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Creative Gift Ideas for Men (How to Pick the Right Present for a Guy)

Marcy writes about family, home life, parenting, money-saving tips, and many other topics, as well as essays and occasional humor pieces.

Looking for the perfect gift for your guy? Here are a few places to start.

Looking for the perfect gift for your guy? Here are a few places to start.

How to Find Perfect Gift Ideas for the Man in Your Life

It's hard to find the right gift for a guy. Whether it's Valentine's Day, Father's Day, Christmas, or his birthday, you're never sure what will be different, thoughtful, and creative.

We all know the jokes about ties, but whether it's our father, husband, grandfather, or brother (or son!) it's hard to think of just the right gift for a guy. These tips will help you come up with something interesting and unique this year.

First, What Is Special About This Man?

Because there's no way to list every possible gift idea in one article (although we will list several), here are some ways to get your imagination flowing and help you narrow your focus on a gift just for him. Make a brief mental or written list of the qualities and interests your dad, husband, boyfriend or granddad has, and you can easily recognize gift ideas he will like, appreciate and enjoy.

  • What are his hobbies? Does he tinker with things?
  • Does he love having the latest new tech toy?
  • Does he enjoy photography?
  • Is he into hunting or other outdoor interests?
  • What sports does he enjoy playing or watching?
  • What sort of music does he enjoy?
  • Is he openly affectionate or is he the quiet, reserved type?
  • Does he collect anything?
  • Does he read books or magazines?
  • Is he into computers and online games?

Answer all the questions above, plus any others that come to mind. Whether the man in your life spends his free time at the computer, behind a camera lens, watching sports on TV or reading, you'll be more focused on what to get him when you write these things out and think about them for a bit.

How to Give a Gift Your Man Will Love

When you go over the list you made above, you'll start picturing the personality of the man you're buying for and what motivates him.

This can help you come up with more creative ideas than if you walk into the department store and go by the "Gifts for Father's Day" counter (which is most certainly stocked with the usual ties, socks, shirts and other stuff that probably already fills his drawers and closet).

Hobby and Interest Gifts:

Depending on your budget, you can either buy something small but thoughtful or go all out for that major purchase he's been pondering. If you know he's into hunting or photography, but you really don't understand the gear, ask his closest buddy about what the latest equipment might be or what little device is missing from his gear.

Hunters and Fishermen

Hunting and fishing enthusiasts might like something simple but incredibly useful, such as anything waterproof that can be used in any type of weather or a case that will protect expensive guns, ammunition or tackle.

If he's had his eye on a new gun or rod, see if his best buddy can tip you off on what to get.

Even if you can't afford the full price, a gift certificate toward that goal will be appreciated. It will show him you paid attention to what he likes and that you support his hobby.

Photography Buffs

Your amateur (or even professional) photography dude will drool over the latest new name-brand camera. Canon and Nikon have both released recent high-end DSLRs (the Canon EOS 5D Mark iii and the Nikon D800); both cameras have been given great reviews and are hot items currently. If he's happy with his camera body, perhaps he would like a new lens. Or, you may score a hit with something as simple as a new, high-quality filter or a professional-grade camera bag (especially if they have added to their kit and outgrown the bag(s) they currently use.

You can also get gift certificates (and a 'permission slip' from you) for a weekend at a favorite hunting retreat, a photography show or weekend meet-up, or a spot that lends itself to good hunting or great photos.


Do some research to find out what is missing from his collection and see if you can locate a good find to add to it. Give him a book on the topic (some of these are very expensive and are used as major sources for research and appraising collectors' items). Buy tickets and a weekend trip for a convention of collectors in his field.

Handymen and Woodworkers

If your dad or hubby is a tinkerer (woodwork, tools, handyman) and if it is truly an outlet he uses to relax, do some research on ways you can help add to his tools or upgrade his workbench. With some careful listening (and maybe by tagging along when he goes to the store for supplies), you can learn what he has been thinking of getting.

For Anyone

Gift certificates have already been mentioned here, and they might sound boring, but they can be great choices that allow your favorite guy to pick what he wants and, at the same time, show your support for him to splurge on himself a bit. Wrap the gift certificate creatively by putting it in a new gadget box or including a loving and humorous letter to "The Hunter in You" or "To My Favorite Photographer."

