pages to document each bucket list item as it’s completed. It also comes with 74 interactive journal pages with room for photos, and packages all of the 5-7 pages in a keepsake box.
Mugs for Moms has become my go-to for delivering fun and personalized surprises. Each mug contains a sweet treat, a $5 coffee shop gift card and a little note with a personalized message. You give information on the person and situation when you order so that the mug is a good fit. The owner April has also been amazing with our custom requests (things like adding a Doordash gift card and adding it to the base cost.) Mugs are delivered right to doorsteps in the Central Ohio area, but are also available for shipping nationwide.
I stopped to visit a friend and spotted a piece of art in progress. Turns out it was paint-by-number kit from MII Creative of the house she grew up in. She sent in a photograph and then sent her back the paint-by-number canvas and paints. It was beautiful even half finished! Send any photo you want (think favorite vacation photo or pet photo) and get a beautiful and fun art project to gift to a mom.
I bought a sign from this local shop as a wedding gift, and it was absolutely gorgeous. A handmade sign with your last name might be a beautiful and personalized gift for mom that she’ll love for years. The shop offers lots of different shapes, sizes and colors - and it really helps to look at all of the photos to get an idea what you like best.
Etsy and Simply Sage Market let you find unique and personalized gifts for mom.
A “So Her” Shirt
For a little help with brainstorming:
- Think about things and places they love (the beach, the cabin, Disney, the mountains, pumpkin spice, caffeine, wine, tacos)
- Think about their stage of life and motherhood (endless hours chasing littles or watching kids’ sports)
- Think about their jobs and hobbies (nurse moms, teacher moms, outdoorsy moms, runner moms)
I ordered this for myself to keep my word of the year front and center, so I guess that still means it was a gift for a mom who loved it. You can choose the font and opt for black or white script and any single word. A small but personal gift that’s perfect for an office desk, a bedside table or a shelf display.
(Get $10 off when you use this link)
This keepsake gift is truly a treasure. Storyworth helps you get family memories down on paper by sending weekly questions by email for a year and then compiling responses and photos into a hardbound book. Buy one for a mom and you can customize the questions - choosing from Storyworth’s bank of hundreds of questions or creating your own. Ask what her parents were like and what her favorite childhood memories are and why she chose to name her kids what she did.
My sisters and I bought this for our parent and it’s set up so that each week’s response goes to all of our emails where we can read it and comment. We’ve heard so many stories and learned things we never know. We can’t wait to see the final book. (Just make sure to only give this to moms who will follow through and really do it, because for the cost you want those memories!)
For moms who love to travel, this gift is the perfect way to collect memories. You buy the leather keychain and then add tokens for places you visit. National parks, countries, states, continents or even oceans and seas.
(15% discount with code "SALTEFFECT")
A pillow with your little one’s handwriting would melt any mom’s heart, but I might even need it more as a mom of tweens and teens to sustain me when attitudes strike. There are three size and shape options, and you just email a photo of the handwriting or even drawing. The creator Abby is local to our Central Ohio area and does beautiful work.
(20% discount with code "salteffect")
Phones are practically an accessory these days, so it’s a fun and useful gift as a mom to get a new case option with favorite photos or a design you love. Reasons we love ordering personalized items from Custom Envy:
- The site makes it so easy to customize fonts, colors, photos and designs. You see exactly what your product will look like before you order.
- It’s owned by a family in our area.
- They have so many fun things to customize from beach towels to blankets to mugs.
It’s always fun to show a little hometown pride, and these hats do just that. This Tennessee-based shop also has other great hats and visors for moms - tons of relaxed fit options so you can find just the right one.
This is an art print that visually captures the sound waves of a voice, several voices or a favorite song. You choose the colors and size and then send an audio recording (up to eight voices) or the favorite line you want from a certain a song and artist. Opt to print a message below the wave or even request a QR code label to attach to the back so mom can scan and hear the actual recording. The Etsy retailer gives simple and clear instructions for getting and submitting recordings.
You’ll need to plan 5-7 weeks in advance, but these custom watercolors will capture where mom grew up, her favorite family cabin or the home where she raised her kids. Once the original is complete, you can order prints for other family members at a fraction of the cost.