Cut down on postal admin and try one of these gift ideas which can be sent directly to a friend in lockdown.
It’s your friend’s birthday but thanks to lockdown you won’t be able to spoil them in person – boo. So, what can you do to make them feel special?
We know how rubbish it is having your birthday when you’re locked inside without your friends and family to make a fuss of you (three of the Stylist team have been caught in this position already), but there are ways to get something directly to your friends who are due to close another year in self-isolation.
And ‘directly’ is the important word here, because with Royal Mail under extreme pressure and many delivery services cutting down on staff, it can take a lot of forward planning to pick something out, have it sent to you to wrap and include a card, and then post on to your friend. Frankly, it’s an amount of forward planning that many of us would fall short on.
So, here we’ve gathered some ideas on beautiful, thoughtful and personal presents you can buy online to mark their special day. From flowers and wine to boxes full of personalised treats, these are the gifts we think they’ll love.
A bracelet with a message
Recognised Store is a jewellery brand with a difference. Yes, they create stunning, minimalist pieces with a chic aesthetic and versatile wearability which alone has us on board. But the ethos behind their designs means much more than simply looking good.
The concept is that each of their sterling silver, gold vermeil or rose gold vermeil bangles can be accessorised with a delicate pendant (which they refer to as a ‘popon’), which sends an important message from the wearer to those around them.
You can browse through an array of ‘popon’ designs to find one that shows support for the causes you are particularly passionate about, be it for cancer patients or victims of modern slavery. But we particularly love the dove ‘popon’, which symbolises support and empathy for those struggling with their mental health.
Recognised Store hopes that wearers of this dove will spread the message that mental health is important and anyone who is struggling and sees a stranger wearing this bracelet may know that their fight is recognised.
If someone you know is going through a period of ill mental health in lockdown, this bracelet is not only a wonderful gift sure to brighten their day but it also says: “I see you and I stand with you”. What’s more, 100% of the profits from all products go to charities related to the ‘popons’, so it’s all for a good cause.
Shop limited edition ‘I’ll Be There’ dove popon and bracelet at Recognised Store, from £55
Dried flower wreath DIY kit
If your friend is having a birthday in lockdown then, like the rest of us, they’ll have a lot of time on their hands. So, why not give them a gift which they can do while sitting around at home?
Lavender & Rose’s dried flower wreath kit taps into the neutral trend and although Christmas is approaching, this stylish wreath makes for a cool decoration at any time of year. Plus, they last for a really long time, so there’s no need to throw them out after 25 December.
This kit includes everything you need to make the wreath pictured above as well as instructions. Please note, though, that these kits are currently on pre-order until the beginning of December so if your friend’s birthday is before let them know they have a special treat coming which they can enjoy then.
Shop dried flower wreath DIY kit at Lavender & Rose, £55
Supply Drop is your new best friend when it comes to sending your friends or family something to make their day a little better, for pretty much any reason.
From boxes for break-ups and graduations, thank-yous and birthdays, seriously, Supply Drop has thought of everything. Inside each box, you’ll find a curated selection of gifts which have been thoughtfully chosen especially for the occasion.
The kinds of products which regularly pop up in a Supply Box are face masks, gummy sweets, tea, mints and chocolate. While a themed box may contain gifts which are more specific.
Shop boxes at Supply Drop, from £19.99
Mionetto Aperitivo Box
We won’t be seeing any summer sun for a while, so why not give your friend a little taste of Northern Italy with this Aperol spritz and nibbles set.
There’s nothing better than sipping on an Aperol spritz out on a terrace somewhere scenic, but it can be a bit of a faff to recreate at home. This set does all the hard work for you, though, including a bottle of Mionetto DOC Treviso prosecco, Aperol, Fever Tree soda water and two packets of snacks.
It’s a lovely treat, whether they fancy cheersing on the spot or popping in the fridge for later.
Shop Mionetto Aperitivo Box at Slurp, £27.95
What could be more powerful than giving the gift of knowledge to a friend on their birthday? You can get most subscriptions in either one off orders or in a package of three, six or twelve months, and they’ll be delivered ready-made to your friend’s house without you having to do anything.
Not only is this a lovely idea for a friend who’s a bit of a bookworm, it’s an opportunity to highlight authors that don’t always get the attention they deserve. We’ve rounded up the best feminist book subscription boxes, for example, which shine a light specifically on female authors.
Plus, many book subscription boxes also include other little gifts like edible treats, enamel pins or herbal teas.
Shop subscription box at Books That Matter, from £17
We appreciate this isn’t ground-breaking, but it is a classic. Flowers are such a gorgeous gift to send to someone’s door because they don’t need to be wrapped beforehand and most come with the option to write a personalised note.
Plus, because everyone is at home all day at the moment, you can be sure your bouquet delivery won’t be missed. However, if you want to make absolute sure, you can still opt for letterbox flowers from brands like Bloom & Wild, who will ensure that they get to your friend safely.
Shop letterbox flowers at Bloom & Wild, from £23
We’re big stationery fans so we might be biased, but isn’t there something wonderful about getting your own personalised writing set or a notebook with your name on? Papier is the master of this, offering a range of hard and softback notebooks, photo albums, notecards, letter writing paper and more, all of which can be personalised.
They also work with hundreds of artists and brands such as Matilda Goad, Disney and Desmond & Dempsey so you’re bound to find something your friend will love. But the reason this gift works particularly well for lockdown birthdays is that there is a gift box option. Your stationery will be wrapped in white tissue paper, have a cute sticker attached to it, and a personalised note to your friend included.
Shop notecards at Papier, from £17
Biscuiteers creates some of the most beautiful and creative treats to dunk in your tea that we’ve ever seen. Their expert icers are capable of designs in almost any theme – from animals to skiing – many of which can be personalised with a message or name of your choice.
They also have a birthday range, featuring birthday cake-shaped biscuits which can be edited especially for your friend. Thanks to their letterbox selection you can send a sweet treat through the post and be assured it will get there, or opt for something bigger like a tin of 16.
Shop birthday biscuits at Biscuiteers, from £11.95
We’ve used subscription boxes as a monthly self-care treat or to keep us on top of new beauty trends and products, but a one-off box makes a great birthday present, too. We particularly like Bookblock for the creative way you can curate something unique for your friend.
Pick the pattern of your gift box and everything in it, including options like rose champagne, a pastel notebook, glitter-filled balloons or a trinket dish. There’s loads of choice and all of it feels very on-brand to the millennial, Instagram-friendly aesthetic.
Shop birthday box at Bookblock, price dependent on how you curate your box.
Images: Book Block / brands
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