Fun & Original Housewarming Gifts

When friends invite you to help them celebrate a new address, your thoughtful housewarming gift can offer practical assistance in getting settled or a cleverly chosen tip-of-the-hat to your friends' favorite at-home pastimes. Personalized or hand-made presents can help them start a lasting set of memories in their new home. Unless you know their senses of humor well, skip the gag gifts in favor of something more practical.

Get Cooking

A new home often means new appliances. If your friends installed a range with a convection oven or induction cooktop, you may have a golden opportunity to present them with suitable utensils for either of these cooking modes, especially if the new appliance represents their initial foray into new kitchen technologies. Convection benefits from pans with shallow sides, reducing interference with the fan-forced air that enables these ovens to offer superior baking and roasting performance. Induction relies on transferring magnetic energy from range top to food through iron or steel pans that never get hot. Present a ferrous-metal induction disc to cooks with abundant utensils made of aluminum or copper. Add in a cookbook centered around a new technology and some interesting spices to encourage experimentation.

Keep It Clean

Combine clean living and backyard grilling with a set of customized aprons that feature a picture of your friends' new house and a message that announces their new address. Look for a local fiber artist who can create and silkscreen artwork based on a photo you capture with your smartphone or digital camera. To carry on the clean theme, combine your artful aprons with an assortment of microfiber cloths suitable for cleaning up kitchen spills, dusting furniture or a TV, or polishing up just about anything, all without chemicals. A customized doormat helps them keep dirt from creeping indoors.

Arts & Letters

Create or commission a letterhead with matching envelopes, suitable for use in a digital printer and gracefully featuring your friends' new address. To extend the personal identity campaign all the way into the digital realm, accompany the tangible stationery with a word-processing template that displays the letterhead's design as a graphic file embedded in the header or footer, so your friends can email PDF-based correspondence that matches their tangible letters. For a full suite of materials, add an embosser that can apply their names and address to books or other materials.

Basket or Jar

Do-it-yourself gift baskets provide an ideal opportunity to put together a set of interesting small gifts into a bigger package. Carved soaps, assorted teas, clever coasters, hot tiles, pegboard fittings: Any little present that doesn't feel like enough by itself can aggregate together with others of its size to make an interestingly distinctive assortment. Along with baskets, gifts in a jar consist of everything from complete little pies or cakes in canning containers to layered mixes of beans and spices for creating soup. You can make these items yourself from familiar recipes or find interesting options through a little online research.

Photo Credits: Anne Dale/Demand Media

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