Homemade 21st Birthday Gift Ideas

by Zora Hughes ; Updated September 28, 2017

Turning 21 is a major milestone in a young person's life. In the United States, it's the birthday that allows you to legally drink alcohol and gamble in most casinos. A suitable gift for a 21st birthday relates to the recipient's age and stage of life. If money is tight, think outside the box and come up with a homemade gift from the heart.

21 Things

Present a gift of 21 of her favorite homemade baked goods, such as cookies, cupcakes or brownies. Wrap each one individually in clear cellophane paper and ribbon for a decorative touch. Write a "21 Reasons Why I Love You" poem. It doesn't have to rhyme; simply list 21 reasons why you love the person. For a sibling or close family member, create a book of 21 coupons. Include services like "free oil change," "one session of financial advice from Dad" and "favorite home-cooked meal."

Legal Drinking Gifts

For those who are looking forward to being able to legally drink alcohol, give a gift of a hangover kit. The kit may include a bottle of aspirin, bottled water, an antacid, mints, and a note with your phone number and the numbers of several local cab companies so that the person will not drive home drunk. Create the card on bright red paper and print the numbers in large print. Emphasize your willingness to pick them up if they ever need it. If the birthday celebration will take place at a house party, create a specialty drink and bring it to the festivities. Experiment or find a recipe and call it the "21st Special."

College Memories Gifts

Many people turning 21 are about to graduate from college. Gather pictures from shared moments in college and create a slide show on your computer. Include video clips, too. Set the slide show to sentimental music or a favorite song. For a lower-tech version, create a framed photo collage. Tap into college friends and ask each to write down a particular memory of the birthday person. Put all of the memories into a large jar and write on the lid, "Remember When..."

After-College Gifts

For the 21-year-old leaving college, gifts that will be useful in the next stage of life will be appreciated. If you happen to be really good at writing resumes, find a copy of your friend's current resume and make it outstanding. Print it on card stock and include additional paper and an electronic copy. Or offer your free resume writing services. For the person who has already landed his first job, find some smooth river rocks, paint them in bright colors and add his initials. These can be used as paperweights at work and reminders of a friendship. Small framed notes of encouragement can also enhance a work cubicle. Include notes like, "You can do this!", "No task is too small,"and "Climb that ladder!"

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About the Author

Based in Los Angeles, Zora Hughes has been writing travel, parenting, cooking and relationship articles since 2010. Her work includes writing city profiles for Groupon. She also writes screenplays and won the S. Randolph Playwriting Award in 2004. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in television writing/producing and a Master of Arts Management in entertainment media management, both from Columbia College.