Best Gifts For People Who You Don’t Know Very Well

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The time will come when you’ll need to give a gift to someone you don’t know very well. Whether it’s for a Secret Santa gift exchange for a coworker, an appreciation gift for a teacher, or a hostess gift for a boyfriend’s mother, it’s tricky to decide what to get.

I asked the members of the Artisan Shopping Directory to give me some ideas for gifts that would be good for people that you don’t know very well, and these are their suggestions.


unique gifts for people you don't know very well

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General interest gifts.

If you don’t know someone at all (a friend’s mother, or someone you work with who you’ve been assigned for a gift exchange,) you’ll probably want to ask some people who know them about things they might like.

But if you can’t get a lot of info, you should go with some general-interest items that aren’t too personal.

ceramic frog for flowers

These ceramic flower frogs from Magpie MischiefOpens in a new tab. are the perfect gift for anyone. Pop them on top of a mason jar and add flowers for any season. They’re also great for sharing plant propagation cuttings.



coffee scoop

This coffee clip and scoop Opens in a new tab. from Home Branded makes a perfect gift for someone you just met, or a white elephant gift. Get a couple to have on hand during the holidays for those emergency gift moments!


thank you cards

Everyone appreciates getting a thank you in the mail. Having some postcards from Ila and AliceOpens in a new tab. to send out for a quick thanks is never a bad idea.

Bright polka dot thank you postcards are perfect to send out well wishes and thank yous across the miles or close to home.



Home decor gifts.

custom charcuterie board

If you need a hostess gift, this personalized charcuterie boardOpens in a new tab. from Jari Jade Creations would be a thoughtful present. You can put either the family name or a saying on it to customize it.


home decor sign

For a coworker gift, office decor that states a common experience everyone has.

This snarky block sign would make a funny gift for an office party gift exchange, and it’s the perfect size for a desk, shelf, or tiered tray. Daisy Thirteen’s block signs are all made from salvaged wood, making them a great eco-friendly choice for gift giving.


Click to see an article about Gifts For A Mom Friend.


Jewelry gifts.

silver earrings

Looking for a small gift for a Secret Santa draw? Someone you barely know? Your youngest child’s mother-in-law to be? These little droplets of silver earrings from Silver EchoesOpens in a new tab. are lightweight and minimalist, and comfortable for all day, every day wear.


To see the full Artisan Shopping Directory sections, including signups for discounts, click here.


This petite sterling silver filled wire wrapped MacKintosh Scottish Rose necklace From Bx Jewels Scotland Opens in a new tab.looks great dressed up or down. It would be a nice teacher appreciation gift, or a gift for the boss!


Personal care gifts.

heat and cold therapy neck wrap

Even if you don’t know the person well, selecting a gift that shows you’ve considered their well-being can leave a positive impression. Heat and cool therapy productsOpens in a new tab. from Natural Body Comfort demonstrate that you care about their comfort and health, which is something that everyone appreciates.


A fun craft gift.

ornament kits

A beads and sequins ornament kit Opens in a new tab.from Holidays Lane would work for most people…They’re fun to make, but if the person you’re buying for isn’t crafty you can buy them premade, too.

Here’s an article showing the one that I made and the steps involved!


macrame hangings and supplies

Wires and Knots has macrame and woven wall hangings,Opens in a new tab. and also sells kits and supplies to make your own macrame decor. I tried one and it was fun, so I vote for it being a good gift for people you don’t know well since it will let them be creative.


Handmade soap.

soap gift boxes

A gift set with handmade soap from Botany BarnOpens in a new tab. is a nice present for anyone, and if you keep a few on hand then don’t need one, you can keep the extras for yourself!


Housewarming or hostess gifts.

door welcome sign

For a hostess gift, a welcome sign to hang on the front door is a nice gift. You can also get wreaths and other front door decor at Simply LaMayedOpens in a new tab.


Useful car accessories.

car trash bag

Serendipity Sewn has car trash bags, laundry bagsOpens in a new tab., and protective bags for shoes and travel that would be a useful gift for anyone.


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Kara Buntin

Kara Buntin has run a profitable home-based business since 1999, and has a background in art, theater design, and cake decorating. She's a top Etsy seller with over 51,000 sales on Etsy and her own website, and helps other home-based business owners with their business goals and SEO. She founded the Artisan Shopping Directory website to promote the artisans who are members of her EShop Success marketing program.

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