Valentine’s Day: the most beloved and hated holiday of the year. Whether you have someone to spend it with this year or not, you have some shopping to do for the most important loves of your life. Instead of throwing darts at baby Cupid who refuses to shoot you with a stupid magical arrow, appreciate the relationships you do have. Significant others will come and go, but your friends? They will be there no matter what. Unless they’re bad friends, in which case, you know, get new ones.
These platonic gifts will make your BFF smile any day of the year.
Check out 10 Valentine’s gifts for your friend that will make her forget about that crappy ex.
1. LEGO set
This one sounds funny, I know, but trust me. Nothing simultaneously works the mind and calms it like LEGO sets, ESPECIALLY if it relates to something your friend loves. Whether their Harry Potter Hogwarts House LEGO set, their favorite Ghibli movie set, their favorite show, etc. That theme will follow the rest of these options, and I cannot emphasize it enough; connect whatever gift you get to something your bestie loves. That will show you care more than anything. LEGO sets legitimately help calm anxiety, give your friend something to focus on other than their classes and homework and putting them together just feels fun and satisfying.
2. Music Box
I bought one of these for my best friend, and I can vouch for them. I sent them a music box, a Howl’s Moving Castle music box actually. Let me tell you; I feel like I seriously deserved some bestie points for that one. They still carry on their nightstand next to their bed. Know why? Because it reminds them of my thoughtfulness. Humble, I know. Now, some of you may think that this article’s sole purpose lies in boosting my ego, but you would feel proud, too, if you sent your friend a gift that considerate. Try it, and see if you don’t feel a little bit self-satisfied.
3. Crochet Kit
Not all of us possess friends with such old spirits, I know. However, for those of us who do, I highly recommend this. Even if your friend might not carry much of an interest in crocheting, this kit could work as the best thing to start them at it. If your friend does contain an old soul within them, gifting them with a crochet kit could show how much you pay attention to their interests, how much you support their old-timer habits. It certainly might seem unorthodox, but it might shock you how much your Old Bestie might just want something like that.
No, I don’t just mean grab whatever pretty edition of whatever book you find at Barnes & Noble. I mean figure out your best friend’s favorite book and find a special edition of that particular book. Keep in mind, not all special editions look as good as each other, so this takes some serious searching. I know we shouldn’t judge a book by the cover, but let’s be honest; we all love pretty covers. We just don’t always feel like spending money on special editions of books we already own. Or maybe we don’t own the book, and we just want the pretty edition and can’t afford it. Getting your friend a pretty edition proves that you not only know your friend’s favorite book, but that you care enough to get them a special version of what they already love. Which always means quite a lot, if you ask me.
Okay, so I actually got this one as a gift, and it remains as one of my favorite gifts I ever received. Quilts may sound lame, but especially with the upcoming cold season, it might work better than you expect. No, I don’t think you should get into sewing a whole blanket, especially if you don’t know anything about sewing. You don’t want to hurt yourself here. I do think, however, that there exists easier ways to make a quilt. For example; my blanket consists of two separate blankets with tassels all around the sides and corners, just tied together to make on thick blanket. Try something like that. Buy two blankets that relate to something your friend enjoys (mine shows the Marauders Map, for instance), and create something out of that. I think you’ll find it a little time-consuming, but ultimately worth it.
Apparently, and I didn’t know this until about five minutes ago, you can get custom made advent calendars. At first, I intended to suggest you order your friend a Christmas advent calendar, which I would do right now as those things sell out fast. However, you can also get custom made advent calendars, perhaps one for the month of February. Or maybe an advent calendar leading up to your bestie’s birthday. Maybe even get an advent calendar to celebrate for your friend-iversary month! So many options to choose from, you just need to find the one that best suits your bestie.
Okay, so this one feels so fun to me, and I shall explain why. We all either love coffee or tea. We need it in the morning, we cannot live without it. (No exaggeration here.) You know how some people collect snow globes or enamel pins from all the places they visited? Well, my souvenir would probably come down to various types of coffees. Your bestie might just feel the same way. For that reason, I think custom coffees or teas seems the right way here. Did you know they sold blueberry tea? I don’t even know what that means, but I imagine it tastes amazing. Putting together a list of your bestie’s favorite coffees or teas shows how much you know their tastes and that you wish them a pleasant morning. Wouldn’t that seem nice?
