How to Personalize a Birthday Party and Birthday Gifts

Birthdays are one of my favourite celebrations and I love doing things that make my friends, family and especially my son, feel really special on their birthday. Personalizing gifts, accessories and decorations can really show how much thought you’ve put into the occasion, as well as making it very memorable. Here are some fantastic suggestions for how to personalize a birthday to make it the best celebration possible.

Unique Birthday Cards

These days there are so many unique birthday designs available. There’s no need to go into a supermarket and browse endless mass-manufactured cards with generic greetings inside. Of course, you can always make something from scratch. I think the best cards are unique hand-made ones.

Personalized T-shirts or Clothing

A personalized t-shirt is immediately fun. You can personalize a t-shirt with the name, date or age of the person you’re celebrating, or if you want to make it a t-shirt that you or they could wear all year around, you could just personalize it with something you know will resonate with them – whether that’s their favourite quote or a design to do with their hobby, or the theme of the party. It also gives you an opportunity to just pick their favourite colour or a design you feel confident they will like.

For William’s third birthday party we had an epic Paw Patrol birthday celebration, so I personalized a t-shirt for him to wear on the day with a Paw Patrol design and his age. He absolutely loved it and I think it’ll make a memorable keepsake. Personalizing a t-shirt is surprisingly easy, you can do it all online without needing any complicated graphic design skills. You can have a t-shirt mockup to see how your ideal t-shirt would look so you’ll know in advance if it’s going to look awesome or not. If it’s a bit chilly or the party is outside, don’t worry, it’s not only t-shirts you can get designed, there’s a wide range of clothing you can personalize. You can get sock mockups, leggings mockups or even sweatshirt mockups – really, if you can think of it, you can get it designed!

You can match it with the theme of the party, so for example for a Beach party, you could all have personalized beach flip-flops to wear, or for a winter skiing party, you could even have gloves.

Porsha Williams from The Real Housewives of Atlanta recently celebrated her 39th birthday party on a yacht, completed with personalized t-shirts. Okay, maybe we can’t all have a yacht party for our birthday, but we could definitely have a yacht-themed party!

Celebrating with a Personal Party Theme

As I mentioned, for William’s third birthday we had a Paw Patrol Theme. For his second birthday, we did Safari Animals, with a trip to the zoo, and first his first birthday we had a Welsh themed cake smash. I think having a theme really brings a celebration together and it doesn’t matter whether you’re three years old, thirty years old or seventy three years old – there is something that will make a good party theme. I’ve written before about epic party themes for children from LEGO to Frozen to Hey Duggee!, and there are some great ideas there which can really engage kids and make their birthday party special and fun – as well as making it a memorable celebration for you and all the guests too.

Some fun themes for adults could include a Hollywood theme party, tropical party, beach party, Casino party, decade era party like the 70s or the 20s, a sports party or a theme party based on their favourite movie, video game or book.

If you’re looking to create a personalized birthday theme for a party, here are some of the things you want to think about in advance:

  • Personalized party invitations.
  • Themed tableware – including tablecloth, plates, dishes, cutlery and cups.
  • Suitable table decorations / centerpieces.
  • Decorations to hang around the room, including balloons, garlands and posters.
  • Props, toys or activities that fit the theme.
  • Food and drink that matches the theme, with labels and names to make it more fun.

Personalized Gifts

A personalized gift is a great touch whether it’s for birthday, Christmas, Mother’s Day or another celebration entirely. There is a massive range of gifts that can be personalized for the extra special touch and I can’t get into them all, but here are some suggestions for items that can be engraved or personalized.

Toys – You might think there’s not a lot out there for personalized toys, but there are definitely ways you can give something unique. Etsy has a wide range of one-off hand-made toys, which support small businesses, local craftsmen and give you exactly what you’re looking for. You can also engrave messages into a wide range of wood or metals. For example for his first birthday we bought William a rocking horse with his name and date of birth engraved on the bottom. For his third birthday he had a personalized piggy bank, styled after Peppa Pig.

Jewelry – From personalized cuff links to rings with an engraving on the inside, to lockets containing tiny photos of family members, there are tons of options for finding the perfect piece of jewelry for any recipient and making it unique.

Stationary – Stationary is something which is easily personalized and can be a lovely gift. It’s also a thing that people often don’t spend a lot of money on for themselves, going more for the practical than the extravagant, so this means it can be a welcome treat. Examples of stationary that can be personalized as a gift include notebooks, stamps or seals, pens, pencils and pencil cases or desk organizers.

Wall Art, Photos or Calendars – Whether your recipient is into beautiful art or photos of family, there is a massive array of ways to display anything you have chosen. You can customize art or have the photo frame engraved, you can create your own photo print designs, or have their favourite things in a calendar for the year. And since this will be on the wall, this is going to remind them of your love and appreciation every day. One highly popular idea is to frame old maps as a gift. You can find these online, but the idea is that you give them a framed map of a location that means a lot to them. Perhaps it’s an old map of the UK or a city they grew up in. These gifts are unique and make for good wall art as well!

Kitchen Items – Knife blocks, cutting boards and mugs are the most common kitchen items you’ll see personalized, but really, the options for engraving or personalizing in the kitchen are extensive. From tea towels, to cheese boards, to an engraved plaque on a coffee maker, there’s always a way to make your kitchen gift extra special.

By personalizing these – or any – gifts you would show that you put time and thought into buying it and created a memorable gift that will be appreciated by the recipient for many years to come. You can find more ideas and mock ups with a massive range of gift potential from bedding to mugs and more.

I hope that sharing these ideas for a personalized birthday celebration as well as gifts you can give to any recipient has given you some things to think about. I’d love to know in the comments if you ended up using any of these ideas, gifts or themes, or if you have any of your own you’d like to share.

This post was written in collaboration with Design Bundles.

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