There are many great gift options for avid sports fans.

There are many great gift options for avid sports fans.

Gifts for Sports Fans

Whether he plays a sport or watches one, there are many gift options he might enjoy this year. He will probably enjoy:

  • Tickets for an away game (including hotel reservations).
  • Tickets to a significant home game.
  • Season's Tickets for his favorite team.
  • Official permission to attend a practice session in person (some sports teams allow this if you research it and submit a request).
  • A book about his favorite team or the sports heroes he admires.
  • Books by experts in the sports he plays (you may even be able to get autographed copies).
  • Collectors' editions of classic books on the sport.
  • A coffee table book about the sport.
  • New binoculars.
  • Tickets for a VIP luncheon, reception or another event where a sports legend might be speaking or appearing.
  • Gift certificate for a new golf club, bowling ball, tennis racquet, or another piece of gear, with a framed photo of him enjoying the sport.
  • A set of photos of your child or children enjoying the sport - these can be cute and hilarious, especially if you can dress them in the right gear.
Keep an eye out to see when your man's favorite bands are coming to town.

Keep an eye out to see when your man's favorite bands are coming to town.

Gifts for Music Lovers

What guy doesn't love his 'toons'? You can come up with a gift that might surprise him more than you think.

Classic Collections: He may already have the full set of collections by his favorite artist, but maybe not. Once in a while, collections are issued in one country but not another. Check to see if there are anthologies being distributed outside your borders and order in time for delivery. He might also enjoy music from artists that inspired the artists he loves for a new twist on things.

Gift Cards for Downloads

A generous gift card will show him you really don't mind those little expenses every month or so, even if you've complained now and then. Buy a few recent industry mags and wrap them together with the card and your Father's Day card.


Surprise him with titles about his favorite artists, types of music, or genres: Biographies, collections of tour pics, books about the genres he loves, and other music-related tomes will keep him occupied for hours and remind him of your thoughtfulness each time he opens them.

Tickets to Where the Action Is

Is live music his passion? Get tickets to one of the festivals in and around Austin, Texas, such as South by Southwest or the Austin City Limits Festival. If timing isn't right for those events, how about a weekend in Austin, where he can tour the live venues, eat barbecue and stroll Sixth Street (with you, of course!)? Does he like the country? Give him a weekend in Nashville or Branson, Missouri.

Concert Tickets

Chances are, you either live in or near a city where big-name artists or groups tour. Check upcoming calendars and get tickets for the next big event. If it's out of town, that's even better—you'll both enjoy a getaway with a show and dinner.

Framed photos are a wonderful gift for any guy.

Framed photos are a wonderful gift for any guy.

Gifts for Quiet, Reserved Guys

Maybe your guy is gruff on the outside (or shy or quiet) and doesn't like to be openly affectionate. But you know he cares, and he's sort of a softie underneath.

This type of guy may not like gushy sentiment and might get uncomfortable with open displays of affection. But he will be touched by gestures that show you realize the great guy you have or the great dad he's been. Here are ways to show him you care and that you know he cares:

Digital Photo Frames

Guys love these things—they're a combination gadget and useful item, and they can load tons of photos in them. Load his digital frame with an array of family and kid pictures, and especially include shots of him being a dad or granddad. The beauty of this gift is that outwardly, he can comment on the gadget element, and inwardly, he will be greatly touched by the photos and memories in it.

Write Your Memories

Sit everyone in the family down with paper and pen (or keyboard) and ask them to write memories of the times they've spent with dad or granddad (and you can write your memories as a wife if it's your husband's day). These connect with shy guys emotionally, but not so overtly as to embarrass them or cause them to withdraw.

Document your memories of that funny camping trip, the time you watched him teach the youngest child how to throw a ball, the trip to the hospital when you gave birth or the look on his face when he held your newborn child. These memories will show him you appreciate the love he gives you and the family and his role as father or grandfather. You don't have to put the warm-fuzzy words in the text if you don't want to (it's okay either way). The sentiment will still be quite evident through the time and care it took to create the book.