I know this one sounds even sillier than the LEGO set, but hear me out. Plushies really help your bestie feel like you can stay at their side even when you can’t. You know those squishy toys you squeeze when you feel anxious? Well, imagine that, but in plushie form. I know it might not seem very intimate, but consider your bestie’s favorite animal or movie character. They carry plushies online for just about anything. It would feel like owning a pet as a companion, but without worrying about cleaning up after them. It all comes down to intention. If you want to give your friend another friend to exist in your stead when life pushes you two apart, this might work.
Same logic here as with the LEGO set. Puzzles give your bestie a way to think of something or someone other than their classes, assignment and disapproving professors. (We all get one of those at some point during our college years.) I once again need to emphasize the importance of connecting these gifts to something you care about. Maybe they like anime? Look for a Ouran High School Host Club puzzle. Friends? There exists puzzles for that online, too. The more intimate, and the harder the puzzle pieces, the better. Make a game night out of our gift, give your bestie a good memory with a good puzzle.
10. Charm Bracelet
The time-old friendship gift. I do really think it works though. Charm bracelets reveal how much you know about your bestie, how many moments you value and want remembered in a cute accessory. Think about something like the bead necklace from Percy Jackson. Just some beads on a string, right? Not really. Something gains meaning when we can connect it to something important. Oh. Did I just point out the pattern throughout this whole list? I think so.
11. Think Homemade
Nothing says ‘appreciation’ than a gift you have to make yourself. “The best gifts for friends on Valentine’s Day are usually thoughtful and edible. Perhaps some homemade chocolate-covered strawberries with a letter expressing your love and appreciation for them. Maybe even a framed picture, that’s actually my personal fav,” said University of Florida sophomore Rochae Torrance.
Remember how Haley and Lucas on One Tree Hill would always write down their hopes for the new year? Steal their best friend tradition this Valentine’s Day and claim it as your own. Sit down with the Lucas to your Haley (or the other way around) and write letters to your future selves. Give them to each other for safe keeping and open them years later. Or, if you also happen to know a café with a loose brink on the rooftop, store them there.
No one should drink alone on V-Day. And what says ‘friendship’ better than sangria? Get creative and give the good ol’ gift basket a twist by putting your beverage ingredients in a fancy mason jar. “Sangria and a free jar? Sign me up,” said UC Santa Cruz senior Jenny Klaus. Just make sure you haven’t been neglecting arm day at the gym, because this gift will be heavy. Maybe deliver it in a wagon? That’s cute, right?
10 Things I Hate About You. Clueless. A Cinderella Story. Where do you even begin to start your rom-com marathon? Head to Walmart or BestBuy and dig through those three-dollar DVD bins. You’ll find plenty of classic rom-coms to wrap up with some popcorn, no problem. Whether you’re single or not, you and your bestie can for sure agree on three things. 1) Heath Ledger was a total babe. 2) Elton defined creep-status. 3) The fact that Chad Michael Murray couldn’t tell who Sam was because of that dumb mask that covered, like, her nose and eyelids raises some serious questions. I guess looks and brains really are too much to ask for in a guy…
15. Edible Bouquet
We all love an edible arrangement, but who can afford fancy bananas and strawberries on a college student’s budget? I mean, fresh fruit on a stick? What are we? Millionaires? Instead, grab a small pot, a big Styrofoam ball and a bag of Dum-Dums (if they’re truly your BFF, spring for Tootsie Pops). Voila. You have a beautiful, bouquet filled with sweet, sugary goodness.
16. A Playlist
Ah, music. The key to life. Think Queen’s “Friends Will Be Friends” or Andrew Gold’s “Thank You for Being a Friend.” But if those are too heavy handed for you, throw in Fifth Harmony’s “That’s My Girl.” Nothing like a little girl-power to solidify your friendship. “If I share my music with you, you’re an important part of my life,” said University of Michigan junior Charlie Dall.
17. Get Sentimental
Koogel Explosion Box: $16.99
Alright, this one may be totally cheesy, but what better way to show your best friend your appreciation than writing down or printing out your memories? Grab a jar, a pen and some paper. Write down your favorite memories, milestones in your relationship or your favorite things about your best friend. Alternatively, fill an explosion box with photos from every moment in your friendship. You guys will share so many laughs with this gift. Hint: This also works for a significant other if you’re running low on gift-buying time.
18. A Good Ole Fashioned Sex Pact
Because, I mean, why not? “My friends and I decided to organize a sex pact. Those of us with long distance relationships will be our S.O.s for the first time in weeks. We do have one single friend, but we consider this her nudge of encouragement to get out here,” said an FSU sophomore. In terms of cost-effectiveness, this can’t be beat. And nothing says friendship like helping each other score, am I right?
