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40 Thoughtful Small Gift Ideas for Friends

Updated
Put down the generic gift card and show your friend how thoughtful you are with one of these unique gifts!

From a special occasion to no occasion at all, picking up small gifts for friends can be a wonderful way to show your loved one you’re thinking of them!

However, finding a gift that is both thoughtful and cheap might pose more of a challenge. At least, until you dive into this lovely listicle chock full of cute, cool, and affordable items!

Whether you’re searching for a little thank you gift, an inexpensive birthday surprise, or a cute pick-me-up for your best friend, we’ve got you covered with these 40 thoughtful options.


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40 Best Small Gift Ideas for Friends

Treat your best friend to one of the best little gifts from this curated collection!

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Shit I Can't Remember: Organizer, Log Book & Notebook for Passwords and Shit

  • Help Them Get Their *Stuff* Together

  • $$$$$
  • Stationery & Goods

We all have that one friend who would forget their head if it wasn’t attached to their neck. The one who chants “phone, keys, wallet” as they leave the house but then forgets their purse with all those items in it. This notebook goes out to the forgetful friends that you love and adore, even if you go days without speaking to them because they misplaced their phone.

This logbook can help them write down all their important logins and passwords (or anything else they can’t seem to remember). Now, all we can do is hope they don’t forget where they put this notebook!


Recycled Drink Coasters, Set of 4

  • Rings On Fingers, Not Tables

  • $$$$$
  • Homegoods & Decor

Tell your environmentally-minded friend that you instantly thought of them when you saw these recycled coasters, and they’ll instantly be touched by your thoughtfulness! These coasters are crafted from sustainably sourced materials, including recycled flip flops.

Not only are they green-minded, these coasters are still slip resistant, sturdy, and very absorbent. They’re available in a variety of color combinations, so you’ll be able to find a set that matches the recipient’s taste.


Boho Pillow Cover with Tassels

  • Boho And Bougie

  • $$$$$
  • Homegoods & Decor

This highly textured black and white pillowcase gives us major designer vibes but at a knockoff price point. But if black and white don’t fit your friend’s decor, there are plenty of other equally stylish options to choose from, including a rainbow design we just can’t stop thinking about. This pillowcase could be a perfect, easy gift for your friend that wants to refresh their space but needs a bit of encouragement to start. Who knows, maybe you’ll be the inspiration behind your best friend’s new interior decorating career?


Wine Glass/Beer/Cans/Bottle/Drink Holder for Shower

  • Relax And Un-Wine

  • $$$$$
  • Novelty, Homegoods & Decor

Yes, this is the perfect gift for almost anyone. We agree, these should be built into every bathroom. However, until that becomes common practice, you’ll just have to get one of these shower cup holders for all your friends.

This one, in particular, works with wine glasses, beer bottles, cans, or any other similarly sized cup. This fun bathroom accessory could be the perfect gift for someone who loves to relax in a soothing bath or shower, and maybe an adult beverage or two.


Cute Lamp Dumpling Light

  • Talk A-Bao-t Cute

  • $$$$$
  • Novelty, Homegoods & Decor

We can’t get over how adorable (and affordable) this little dumpling light is. If you have a friend that loves all things kawaii or just appreciates a soft glowing lamp for nighttime reading, this little light could be an awesome small gift. Whether you think it looks like a dumpling or a raindrop, we think it’s super cute either way, and your friend will love this small token of your friendship.


Star Wars Millenium Falcon Metal Bottle Opener

  • Rebel Forces Unite For Beer

  • $$$$$
  • Novelty, Kitchen & Dining

We shouldn’t have to elaborate because if you have a friend that would love this bottle opener, you’ve probably already thought of them. This one is for the Star Wars nerd among your pals, and if you don’t have one in your friend group, we volunteer ourselves as tribute. This is a great thank you gift or small gift for friends that wish they were as cool as Han Solo.


