55 creative and unexpected gifts for her that are all under $50

Samantha Lee / Business Insider


IP gift guide bannerSamantha Lee / Business Insider


The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you’ll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase.

Phone standUncommon Goods

It seems that each year, the holiday season starts earlier and earlier. Whether you’d take every excuse to start decorating early or you’d prefer to wait until after Thanksgiving to start the celebrations, there’s no denying that getting a head start on figuring out the right gifts for her (no matter if it’s your mum, partner, sister, daughter, or otherwise) will take at least some of the stress out of the preparation process.

We like to think of ourselves as professional gift givers, so you can bet we’ve been bookmarking all the best holiday gift ideas we’ve come across over the past year. We put together a list of over 50 clever gifts that we think she’ll absolutely love.


Still shopping for more gifts? Check out all of Insider Picks’ holiday gift guides for 2018 here.



A massager to melt away tension

Zyllion


Zyllion Shiatsu Massager, available on Amazon, $US49.95

This shiatsu massager is, to date, one of the best things I’ve ever bought. It kneads away tension and stress in the back and shoulders, and can even be used on sore leg muscles after a workout. She’ll be thanking you for years to come.


An all-purpose tote with a detachable wristlet

Nordstrom


Street Level Reversible Faux Leather Tote and Wristlet, available at Nordstrom, $US49

Your first thought may be that a plain tote is sort of a boring gift – but hear us out! This one is reversible and features a detachable wristlet, which basically means you’re getting three different bags for under $US50. It’s a utilitarian gift with a fashion-friendly twist.


An adjustable rolling pin

Amazon


Joseph Joseph Adjustable Rolling Pin, available on Amazon, $US26.44

Anyone who loves to bake will appreciate this adjustable rolling pin that allows for more precision in the thickness of dough. All she’ll have to do is remove or add the different sized rings and let them guide her.


A Kindle case that looks like her favourite book

Amazon


KleverCase Kindle Paperwhite Case, available on Amazon, $US24.95

You’ll find many classic book covers cleverly printed onto Kindle cases, along with one that looks like an unmarked leather-bound book. All she has to do is pop it on her e-reader.


A perfume subscription

Scentbird


Scentbird subscription, three months for $US44

If she loves to switch up her scents, Scentbird is an affordable service that lets her choose a month’s supply of perfume from thousands of well-known and new fragrances. With a three-month subscription, she can switch it up each month or stick to the ones she knows and loves.


A highly coveted candle

Nordstrom


Diptyque Baies Candle, available at Nordstrom, from $US35

Diptyque candles are about as chic and beloved as they come among candle lovers. The Baies scent is the company’s signature, with warming and sophisticated notes of rose and blackcurrant. This candle is best gifted to partners or very good friends.


A clever attachment that holds her AirPods

Urban Outfitters

Elago AirPods Wrist Fit Adaptor, available at Urban Outfitters, $US9

The frustrating thing about using AirPods is figuring out where to store them. This small attachment goes around any watch’s wristband and features two grippy holes that hold her AirPods into place, whether she’s commuting, running errands, or just sitting at her desk.


A relaxing Himalayan salt lamp

Amazon

Himalayan Glow Large Salt Lamp, available on Amazon, $US16.99

There’s nothing quite as calming as the warm glow of a pink salt lamp. This sits on my list of all-time best gifts I’ve ever received – turning it on each night creates a relaxing vibe in my living room and helps me let go of the day’s stress.


A subscription to Amazon Prime

Tommaso Boddi / Getty Images


Amazon Prime gift subscription, three months, $US39

Amazon Prime opens up a whole new world of access, be it to fast two-day shipping or any of the other 27-plus perks you’ll get with a membership. If you know she doesn’t have one yet, this is a smart gift – but in the case she does, she’ll get to use the $US39 on anything she wants or needs from the site.


An inexpensive accessory for her phone

PopSockets/Facebook

PopSockets, available on Amazon, from $US8.86 for plain and $US11.93 for diamond (pictured)

PopSocket Grips are an inexpensive but extremely useful gift she’ll be happy to have. She can pop them on the back of her phone, Kindle, iPad, or any other device to create a comfortable grip that allows her to hold her device one-handed.


A kit to make her favourite drink at home

Uncommon Goods


Bubble Tea Kit, available at Uncommon Goods, $US35

If she’s a bubble tea fiend, she’ll be happy to know that it’s actually not that hard to make at home. This kit provides everything she’ll need, including a wide straw, boba pearls, and loose-leaf teas.