Lipstick Pepper Spray: $9.99
Bus-stop pervs, beware. On the real though, a day dedicated to romance doesn’t mean you are suddenly saved from all creeps. Give your friends the gift of self-defense with some mace. No, it’s not the same as a box of chocolates, but, hey, safety first. Nothing says, “You’re an important part of my life” than something that could actually save their life. Plus, it looks like lipstick, so that’s something, right?
“Valentine’s Day plans? Uh, I’ll be spending this year with my cat,” said University of Michigan junior Jessi Lang. Look, we never said your BFF had to be human. And, yes, this may really be more of a gift for you, but trust us, your whiskered pal will appreciate the sentiment. Plus, a cozy white tee to snuggle up against and cover in hair? Literally the best gift you could give your cat.
21. A trip to a place they’ve always wanted to go
A fun experience, a new place and a gift you both get to share? Yes, please. Traveling to a new country, city or even a local spot shows that you’ve been listening every time they tell you about that place they’ve always been dying to go. And the best part? You’ll be able to share those memories for a long time to come (aww).
22. Pet Presents
“I’ve received both socks and a pillow with my dog on them,” College of William & Mary sophomore Samantha Bacerio said. “It’s funny and I actually use them. Plus, every day I get to see my dog.” For those friends that love their furry friends, get them something second best to (wo)man’s best friend (and help her dog “treat yo-self” too). Try using Redbubble for a personal approach.
Dash Dog Treat Maker: $24.99
College students love their caffeine. Why not fuel that obsession by saving your friend a trip to the store or the library coffee shop? Not only can they use them for all their late night study sessions, but every time they brew they’ll be thinking of you.
“I would give someone a personalized T-shirt. It shows their interests, its reusable and practical,” William & Mary sophomore Austin Bussey said. Although they might not be as tasty as teas, they can feel just as warm and personal. Anything goes on a personalized T-shirt: quotes, pictures, memes, you name it. If you’re feeling really ambitious, you can always go for a matching set and truly show the world how much you mean to each other.
25. Tickets to their favorite artist in concert
You can find a jam session even better than the one you have in your best friend’s passenger seat at a concert together. “Concert tickets are great. I love the experience of seeing live music and my favorite artists with my friends,” Ohio State University sophomore Pooja Chaudhry said. Find some great floor seats or even go for the cheap lawn options. Either way nothing beats a night of music and dancing with your best friend.
Harry Potter Paperback Box Set: $39.99
Pick out a selection of your book-loving friend’s favorite authors or some you would recommend. This gift shows thoughtfulness, and its something you can borrow (or steal) later. If your friend isn’t a fan of trilogies or a Potterhead, don’t feel obligated to buy a whole boxset when you can make your own. Try spelling out their name with the first letter of every title or author name. Try shopping at a used bookstore to save on cash and add to aesthetic.
Our Adventure Scrapbook: $28.99
“I want to show my friends how much their friendships means to me, not just now but for however long I’ve known them,” William & Mary sophomore Caitlen Macias said. When making a scrapbook, you can go the basic route and print out your favorite Facebook photos over the past few years. Or if you want to do this as a birthday gift you can make the effort to bring a disposable camera and/or Polaroid around them in the weeks approaching when you want to give them the gift. They’ll be pleasantly surprised when your retro trend comes to fruition in a gift for them.
28. A fancy dinner
Taking some time to get dressed up is a therapy session all on its own, but taking some time to get dressed for a nice dinner at your friend’s favorite restaurant could cure any problem in the world (*probably). Plus—I mean, come on—who doesn’t love free food?
Ferrero 48: $19
For another food-themed gift, why not opt for a classic? “Everyone loves chocolate. No one will ever say no to chocolate,” William & Mary sophomore Niko Lignore said. And its true, nothing says “I love you” like a gift that indulges their sweet tooth.
30. Matching Pajama
Footed Pajamas: $22.95
You’ll both finally have something to wear to all of your sleepovers. Cute and comfy, PJs basically make the world go round, and buying them for your best friend shows you value their comfort and their friendship all in one great gift. Its your call whether or not to get onesies though.
While this may be more of an occasion rather than a gift, it packs the same punch. Everyone wants a little stress relief right before the big due date for an assignment or presentation. Receiving anything from a little note, to a smoothie or even just a pizza to amp up your late night studying always helps. You’ll let them know that they have a support system looking out for them.
Check out this list of 10 more items for your BFF that you can find on Amazon.
Lovers come and go, but who stands by you no matter what? Picking you up when you feel down, making you feel better and soothing your hurts? Pizza and ice cream. Also, your BFF. When it comes to my best friend, I always want to spoil her with gifts that show how much she means to me. Sadly, as a b***h on a budget, I can’t always get her the amazing and expensive gifts she deserves. In the same boat? Looking for some gifts to show how much they mean to you?