Moon Shape Jewelry Dish Organizer

  • Love You To The Moon

  • $$$$$
  • Novelty, Homegoods & Decor

This little trinket dish is so darn cute, but it’s exactly the type of item we constantly talk ourselves out of buying. If you have a friend that spends hours scrolling Pinterest and wandering around Homegoods but can’t quite pull the trigger, they’ll probably love this set of jewelry dishes. And even if your friend leaves Target with a cart full of home decor every weekend, they’ll still love these dainty and stylish moon-shaped jewelry dishes.


Three Tier Hanging Fruit Basket for Kitchen

  • Adorable Storage Solutions

  • $$$$$
  • Homegoods & Decor

Small gifts don’t have to just be cute novelty items, they can still be fully functional. We love the versatility of this hanging basket. Macrame is coming back in a major way and becoming a mainstream decor accent, not just cor boho hippies dreaming of the 1970s.

Your best friend can use this stylish storage solution in the kitchen for produce, in their entryway for sorting mail and essentials, or in their room for beauty and grooming tools. We’ll be at home this weekend tangled in string trying to make a sub-par DIY version.


Creepy Party Animal Unicorn Mask

  • For Party Animals Only

  • $$$$$
  • Novelty

This party mask might be a bit goofier than the other items on this list so far, but we bet you know a party animal that would rock this at your next get-together. Or a great small gift idea for friends with massive costume boxes who love any excuse to dress up. This whimsical gift choice will at least get a laugh out of your friend because whoever expects to open up a funny unicorn mask?


Pizza Blanket Double Sided 71 inches

  • Break Me Off A Pizza That

  • $$$$$
  • Novelty, Homegoods & Decor, Comfort

We just can’t get over how giftable this fun blanket is. This cute pizza blanket is the perfect choice for your foodie friend, your guy pal with silly taste in decor, or your bestie to thank her for the endless pizza and movie nights you two have shared. It is also available in a tortilla design, which could be a great pick for your favorite Taco Tuesday buddy. The blanket is super soft as well as being extremely cute, which could make it a great birthday or thank you gift for a friend.

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Magic 8 Ball: Retro

  • Ask Your Deepest Questions

  • $$$$$
  • Novelty, Entertainment & Activities

Do you have a pal that texts you at all hours looking for advice? Does your work bestie love all things whimsical and nostalgic? This Magic 8 Ball could be a fun gift for a philosophical friend who likes to ponder the world’s deepest questions and mysteries.

Of course, they’re still welcome to message you at midnight to discuss what color they should dye their hair next, but the Magic 8 Ball can provide another useful opinion to break a tie.


Anthony's Premium Cheddar Cheese Powder

  • Cheese Me, Please

  • $$$$$
  • Food & Drinks

The cheese fiend in your life might just cry from joy if you give them this cheddar cheese powder. This is a great gift for friends that never outgrew their love of boxed macaroni and cheese, are following a certain diet but can’t kick their cheesy cravings, or who just love experimenting with fun snacks! This powder tastes like an upscale version of the childhood favorite and could add a fun kick to popcorn, dips, or other foods.


Personalized Photo Pet Face Socks

  • The Paw-fect Gift

  • $$$$$
  • Clothing, Accessories

Every millennial pet owner with a fur baby would flip out if you got them a personalized pair of socks with their pet on them. How do we know? Because we’ve received a pair of these and definitely teared up a bit.

These socks are for your friend who is completely inseparable from their four-legged half. They’ll appreciate how thoughtful you were, while you’ll probably appreciate how affordable this custom gift is.


Mini Lower Body Pot

  • For Their Succulent Ass-ortment of Plants

  • $$$$$
  • Homegoods & Decor

Is this a plant pot or a sleek and modern piece of art? This plant pot has Mother Nature vibes and ultra-femininity all rolled into one, and would look incredible mixed into a plant collection or on a curated windowsill.

Plant lovers, art lovers, and people with a certain cool aesthetic would all equally appreciate this planter, which is also available in a variety of colors as well as some other body parts. How cute would it be to pair the butt planter with the bust planter? We’re swooning at the decorating possibilities.


Funny French Vanilla Cereal Bowl with Metal Spoon Scented Candle

  • We’re Super Cereal About Candles

  • $$$$$
  • Novelty, Homegoods & Decor

You can never go wrong with a classic candle as a small gift for friends. However, if you’re looking for a more unique version of the standard, we can’t get over how cute these cereal candles are. They come complete with a metal spoon and little wax cereal pieces that the recipient can pour for themselves. Now the important question is- do you pour your milk before your cereal or your cereal first?