A cosy knit scarf

Nordstrom


Topshop Heavy Humbug Stripe Scarf, available at Nordstrom $US40

You can’t go wrong with a neutral, soft scarf as a holiday gift – especially one with playful fringe. This number from Topshop works for any kind of aesthetic.


Mints that will definitely make her giggle

Urban Outfitters

Bob Ross Happy Little Tree Mints, available at Urban Outfitters, $US4

These happy little tree-shaped mints will definitely brighten her day, especially if she’s old enough to remember Bob Ross.

A classic cast-iron skillet

Amazon


Lodge 10.25-Inch Cast Iron Skillet, available on Amazon, $US14.88

If she loves to cook and doesn’t already have one, a cast iron skillet is a must-have in the kitchen. In the case that she does already have one, add to her collection with a reversible cast iron griddle and grill pan instead.


A letter board she can leave notes or cute phrases on

Amazon

Felt Like Sharing Felt Letter Board, available on Amazon, $US34.99

Sporting events, holidays, parties – there are a ton of occasions during which these come in handy, but she’ll love being able to play around with it day to day at home with her favourite lyrics, phrases, or even messages to roommates. Choose from tons of felt colours (I’m partial to the light blue; it’s the one I use at home!).


An Alexa-enabled smart plug

Amazon


Alexa-Enabled Smart Plug, available on Amazon, $US24.99

Among Amazon’s much-anticipated new releases was this voice-controlled smart plug, which allows her to control lights, chargers, and whatever else she wants through Alexa simply by plugging her devices into these outlets. She can also just use the Alexa app to turn the outlets on and off if she doesn’t have an Echo or want to use her voice.


A pretty place to keep her phone

Uncommon Goods


Bedside Smartphone Vase, available at Uncommon Goods, $US32

This bedside vase is a fun way to spruce up her night stand, whether with fresh or faux flowers. It also works beautifully in the kitchen if she likes to follow recipes using her phone.


A comfy tee that goes with everything

Everlane

Long-Sleeve Box-Cut Tee, available at Everlane, $US28

Skip the boring pajamas – get her something she’ll want to wear every day. This cosy long-sleeve T-shirt from Everlane is as great for running errands as it is for wearing to work, depending on how she styles it. It also comes in a few other colour options.


A spiritual and spatial cleansing kit for the home

Urban Outfitters


The Ritual Lavender Amethyst Incense Bundle, available at Urban Outfitters, $US18

Burning sage can create a calming environment at home. This kit is an especially sweet gift for someone who’s just moved into a new apartment or house, or just that one friend who’s really into energy and spirituality. It includes a sage smudge stick with dried lavender, an amethyst crystal.


Tassel earrings to liven up any outfit

Nordstrom


BaubleBar Granita Beaded Tassel Earrings, available at Nordstrom, $US38

This popular pair of tassel earrings are beloved for their many colour options and ability to elevate even the most basic jeans and T-shirt look.


The newest Amazon Echo Dot

Amazon


Echo Dot, available on Amazon, $US29.99

Give her home a smart tech upgrade with a new Echo Dot. It’s outfitted with Alexa, who can answer questions about the weather or traffic, play music, and even tell you the news.


A monthly book subscription

Book of the Month Club


Book of the Month, three months, starting at $US44.99

Each month, this service curates five book choices – some of them early release – from which she’ll choose her favourite. The service will send the book directly to her, and she can also skip a month if she’s behind on her reading.


A wine saver for open bottles

Amazon

Vacu Vin Wine Saver, available on Amazon, $US14.95

Sometimes you just can’t finish the bottle of wine. That’s when the Vacu Vin comes in. It’s a simple, small gadget that removes the oxygen from your open bottle and gives it an airtight seal to preserve the freshness and prevent oxidation.


A custom phone case with photos of you together

Casetify


Custom Phone Case, available at Casetify, from $US29

Upload all your favourite photos together (or choose any other sort of theme) to create the ultimate personalised gift. You can choose pretty much any model of phone, and organise the photos in a ton of different layouts.


A cold brew maker

Amazon


Takeya Patented Deluxe Cold Brew Iced Coffee Maker, available on Amazon, $US20.99

Caffeine lovers who can’t get enough of their favourite drink tend to spend a lot of money at coffee shops to get their fix. Make it easier for her to drink cold brew at home with this simple-to-use brewing pitcher. Read a full review here from one of our reporters who swears by this one.


