For those of us who need a time machine to remember what we got for our 18th birthday, the idea of finding just the right thing for a friend or loved one hitting the big one-eight can seem a little daunting. After all, what are those wacky kids into these days?
Well, it so happens that a couple of us have family friends with kids fresh into this significant year, so we’re pretty confident we can help you find some great 18th birthday gift ideas that they’ll love.
If we play our cards right, your favorite 18-year-old will love these gifts so much, they’ll remember them (or still have them!) when they get “old”. So let’s browse around and find that perfect gift, shall we?
18th Birthday Gift Ideas for Her
1. Birthstone Initial Necklace
by Etsy: CygnusJewelryDesigns
Personalized gifts are always great, especially if they’re of the jewelry variety, and we think this delicate initial birthstone necklace has earned a place at the top of the list.
It’s available in 16″, 18″, 20″ and 22″ lengths, in gold, rose gold, or silver finish. Choose her birthstone pendant and the disc pendant engraved with her initial.
2. Diamond Blossom Halo Birthstone Earrings
by Blue Nile
These earrings feature the precious gemstone representing her birthday surrounded by a halo of brilliant diamonds. They may be a bit pricier, but if you want to give her something with heirloom potential that she’ll treasure forever, these diamond and birthstone gold stud earrings are the perfect 18th birthday gift.
3. Personalized Satin Pajamas
When it comes to gifts for girls of any age, satin jammies are always welcome. The back features her name in a feminine font and a design of your birthday girl celebrating in her luxe jammies. So cute!
These short pajamas come in six colors with sizes small to 2XL. There are four young ladies to choose from to reflect your special young lady’s individuality.
4. Kavu Rope Bag
After doing some investigating, we found that 9 out of 10 eighteen-year-olds LOVE their Kavu bag. They’re strong enough to hold heavy books and gear without being bulky. They’re comfy to carry around because of the soft rope cross-body strap, and they come with plenty of internal and external zippered pockets for carrying everyday essentials.
They come in a dizzying array of colors, styles, and sizes. If your soon-to-be-adult isn’t the cross-body type, Kavu also offers purses, totes, and drawstring bags. They have belt bags too – also known as fanny packs to you and me.
I can’t explain how or why the fanny pack has re-emerged from its banishment from fashion. I’m just telling you what I know.
5. Roller Skates
Another thing we’ve heard time and again from our older teenaged consultants is that roller skates are making a comeback, and we think that’s AWESOME!
These days, there are so many cute styles, way better than what we had going on back in the eighties. If you were around back then. If not, prepare to discover the joy of getting around on roller skates anywhere your young heart desires.
6. Adulting Socks
In the pantheon of products we love the most around here, novelty socks are up there on the list. These are adorable with their cute little bowties and a subtle reminder of their passage into adulthood.
Which they probably won’t need anyway because you’ll be there to reiterate “You’re an adult now!” whenever they need to take responsibility for something. But it’s still nice to have the sentiment on all fronts to drive the point home.
7. Monogrammed Travel Jewelry Case
Whether they venture out into the wide world immediately or hang around home for a while, a jewelry case is a must-have organizer. Since eighteen is so special, we propose that you upgrade her Hello Kitty case that she’s had since fourth grade and give her a super grown-up version!
These zippered cases come in different sizes with a wide variety of colors and patterns. They’re made from soft pebbled vegan leather with a linen lining and lots of specialized compartments for rings, bracelets, earrings, etc. Have it monogrammed with her initials or name, and you’ll have a great gift she’ll use forever.
18th Birthday Gift Ideas For Him
8. Personalized Canvas and Leather Weekender Bag
Handsome and sophisticated, a canvas overnighter with saddle leather accents is an impressive gift idea for a young man venturing into independence.
Measuring at 31″W x 10.5″D x17.5″H, this one is roomy enough for everything he’ll need to get away for a couple of days. It also features a zippered pocket and adjustable shoulder strap for comfort.
This canvas and leather weekender comes in navy, grey/tan, and natural canvas. Have it monogrammed for a personalized touch.
9. Leather Bifold Wallet
A really good quality wallet is an adult accessory staple! Give him one that’s fancy enough to impress and practical enough to use every day.
This bifold wallet is handcrafted from full-grain vegetable-tanned leather and features RFID protection. It has room for up to sixteen cards, a currency pocket, and a zippered coin pocket yet stays slim and comfortable in his back pocket. It’s available in tan, deep brown, and black.
10. Personalized Leather Dopp Kit
by Etsy: CKRLeather
This impressive toiletry bag is another elevated staple that he’ll use for a long, long time. It’s handcrafted with full-grain leather and features a sturdy metal zipper that’ll stand up to use after use.
It comes in black, dark brown, light brown, and blue, and you have the option for personalization with up two initials on the bag.
11. Personalized Pint Glass
Ok, so we know the drinking age is twenty-one here in the US, but we also know many parents who let their newly-hatched adultlings partake in a celebratory pint for their special day.
If you’re gonna celebrate with that lager, do it in style with a personalized pint glass engraved with a special message. This pint glass comes in a skillet gift box for an extra special presentation.
12. Leather Passport Case
If your young man is headed out into the big wide world, he’ll need a passport cover! This one comes handcrafted in soft leather with a pebbled finish, and you can add a monogram to personalize it just for him.
13. Voice-Controlled Camera Drone
by Holy Stone
In our opinion, no one’s too old for a drone. Based on the intel we’ve gathered, it’s still a hugely popular gift amongst the teenage set.
