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Creative 50th Birthday Present Ideas

If you're looking for some really creative 50th birthday present ideas, we've got quite a list for you! If you're in a panic because you can't think of any really creative 50th birthday present ideas, relax and take a deep breath.

These are 50th birthday presents that will stand out in a crowd. More importantly, though, these gifts will be appreciated.

Give one of these presents and get ready to feel the birthday love!

"50 Years of ____" (insert name of your honoree) Scrapbook:

Your scrapbook will need at least 50 pages, one for each year (for the less ambitious, just set aside several pages to each decade). Use a combination of the following:

  • Photographs of the guest of honor through the years (contact family and friends of the honoree for help here)
  • Mementos/examples of popular culture of the past five decades (list big moments from history, hit songs, popular movie stars, bestselling books, and so forth)
  • Pictures (the internet is easier, and cheaper, than old magazines)—search the schools they attended, cities and states where they've lived, sports they played, cars they once owned and copy the pictures that come up to your desktop, print them out, cut around the shapes and paste into the scrapbook
Label each page with a different year (or decade) and paste the above on the appropriate pages. Add a photo of them taken at the party to the 50th page and, ta-daaa, your scrapbook is complete!

Special Black and White Photograph:

This is a very easy homemade 50th birthday present, and one of the most dramatic. Find one of the birthday guy or gal's favorite photos —one from a special trip, or a great shot of their children, for example.

If you're a pretty decent photographer, grab your digital camera and take a photo of something that's important to him/her (kids, pets, mid-life crisis car, special collection of baseballs or antique clocks or, well you get the idea).

Upload the photo to your computer and turn it into a beautiful black and white
photograph on

When you're viewing an album on, the tools are located in the blue bar to the right under "edit and organize." Then select "edit photos," and finally select the tab marked "fun." Under that tab you'll see an option for black and white. Have the photo printed in a large size, say 11" x 14", and then have it professionally matted and framed.

Vacation in a Cooler:

A simple weekend at home can feel like a vacation if you have the right props. This is the 50th birthday present equivalent of a mental margarita!

Think of the guest of honor's favorite travel destination or a city or country they've always wanted to see. You're going to give them a trip to that place...sort of.

After you've bought a large cooler (no, you can't just wash out one of your old ones), fill it with:

  • three paperbacks (the new bestsellers)
  • a bottle or two of their favorite wine (or wines from the country you've picked)
  • two wine glasses
  • a DVD or two of destination movies:
    some that come right to mind are April in Paris (France), Under the Tuscan Sun (Italy), La Dolce Vita (Italy), Enchanted April (England), Vicky Cristina Barcelona (Spain), and How Stella Got Her Groove Back (Jamaica)
  • a CD of island music, French rap, salsa, or other music from the country where you're "sending" her/him
  • a yummy assortment of food from your chosen destination (cheeses, breads, olives, salsas, desserts and candies)
  • a pair of headphones to block out the spouse, childen and pets
Ahhh...perfect bliss packaged in a 50th birthday present!

Customized Skins for His/Her Laptop (or cell phone, MP3 player or other device):

You can find skins with ready-made designs like pro and college sports team logos, designs by famous artists, abstract graphics and pretty patterns. You can also upload a photo (or photos for a collage) and make a truly personalized skin! You can even add text too.

I was given a laptop skin last year as a gift and I love it! It came from a company called Skinit. They customize skins for over 3,000 different techie thingies. It only takes a few minutes to order or design your own; just follow the step-by-step instructions on the site.

Knitted Gifts:

Even beginning knitters can make gifts of scarves. Simple ones, patterned ones, striped, cabled or lacey ones. The style doesn't matter, it's the effort that really counts when it comes to 50th birthday gifts. If you're an advanced knitter, make up an elaborate scarf with ruffles, or one with fabric strips knitted in and buttons sewn on. Try for really cool free patterns.

Wraps are also really easy to make. They're usually 18" by 60" in size, and you can make them so they button, or you can include a great pin or an ornate chopstick to fasten them with.

Sweaters take longer, and you probably wouldn't want to put yourself under this pressure if you've never knitted one before. But 50 is a big year and it totally warrants a big 50th birthday present. So go for it if you're up to the challenge!

Framed Magazine Cover Featuring You Know Who:

Put a photo of the guest of honor on a magazine cover —could be Time, Sports Illustrated or you could make up a funny magazine name. Photoshop this yourself if you know how, or check out a site that offers this service, such as,, and These sites offer different services and end products so read through the details carefully.

You can make up funny headlines and blurbs about the half-centurian too. If you want a more sentimental 50th birthday present, you can write headlines and blurbs that highlight your friend's fabulousness.

Personalized Postage Stamps:

I love these! You can put a photo of anything you want on these postage stamps. Use a recent pic of the half-centurian or a blast from the past. Maybe that divine high school graduation picture should be preserved on a stamp for posterity? You could also use a photo of his/her prized car, beloved pet or well, anything at all! Check out or to see how it works.

Handmade Jewelry:

If jewelry making is your thing, consider making the birthday gal (or guy, for that matter) a beaded necklace or bracelet, or semi-precious stone and silver earrings (you could use her birthstone), or leather and silver beaded anklets.

Dough Ornaments (they're not just for Christmas!):

Mix up a batch of salt dough:

  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup water

Mix everything together and roll out on a floured surface with a rolling pin until it's 1/8" thick.

Cut out whatever shape you want, either freehand, using a template you've made, or with a cookie cutter. Use a straw to put a hole in the top for hanging purposes. Bake for 2 hours at 250 degrees. Let cool. Paint the whole ornament (paint pens make this fun and easy). Use lots of color and patterns, think cloisonne, and sign the back with Happy 50th Birthday ______ (his/her name), the date and your name.

Add a satin ribbon and place your ornament in a fancy satin-lined box. Make your own gift tag with card stock, scrapbook or construction paper. Add a hole at the top of the tag and tie to the box with another satin ribbon. Simple yet opulent!

We have more 50th birthday gift ideas here too. And if your tastes run in a different direction, check out our fun suggestions for 50th birthday gag gifts.

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