A popular cookbook she’s probably seen on Instagram

Amazon


Dining In: Highly Cookable Recipes, available on Amazon, $US17.34

Whether she’s new to the kitchen or it’s her favourite room in the house, Alison Roman’s fan-favourite cookbook will guide her through tons of easy-to-make recipes with thoughtful and fascinating new twists.


A portable external battery

Amazon


Anker PowerCore 10,000mAh External Battery, available on Amazon, $US31.99

A good external battery is one of those practical gifts she probably needs but won’t buy herself. Treat her to a good one that holds enough juice to charge her iPhone three times, or her Galaxy twice over.


A compact set of gardening accessories

Uncommon Goods


Gardener’s Tool Seat, available at Uncommon Goods, $US36

Whether she has a plot at a community garden in the city or her very own vegetable garden in her backyard, this compact set of tools and a comfy stool are easy for her to carry around and store (plus they detach).


A puzzle of her heroines

Uncommon Goods


Nevertheless She Persisted Puzzle, available at Uncommon Goods, $US18

This puzzle features illustrations of both prominent and lesser-known women who have shaped and changed the course of history.


A candle that reminds her of home

Uncommon Goods


Homesick Candles, available at Uncommon Goods, $US30

If she lives far away from her home state, this Homesick candle is the perfect way to keep her feeling connected. Each state’s candle is scented based on the local signatures and common scents of the region. Read a full review from one of our editors who loves these candles.


A flexible herb garden for the home

Uncommon Goods


Mason Jar Indoor Herb Garden, available at Uncommon Goods, $US20

These mason jar planters can be set up in so many ways – from the window sill to the kitchen counter. They’re great for anyone who loves cooking with fresh herbs, especially if they live in cold climates where their outdoor herb gardens don’t grow for half the year.


A small but beautiful bud vase

Shopbop


Millifiori Vase, available at Shopbop, $US35

Sometimes, beautiful is best. This small bud vase is a simple but stunning gift that will brighten up any space.


A way for her to share and pass down memories and traditions

Uncommon Goods


My Life Story So Far, available at Uncommon Goods, $US30

This book is sort of like a guided journal for her to record her memories, accomplishments, and experiences. No matter her age, it’s something she’ll undoubtedly enjoy keeping track of and sharing with others.


A natural travel skincare kit

Sephora


Herbivore Hydrate and Glow Natural Skincare Mini Collection, available at Sephora, $US39

If she’s into natural beauty, chances are she already loves Herbivore’s products. This mini skincare collection has all the essentials she’ll need at home or on the road.


A tablet for easy entertainment

Amazon


Fire 7 Tablet with Alexa, available on Amazon, $US49.99

Great for travelling or lounging at home, the Amazon Fire 7 Tablet is an affordable way to stay connected to all her favourite apps, games, and streaming services on a larger screen than what her phone has to offer.


A plush, cosy throw

Nordstrom


Kennebunk Bliss Plush Throw, available at Nordstrom, $US39.50

There’s nothing quite like wrapping yourself up in a warm, snuggly blanket on a cold night in. This plush throw comes in a ton of colours to match any decor.


A fun dessert-themed ornament

Urban Outfitters

Doughnut Letter Christmas Ornament, available at Urban Outfitters, $US8

Available in a solid selection of letters, this doughnut ornament looks like the real thing. Just make sure she doesn’t try to take a bite (or she’ll be sorely disappointed!).


A fashion-friendly belt bag

Nordstrom

Steve Madden Quilted Belt Bag, available at Nordstrom, $US45

Belt bags (aka fanny packs) are making a comeback, and we’re not mad about it. They’re convenient, practical, and a simple way to add a stylish pop to any outfit.


An excellent cookbook for entertainers

Amazon


Platters and Boards: Beautiful, Casual Spreads for Every Occasion, available on Amazon, $US23.29

If having people over is more of a pleasure than a chore for her, she’ll adore this cookbook full of clever recipe ideas for casual entertaining.


A daily skincare set for wintry weather

Sephora

Kiehl’s Collection for a Cause Kit, available at Sephora, $US50 and Kiehl’s, $US50

This gift set does double duty – not only will she love this classic selection of Kiehl’s products for combating harsh weather, she’ll also feel good using it knowing that 100% of the net profit will go toward Feeding America, an organisation that provides food for families in need.


A map to keep track of her travels

Uncommon Goods


Scratch Map, available at Uncommon Goods, $US26-$US40

Help her track her adventures with a scratch-off world map – or supplement a bigger surprise by scratching off the location you plan to take her to if you have a trip on the rise.


