Ideas for Sentimental Birthday Gifts for Teenagers

Updated February 21, 2017

Give a teenager a sentimental birthday gift if she has everything else that she needs, or if you just want to give her something more meaningful than the latest designer jeans or electronic gadget. Sentimental gifts have a deeper and more personal meaning than typical material gifts. Sentimental gifts are ideal for milestone birthdays, or any birthday, whether you're her parents, grandparents, aunt, friend or boyfriend.

Family Heirloom

Special family heirlooms, such as keepsake jewellery, family quilts or even a collection of antique knick-knacks can welcome the teenager in your life into adulthood for his 18th birthday. A piece of family history can mean a lot to a teen, especially if you give him the gift as a rite of passage. For example, present him with his grandfather's dog tags or a monogrammed tool set that has been passed down throughout the generations.


Jewellery can serve as a sentimental gift from anyone, as long as the piece and message fits the relationship. Parents can give their teen a pair of diamond or birthstone earrings, ring, charm bracelet or necklace and pendant. Engrave the jewellery with a special message, if possible. Sisters or best friends can split necklace pendants that declare that sentiment. For example, each girl would wear half of a heart with "sisters" on one and "forever" on the other, or "best" and "friends." A boyfriend may give her a pendant or ring with both of the couple's initials engraved in the jewellery, or an "I love you" message. If you have a pet name or nickname that you call her, have that engraved on the jewellery.


Put together a scrapbook, slide show or photo album that showcases all of your favourite pictures and memories of him. A scrapbook will allow you to include special notes and comments. Use a theme or particular event for the project, or showcase your favourite pictures of him throughout your entire relationship. Include loving notes, funny memories or inspirational stories. If you'd rather choose one picture to showcase, consider decorating the frame or having a frame engraved with a personal message.

The Written Word

Loving, romantic sentiments that come from the heart might actually mean more to her than anything you buy. For example, write out 365 loving messages for her so she'll have a new one to read each day until her next birthday. Write a message and place it in a bottle, with extra embellishments. If you share memories of a beach, include sand and seashells. If it's a romantic letter, include red rose petals. Fill a journal with special letters, words of advice or encouragement, reasons you're proud of her or other sentiments.

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About the Author

Janece Bass is a freelance writer specializing in weddings, family, health, parenting, relationships, dating, decorating, travel, music and sports. She has been writing for more than 15 years and has numerous published pieces on various websites and blogs. Bass has also ghostwritten various fiction-based novels.