Etsy Journal

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Anniversary Gift Ideas for the Next 50 Years

by Shoko Wanger

Jul 16, 2016

Celebrate your years (or decades) of love with a unique and handmade anniversary gift.

Photo by: Caitlyn Minimalist

Arguably, the best-known cliché about anniversaries is how frequently they’re forgotten. It’s true, anniversaries may often take a back seat to birthdays and bigger holidays — but in terms of gift-giving, they’re among the easiest occasions to shop for. (You can thank tradition for that: it turns out couples have been presenting one another with year-specific tokens of love since the Middle Ages.) Still stumped on what to bestow upon your better half? You’re in luck. Today, we’re offering a selection of handmade and vintage treasures, organized according to anniversary milestone to ensure the perfect pick whether you’re celebrating five years — or fifty. Here’s to many, many more.

Year One: Paper

inv_fullxfull.3345476751_pds6c1wl.jpg?version=0 Pair a classic stationery set and a wood and rubber stamp customized with your initials for a timeless (and useful) first-year gift; from $32. inv_fullxfull.3345476819_tc30bdb7.jpg?version=0 Record up to ten romantic milestones — first meeting, first kiss, first trip abroad — on the rings of a custom-printed, chalkboard-style tree; from $20. inv_fullxfull.3297781188_69mvpypi.jpg?version=0 Give avid readers (and hopeless romantics) a book of long-forgotten love poems from a bygone era; $22.

Year Two: Cotton

inv_fullxfull.3345476963_nl6mwuzf.jpg?version=0 Woven by hand using natural cotton yarn, this hammock — which folds down into a handy tote — is perfect for al fresco relaxing à deux; $145. inv_fullxfull.3345477013_afi1zf93.jpg?version=0 Snuggle up together under a hand-dyed quilt, made according to traditional shibori technique; $325. inv_fullxfull.3297781394_givixkfw.jpg?version=0 This sweet and sexy nightgown is the handiwork of London-based lingerie designer Joanna Ketterer, whose come-hither creations are crafted from organic cotton, soy fabrics, and salvaged lace; $69.

Year Three: Leather

inv_fullxfull.3297781462_euep2vnh.jpg?version=0 Shopping for a shutterbug? A personalized leather camera strap is the ideal accessory for memory-making; $39 as-is or from $44 personalized. inv_fullxfull.3345477197_4m6wbw75.jpg?version=0 Or document daily doings together with a linen-stitched leather sketchbook in the color of your choosing (we’re partial to cheerful marigold); $28. inv_fullxfull.3297781558_foj7xz7f.jpg?version=0 For him, a revamped Soviet watch from the '70s with a new leather wristband (and entirely of-the-moment appeal); $94.

Year Four: Fruit or Flowers

inv_fullxfull.3297781634_i964ecrt.jpg?version=0 Brighten your breakfast table with a pair of whimsical earthenware bowls, shaped by hand to resemble the halves of a cantaloupe; $46 for two. inv_fullxfull.3345477421_li4ji2qs.jpg?version=0 Keep this botanical print on display at home and you’ll enjoy nature’s beauty year-round (plus, unlike a fresh bouquet, a pressed flower won’t wilt); from $10. inv_fullxfull.3297781762_b2h1mvch.jpg?version=0 Spread the joy of a love that blooms eternal with heirloom flower seeds; $3.50.

Year Five: Wood

inv_fullxfull.3297781868_asxmtu28.jpg?version=0 Ditch your standard sparkler for this handmade wooden ring, topped with white resin; $22. (Men’s options include slimmer hand-turned models, minus the bauble.) inv_fullxfull.3345477657_liz3rx97.jpg?version=0 Send husband-and-wife duo Ana and Marko a photograph of home sweet home, and they’ll recreate it in miniature from carved wood and acrylic paint; prices vary.

Year Ten: Tin or Aluminum

inv_fullxfull.3345477733_qtqpg1nk.jpg?version=0 Plot your next romantic getaway with a vintage tin globe from a favorite era; $245. inv_fullxfull.3345477805_pivhwkn2.jpg?version=0 Put your love into words with a perfectly patinaed metal bunting, made from repurposed signage strung from twine; $48.

Year Twenty-Five: Silver

inv_fullxfull.3297782146_i435m6jf.jpg?version=0 Raise a glass of the finest bubbly and keep the rest chilling in a silver-plated champagne bucket (this one's a relic of 1950s France); $35.
silvershoes goldenponies
Commemorate a quarter-century of being in step with made-to-order mirrored oxfords — just right for a celebratory spin on the dance floor; $42. inv_fullxfull.3345477961_o9oq0uxy.jpg?version=0 What better reminder of the family tree you've created together than an earthy aquamarine-and-sterling silver ring, cast from a real tree branch; $75.

Year Fifty: Gold


goldenticket crankbunny
Fête fifty with a scratch-off golden ticket redeemable for an extravagant adventure abroad; card $9 (vacation bill varies). inv_fullxfull.3345478067_czkb334f.jpg?version=0 Here's another gilded go-to for announcing a major getaway: a solid gold ring engraved with the coordinates of your destination; from $225.

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Shoko Wanger

Shoko Wanger is a writer living in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. She is the author of the blog Sho & Tell, which features a mix of quirky art, thoughtful writing, and a carefully-curated assortment of unique Internet finds. She loves books, cheese, and her friends; has an incurable case of wanderlust; and hopes to one day live in a treehouse.