18 Pack Hand Cream

  • Give Them A Hand

  • $$$$$
  • Grooming & Self-care

From winter weather to washing dishes, a wide variety of factors can leave our hands feeling dry, rough, and cracked. This pack contains 18 unique scents and fragrances, crafted with essential oils and deeply moisturizing ingredients like shea butter, natural aloe vera, and vitamin E. This pack is perfect for your on-the-go friend because they can stash one of these conveniently sized bottles in all of their bags!


Carhartt Men's Knit Cuffed Beanie

  • Cozy And Stylish

  • $$$$$
  • Accessories, Comfort

This Carhartt beanie is both trendy and classic, making it an awesome small gift idea for friends of all styles and aesthetics. These Carhartt beanies probably popped up all over your cold-weather Instagram, Tiktok, or Pinterest feed. They’re available in a ton of different colors, from traditional neutrals to soft pastels, so you could even help your friend branch out from their standard black beanie rut.


Beard Care Kit For Men

  • For Your Bearded Bros

  • $$$$$
  • Grooming & Self-care

Who would have thought that you could find such a well-stocked beard care kit at such a bargain price? Honestly, if we’ve learned anything from dating a string of bearded hipsters, it’s that men with beards love anything (gifts or complements) related to their beard.

This care kit is one of the best gifts for men who take pride in their beard (spoiler alert, they pretty much all do). This kit contains beard growth oil, beard balm for moisturizing and shaping, stainless steel scissors, a brush for grooming and evenly distributing product, and more. It almost makes us wish we had a beard, but not quite.


Heart with Tears Shaped Rimless Sunglasses

  • We Heart These

  • $$$$$
  • Novelty, Accessories

These funky sunglasses are a cool, small gift for your friend with eclectic taste. These unique shades will look awesome at the next music festival, party, or influencer-worthy Instagram post. These shades are nothing short of eye-catching, which makes them a great small gift for your friend who loves to stand out in a crowd and doesn’t shy away from a statement piece. The sunglasses are available in multiple hues and come with a cool case.


Mike's Hot Honey 10 oz Easy Pour Bottle

  • Some Like It Hot

  • $$$$$
  • Food & Drinks

Some like it hot, some like it sweet, and some people want a dash of both in every bite! You might be wondering- what food would actually be good with hot honey on top? Boy, do we have news for you. From pizza to wings to chicken and waffles, we want to put this spicy honey on just about everything. This is a great small gift for your foodie friend that loves combining unique flavors.

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Women's Cross Band Slippers Soft Plush

  • Slip Into Something More Plush

  • $$$$$
  • Accessories, Comfort

Something about these slippers gives us major Cher from Clueless vibes. Give these slippers to your friend who was born to be a pampered stay-at-home wife or daughter (even if life had different plans in store for them).

At the very least, they can don these slippers after they get home from work, pour a glass of wine, light some candles, and pretend they don’t have to work 8+ hours a day to afford their lifestyle. They’re available in a ton of colors, so you could even get pairs for all your gal pals and have a fun spa day at home.


Extra Soft Faux Fur Throw Blanket

  • Give Them A Reason To Stay In Bed

  • $$$$$
  • Comfort, Homegoods & Decor

In case those fuzzy slippers weren’t quite luxurious enough, this lux faux fur blanket could take your gift up a notch. This could be a particularly great gift for a friend who hates the cold, enjoys interior decorating, or who has been ill and could use something soft and cuddly for comfort.

The throw blanket size would be the perfect accent piece in their glamorous home while still being one of the softest and coziest blankets on the planet. This blanket is available in multiple colors, all of which are equally luxurious!


bite away® - Insect Sting and Bite Relief

  • Save The Day And Their Skin

  • $$$$$
  • Grooming & Self-care

While scientists have learned some interesting facts about mosquitos – such as only females suck blood, they can sense the heat and humidity around our bodies, and they might prefer beer drinkers- none of that information is particularly helpful when you’re already covered in bites from head to toe. But do you know what could actually help? This unique Bite Away tool, which delivers targeted heat to take the sting and irritation out of any pesky bites.