A smart way for her to stay organised while travelling

Uncommon Goods


Travel Cord Roll, available at Uncommon Goods, $US20

Frequent travellers need a way to keep all their cords and cables organised. This leather roll-up organiser has eight slots for cords and headphones plus a pouch where your charger base can fit.


A wireless and waterproof speaker

Amazon


VicTsing Wireless Waterproof Speaker, available on Amazon, $US17.99

A favourite of Amazon shoppers, this water-resistant, portable Bluetooth speaker works for everything from her daily shower concert to a trip to the beach. If you need any extra convincing, it’s rated nearly four-and-a-half stars out of five from almost 7,000 shoppers.


A wintry candle in a reusable blown glass vessel

Amazon


Lafco Feu de Bois candle, available on Amazon, $US42

Lafco candles are some of the most intentionally designed and developed that you’ll ever come across – from the hand-blown glass that makes up the reusable container, to the soy wax base that took the founder and his team years to perfect. Every scent Lafco makes is phenomenal, but the Feu de Bois (which smells warm and wintry like a burning fire) is a seasonal favourite. I highly recommend this one for in-laws and parents you’d like to impress.


A simple knitting kit for beginners

We Are Knitters


Braille Beanie Knitting Kit, available at We Are Knitters, $US49

Whether she’s new to knitting or a long-time pro, this crafty beanie kit has everything she needs – from the yarn, to the needles, and of course, the instructions.


A clever way to collect accomplishments and hopes

Uncommon Goods


Birthstone Wishing Balls, available at Uncommon Goods, $US32

These wishing balls come with a strip of paper for every week in the year on which she can write everything from her hopes and dreams to the things she’s proud of accomplishing over the past seven days. You don’t have to go for her birthstone – you could easily just choose her favourite colour.


A comfy neck pillow for trains and planes

Amazon

Trtl Neck Pillow, available on Amazon, $US29.99

If she travels a lot (or has bad travel anxiety), the gift of comfort is one she’ll undoubtedly appreciate. This is the one our travel writer swears by – you can read his review here.


A guide full of inspiration for her future adventures

Anthropologie

The Bucket List, available at Anthropologie ($US35) and Amazon ($US14.79)

This worldwide bucket list won’t cure her wanderlust, but it will definitely provide her inspiration and fodder for planning her travels.


A set of tinted lip balms

Nordstrom


Fresh Escape to Sugar Set, available at Nordstrom, $US37

If her beauty preferences tend to be more on the natural side, it’s likely she loves a good tinted lip balm. Fresh makes some of the best – the colours are universally flattering and the easy, and the formula is smooth, hydrating, and buttery.


A dainty pair of hoops that are anything but average

Maison Miru

Shooting Star Open Hoop Earrings, available at Maison Miru, $US39

It seems like everyone on our team has a pair of these open hoops. Their horseshoe shape is just different enough to set them apart, while a tiny, twinkly cubic zirconia catches the light just enough to add a bit of sparkle.


A customisable box of candy for adults

Sugarfina


Four-Piece Candy Bento Box, available at Sugarfina, $US34

Satisfy her sweet tooth with a custom box of candy. Sugarfina’s candies are distinctly “adult” – but she’ll still feel like a kid when she digs into a box of rosé gummies.


A convenient yoga mat carrier

Amazon


Manduka Go Play Yoga Mat Bag, available on Amazon, from $US23.99

If she’s a fitness enthusiast who frequents local yoga classes, a carrying strap will make her life much easier (especially if she walks or takes the subway to her class). Pair this gift with a grippy, cushioned yoga mat starting at $US40.


A makeup and skincare subscription

Birchbox


Birchbox best-sellers box and three month gift subscription, $US42

Birchbox is a skincare and makeup subscription that sends tons of beauty samples for her to test out and play around with. If she loves any of them, she can easily buy the full-sized version through the service. The gift box above includes a selection of best sellers plus a three month subscription.


An armband that holds her phone on runs or at the gym

Amazon

Tribe Water-Resistant Arm Band, available on Amazon, $US9.98

If she loves to run or spends a lot of time at the gym, this top-rated arm band will definitely be a lifesaver for her. Just make sure you know what model phone she carries as you may have to check different brands for different phone sizes.


A picture frame for Instax Mini photos

Urban Outfitters

Instax Mini Cube Picture Frame, available at Urban Outfitters, $US12

This cube picture frame is meant to hold photos from an Instax Mini camera, but even if neither of you have one, it would still be a sweet gift to print out some photos of you together in the proper dimensions.

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