Custom Portrait Paintings and Other Unique Birthday Gift Ideas

Birthdays offer a great opportunity to show you care by going a step above the traditional gift ideas. We’ve got some unique gift ideas for you that will make you the most popular gift-giver in your circle of friends.

Custom Painted or Designed Gifts

Commissioning a custom-designed gifts can be one of the most personal and meaningful gifts your loved one could ever receive. Gifts can range from custom portraits from photographs to engraved jewelry with special quotes. Here are some of our top picks.

Custom Painted Portraits

One of the most meaningful gifts is so simple to give. Grab a great picture of you and your loved one and send it off to be turned into a professional portrait, hand-painted by an artist. provides custom portraits from photographs.

You simply pick the artist whose style you like the most, submit the photograph through their online ordering form and wait for the magic to happen. They’ll send you a photo to painting hand-painted portrait. The paint your life reviews have been great!

Create a Custom Bobblehead

A truly unique and fun gift to give could be a bobblehead reproduction of your loved one. Yes, actually takes the photos you send them and creates a bobblehead figure from your image. This is great for a sports fanatic or someone that loves pop culture, as the bobblehead can be customized however you want. 

Custom T-Shirt Quilt 

A custom quilt is the gift that keeps on giving. Long after you have presented it to your friend, they’ll have the quilt and the memories to keep them warm and cozy when it’s cold out. Custom quilts are assembled by Project Repat using t-shirts or clothing items.

It’s a perfect gift for someone that has been a part of an athletic team or a mission group, that may have a collection of t-shirts from different projects and seasons. You simply send the t-shirts to the company and they turn them into a beautiful, finished quilt.

A Customized Playlist

One great way to show you care is to help capture the feeling of special moments together. Music has the ability to transport you to another place and time and evoke powerful memories.

Take the time to go on Spotify or another music sharing service and create a playlist that’s filled with favorite songs that signify special moments in your relationship. You can create a little card that tells them to look for a link to come via email or text to a “trip down memory lane.”

Give them an experience they’ll never forget

In some cases you may want to forgo a traditional gift and opt for an incredible experience instead. An experiential gift will provide a lifetime of memories and is something you won’t have to worry about being duplicated. Here are our favorite experiential gift ideas.

An Escape Room Outing

Sometimes experiences are far better than material possessions. If your friend or loved one likes new adventures, why don’t you gather some friends and reserve a date and time at your local escape room. This is a perfect activity to schedule before going out to eat, where you’re sure to laugh and relive some special memories of your escape room experience.

A Wine Tasting Afternoon

Wineries and breweries are popular destinations for parties and couples. Many wineries will host group specials that you can take advantage of. Enjoy an evening or afternoon, tasting wine and eating gourmet treats. This is another great place that you can join with other couples for a really fun treat.

A Spa Day

If your loved one lives a busy, fast-paced life, maybe your gift should be something that helps them slow down and enjoy some time to rest and recharge. Spa packages can usually be purchased for a full day or half-day experience. Find out what type of packages your favorite spa offers and tailor it to experiences you know your friend will love. Consider little touches, like getting your nails done to top it all off.

A Cooking Class Experience

 Whether you love to cook or you don’t know what to do with a knife, a cooking class can provide a fun evening or afternoon outing, where you’ll leave with a full stomach and some new cooking skills that you can use to show off in the future.

Cooking studios provide party options for anywhere from 2-12 guests, some include alcoholic beverages and others will allow you to bring your own. Grab your closest friends and pick a menu!

An Afternoon or Night at a Pottery Studio

Spinning pottery is a skill that many people find relaxing and it rewards you with a beautiful finished product at the end of the night. You can choose from making cups, mugs, bowls, or vases, in most beginner studios.

The easiest way to do a pottery studio experience is by attending a one-time class that they offer or checking to see if they provide private lessons and set that up. If you’re not up for actually making pottery, consider a paint-your-own pottery studio, where you can find pre-made but unfinished pieces to put your personal touch on.

Gift Certificate to a DIY Class

Finding a new hobby can be great fun and doing it with your significant other can make it even more so. Whether your friend would like to pick up a new hobby or they have a favorite past-time doing one of these activities already, joining them in a hands-on class where you learn to create something is a gift that can be passed down through generations. Many places offer sign painting or canvas painting classes geared specifically to couples. 

A Complete Home Cooked Meal

While a night out at their favorite restaurant is always a hit, consider adding a twist to this popular gift idea by cooking them a full-course meal. Your dinner or lunch could be a smaller, more intimate setting or you could do a whole dinner party with a theme. Spending an evening in with friends and loved ones, and eating a delicious meal, is a fabulous gift to give someone special.

A Spa and Pampering Jar

Do you know anyone that doesn’t need a little pampering? Whether you’re looking to buy a gift for a girlfriend or a guy, we all need a little more rest and relaxation in our lives. A spa and pampering jar is a fun and simple homemade gift idea.

Get a big jar and fill it with fun things like face masks, a chartreuse green nail polish, bath, and shower bombs, lotions, and add a candle and a box or tin of your favorite relaxing tea. This is the perfect gift for the person who has everything.

With these creative and unique gift ideas there’s no need to settle for the same old traditional gifts. Pick one of these ideas and you’ll be sure to top their list as their favorite gift giver.