Three-Pack Velvet Hair Tie Scrunchies With Hidden Zipper Pocket

  • Stash The Essentials

  • $$$$$
  • Accessories, Novelty

We love multifunctional accessories, like these sneaky scrunchies with a hidden zipper compartment. Especially since it seems like all women’s fashion designers have a not-so-secret vendetta against giving us functional pockets on clothing, us girls have to get a bit creative with our accessories.

These scrunchies are perfect for stashing house keys on a run, a bit of pocket money just in case, or anything else the user wants to keep handy and hidden. We’ll let you use your imagination for the rest.


Womens Warm Blanket Scarf

  • Wrap Them Up In Love

  • $$$$$
  • Accessories, Comfort

Blanket scarves are as trendy as they are versatile. If your friend lives in a cold climate or is an avid traveler, they’ll love how warm and useful this scarf is. Plus, with over 20 gorgeous designs and an incredibly affordable (less than $10) price tag, you might just want to stock up on a few of these scarves for all your pals! Did you take a peek at all those unique plaid prints? This scarf is a pumpkin patch, big hat, autumnal vibes, and an Instagram post ready!


Cap Gun Bottle Opener

  • Pew Pew Shots Fired

  • $$$$$
  • Novelty, Entertainment & Activities

Do you have a friend that is thirty going on thirteen? This beer cap gun is the best gift for those goofballs in your friend group who can make any event playful. If you have some money left over in your budget, you might want to pair this fun bottle opener with a mini basketball hoop or target, so your friend has something else to aim their bottle cap shots at!


La Tourangelle- White Truffle Oil

  • A Dash Of Gourmet For Everyday

  • $$$$$
  • Food & Drinks

Your favorite foodie will love that you thought of them as soon as you saw the phrase truffle oil, and you’ll love that this infused oil is a fraction of the price of fresh Italian Alba Truffles. Is your mind racing at all the possibilities of ways to use this oil? Same, so we may as well pick up a bottle for ourselves to test it and give authentic suggestions to our friends, right?

We’re definitely drizzling some of this white truffle oil onto our homemade pesto pizza tonight! We can’t wait to hear suggestions from you and the friend you give this bottle to about other awesome ways to incorporate this finishing oil into some gourmet cuisine.


Sideways Initial Necklace 18K Gold Plated

  • Say My Name, Say My Name

  • $$$$$
  • Accessories

Trendy jewelry? Check. A touch of customization by using the first letter of your friend’s name? Double check. A super affordable but still cute gift? Triple check. If that’s what it means to be a triple threat, then everyone should watch out for this elegant and stylish necklace. Not to mention, unlike many other affordable jewelry options, this one is tarnish-resistant, so hopefully, your gift won’t turn your friend’s neck green!


Denman Hair Brush for Curly Hair

  • For Your Favorite Curly Girl Or Guy

  • $$$$$
  • Grooming & Accessories

If we know anything, it’s that curly hair can be a bit tricky to manage. This brush, however, is specifically designed to help detangle, shape, and separate curls, to make your friend’s luscious locks look even more vibrant! This fan-favorite brush could make your friend’s morning routine significantly easier, which would also give you two more time to chat on the phone or grab a coffee and breakfast burrito. So, this brush is partially a gift for your friend and partially a devious plan to get your friend to hang out with you more.


Stojo Collapsible Travel Cup

  • For Ultra Convenience

  • $$$$$
  • Kitchen & Dining

Does anyone else remember when collapsable Tupperware containers first came out? The convenience of smooshing down your empty lunch box to a third of it’s original size seems like a brief glimpse into a future where we can now have collapsable coffee cups as well! We love this gift for friends who are trying to become a bit more eco-conscious and limit their one-use or disposable plastics! Your friend can keep the compressed version in their bag or car and then extend it to full size when they need a caffeinated pick-me-up.


