Since you’re reading this article, you must be shopping for housewarming gifts. A person or couple moving into a new home is certainly something to celebrate! Home ownership is a big part of the American dream, and you’ll want to be at the housewarming party to help your friend, family member, or co-worker fill their space with love, happiness, comfort, and warmth. In most cases, of course, your mere presence isn’t enough – you’ll also need to present a housewarming gift. If the person has registered for gifts at local stores and shops, you’re in luck. They’ve already made their own choices about things they want or need, so all you’ll have to do is to choose from among the list. Doing so is much easier than going it alone, so to speak. If, on the other hand, the new homeowner hasn’t registered anywhere, you’ll have some serious and perhaps difficult decisions to make. Hopefully, the suggestions offered in this article will at least give you some ideas about choosing housewarming gifts.
Best Housewarming Gifts
Are you trying to decide on the best housewarming gifts? That can be a tough thing to do, as there really aren’t any hard and fast rules here. In other words, there are no across-the-board “best housewarming gifts.” What one new homeowner might treasure, another might return the item or sell it at the next garage sale.
The best housewarming gifts are usually those that take into account the homeowner’s personal preferences and needs. If the person or couple has already been keeping house for years, they probably have all the basics. If not, there are hundreds or thousands of things they’ll need! Try to put yourself in their position. What items did you really, really want when you first started out? What items made your life easier or more comfortable, or increased the attractiveness of your home?
The better you know your recipients, the more chance you’ll have of choosing the best housewarming gifts. For example, you might know that they collect copper pots, antique pewter, or carousel horses. If that’s the case, it’s hard to go wrong giving a gift to add to their collection. If you don’t know the person very well, contact the hosts of the housewarming party, or speak to a family member or close personal friend of the new homeowner. He or she might be able to provide you with some great ideas for housewarming gifts.
Traditional Housewarming Gifts
Some attendees at housewarming parties want to play it safe, so they stick to traditional housewarming gifts. By choosing these, you won’t have to use a lot of creativity or spend a lot of time shopping. Most of these types of gifts are tried and true, so it’s hard to go wrong…right? That’s not necessarily true. The problem is that other guests will most likely have the same idea, so the recipient might get more than one blender, microwave oven, crock pot, electric can opener, coffee maker, or toaster.
According to old European lore, traditional housewarming gifts should include bread, honey, salt, wine, sugar, coins, a broom, and a candle. Each item is symbolic in wishing the household a happy and prosperous life in their new home. Today, most people, especially Americans, have gotten away from this custom, but if you or the gift recipient is a real stickler for tradition, you might want to include these items in with another housewarming gift.
More modern traditional housewarming gifts might include candle holders, towels, serving platters, clocks, flower vases, picture frames, sheet sets, or a plant. While all of these can be good housewarming gift ideas, you’ll have to choose specific colors and/or materials for most of these items. If you don’t know what colors and decorating themes the giftee uses in her home, the gifts might not be appropriate. Of course, if you know the homeowner well and have had a “sneak peek” at the house’s interior, you might have some good ideas about choosing items that match or compliment the décor. If not, you might want to use white or off-white for sheets and towels. For candle holders, vases, serving platters, and picture frames, it might be best to select clear glass or crystal items instead of items that are silver or gold in color. If you know the recipient uses silver, of course, choosing silver items should be safe choices.
Housewarming Gift Ideas
You might want to get a little creative with your housewarming gift ideas. Gifts for a new homeowner don’t have to be specifically for inside the house. Does the house have a deck, patio, or some other outdoor living space? If so, an outdoor grill could make a great gift. You might even want to join forces with a couple of other guests and share the expense of a table and chair set for the deck or patio. Less expensive gifts for outdoors include grilling aprons, grilling mitts, large outdoor plants, planters, door knocker, mailbox, outdoor wall décor, a chiminea, a hammock, a wooden bench, patio lanterns, a porch swing, birdhouses, and grilling utensils.
How practical is your gift recipient? If he or she is super practical, you might want to give something like a Swiffer floor cleaner, a vacuum cleaner, or a carpet sweeper. If the person already has all the basics, Christmas and Thanksgiving décor can make great housewarming gifts. Sound crazy? Listen up: a friend of mine was given a housewarming party several years ago, in the middle of summer. Guess what her favorite gift was? It was an artificial Christmas tree! When I was given a party for buying a new home, one of the guests gave me a Thanksgiving set comprised of a large turkey gravy boat and turkey salt and pepper shakers. I loved the gift!
