Brainstorming a birthday gift for her isn’t easy, especially a birthday gift for her who has everything. If that is your dilemma or not, here are great gift ideas.

Choosing a gift for her birthday can feel like a daunting task. Whether the recipient you have in mind is someone with very particular taste; whether they are the archetypal person who has everything; or whether they’re actively trying not to accumulate too much stuff, choosing birthday gifts for her should, ideally, take a little forethought. What is it that really brings your friend/ wife/partner/ sister/ mother the most joy in her life?

It is – obviously – important to match the person you’re buying for with the gift and, to that end, we’ve rounded up a host of gift ideas that might appeal – whether you’re looking for a landmark birthday present or for more personalised birthday gifts for her.

Pyper Gold-Tone LeatherWatch

So many of us now rely on our phones, not simply for communication but for a whole host of other purposes too, not least of all telling the time. And yet, while fewer of us use watches for the act of timekeeping these days, once you own a really good one, it can feel liberating – not least because it is one less reason/excuse to keep glancing at our phones with such regularity. This example, designed by Michael Kors, speaks of elegance and is timeless enough to suit women of all ages – whether you’re looking for 40th birthday gifts for her, 60th birthday gifts for her or anything in between. It features a smooth leather strap, a lovely gold tone and has a minimalist face, meaning that it will gracefully augment any look without being too showy. £149. Buy it here.

Personalised Cushion As An 80th Birthday Gift For Her

Sometimes it’s the personal touches that really make a present. This one won’t be for everyone, but those who will like it will *really* like it. Funky Pigeon offers a service, which it calls the ‘Grandparent Full Photo Cushion’, that allows you to take treasured pictures from the archive and print them onto a cushion. Measuring 41cm by 41 cm, the cushion cover is made from 100 percent cotton, and you can add your own photos and text (the latter depending on the design you go for). Whether you go for an image of your dearly departed grandpa or father, one of your granny or mother herself or, simply, a quote or family saying that is meaningful to you and to her, this is one that is bespoke and will surely raise a smile – both upon unwrapping and forever after. £19.99. Buy it here.

Poem – Milk And Honey (Paperback)

If the person you’re buying for is a literary type, then a good book is usually a reliable option, so long as you have a good handle on their taste. With the resurgence in popularity of poetry, thanks in part to a new crop of spoken word poets – not least of amongst whom Amanda Gorman who so movingly recited one of hers at President Biden’s inauguration – a book of poetry could make the perfect birthday gift for her, not least because it comes under the banner of things we might not buy of ourselves (which is, in large part, the very point of a good present).

Milk and Honey, by Canadian poet Rupi Kaur, is a wonderful choice. Originally self-published after Kaur first released her work as a series on Instagram, this volume quickly became a US bestseller, perhaps thanks in part to the idea that each of its four sections is devoted to healing a different kind of pain. She writes:‘This is the journey of/ surviving through poetry/this is the blood sweat tears/of twenty-one years/ this is my heart/ in your hands/ this is/ the hurting/ the loving/ the breaking/ the healing’. Buy it here.

Personalised Birthday Gift Box

Whatever the occasion, personalising a present always connotes thoughtfulness, time and care. This gift box idea can be customised, not only in terms of the name and sentiment that appears on the products but also insofar as what is included. You can go for a Basic Box, with the recipient’s name on a wine tumbler and champagne flute amongst other goodies; a Party Box, which includes extras, such as a diamond pen and foam flower; or a Spa Box, which includes the likes of a bath bomb and a soy candle. Explore the range and buy it via Etsy. From £13.79. Click here for more information.

Birthdate Candles

If you’re looking for a gift that will be both personal and potentially enlightening, why not plump for a birthdate candle? Strictly one for those with an interest in astrology, the idea is that each candle is made especially taking into consideration the recipient’s birth date and applying the tenets of strology, numerology and tarot. The company’s promise is that ‘Your Birthdate Candle will unlock the secrets of your personality, and has a fragrance carefully designed to enliven your spirit.’ Simply click on the relevant date to discover what fragrance your candle will give off. $38. Explore more and buy one here.

Jigsaw Puzzle

Whoever said that jigsaw puzzles were only for children? There is something extremely satisfying about gradually finishing a puzzle – and never more so than if you do it as a team effort. A perfect present to give with rainy family days in mind – whether intended for mums and children or grandmothers and their grandchildren to do together. This exhaustive website has all manner of themes to suits all manner of tastes. Whether the jigsaw enthusiast in your life loves castles and palaces; wild animals; natural landscapes; artworks; or pretty towns and villages, there is a jigsaw for her here. Click here to explore more and buy one.