Retro TV Style Stand Holder

  • Take A Stand

  • $$$$$
  • Novelty, Homegoods & Decor

Raise your hand if you ever drop your phone on your face while you’re lying in bed watching things. Now, raise your hand if you haven’t personally done that, but you can think of a friend who would absolutely do that. If your hands are raised, we suggest you just go ahead and click add to cart on this retro tv stand phone holder. This vintage-inspired phone stand could be a cool way to stream Netflix on their phone, and maybe save their face from some startling accidents.


Women's Ruched Butt Lifting High Waist Leggings

  • TikTok Made Us

  • $$$$$
  • Clothing

Yes, of course, we put these Tiktok famous leggings on the list. These leggings went viral for the eye-catching effect they seem to have on the wearers behind. We’ve seen them all over our social media feed, and we know a few of our posteriorly gifted friends are definitely curious about how their best assets would look in these magical pants.

These leggings are significantly more affordable than a Brazilian Butt Lift operation, so we can’t wait to see all your curvy booty pals rocking these internet-famous leggings! What can we say? We like big butts and we cannot lie.


'Fries on the Fly' Universal Car French Fry Holder for Cup Holder

  • For Super Fry Guys

  • $$$$$
  • Novelty, Accessories

On the go eating is an elite art form for people who are always in their car (we’re looking at you, long commuters and late-night gig workers). There’s no shame in the fast-food game, however, there is a small amount of shame in spilling half your fries on the floor of your car before you even get the chance to eat them.

This French fry holder fits into most standard-sized cup holders but makes it easier to access fast food, phones, wallets, or whatever else the driver might want on hand during their trips. More French fries for all!


Light Up Lightsaber Chopsticks

  • May The Forks Be Without You

  • $$$$$
  • Kitchen & Dining, Novelty

We have no shame in the fact that we put multiple Star Wars themed items on this list. In fact, you should be impressed we had enough restraint to only put a few items. We tried to save ourselves for the truly iconic gifts, like these light up lightsaber chopsticks (is that a bit of a tongue twister or is it just us?).

Now the only question is how many pairs and which colors do you get for your Star Wars loving pal? We suggest you go big and get the four-pack so they can have epic battles over sushi, but we’ll leave the final decision making up to you!


Microfiber Hair Towel Wrap for Women, 2 Pack

  • Cut Drying Time, Not Your Hair

  • $$$$$
  • Grooming & Self-care

Whether your pal has long hair or short hair, curly hair or straight, odds are they will still appreciate anything that helps them cut down on drying time. These microfiber towels claim to absorb 75% of the water from the user’s hair in just ten minutes, which sounds like an absolute dream to us.

It is available as a set of two, and while we’re partial to the neutral gray color, there are ten color combinations to choose from! Pro-tip, if your friend dyes their hair funky colors, try to get them a towel to match it, so they don’t end up with noticeable stains all over their crisp white towels.


Automatic Mixer- 3-Speed Pan Stirrer

  • Homemade And Hands Free!

  • $$$$$
  • Kitchen & Dining

Say hello to your new sous chef- this automatic pan stirrer. Oh sorry, how silly of us, you’re shopping for small gifts for your friends, and you’re definitely not looking for a small treat for yourself that will also help you cut down on kitchen prep time. In that case, your friend (wink, wink) will love the convenience of this automatic mixer, especially when it comes to holiday or dinner party preparations.


Bedside Shelf Accessories Organizer- Wall Mount Self Stick On

  • Organize Every Corner

  • $$$$$
  • Homegoods & Decor

Organization is the name of the game, especially for your friend who may or may not treat their bed as their desk, kitchen, reading nook, makeup counter, and more. This bedside organizer is ideal for renters or college students with limited space and even more limited patience for clutter, because it has useful shelves and built-in adhesives that won’t damage the walls.

This bedside caddy is perfect for stashing a phone, headphones, glasses, or any other small supplies your bestie wants on hand when they’re hanging out in bed (aka, the greatest place on earth).