Personal Letter

Write a simple letter expressing what he means to you. If you have kids together, or there are grandchildren, get them to write what they admire about their dad or granddad. This sort of writing is different than a gushy love letter or a memory book. Tell him that having him around means you know you're always safe. Let him know how much you appreciate all he does for the family and that you've noticed the little things that mean he loves all of you. This shows admiration and appreciation without verging into the words that a reserved guy can find uncomfortable. Close by saying you love him and you're glad he's in your life.

Bound Photo Book

In addition to, or instead of, the digital frame idea, create a photo essay of his role in your life. You can get these printed through a number of online sources (they range in cost), and you can include text on each page to mention the significance of the photo or your thoughts about him on the day it was taken. These books are so thoughtful, and they become treasures for the generations that follow you.

Is your husband a big reader? A special book or other literary item would make a nice gift.

Is your husband a big reader? A special book or other literary item would make a nice gift.

Gifts for Book Lovers and Online Gamers

We'll say upfront that the latest novel by his favorite author (or book in the genre he prefers) is a great choice for book lovers, and of course, the latest version of his favorite game will be appreciated—if he hasn't already beat you to it! Other ideas can include:

Kindle or Nook

If he hasn't already switched to downloaded ebooks, this is a great time to introduce him to the joys of having a portable library. Once you read a few ebooks, you are hooked on the convenience and the instant downloads (which often cost pennies compared to paper copies). These devices hold hundreds of books, and you can bookmark pages or leave one book half-read and read another—then come back to exactly where you left off.

Classic titles are usually free once the copyrights have expired, and many purchased titles can be shared among several devices, so other family members can read them as well—just like with printed books.

Photo Bookmarks

Create personal and sturdy bookmarks from family photos mounted on thin poster boards and laminated. You can also print messages on them (either overlayed on the photo or on the extra space). This lets him know you are aware of his love of books and you want him to know what a great dad or granddad he is.

Gift Certificate for Downloaded Books or Bookstore

There's a certain joy to shopping for your own books. Make the gift certificate more personalized by tucking a few of the above bookmarks in with the card.

For Gamers

  • The latest game console will be a hit if he doesn't already have it.
  • Newest editions of his games.
  • Tickets to an Interactive Festival (South by Southwest or any other venue for game addicts).
  • Upgraded monitor or flatscreen TV (for a better gaming experience).
  • Books about the history of the games he enjoys, the creators or companies that develop games.
  • Membership in a club or group related to his favorite game.
If your hubby is a techie, surprise him with a new gadget!

If your hubby is a techie, surprise him with a new gadget!

Gifts for Guys Who Love Tech-Toys

We can't get through even part of a year without a new cell phone or two being launched or an update to another popular tech toy announced.

The iPhone 5 and Mini iPad are two of the newest must-haves on the market. While earlier generations of each have been out for a while, both of these updates offer some advantages over their earlier launches.

The iPhone 5 has finally moved on from the 5mg camera that hampered its most recent predecessors from taking the sharpest of photos, and it also includes Siri, the polite (female) voice that accompanied the iPhone 4 and answers your questions verbally. Siri is actually pretty smart and fun to know once you 'talk' to her, and if your favorite guy hasn't met her yet, he might like her.

Samsung and other firms also have new-and-improved models (who doesn't?); if you visit your local cell provider, you can test various models and make a decision based on what he likes.

The Mini-iPad may require some pre-planning if you want it delivered in time for your celebration. It's often on back-order, but you can see it in person at the Apple Store and hold it in your hands. Once you touch it, you won't want to put it down. It's wafer-thin, weighs next to nothing, and will easily become a favorite.

Fun and Unique Ways to Give Gifts to Men

If you've found the perfect gift (let's hope you have!), make the day even more fun with some creative presentation ideas or strategies:

  • Fortune Cookie: If you ever saw Mickey Blue Eyes, you know this can have hilarious consequences if you don't get it right, but I'm guessing you can do it! Using tweezers, carefully extract the fortune from a commercial fortune cookie, and insert a message about the gift. Either present it at home or, a bit more challenging, take it to a Chinese restaurant and arrange for the waitperson to bring it to your table.
  • Scavenger Hunt: This is a fun way for grandkids or small children to present their gifts. Let each child hide their gift, then (with your help if needed) create a series of fun clues to lead dad or granddad to the gifts. Dad will most assuredly go along with it; watching the kids try to avoid tipping off the clues and seeing their excitement will be almost better than the gift.
  • Buy a Toy: Guys are just big kids anyway, so buy a vintage-looking toy or something fun he probably wishes he'd gotten as a kid (but it wasn't invented yet). And use it for the top of the gift box instead of a bow. Or put a message about the 'real' gift in the box with the toy and let him unwrap it.
  • Wrapping Ideas: Let the kids draw pictures on a brown paper bag and use that as wrapping paper (or just put the gift in the bag and attach some raffia handles to carry it with). The kids can also cut construction paper designs to glue on the bag and write messages on it.
  • Screensaver Message: Get into the computer and create a screensaver that tells him you love him and (if possible) includes a picture of the gift.
  • Frame It: For gifts to be delivered later, download a picture from the Internet and put it in a cute frame. As an alternative, take a photo of the kids holding the gift, put it in a frame, and wrap the frame. The kids can also hold a sign saying "We Love You!" or another message.

© 2012 Marcy Goodfleisch


Marcy Goodfleisch (author) from Planet Earth on December 17, 2014:

Thanks, DIYselfies! I hope you gift a special guy with some of these ideas this season!

DIYselfies on December 12, 2014:

Wonderful ideas! its always a struggle to come up with something, this really helps!


Marcy Goodfleisch (author) from Planet Earth on May 04, 2013:

Hi, Jennifer! Glad you like the ideas here - and I hope you find just the right gifts for everyone on your list this year!

Jennifer Madison from Lohmar on May 04, 2013:

Thanks for all these wonderful ideas, it will help even the most desperate women out there find the right gift for their loved ones. I will come back to this list as soon as I am out of ideas.

Marcy Goodfleisch (author) from Planet Earth on April 22, 2013:

Concert tix for a favorite artist will be a hit, Audrey - hope you find good seats and a great performance! Thanks for reading and commenting!

Audrey Howitt from California on April 22, 2013:

Lots of great ideas!! Might have to be concert tix this yr!

Marcy Goodfleisch (author) from Planet Earth on February 14, 2013:

Yay! So glad you scored a hit here, Beltane! Have a great & romantic Valentine's Day!

Holly Kline from South Jersey on February 14, 2013:

Woot! That helps solve that problem. Thanks!

Marcy Goodfleisch (author) from Planet Earth on January 28, 2013:

Hi, DDE! I appreciate your comments here. And I won't give away your secret! But do let us know how he likes it?

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on January 28, 2013:

It is nearly that time again and guess what I am going to use one of your ideas, , finding a gift for most guys is not as easy, thanks for the excellent list.

Marcy Goodfleisch (author) from Planet Earth on August 23, 2012:

Hi, Carol -- so glad you found some new ideas here! Thanks for your comments!

carol stanley from Arizona on August 23, 2012:

It just often seems like people have everything...You presented some really good ideas here. Great hub and voting UP.

Marcy Goodfleisch (author) from Planet Earth on June 25, 2012:

LOL! It is so great to meet truly altruistic people in the world. You are admirable for making this sacrificial offer! Thanks for reading and volunteering your services! :)

WhydThatHappen on June 24, 2012:

I'd like to help with this effort- anyone unsure if they are making the right gift purchase should mail me the gift *must be wrapped* and I will let you know how I felt about it after the surprise wore off.

Marcy Goodfleisch (author) from Planet Earth on June 11, 2012:

Hi, PenHills - Thanks for your fun comment! Toys are a big hit; I've also given vintage-looking toys to my brothers, like wind-up boats with old-fashioned designs. For birthdays, it's also fun to give children's cards to grown-ups - the ones with puzzles and activities are hilarious.

Amy L. Tarr from Home on June 11, 2012:

The suggestion about toys is great. My Dad drove a machine for years and I found a toy version of it that went in a tabletop sand scene. He got a huge kick out of it.

Marcy Goodfleisch (author) from Planet Earth on June 11, 2012:

What a nice thought, Naimishlka! Thanks for reading, and for sharing that loving idea!

Marcy Goodfleisch (author) from Planet Earth on June 10, 2012:

Thanks, MeiChi - I hope you found ideas here to please the men you want to honor this year!

