Unusual gift ideas for unusual people

Dec 24th, 2009 | By | Category: Fun stuff, Must Read, Popular

Having to buy, invent, dream up & magically conjure up gifts for Roger, I have always been on the lookout for unusual, original gifts. Here’s a list of ideas I have used or saved for future use:

  • A personalized caricature portrait (www.sprattiart.com). This looks amazing & of high quality. It is also very original! Cost: around $275
  • Or, even his own comic book, starring him as the superhero you know he is. From yourcomicworld.com. You can choose the subject and describe his traits & habits…the comic artists will do the rest. Cost: $700-$1100
  • Does he paint or take good photographs – create a calendar of his art or photo work, buy it for him – and alternatively list it for sale, publicly, on his behalf  (if you are sure he would love it). There are many options for this, here are a few places to start: lulu.comdigilabs.net, createagift.co.uk (I have used all three, results were good), gettingpersonal.co.uk, photobox.co.uk  Cost: around $20-$25 Shameless plug: Roger’s Art 2011 calendar on lulu.com
  • Is he crazy about his dog, cat, canary…whatever? He must have taken hundreds of photos of it. Make a coffee table book out of his pet’s photos & buy it for him.  Same websites as above apply. Cost: $30-$70
  • Or, you can even create fabric out of his artwork (& buy it for him) . www.spoonflower.com Cost: $18-$32 per yard
  • Does he like colourful things – which are hard to find? Have a look at Etsy.com, for all sorts of handmade clothes, accessories, cosmetics – and you can shop by colour! Cost: $-$$$
  • Do you have more than enough words to express how much you love him? Put them into a love song for him. www.tailoredmusic.com From the website: “You can set your lyrics to a variety of genres, including Jazz, Pop/Rock, Country, Alternative, Classical, and more. When you’re ready, our studio musicians will record your songs and email the MP3 & WAV files to you. The process usually takes 5-10 days.” Cost: $199-$299
  • Conspire with his family (get the photos and info) and create his family tree, which he can share online. www.myheritage.com. Or, on the same website, upload his photo and show him which celebrity he most looks like!
  • Does he sell a lot of stuff on eBay? Buy him this portable photo studio, to improve his product photos and sales. Cost: $49.99
  • Does he shoot a lot of videos for YouTube or his own video channel? Get him a clapper board, so he feels like a true director! Cost: $10
  • I am not a Harry Potter fan, but this Kymera Magic Wand Remote Control looks too cool to pass. Cost: $49.95
  • Does he type a lot & finds it tiring? Buy him the (apparently) world’s most ergonomic keyboard from safetype.com It looks very odd, but they make a very convincing case, and it’s money-back guaranteed. Cost: $189-$295
  • I love this clever pen! The Pulse Smart Pen is simply revolutionary – one of these gadgets that make everyone go “wow!”. Just watch the example usage videos and count your wows! It records everything you hear and links it to everything you write, so you can replay it and not miss a word. The ultimate note-taking aid. Cost: $145-$170 for the Pen (comes with 2 ink cartridges), $7.95-$24.95 for a special notebook or journal pad, if you would like to offer a complete package.
  • Does he like to eat & shop for healthy foods? Two ideas: Buy him the 100 Healthy Food Magnets – each food magnet includes key nutrients, calories, fat, fiber, and protein information. Cost: $22.95 Or, buy him The World’s Healthiest Foods book. We have it – it has great nutritional information & recipes, it is a very useful reference and inspiration. “Heal with food”. Cost: $39.95
  • Humour – who doesn’t want to laugh? Buy him the New Yorker’s Complete Cartoons book. That’s a book with more than 2,000 cartoons and two CD-ROMs with all 68,647 cartoons ever published in the magazine. Cost: $49.95
  • Does he have favourite quotes? Or does he write short poems? Get him a Lightpoem from shapeways.com. Worth browsing, as it has some other amazing gifts you can make, which they manufacture with 3D printing. Free shipping worldwide (appreciated).  Cost: $70-$95

Last-minute possible(no shipping necessary):

  • Give him his own typeface! If you can get a sample of his handwriting, you can submit it online and then get the typeface (font) and give it to him to install on his computer. He can then type on his PC with his handwritten characters. Cool, huh? www.frontifier.com Cost: 9$
  • Is he interested in improving his writing skills?  Give him a writing course as a gift. E.g. www.writingclasses.com Cost: $125-$545 Or, if he is into travel writing, check out Matador Travel Writing School:  matadoru.com Cost: $125/month for 3 months, or $350 one-time payment
  • Is he interested in turning himself into a brand? Buy him a “Brand-Me” course from Design Aerobics. (They have other cool design stuff for gifts too, from $ to $$) Cost: $69
  • Does he enjoy jokes and satire? Buy him a JibJab.com membership, and/or create a movie starring him. It’s easy! Cost: $12 annual membership, plus about $5 per video download.
  • Does he like to send e-cards to his friends & family? I normally prefer real greetings cards, but Jacquie Lawson’s e-cards are an exception. They are so beautiful, almost magical. (Roger – who hates e-cards – loved them!). Just preview “The Dancing Piper” or “Santa’s Flight” in the Christmas cards section and you’ll see… Cost: $12 for a year’s membership.
  • Loves to visit stately homes & gardens in England? Buy him an annual membership to the National Trust (from the US – or from the UK). They have some of the most wonderful properties, gardens and tea rooms. We always visit some of them when in England. Cost: $55-$62.50 one-person annual membership ($80 for 2 people).
  • Speaking of travel, who doesn’t love to browse & get the inside scoop on the most wonderful locations and hotels? Buy him a membership to exclusive services & guides, like Nota Bene, Indagare or Andrew Harper’s Hideaway Report Cost: Nota Bene – $420/year, Indagare – $250-$1200/year, Andrew Harper –  $195/year, or $500/year (plus $400 initial setup)
  • “Experience gifts” are a bit tricky if you don’t know the person’s schedule & tastes very well, but Isango.com offers some attractive, easy to gift activities & tours. Cost: $$-$$$
  • Donating to charity in someone else’s name I find  presumptuous & unoriginal. If you must, I like Kiva.org, where you can make micro-loans to specific people and track the progress of the individual who receives your loan.  Cost: $25-$10,000
  • If he doesn’t have it already – buy him his own domain (e.g. johnsmith.com) & web-hosting for it (www.godaddy.com – domain registration & hosting,  www.medialayer.com – hosting). If he always meant to start blogging but found it hard (technically) to get started, install WordPress on his domain (on your own, if you know how, or hire somebody to do it for you), and just give him the login codes. He will be able to start posting right away. Cost: $9.99 first year domain name registration, from $9.95/month web hosting, around $100 WordPress installation (note: GoDaddy.com offers an easy, WordPress quick-install option with their hosting).
  • OK, you may find this silly, but we could not believe Outlook does not offer a “print selection” or “print from page x to y” option. What happens if you have to print some emails and they include pages-worth of previous correspondence but you only want to print the latest reply?  Finally, we found this little plugin that works well & fast:  Blueprint for Outlook. If he nagged about Outlook’s printing problem, he will thank you forever. Cost: $19.99-$49.99 for a single license.

Cheeky note: All the links above are direct, non-affiliate links. If my list is a god-send for you, feel free to tip me for the ideas!

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