This one’s packed with cool features like trajectory flight and gravity sensor control, gesture control, and voice control, all within the app. He can also take photos from his smartphone from the app and download them to social media platforms.
Gift Ideas for Anyone Turning 18
14. 18 Photo Collage Wall Art
The photo possibilities to include in this sentimental piece of wall art are practically endless! Upload classic photos of your teens’ fave moments with friends, family, on vacation, baby pictures, etc., and the creatives at Minted will assemble them to create a keepsake they’ll always treasure. Really, it’s the perfect present for the birthday boy or birthday girl.
Choose from six sizes, framed or unframed. As always, Minted offers a plentiful array of framing options to choose from for a beautiful, finished work of art ready to wrap and give.
15. Year You Were Born Poster
It seems like time stands still and the rest of the world falls away when your baby is born. But alas, the world was still turning out there, and it’s always fascinating to revisit the news and popular culture from the year they were born.
This poster celebrates that year and educates your new adult about what was going on! They’ll see what films were popular, what was going on in the world of sports, the news headlines of the year, and much more. The poster is personalizable with their name included in the “special arrivals” section, too.
This unique gift comes in four print sizes, with the option to frame at the shop before delivery.
16. Personalized Airpods
If you’re like most parents, if someone suggested that you get your teenager a set of AirPods, you’d laugh them out of the room.
But things are different. They’re eighteen now. (As they will frequently remind you.)
Of course, just because your teenager has turned eighteen, that doesn’t mean they magically woke up responsible enough to maintain a set of really expensive highly-functioning earbuds. But hear us out…
What better way for them to prove their responsibility? Also, what better way for you to gain the title of the best person in the ENTIRE universe??
Just a thought.
17. Personalized Water Bottle
Water bottles are a practical gift that is forever useful, especially when engraved with your 18 year old’s initials! They can take it to the gym, the pool, camping, and anywhere else that water bottles are ubiquitous and never worry about getting theirs mixed up with someone else’s.
They come in five colors and will keep your teenager’s cold beverages cold for up to 24 hours, and their warm beverages warm up to 12.
18. Birthday Goodies Gift Basket
If your favorite eighteen-year-old lives far away but you still want them to know you’re thinking of them on their birthday, a basket full of a variety of goodies is always a winner.
This one includes a variety of cookies, classic caramel Moose Munch popcorn, candies, chocolate swirl cake, and peanut butter pretzels. It also comes with Harry & David’s world-famous signature Royal Verano pears. Because they’re responsible enough to include some fruit with their delicious snacking, right?
19. Bottle Opener Keychain
A personalized happy birthday bottle opener keychain is a neat low-key gift for your budding adult. This one is silver plated and is sure to have a home dangling alongside their keys for years to come.
20. Smartphone Mini Projector
This is a perfect gift for camping, backyard movie nights with friends, or marathon gaming sessions anywhere you want to play! It comes with multiple ports to support connection to a fire-stick, Roku, Chromecast, laptop, tablet, and more, including a smartphone with the addition of an HDMI adaptor.
From 3-7 feet away, it can project from 30″ up to 100″. It also features a built-in speaker.
21. Cards Against Humanity Game
We LOVE Cards Against Humanity around here, and we see no reason why it shouldn’t become a traditional rite of passage into adulthood. (Unless you’re one of those decent, wholesome people who don’t appreciate potty humor. In which case, have fun with all that. Or try to, anyway.)
If you feel your favorite 18-year-old is ready for a hilarious time with friends full of reeeallllly inappropriate content, it’s a must-have. If they’re mature (and brave) enough, they can even play it with you.
Sometimes it’s good for a kid to see that their parents are people, too. People with dirty minds, maybe. But people.
22. Bucket List Journal
by Etsy: LeatherAndEarthCo
It’s hard to let go, but we all want our kiddos to spread their wings and fly eventually. At least out of your house and into their own apartment, anyway.
But if yours is ready to go forth and see the world, we say cheers! Do it now while you’re young and all of your joints function properly.
This gorgeous bucket list journal features lots of unlined paper waiting to be filled with adventures penned from foreign lands. The cover is customizable and since it’s handsewn, pages can be added as their adventures grow!
23. OMG Mug
This mug is a fantastic reminder every morning when they stumble down for that first cup of coffee after a night out into the wee hours. Yep. You’re an adult now.
This handmade ceramic mug comes in black or white, with an 11 or 15 oz capacity.
24. Amazon Gift Card
When all else fails, give a gift card. Seriously, no matter who you are (or how old you are), an Amazon gift card is always welcome. If you’d like to say something special to your new adult, stick it in a card with a lovely heartfelt note. But yeah. Gift card.
Whether it’s a hot air balloon ride, a thrilling evening in an escape room, or a night at the symphony – when it comes to gifts, an exciting experience trumps “stuff” any old day.
Tinggly offers unique experience packages by interest, location, and more.
Oh, the Places You’ll Go!
Many parents are NOT ready to boot their babies out of the house at 18. I know when mine get there in a couple of short years, I may very well lock them in their rooms.
But then again, maybe not. I know so many young adults living their lives to the fullest and making the most of what they’ve got. It’s inspirational, and dare I say it, enviable.
Whether your new adult is pursuing an education (college or otherwise), traveling the world, or focusing on their job responsibilities at home, we wish them all the best on this milestone birthday.
Go forth and be great adultlings – may you live every day to the fullest!
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