What is the homeowner passionate about? Are they into antiques, old books, dolls, depression glass, vintage fishing lures, duck decoys? If you answered "yes" to any of these, your best bets for the best housewarming gifts might be found in antique shops, in thrift stores, and at estate sales. I've received several old first edition books as gifts, and I treasure them.
Below I’m including a list of housewarming gift ideas. Of course, you’ll have to decide on specific styles and colors yourself!
Housewarming Gift Ideas:
pre-seasoned black iron skillet
set of coasters
tissue box cover
pre-seasoned black iron Dutch oven
cheese board and knife
set of steak knives
salad bowl set
floating bath light
spice rack and spices
liquid soap dispenser
bread and oil server
electric toothbrush set
robotic toilet paper dispenser
More Ideas For Housewarming Gifts:
set of bar tools
set of wine glasses
silver wine pull
domed cake stand
quilted/padded clothes hangers
holiday serving trays
shot glass set
padded table cover
beer mugs or steins
place marker set
monogrammed bar towels
full length mirror
monogrammed pillow shams
bottle of rare wine
Personalized gifts are usually much appreciated by the people who receive them, and personalized housewarming gifts are no exception. I’ve already mentioned several monogrammed gifts, but there are lots more. Anyway, personalized housewarming gifts don’t have to be monogrammed. They can be personalized in some other way. For example, you could give a welcome sign or a welcome mat with the last name printed on it.
Personalized gifts can be very specific. Why not take a good photo of the new home and have it blown up and framed? For really unique housewarming gifts, you could have someone paint a portrait of the house. My husband has done several such paintings, and the recipients absolutely loved these personalized gifts! Along those same lines, you might give a painting or enlarged photo of the recipient’s favorite beach, mountain, or other frequent vacation spot.
If you have profile photographs of the people living in the new home, you can create a set of silhouettes. It’s easier than you might think. Just enlarge all the photos to about the same size, and trace the outline of the profiles onto black paper. Cut out each silhouette with small scissors. Place the cut-outs on a contrasting color and stick them into matching frames. These make super unique housewarming gifts!
Let’s get back to monogramming. You can have lots of items monogrammed: tablecloths, glasses, silver trays, napkin rings, pitchers, metal drink tubs, aprons, pillowcases, wine cork pulls, ice buckets, family Bibles, flasks, serving bowls, coffee mugs, beer mugs and steins, coasters, and even toasters. Having items monogrammed lets the homeowner know that the gift is truly theirs and that you didn’t just grab it off a shelf in the department store.
Unique Housewarming Gifts
Okay, so you want to know about some really unique housewarming gifts. The most unique gifts are often those you can’t find in stores. If you’re crafty or good with tools, you could make something yourself, like a shelving unit, a mailbox stand, an outdoor Adirondack chair, a lamp, a grooved plate display shelf, a wooden routered sign, a bread box, or a wooden serving tray.
If you know what hobbies the recipient is into, you could make your unique housewarming gifts even more customized. A hunter would probably appreciate a gun rack, for example. Someone new to quilting might like a quilting frame. A fisherman would appreciate a stand to hold his fishing rods. A pool owner might like a rack for storing floats. You get the idea.
What talents and skills do you have? Use them to your advantage by making homemade gifts. Do you make pottery, stained glass, or ceramics? Can you sew, embroider, or cross-stitch? Do you refinish furniture or create decoupage items? Can you make candles? Handmade gifts are often among the best housewarming gifts!
If you’re not capable of making homemade gifts, or if you prefer not to, there are other unique housewarming gifts you might want to consider. Moving into a new home and getting settled is a lot of hard work. With that in mind, you and your spouse or significant other could bring dinner over to the new homeowners and serve it to them. Clean up afterwards and take everything home with you once you’re done. If the homeowners have children, you could volunteer to babysit one night at their house so the parents could get a nice break. Provide the adults with movie tickets or tickets to a live show or concert. While the parents are out, feed the kids, bathe them, and put them to bed. As an added bonus, you might want to help out with some unpacking or cleaning while you’re there.
