Homemade 21st birthday gift ideas

Updated April 17, 2017

Turning 21 is a major milestone in a young person's life. Although you can legally drink alcohol at 18 in the UK, it's still seen as a milestone in the journey to adulthood. A suitable gift for a 21st birthday relates to the recipient's age and stage of life. If money is tight, think outside the box and come up with a homemade gift from the heart.

21 things

Present a gift of 21 of her favourite homemade baked goods, such as cookies, cupcakes or brownies. Wrap each one individually in clear cellophane paper and ribbon for a decorative touch. Write a "21 reasons why I love you" poem. It doesn't have to rhyme; simply list 21 reasons why you love the person. For a sibling or close family member, create a book of 21 coupons. Include services like "free oil change," "one session of financial advice from Dad" and "favourite home-cooked meal."

Alcohol-related gifts

Although the individual will have been able to legally drink for a few years, the 21st birthday is commonly an alcohol-fuelled event, and a hangover kit makes a funny (yet useful) gift. The kit may include a bottle of aspirin, bottled water, an antacid, mints, and a note with your phone number and the numbers of several local taxi companies so that the person will not drive home drunk. Create the card on bright red paper and print the numbers in large print. Emphasise your willingness to pick them up if they ever need it. If the birthday celebration will take place at a house party, create a speciality drink and bring it to the festivities. Experiment or find a recipe and call it the "21st special."

University memories gifts

Many people turning 21 are about to graduate from university. Gather pictures from shared moments in university and create a slide show on your computer. Include video clips, too. Set the slide show to sentimental music or a favourite song. For a lower-tech version, create a framed photo collage. Tap into university friends and ask each to write down a particular memory of the birthday person. Put all of the memories into a large jar and write on the lid, "Remember when..."

After-university gifts

For the 21-year-old leaving university, gifts that will be useful in the next stage of life will be appreciated. If you happen to be really good at writing CVs, find a copy of your friend's current CV and make it outstanding. Print it on card stock and include additional paper and an electronic copy. Or offer your free CV writing services. For the person who has already landed his first job, find some smooth river rocks, paint them in bright colours and add his initials. These can be used as paperweights at work and reminders of a friendship. Small framed notes of encouragement can also enhance a work cubicle. Include notes like, "You can do this!", "No task is too small,"and "Climb that ladder!"

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About the Author

Based in Los Angeles, Zora Hughes has been writing travel, parenting, cooking and relationship articles since 2010. Her work includes writing city profiles for Groupon. She also writes screenplays and won the S. Randolph Playwriting Award in 2004. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in television writing/producing and a Master of Arts Management in entertainment media management, both from Columbia College.