Melanie Chisnall from Cape Town, South Africa on June 09, 2012:

I was beginning to wonder where all the articles were for Father's Day! Great tips and ideas - thanks! :)

Marcy Goodfleisch (author) from Planet Earth on June 08, 2012:

Yay! I'm so glad to hear that, RealHousewife! After you surprise him on the big day, drop back by and us what you came up with! Thanks for reading and commenting!

Kelly Umphenour from St. Louis, MO on June 08, 2012:

Great ideas Marcy! My husband is agony to buy for. Here we go again! Lol

You made a few sparks fly though - I got an idea from it! Thank YOU!

Marcy Goodfleisch (author) from Planet Earth on June 03, 2012:

Hi, Coffeegginmyrice - many thanks for you nice comments here. You're right, it's so helpful to keep a guy's personality in mind when you pick a gift.

Marcy Goodfleisch (author) from Planet Earth on June 03, 2012:

Hi, Family Black - I can't wait to hear what you decide to gift him with! Please drop by after The Big Day and let us know how it went. Thanks for your comment here, and good luck!

Marites Mabugat-Simbajon from Toronto, Ontario on June 03, 2012:

Great bright ideas, Marcy! Guys and Men are mister gadgets and matching gift ideas with their hobbies and weaknesses does a big help deciding what to give to see that smile and getting a hug. Thanks Marcy!

Family Black from Dallas, Texas on June 03, 2012:

Love the fortune cookie idea! Gotta think quick of the gift to go with it...

Marcy Goodfleisch (author) from Planet Earth on June 01, 2012:

Hi, RedElf - I'm so glad you like the ideas here! My dad would have loved somecof these, too. He especially would have gone for the gadgets we have now, and as with yourndad, the scavenger hunt would have been a lot of fun. Thanks for commenting here!

RedElf from Canada on June 01, 2012:

What a wonderful hub - such creative and fun ideas. I particularly liked the scavenger hunt idea. My dad would have loved that - he was always thinking up tricky and clever ways to disguise his gifts to Mom (she was a great guesser).

Marcy Goodfleisch (author) from Planet Earth on May 31, 2012:

Hi, Margie! I look forward to reading your hub next month - perhaps we can link to each other. Gift buying is overwhelming at times, so I'm glad we will have a goid variety of information to share with people. Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

Mmargie1966 from Gainesville, GA on May 31, 2012:

You have outlined some excellent ideas! I usually just tell my husband my gift idea, and if he likes it, he buys it. LOL

Voted up up up!

...I also have a title ready for next month regarding gifts. My plan for the hub is a bit different from yours. I hope you enjoy it as I've enjoyed your hub on the issue.

Marcy Goodfleisch (author) from Planet Earth on May 28, 2012:

Hi, Billy - thanks for reading - and I'm glad you found whatever the glitch was! Thanks, also, for your kind comments here - it feels good to hear those words from a dad I admire here!

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on May 28, 2012:

I don't know why, Marcy, but there are a select few writers who I do not get notices about when they post new your name has been added to that list. I'm sorry I missed this one; it certainly wasn't intentional.

Great hub with some fantastic suggestions and guidelines.

Well done dear friend!

Marcy Goodfleisch (author) from Planet Earth on May 26, 2012:

There's a lot to be said for guys (or anyone else) not into materialism! It does indeed make it challenging to buy gifts, though. Thanks for reading and commenting, and let us know what you decde to get!

alliemacb from Scotland on May 26, 2012:

Great ideas for gifts for men. My dad is particularly awkward to buy for. He's one of those non-materialist types which is admirable but it makes it difficult to buy him gifts.

Marcy Goodfleisch (author) from Planet Earth on May 26, 2012:

Thanks, Summerberrie - and you are right that these ideas can be used all year long!

summerberrie on May 26, 2012:

Marcy, what a wonderful go to resource and not just for father's day-but for birthday and Christmas, too. Nice job!

Marcy Goodfleisch (author) from Planet Earth on May 25, 2012:

Hi, drbj - I'll bet you've had a lot of Kodak moments with the fortune cookie trick! How fun that you've been able to pull that one off a few times - it takes some planning! Thanks for reading and sharing that memory with us!

drbj and sherry from south Florida on May 25, 2012:

Thanks, Marcy, for the great tips for Father's Day gifts. I've done the Fortune Cookie presentation several times and it's always fun for the recipient. And the giver.