Housewarming Gifts For Kids
If the family for whom the housewarming party is given has children, you might not want the kids to feel left out. Housewarming gifts for kids could easily include something for their bedrooms: kid-themed sheets, comforters, decorative trash cans, or pillow shams. Find out what theme the child’s room is done in, and what their hobbies and interests are. Choose housewarming gifts accordingly. A little boy might like a shelf that holds a baseball, a baseball glove, and a bat. A little girl might appreciate a jewelry box. Good housewarming gifts for younger kids might include a toy box, a name plaque, themed wall hangers, painted or decorated outlet covers, or a nightlight that displays stars on the ceiling.
Great housewarming gifts for kids might also include items used outdoors. Some ideas include a badminton set and net, a croquet set, a basketball goal, or a skateboard ramp. If the home includes a deck or patio, you could give a child-size outdoor chair or lounger to the little recipient. If the home has a swimming pool, kids would appreciate pool toys, water games, or pool floats. If the house is on a lake, river, or pond, the kids might appreciate some fishing poles and fishing supplies.
Housewarming Gift Baskets:
Housewarming Gift Baskets
Housewarming gift baskets can be great ideas, for both the gift-giver and the recipient. Gift baskets are fun and easy to assemble, and they can be as inexpensive or as costly as you want to make them. With housewarming gift baskets, you can include a hodgepodge of items for several different rooms, if you like, but it’s usually best to concentrate on one room or on one specific theme. Below are some ideas for housewarming gift baskets. Maybe these will spark some more ideas for housewarming gifts!
Movie Night Basket – include everything needed for a cozy movie night at home: gourmet popcorn, popcorn seasonings, gourmet hot cocoa, mugs, a comfy throw, DVDs, spiced nuts, and fancy chocolates. Place all the items in an attractive bowl that can be used for serving the popcorn.
Relaxation Spa Basket – a gift basket that includes relaxing essentials will be much appreciated! Include massage oils, aromatherapy candles, bubble bath, bath sponges, and a relaxing music CD. Something else you might want to consider is a sound machine. I have one, and I really enjoy it. I can set the machine to rain, thunderstorm, summer night, waterfall, ocean waves, or rainforest.
Cleaning Basket – new homeowners will appreciate gift baskets that include cleaning tools and supplies: scrub brushes, Swiffer pads, dusting cloths, scouring pads, oven cleaner, glass cleaner, bathroom cleaner, and a few scented plug-ins. Place everything in a big bucket or trash can. If you use a trash can as a holder, add a box of plastic liners.
Gardening Basket – for gardeners, make a gift basket with gardening tools, gloves, seeds, flower bulbs, knee pads, and a pretty watering can. Place all the items in a small wheeled trolley or wagon. If you have room, you can add an ornamental plant or shrub.
Wine and Cheese Basket – these gift baskets make pretty traditional housewarming gifts, but it doesn’t matter if more than one is received. They’ll all be used. Do a little research to find out which wines go best with which cheeses. Some nice additions would include nuts, chocolates, fresh fruits, and dried fruits.
Steak Dinner Gift Basket – include all the fixin’s for a romantic dinner for two: steaks, baking potatoes, a bundle of fresh asparagus, a loaf of homemade bread, marinade, steak sauce, candles, candle holders, and a bottle of red wine. If you want to spend more money, you could add a couple of steak-serving plates and a set of steak knives.
BBQ Gift Baskets – for homeowners who enjoy outdoor cooking, make appropriate gift baskets with dry rubs, wet rubs, a meat thermometer, gourmet BBQ sauces, wood chips, grilling marinades, and a variety of hot sauces. You might also want to include a gift certificate to a local butcher shop or meat market.
Italian Feast Gift Baskets – these gift baskets are perfect for anyone who loves Italian food! Include a bottle of wine, gourmet pasta and sauces, a loaf of Italian bread, garlic butter spread, cheeses, cured Italian sausages, and tiramisu. Line a large basket with a red-and-white checkered tablecloth and place the items in the basket.