Quick-Pull Drawstring Magic Cosmetic Pouch

  • For The Beauty Queen

  • $$$$$
  • Accessories, Grooming & Self-care

Keeping a large makeup collection organized could be nearly impossible, especially if you’re traveling or taking your beauty supplies with you on the go. This drawstring makeup bag lets the user easily lay out all of their tools and supplies in front of them, then quickly stash it all away when it’s time to pack up and go. This could be a great gift for performers, travelers, make-up artists, or your friend who wants to head right from work to happy hour.


Wallet Ninja Multitool Card

  • Ready For Anything

  • $$$$$
  • Novelty

This wallet ninja multitool card could be an awesome gift for the MacGyver of your friend group! We have one of these stashed in our travel first aid kit so that we’re always ready in case of an emergency. But do you want to know the best feature on this 18 in one use multitool card? It actually has the different tools labeled.

So when your friend is out camping and needs to fix their wobbly sunglasses, they’ll know exactly where the glasses-sized screwdriver is and won’t be dumpling around with the bottle opener section (and vice versa). This might not seem like a reason in itself to buy one, but we owned a different version with the same tools but without labels and we can promise this one is way more user-friendly.


Dash Mini Waffle Maker

  • Make Breakfast In A Dash

  • $$$$$
  • Kitchen & Dining

We know that this says waffle maker, but we want to let you in on a little secret- you can make way more than waffles in a waffle maker! Still can’t think of anything adventurous to try? We know an incredible woman (we call her mom) who makes falafel in a waffle maker (here forth referred to as fawaffles), which creates the perfect crevices for hummus and tzatziki. We’re keen to make some hash browns in this mini waffle maker and use them as the bread in a breakfast sandwich. Plus, with so many cute designs and unique waffle plates, your foodie friend will have a blast using this convenient little kitchen gadget!


Small Gifts FAQs

Is It Normal to Buy Small Gifts for Your Close Friends in a Non-Romantic Way?

Buying a small gift for your close friend is a wonderful way to show you care and are thinking of them! If you ever made a friendship bracelet for your pal back in elementary school, you’ll understand that giving a small gift can be totally platonic!

If you’re worried about a gift coming off in a way you don’t intend, you can always opt for silly or funny items with less emotional significance behind them.

Is It Customary to Always Take a Small Gift When Invited to Dinner at a Friend’s Home?

If your friend invited you to go out to a new restaurant together where you’ll be splitting the bill, it generally isn’t expected for you to bring a gift. However, if your friend is hosting some sort of dinner party and paying for everything, a small hostess gift could be a thoughtful token of your appreciation.

Of course, you can always ask your friend if they want you to bring anything, such as an appetizer, side dish, or dessert. Alternatively, you could pick up something small for your friend, such as a bottle of wine, flowers, or a box of chocolates. That way, the host can choose to share and incorporate these items into the party or save them as a treat for themselves.

Is it a Bad Idea to Get a Small Gift for New Friends?

Giving a small gift is an easy and simple way to show them you appreciate them and your new friendship. However, if it is a relatively new friend, you might struggle to think of something they’ll like.

We suggest taking a moment to think about some of the activities you guys do together. If you always get a coffee and chat after yoga class, then you might consider giving them a cute travel mug, athletic headbands to keep their hair out of their face during down dog, or even a gift card to the coffee shop they frequent. These small, seemingly simple tokens could go a long way in strengthening your friendship bond.

What Is the Best Small Gift to Give a Friend?

There are plenty of awesome small gift ideas for friends that they’ll love and won’t break the bank. The best gift for your friend will definitely depend on what they’re interested in.

Adventurous,outdoorsy people might have different taste than your foodie friends that spend every weekend restaurant hopping. Take a moment to reflect on your friend’s particular interests.

If you’re still struggling to think of something, you can’t go wrong with certain items, such as self care supplies, mugs, flowers, picture frames, cute decor pieces, baked goods, or gift cards.

Headshot of Carly Schwarz

About the Author

Carly Schwarz

Carly Schwarz is a part-time conservation biologist, part-time creator of funky crafts, and full-time goofball writer for Gift Rabbit. She earned a degree in Environmental Biology from Tulane University in New Orleans and has worked on conservation projects worldwide since. Before she entered the world of online writing, Carly was the Research Coordinator of an elephant sanctuary in northern Thailand.