Nothing shows your love more than an anniversary gift made by your own hands. You may not want it to replace a purchased gift, however, it will provide an incredibly romantic and meaningful complement to a 'bling' gift such as an Eternity Rose or similar. No matter your level of skill, there is certain to be a project you can undertake that will save you money, while producing a beautiful memento that will be treasured for a lifetime. You may even discover that you have the tools, materials and equipment you need already in your home to create a heartfelt present that will mean so much to your loved one. Using materials that correspond to those symbolizing your anniversary year is a particularly appealing touch, but if any of the ideas listed below are particularly appealing to you, and do not correspond with the theme of your anniversary year, that doesn’t matter. Any one of these anniversary gift ideas will be sure to touch your loved one because both men and women appreciate personalized gifts, as they speak from the heart, showing that true thought has been put into creating a unique gift designed especially for them.
Create a collage of your life together
Everyone can make a collage, no matter how lacking in artistic skill you feel you are. You will only need a piece of card or strong paper to use as a base, an attractive frame, a glue stick, and then a collection of materials that fit with your anniversary's traditional theme. For example, your first anniversary is called the paper anniversary, so search for paper products that are meaningful and beautiful. Cutting out photographs or relevant words from books and magazines is a good place to start. Then you could add tickets from holidays you have enjoyed together, movies you have seen, concerts you have attended, or plays you have watched together. For the perfect collage anniversary gift, you could also be creative in using other materials that match your anniversary year, including leather decorations (for the third anniversary), dried flowers (for the fourth anniversary), and lace (for the 13th anniversary). Alternatively, the frame you choose for your collage can also serve as the perfect anniversary gift, as themed to match your anniversary year, for example, wood for the fifth, bronze for the eighth, tin for the 10th, crystal for the 15th, and silver for the 25th. The frame could also be embossed with a floral design in accordance with the fourth anniversary (demarcated by flowers).
Make a pillow
For those who own a sewing machine, creating a personalized pillow with beautiful fabric is the perfect project. Choose your own individual style of decoration, but tailor it to reflect your lives together, perhaps by adding your wedding date and names, a poem or saying that is relevant to you, an imprinted photo of you both, or some other token that is important to the two of you. If you have never completed a project like this before, choose a fabric that is easy to sew, and a simple theme that will be effective but suited to your skill level. This is the ideal project to choose for your second anniversary, represented by cotton. A pretty cotton pillow decorated with a personalized message will look wonderful on your bed and will act as a permanent reminder of your special day. You can also tailor the materials that you use to match those symbolizing the year of your anniversary, for example, silk or linen for your 12th anniversary, or lace for your 13th. Alternatively, if your sewing skills aren't quite up to scratch, you could purchase a special custom-made pillow instead, and choose your fabric, colors, and decorations, such as a photo of you both.
Write words of love
A cheap, but wonderfully romantic anniversary gift for your partner is a handwritten love note. So many people rely on texts and emails nowadays, but you can't beat the romance of a letter written in your own hand that reveals the true depths of your feelings. Choose beautiful, quality notepaper, and pour out your heart to your partner. Tell them how much you care, and why they are priceless to you. This unique and personal gift is sure to be worth more to your spouse than any other gift you could give. As a final touch, spray a hint of your own perfume or cologne onto the completed letter, calling you to their mind with your familiar scent every time they read your heartfelt words. This can be an especially perfect gift for your first anniversary, symbolized by paper, but don't forget that you should seal it with a kiss!
Send a message in a bottle
If you and your loved one have beautiful shared memories of the seaside, buy or make a personalized bottle and create a romantic message to put in it for your partner. As a unique keepsake specially designed for the love of your life, you could write a heartfelt love letter, poem or short message, and perhaps enclose tickets for a special event.
Personalize photo frames and books
A popular and cost-effective anniversary gift is a personalized photo frame containing a beautiful photo of you both together on your wedding day or other occasion. Choose from some personalized text, or engravings of your names and your wedding date to tailor it to you both as a couple. Alternatively, why not create a photo book to tell the story of your romance, from your early days together up to your wedding day and beyond? Add text to describe the pictures, and design a truly individual gift that comes from the heart.
Personalize gadget covers
There is a huge range of gadget covers for all types of devices these days that can be personalized with photographs. Choose a beautiful photo of you both together and have it printed on a laptop sleeve, smart phone cover, or tablet case so that every time your partner uses their device, they think of you.
Make a mix CD
Put together a playlist of all your favorite songs as a couple and all the melodies that are important to you; perhaps the track of your first dance, or a song that you heard on the day you met. What a romantic gift!
Whether a mug, plate or vase, you can either paint a design created for your partner, or choose to have a photograph of you both printed on its surface as a treasured memento.
Handcraft your own card
Your local craft store is full of the essential supplies you will need to design and create a beautiful handmade card, personalized to suit your partner. Write a loving message or poem inside for the perfect finishing touch.
Create an anniversary gift basket
A gift basket is a great way to make a luxurious gift tailored to your other half, or any other couple celebrating an important milestone. There are many types of gift baskets you could create, and here are some of the best ideas:
Food - For anyone who loves delicious food, a gourmet gift basket is the ideal gift. Simply put together some delicious chocolates, cheeses, wines or sweet treats, depending on their personal tastes.
Stress-busting - For anyone who spends all week running around looking after family or working hard in the office, a relaxing gift basket is a good idea. Include bath salts, massage oils, scented candles, or even a voucher for a spa treatment, including a couples massage for the perfect present to enjoy together.
Hot drinks - If your partner can't get out of bed without a cup of coffee or tea, put together a hamper of delicious quality hot drink items. Along with gourmet coffees and teas, you could include some breakfast items as a promise of a romantic breakfast in bed.
Sweet treats - Who wouldn't love a chocolate gift basket? Pack it with the highest quality chocolates and unusual gourmet sweet delights, or select a theme such as fruit or nuts to delight your partner.
Special date - Give your partner the gift of a special date night by including ingredients for a special meal to cook as a couple, a DVD that you can watch together, romantic candles for ambient lighting, some snacks to enjoy, and a relaxing bubble bath for afterwards. This is a unique anniversary gift that your partner will truly appreciate.
You know your partner or the celebrating couple best, so it should be simple to tailor a gift basket to suit their needs and interests. It's a present they will love and enjoy, and will show that you truly thought very carefully about them on the special day. For more ideas for the big day, see our section on Romantic and Unique Things To Do On Your Anniversary.