Bar Basket – to get the new bar off the ground, gift baskets with bar tools and supplies would make great housewarming gifts! Throw in some small bottles of liquor, some envelopes of dry cocktail mixes, a bottle of grenadine, lime and lemon juices, a corkscrew, a cocktail shaker, and some drink straws. Place everything in a large tub cooler. Having the metal tub monogrammed would make these “baskets” great personalized housewarming gifts.
Handyman Gift Baskets – first-time homeowners will need to make regular repairs around the house, so a few handy tools and supplies will be appropriate: small hammer, electric hand drill, screws, cup hooks, eye hooks, screwdriver, nails, picture hangers, plate hangers, wood glue, a small level, spackling compound, a putty knife, and WD40.
How To Make A Gift Basket:
How to Make a Gift Basket
Anyone can make gift baskets, but learning how to make a gift basket that’s attractive and functional often requires a little practice. Of course, you can always buy or order gift baskets online or from physical stores, but you’ll save money by creating your own. When I make a gift basket, I usually try to find a holder that’s just as useable as the items it holds. If I can find a holder that’s associated with the contents of the gift basket, that’s even better. For example, I might use a large tackle box to hold fishing items for an angler. I might use a large metal washtub to contain gifts for a horse owner.
When you’re shopping for items to go in gift baskets, choose different shapes and sizes. Before placing the items in the container, you might first want to line it with something soft. Depending on the theme of the gift basket, you can use a towel, a dishcloth, a tablecloth, a small throw, a bar towel, a tea towel, wood wool, curled ribbons, potpourri, or colorful shredded paper. Place the “padding” in the basket or container first.
Next, place the largest item or items in the basket. Many people place them in the center, but they don’t have to be centered. Next, place the second-largest items in the container, and so on. Save the smallest items to go in last. Use them to “fill in” any empty spaces. Play around with your organization some until you find the display that’s most attractive. Place the entire gift in a clear cellophane bag, if possible. Use a vacuum to remove the air and gather the top. Place a length of twine or a twist tie at the top, and add a large bow.
Gift baskets make neat housewarming gifts. They can be completely and totally customized for each individual recipient. For the best housewarming gifts, you’ll need to plan ahead as far as possible. Don’t buy all the items for the basket in one shopping trip. Purchase the must-have items first and place them in the basket. That way, you’ll get an idea of how much room you have left for other items. Try to include thoughtful, useful, and unique items that you’re sure your recipient will like and enjoy. If you fill the basket gradually, you’ll have time to come up with some good ideas. If you get stuck, seek advice from people who know the homeowner well. Great gift baskets don’t have to be super expensive, either. As long as the giftee realizes you put a lot of time and thought into the basket, the gift will be much appreciated. Of course, that rule of thumb is applicable to all housewarming gifts!
rose-the planner from Toronto, Ontario-Canada on August 16, 2013:
This is a very thorough and useful article regarding ideas for housewarming gifts. It really is difficult sometimes to figure out what sort of housewarming gift to bring someone, so this will definitely be useful to many. Thank you for sharing. (Voted Up) -Rose
Kathryn from Windsor, Connecticut on August 16, 2013:
This is fantastic! Full of useful ideas. I like how thorough you are, and that you have provided so many ideas. I also like that you mentioned including kids with the housewarming. I have never even thought of it, but it makes a lot of sense.
Voted up and sharing.
Thanks for sharing this with us, and have a great weekend!
bettybarnesb from Bartlett, TN on August 13, 2013:
Very interesting and well presented hub. Lots of great ideas to draw from. Usually, I just give a gift card. But received vision from your article next time I have to buy a housewarming gift.
Elizabeth Parker from Las Vegas, NV on July 28, 2013:
These are all fantasic suggestions and very thorough. You've thought of everything! Voted this up - shared and bookmarked. I think many people can benenfit from this.
Leah Lefler from Western New York on July 27, 2013:
The wine and cheese basket looks like a fantastic idea for a housewarming gift... after moving, nothing is better than a little relaxation! Great ideas, Holle!
drbj and sherry from south Florida on July 24, 2013:
The housewarming gift baskets are a unique and useful idea, Holle. Thanks for sharing those ideas.
Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on July 23, 2013:
lol, MsDora. Thanks a bunch!
Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on July 23, 2013:
Habee, you might want to make this into a brochure reference guide. Seems so complete. Voted Up and Useful!