18th-Birthday Creative Gift Ideas

Updated July 20, 2017

The 18th birthday is milestone celebration; it is the moment when kids become adults and a new stage in life begins. This birthday also deserves a special gift, so instead of buying a gift anybody could buy, be creative. There are many ideas to make an 18th-birthday gift special. Without having to break the bank you can still get a smile on that brand-new adult.

College Survival Kit

Instead of buying something to decorate his dorm, make a basket with necessities he might need during his college life. Include items such as a gift card for a restaurant or cinema on campus to take his new friends and a funny book about college survival. Ear plugs to be able to sleep when roommates are being noisy and air freshener are also useful items. You can also include instructions to do laundry, a few simple recipes and a first-aid kit.

Memory Box

This gift takes a little more preparation, but it is also very special. To demonstrate that a new stage in life begins, create a memory box or scrapbook of the 18 years past. Include pictures and items from special events in life, such as information about the birth, a piece of baby clothing, a drawing from when she was a little kid, and school memories. Try to include things that she did not know about herself, such as a funny memory or the first words.


All young adults like to receive money as a gift, since they can spend it however they wish. To be creative, don't just give them an envelope with the bills or a gift card; create a money tree. Buy a plastic Christmas tree or other kind of tree, roll up the bills and hang them from the branches. Another idea is to put the money in a box and hide it. Create a map to find the money and give it to the 18-year-old; he will have fun looking for the hidden treasure. You can also freeze the money in ice cubes and have him thaw them to get the money.

Travel Items

Many 18-year-olds take trips after graduating from high school and before starting college. If she plans to do this, you can give her gifts that she can use on her trip. Buy a book about the place she is visiting or maps. You can also give a passport holder or a GPS. Another idea is a backpack with all the necessities, such as travel-size lotion and shampoo, mosquito repellent and sunscreen.

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About the Author

Lucia Mata has been writing since 2008, covering parenting and design topics. Her work has appeared in both English and Spanish publications. Mata has an Associate of Arts in interior design from Salt Lake Community College and a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Utah Valley University.