Beper Pillow Massager

Who doesn’t need a little luxury and relaxation in their lives? This pillow massager is ideal for anyone who works long hours and struggles to unwind – whether they work in a physically demanding job; they’re hunched over a computer all day; they spend their days running after young children; or they could simply do with some pampering to relieve stress or anxiety. There are few people who don’t fall under at least one of those categories; give this in the happy certainty that you’ll be helping the recipient to banish stress and tension – and all for just £27.99. Buy it here.

Initial Birthstone Necklace

Remember Carrie Bradshaw’s‘Carrie’ necklace in Sex And The City? In a show that was as much about her changing wardrobe as it was about New York or the men she was dating, it was notable for being the one thing that she wore again and again. If you have a budding young fashionista to buy for, why not go the Carrie route and give them an initial necklace? With Funky Pigeon’s personalising service, you can add up to three unique charms or birthstones and even inscribe them with a personal engraving. Next up: a pair of Manolos. £14.99. Click here to explore more and buy one.

Dagne Dover Indi Diaper Backpack

Do you have a new mum to buy for? The sheer volume of accoutrements necessary when you have a tiny new human to look after can feel overwhelming, but it need not preclude style if the mother in question doesn’t want it to. This highly practical neoprene bag is all about the internal storage; it features an insulated bottle holder, a mini changing mat and buggy clips, and space for plenty of nappies and changes of clothes. Everything you might need as the pair of you explore the big wide world – and all within an extremely lightweight package.The perfect gift for mums of new-borns. £140.48. Buy it here.

Chocolate Box Birthday Gift

Few can be the folk who do not welcome the greatest gift of all on their birthday: chocolate. And especially not when those chocs are personalised (and thus, by logic, only to be consumed by the recipient). This delicious box of Lilly O’Brien beauties can be customised with a message of your choice on the front of the box; all that’s left to do is to choose between a box of 12, 18 or 30: the choice is a no-brainer. (A box of 30 comes in at £19.99). Buy it here.

Boots As A Birthday Gift For Her

Of all the footwear, boots are the ones that we think of as made to last. And while we may currently be knocking about in our trust flip flops (and just occasionally in a heeled sandal when the moment calls for it), in just a few short weeks, we’ll be back to boots for the foreseeable. A good pair really does have the capacity to transform an outfit; they can be perfect with jeans and the absolute making of a midi skirt. We’re strictly talking about the pretty variety here (we also have a lot of time for the sturdy walking boot, but less so as a birthday present unless specifically requested). Marks & Spencer has a good selection of boots, from ankle to knee-high examples, which you can shop here.

Ember 295 Temperature Control Mug

Who doesn’t love a good old cup of something strong and hot? Alas, the spot-hitting capacity of the humble cuppa isn’t quite the same when the tea has gone tepid. This exceptionally clever cup means that the lucky recipient of the Ember 295 Temperature Control Mug need never grin and bear lukewarm tea or coffee again. As its creators explain,‘ Designed for home or office, the Ember Mug and its companion app on your iPhone or AppleWatch allow you to set your precise drinking temperature for hot beverages, track caffeine consumption, save presets for your favourite drinks, customise the LED colour and more. Ember also maintains your chosen temperature for approximately 1.5 hours, so your hot beverage stays perfect from the first sip to the last drop.’ Genius. £99.95. Buy it here.

Travel Neck Pillow

It is, of course, inescapable that fewer of us have been travelling much – if at all – over the past year and a half. But as we tentatively inch towards a world in which we may yet once again start to consider the resumption of holidays and business travel, there is no reason to do the actual travelling leg of any journey in discomfort. Whether your loved one tends to go by train, plane or as a passenger in the car, this neck pillow is constructed of memory foam and comes in its own carry case, which also includes an eye mask and ear plugs. An ideal way to support your neck and keep a healthy posture – even on the red eye flight. A great gift for her birthday, if she has dreams of globetrotting. £12.99. Buy it here.

EngravedWine Glass – Good 21st Or 30th Birthday Gift

‘This glass of wine has your name written all over it.’ If you want to utter those words to the birthday girl and for them to be literally true, why not buy her a personalised wine glass? Include her name, whatever birthday you’re marking and a message. The ideal gift for the girl who prefers not to share her wine – and frankly, who doesn’t that describe? Cheers. £8.99. Buy it here.

By Nancy Alsop
June 2021

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Nancy Alsop


Nancy is a magpie for the best in design and culture.