The best personalised gift ideas are the crazy ones.

“That great little camera…gorgeous bracelet…adventure holiday in Japan…sweet little Chihuahua….would make a lovely gift for someone, wouldn’t it Jonny?” 

Followed by a gentle elbow in my ribs. 

Finding the right gift is not always this easy – especially for those who are not as unsubtle as my wife.

Besides a gift should come as a surprise, causing a genuine and unprompted squeal of delight. 

But there are a lot of average gifts out there, so how do you spend your precious time creating a gift rather than scrolling through listing after listing?

A good place to start is to ask yourself: “What do I really appreciate about this person that he or she would like to be recognized for?” Then package up that thought into your gift.  It doesn’t have to cost you anything more than time. It could just be a jar full of little notes with different reasons why you love them.

We help you show your appreciation in our personalised books and maps by giving opportunities to add your own touches: messages and memories or pledges and photos. The more you personalise them the more they grow with meaning and emotion.  We try to make a little effort go a long way.

Over the years we’ve found the best personalisation ideas are often the crazy ones. The ones you’re meant to laugh about then disregard. Instead we use them.

Here are 4 examples from our books, starting with our latest insane idea.

1. Make a surprise appearance in your gift through Augmented Reality!

This is our latest wizardry and allows you to leave a video message in our bestselling milestone books through Augmented Reality.

This is our latest wizardry and allows you to leave a video message in our bestselling milestone books through Augmented Reality.

Make a surprise appearance in your gift through augmented reality

Imagine the recipient’s surprise when you appear in their book.  Then imagine, 10 years down the line when that person pulls that book off the shelf, blows away the dust, and sees you sending them your love like it was yesterday.  What magical keepsake.

At the moment, the Augmented Reality video message is just available in our milestone books. You add ‘AR video message’ at checkout and then record it in your own time. You can even get friends and family to add their messages to create a full video celebration in your book!

2. Name an ant in honour of the recipient.

A few years back we had a real ant farm in the office and named an ant in honour of every book recipient. We even rigged up a camera so you could see your ant online. 

However, after over 500,000 sales, we ran out of ants to name. Plus there was a little incident of an ant fight with a local gang that infiltrated their home. 

So we went digital. Our tech team created The Colony, our digital ant farm. In The Colony, you can track your ant and see what they’re up to today. It’s a bit of a soap opera, your ant could be out for a stroll, at the hair salon or just kicking back and contemplating the complexities of life.

Visit our Ant Farm here.

Name an ant in honour of the recipient ant farm

3. Make every photo work 3 ways.

To demonstrate how a single photo can transform your gift, here are a few pages from a book I made for the adorable Aunty Beryl.  

When you add a photo to the newspaper page of The  Book of Everyone…Aunty Beryl hits the headlines:

make every photos work 3 ways

But she also becomes a first-class stamp later in the book.

And then a fridge magnet at the end of the book.

We know how short on time you are, so we make sure every effort you make is properly rewarded.

4. Make it so personal that someone tattoos it.

Every book has a page called The Symbol of You.  It’s a unique insignia made out of the recipient’s details such as name and date of birth.

 Here’s Beryl’s symbol:

make the symbol so personal that someone may tattoo it

The Symbol Of You page uses Beryl’s date of birth to find the moon phase she was born under and then places it the centre of the symbol – in Beryl’s case a full moon (which explains quite a lot about Beryl).  

No one in business likes customer complaints but, when a customer calls up to tell us that their 18-year-old son loved the book so much that he tattooed his symbol on his arm, you’re left with mixed feelings. (Don’t worry mums, it’s only happened twice.)

We’ve always felt best gifts should bring the giver and receiver closer to each other. They’re a little investment of time into a relationship you care about.

When you give someone a book all about them with a hidden AR video message saying how much they matter to you, you are guaranteed a genuine and unprompted squeal of delight. You are also giving them a snapshot of your relationship that will be preserved in time. And that’s pretty hard to beat. 

Time to feed the Chihuahua.

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