Marcy Goodfleisch (author) from Planet Earth on May 24, 2012:

Hi, Kitty - yes, the quiet guys need to know they're appreciated but not smothered in affection that will make them self-conscious. I'm so glad you like the hub - thanks for reading and sharing!

Marcy Goodfleisch (author) from Planet Earth on May 24, 2012:

Thanks, Turtlewoman - I'm so glad you found helpful ideas here! I would thunk he'd love a digital frame! Hope you have a great Father's Day this year!

Ann Leung from San Jose, California on May 24, 2012:

My husband is one of those quiet, reserved guys. I could use some of your tips you suggested this year. Thank you for sharing. I will pin and share it with my friends.

Kim Lam from California on May 24, 2012:

Oohhh great ideas've just reminded me that Father's Day is coming up. I never know what to get him. It's usually food every year. I like the idea you mentioned about the digital photo frame. He's been rying to scan old military photos for fun, and they're now sitting in his computer. He would probably love to transfer it over. Thanks for the idea! Wonderful hub!!

Marcy Goodfleisch (author) from Planet Earth on May 24, 2012:

Thanks, Sadie! So glad you like the hub - and I agree that all men have different personalities; it's nice to be able to match our gifts with their personal way of relating to people.

Sadie from U.S. on May 24, 2012:

I love the ideas for the different personalities! I will definitely be looking back at this the next time I need to buy a gift. Voted up and shared!

Marcy Goodfleisch (author) from Planet Earth on May 24, 2012:

Hi, Michael - I've seen so many guys mention they'd like a digital frame - it's such a great way to display multiple pictures and you can keep revising what's loaded in it. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!

Michael J Rapp from United States on May 24, 2012:

Great ideas! Some people are just so tough to buy for. My wife and I have used the digital photo frame idea for both of our sets of parents. We pre-loaded them with pics, like you mention. It was a big hit all around!

Marcy Goodfleisch (author) from Planet Earth on May 24, 2012:

Hi, alocsin - thanks for your thoughts on the article. I hope others enjoy the ideas here for any man they're celebrating; I agree - it's not just for dads!

Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on May 23, 2012:

A comprehensive list, Marcy, not just for fathers. As a man, I would enjoy many of these goodies. So folks should bookmark this hub when they need something special for the men in their lives for any special occasion. Voting this Up and Useful.

Marcy Goodfleisch (author) from Planet Earth on May 23, 2012:

Hi, John - thanks for your vote of confidence in the hub! And thanks for reading and commenting here!

John Sarkis from Winter Haven, FL on May 23, 2012:

Hi Marcy, great hub. You gave some really great father's day ideas.

Voted up and away


Marcy Goodfleisch (author) from Planet Earth on May 23, 2012:

Awww - I can imagine what a sweet and tender Father's Day that was, Amy! No wonder he still cherishes that gift! Thanks for stopping by and sharing that cute story!

Marcy Goodfleisch (author) from Planet Earth on May 23, 2012:

Hi, Tammy - I'm so glad you like the hub! Your dad sounds like a lot of fun - I love grown men who can get into toys and things like paintball! Thanks for reading, voting and sharing!

Amy Gillie from Indiana on May 23, 2012:

Marcy - these are great ideas! For my husband's first father's day, I held a sign in front of our infant son that said "happy father's day". To this day it's one of his favorites.

Tammy from North Carolina on May 23, 2012:

What a wonderful and thoughtful list! My dad is fun to by for. He likes toys and paintball guns. Voting up and sharing.

Marcy Goodfleisch (author) from Planet Earth on May 23, 2012:

Hi, Kelley - I'm so glad you found some ideas you like here. It can be so challenging to think of gifts for men! I can't wait to hear about the screensaver your kids develop - I'll bet it will be darling!

kelleyward on May 23, 2012:

Marcy, I love these ideas you have presented here. My favorite is the screensaver idea. I'll have my kiddos design one special for him! thanks for sharing! Voted up, useful, and Pinned! Take care, Kelley