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5 Awesome Last Minute Gift Ideas

posted by Suzanne Kantra on December 23, 2021

Worried about your gift arriving on time? Sometimes a gift card is your best option. Instead of giving a generic gift card, though, we recommend a completely personalized gift from one of these sites that let your gift recipient design their own custom product. All of these sites offer gift cards offer digital gift cards that you can email or print at home, so you still have time to purchase them.

Vans custom backpack designer interface showing a white Vans backack with 7 patters to choose from on the first row for you base layer and another 7 patterns in a line below to overlay. The text reads that you can choose two pattern to layer.

Create a custom look for sneakers and backpacks

If you have someone on your gift list who loves shoes, then a custom pair of sneakers from Vans could be the perfect present.

Your gift recipient will be able to choose between many different sneaker styles (hightop, classic, slip-on, weatherproof) and pick out the perfect color, material (canvas, suede, leather), and other design enhancements to create a high-quality pair of sneakers that perfectly suit their style needs. They can even upload a photo to print on the sneakers. Shoes are available in sizes for men, women, and kids.

Price: A simple pair of sneakers starts at $75. Design elements and materials will add to the cost.

Gift Certificates: Available via electronic delivery on starting at $25 for preset gifts or you can give a custom amount.

Budsies screenshot showing three drawing of a deer-like imaginary creature and below a stuffed animal based on the drawings.

Turn a child's drawing or picture of their pet into a plush toy

Instead of giving the kids on your gift list a store-bought plush toy, fire up their imaginations with a plush from Budsies. With a gift certificate, they can design a plush toy based on their own drawing or a picture of themself. Advanced artists can submit front, back, and side views for a highly detailed plush.

Petsies, a spinoff of Budsies, will take pictures of pets and turn them into stuffed animals. They will make custom look-alikes of dogs, cats, horses, guinea pigs, birds, and bunnies. Choose from a pet pillow or full plush toy.

Price: Budsies start at $139, on sale now starting at $129. Petsies start at $49 for a small pet pillow and start at $249, on sale now starting at $199

Gift Certificates: Available via electronic delivery on Budsies and Petsies starting at $50 for preset gifts or you can enter a custom amount

Make Your Own Jeans site showing 12 back pocket styles.

Custom order jeans and more

If you're shopping for someone who's more interested in the perfect pair of jeans than the perfect pair of shoes, is just the thing. Choose the basic style, including percent of stretch, and then start customizing. They'll be able to choose from button fly or zipper, button style, pocket style, thread color, and design their own label.

The site goes beyond jeans with a variety of styles of pants, coats, shirts, suits, and leather products. Your gift recipient can pick the perfect style, color, fabric, and extras—then they upload their measurements and get a perfectly-tailored garment in the mail.

Price: Starts at $69 for jeans

Gift Certificates: Available in $25 on up

American Pearl website screenshot shoing 14K white gold earrings with a hook style and Tahitian Black pearls

Design the perfect ring, earrings, necklace and more

If jewelry is what she's after, American Pearl and American Diamond offer earrings, rings, and necklaces with customizable designs. With countless styles on offer, one is sure to delight.

Your gift recipient can browse for the perfect item before selecting materials and gems to make it just right for them. There are some amazing deals right now, but in general, prices are quite steep.

Price: A pair of pearl earrings start at under $400 and prices go up with more elaborate pieces, as of 12/24/2021, there is a huge sale with a pair of earrings starting at under $150 

Gift Certificates: Available from $25 to $50,000

Giftly screenshot showing a gift certificate for a bottle of wine for $50 with the option to change the colors

A gift card to any store

Gift cards have a bad rap as a thoughtless gift, but they’re convenient and flexible and your recipients choose exactly what they want. Gift cards are ideal if you aren't sure of the right gift, and they’re certainly a better buy than a holiday sweater that will wind up lost in the back of the closet.

While you can run into most stores to grab a gift card, we like using Giftly. Giftly lets you send gift cards by email or text message, or print a paper card or get a paper card through the mail if you’d prefer to give a physical gift instead.

Giftly isn’t a gift card for a particular store. Instead, Giftly allows gift recipients to choose how they'd like to get the money: as a gift card or as a credit to their debit card, credit card, bank account or PayPal account. That's flexibility an ordinary gift card just can't match.

And because gift cards can feel impersonal if all you do is hand over a card with a dollar amount, Giftly helps by letting you suggest how your recipient spend it. You can be as general or specific as you'd like. Suggest that recipients buy their morning coffee with your gift card or that they buy their morning coffee at their favorite coffee shop. Customize the color and theme of the card, and choose item art (anything from buying a cupcake to spending a day at the beach) or upload your own. If you're suggesting shopping at a specific place, Giftly includes a map as well.

While recipients are still welcome to spend the gift however they'd like, Giftly makes gift cards feel personal again. They even give recipients an easy way to respond by telling you how they spent your gift.

Gift Certificates: starting at $25 for preset gifts or you can enter a custom amount

Updated on 12/24/2021

[Image Credits: Santa delivering gifts via BigStockPhoto, Vans, Budsies,, American Pearl, Giftly]

For the past 20+ years, Techlicious founder Suzanne Kantra has been exploring and writing about the world’s most exciting and important science and technology issues. Prior to Techlicious, Suzanne was the Technology Editor for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and the Senior Technology Editor for Popular Science. Suzanne has been featured on CNN, CBS, and NBC.


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