Stuck on a gift for a special person? Get personal with these customizable gift ideas

Banu Ibrahim, CNN Underscored
Updated Wed January 22, 2020

Simple presents or gift cards may work for a co-worker's birthday, but generic gifts aren't going to cut it when it comes to the more special people in your life.

For them — your parents, siblings, children, close friends and spouse included — gift giving is all about being personal and showing your appreciation in the most thoughtful way possible. One way to do it is with a customized gift.

Whether it's a monogrammed robe or an album full of personal photos, these one-of-a-kind gifts reinforce to your loved ones just how much thought you put into your gift. And hey, you'll never have to worry about these items getting regifted.

Not sure where to start? Peruse the gift ideas below, all of which can be tailored to perfectly suit whoever is on your list this year.

Women's Long Sleeve Cotton Robe ($69.95; landsend.com)

Monogram this cozy cotton robe and anyone on your gift list will feel lavish and pampered. The Supima cotton is ultra-soft for supreme comfort.

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Custom Photo Book (starting at $15.98; shutterfly.com)

This photo book is super easy to customize with Shutterfly's free "Make My Album" service, where an expert designer will help you create your album in days.

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Coordinate Bar Necklace ($78; brookandyork.com)

Whether it's where the two of you first met, that one cafe he always went to, or where she found out she finally nailed that dream job, this necklace engraved with the latitude and longitude of that special place will be a cherished reminder of what happened there.

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Custom Map Print (starting at $49.99; grafomap.com)

Remember that park you always went to as a kid? Or the blocks where you spent your time on vacation? With grafomap you can make custom, minimalist maps that mark the most memorable places in someone's life.

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Happy Campers Personalized Doormat ($22.99; walmart.com)

If you want to give someone a bit of adorable decor that makes guests feel right at home, this super cute doormat is a great housewarming gift.

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Personalized Coffee Mug ($15.99; amazon.com)

With all sorts of designs available, from an elephant to a wreath, this mug is fully customizable with your logo, name or any other text. Available in 11-ounce and 15-ounce sizes, it's perfect for the coffee lover or mug collector in your life.

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Moleskine Personalized Notebooks and Planners (prices vary; moleskine.com)

Perfect for journaling or planning out the new year, Moleskine notebooks are high-quality products made even better with personalization. With two lines you can spell out names, companies or even subjects, plus Moleskine has a series of cute symbols you can add on, such as dogs and flowers.

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Custom Candle ($24; amazon.com)

Perfect for any couple on your list, these custom candles have a heart-shaped map and names on the label.

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Scratch the World Travel Map ($25.99, originally $35.95; amazon.com)

If you're getting a gift for wanderlust-filled travelers, this scratch-off map is perfect for them to visualize all the places they've gone and all the places they'll go.

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Cute Elephant Striped Blanket ($29.95; zazzle.com)

If you're buying for a newborn, this absolutely adorable baby blanket is totally customizable with any name.

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Custom Yeti Water Bottle (starting at $24.99; yeti.com)

Yeti makes a collection of customizable drinkware from wine tumblers and mugs to water bottles and even dog bowls. These products use double-wall vacuum insulation to keep liquids hot or cold for hours on end, and you can make them personal with a name, any of their preset designs or even an uploaded logo.

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Personalized Whiskey Glass ($23.99; amazon.com)

Whether it's for your bourbon-loving brother, or a friend honing her whiskey-tasting skills, these custom engraved whiskey glasses are great for any cocktail drinker in your life.

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The Minimalist Three-Hand Smoke Stainless Steel Watch ($139; fossil.com)

These classic-looking timepieces are available in 10 colors and come with free engraving. A truly classy gift for any guy in your life.

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Cuyana Leather Travel Case Set ($140; cuyana.com)

And for the classy woman in your life, these elegant leather travel cases are simple and beautiful. Plus, a monogram makes this bag exclusively hers, without being cheesy.

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Embossed Derrick RFID Wallet ($64; fossil.com)

This simple wallet is made of leather and has 12 credit card slots, an ID window and a lining with RFID protection.

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Anthropologie Monogram Agate Coaster ($16; nordstrom.com)

Add a monogram to these stunning agate coasters to make them truly personal. The soft white color with an elegant gold letter creates a chic coaster that will complement any bar cart.

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Homesick Candle ($25.45; amazon.com)

One of our favorite gifts, these candles capture the essence of any hometown or special place. With scents inspired by cities, states, countries and even life events like a new job (which has notes of leather and cinnamon), there's a perfect candle for every occasion.

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Monogram 5-Piece Cheese Board & Utensil Set ($58; nordstrom.com)

If you haven't caught on yet, cheese-boarding is a new hobby that is absolutely blowing up on Instagram. If you know someone ready to up their cheese board game, try this monogrammed platter with included utensils.

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Plaque Steel Bracelet ($48; fossil.com)

If you're looking for personalized jewelry, try this simple and elegant bracelet that's sure to be a wardrobe staple.

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Personalized Giant Teddy Bear ($42.99, originally $48.99; walmart.com)

This 27-inch tall giant teddy bear has a colored bow that you can personalize to create the perfect stuffed animal for any child. With colors like blue, green, red and more, plus two lines for a message, this bear will love those youngsters forever.

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Personalized Farmhouse Floral Tea Towel ($11.99; bedbathandbeyond.com)

This towel has a cute floral design paired with a rustic, homey font, making it the perfect kitchen towel for the cook in your life. You can customize it with a letter and two lines of writing for a personal message.

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New York Times Front Page Reprint ($60; store.nytimes.com)

If you want to mark a special day in history, you can get a front page reprint of The New York Times from nearly any date going back to 1851.

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Monogrammed Flask Set ($48.50; zazzle.com)

This stainless steel flask weighs 6 ounces and is equipped with a magnetic lid. You can get a letter and name stamped on, plus two shot glasses, a funnel and a neat travel case are included.

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Curology (starting at $19.95/month; curology.com)

If you've got a skin care fanatic on your list, Curology is an amazing service that curates a skin routine specifically for an individual.

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Custom Alcatraz Laptop Backpack ($144; timbuk2.com)

If there's a traveler in your life, or just someone who can't leave the house without a bag, try this specially made laptop bag, perfect for the 9-to-5 grind.

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Custom iPhone Case (starting at $22.50, originally $44.99; shutterfly.com)

There's so much competition among phone cases, why not personalize yours with something that's truly unique? Shutterfly allows you to put your own photos on the back of your phone so it's really one of a kind.

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Personalized Bedtime Story ($34.95; amazon.com)

If you're looking for gifts for a newborn or a baby shower, there's nothing better than this custom bedtime story. It inserts the child's name into the title and the story itself, so the baby will have a cute story to listen to and the parents will be more than impressed with your gifting skills.

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Personlized Sports Shirt (starting at $37.99; fanatics.com)

Sports fans will absolutely love these personalized shirts from their favorite teams. Pick a number and put any name on the back of the shirt so they can show their fandom to the world.

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Main Line Grab and Go Bag ($305; tourparavel.com)

One of our favorite bag brands, Paravel makes some of the nicest duffels and luggage on the market. Plus, you can personalize this great bag with letters or even hand-painted emojis.

Note: The prices above reflect the retailers' listed prices at the time of publication.