32. Home Decor
Bonsai LED Light: $18
Nobody likes studying in a dark, drab room. Light up your bestie’s life (and dorm room). Then make sure she thanks you when her grades improve.
Matching bestie iPhone cases with cute drawings of slices of pizza or eggs and bacon? Super cute. If you and your friend like to bond over food and talking, this gift perfectly captures that dynamic.
34. Polaroid Camera
BFF prefers a vintage vibe? Every girl loves a Polaroid camera. Imagine how cute all of the film will look decorating your guy’s apartment walls?
A slightly more adult take on the classic, tried-and-true friendship bracelet. Probs best for the friend who likes to swear a blue streak.
Perfect for the Friends-obsessed friend in your life. Yet another item that sticks a catchy TV show theme song in your head while perfectly expressing your BFF sentiments.
Have you ever felt that you would definitely help your BFF bury a body? Then start your life of crime together with these handcuff charm bracelets.
Girl Gang cuff bracelet: $13.66
Keep the partners-in-crime theme rolling with this matching set of bracelets that say “Girl Gang.” Great for squads.
Celebrate friendship and cute stationary with this set of “Squad Goals” stickers.
I know I’m repeating myself here but look at it. Just plain awesome. BFF eyeing law school after graduation? This makes a great gift.
“This is a story about love, but not the kind of love you think. You’ll see.” This books champions the kind of friendship you’d go to hell and back for. The narrator has two people she thinks she’d do anything to protect, and in this surreal fantasy novel she’ll find out just how far she’ll have to go. It will break your heart. Read it, then get a copy and give it to your best friend.
Check out 10 more gifts to get your BFF this holiday season
The holiday season seems fast approaching and with it comes the annual struggle of buying Christmas presents. When it comes to your best friend, you want to buy them a gift straight from the heart that tells them they matter. For everyone who struggles with gift giving, use this gift guide as your saving grace this holiday season.
Malibu Rising: $16.80
Nothing says “I’m thinking about you” more than gifting someone a book that you know they will enjoy. It’s like gifting someone a small piece of what you find meaningful and close to your heart. If your BFF loves reading, then you might want to consider this idea.
“I think a good gift would be a book,” UMass Amherst junior Allysa Cayabyab said. “It’s a nice way of sharing things you care about with the people you care about. Plus, you can find ones that aren’t too expensive.”
Reading serves as one of life’s greatest pleasures, so think about what your bookworm BFF might enjoy and gift them a book that will quench their thirst for reading. Can’t you imagine them curling up with a good book by the fire? If you can, then you know you thought of a great gift idea for your BFF.
To commemorate the exact day and time you met your BFF, give them a star map with a dedication to them included. A star map shows your bestie exactly what constellations looked down on them the day you two first met. Whenever you and your bestie find yourselves miles apart from one another, you’ll always have something to remind you that you can both look up and see the same stars. Making it seem as if our world doesn’t feel as large as one may think.
If your BFF loves butterflies, nature or anything colorful then gift them a gorgeous butterfly bouquet. The uniqueness factor of this makes it even better than the typical flower bouquet. Instead of the usual multicolored flower petals, a butterfly bouquet shows off colorful papers folded in the shapes of butterflies to add a lifelike touch to what would usually be a static centerpiece. Why go cliché when you can present something even better? Go with the butterfly bouquet and your BFF will own a new centerpiece everyone will ask them about.
If you find yourself struggling to come up with a gift idea, why not put together more than one gift for your BFF? A little basket filled with items your bestie will love might make their day. Add in some candy, a magazine, a keychain or whatever else you think your friend will like!
“I like to put together mini care package type things for my best friends,” UMass Amherst junior Prisha Singh says. “I usually include some candy, perfume, or any other small trinkets they might find fun and useful.”
A little gift basket seems like a wonderful way to let your BFF know you think and care about them. Think about some of their favorite things, what makes them smile and add some little goodies in to brighten their day.
Thoughtfully DIY Hot Sauce Kit: $39.99
Does your bestie love spicy food? Did they ever wish to create their own spicier and hotter hot sauce that claims the title as the best? If so, then consider yourself in luck. Gift your buddy a make-your own-hot-sauce kit to satisfy their spicy cravings. They can mix and match to their hearts content while hopefully coming up with the perfect blend of delicious, sizzling hot ingredients for their custom-made sauce.
47. Food Dice
Let’s face it, not everyone enjoys cooking. If your BFF considers themselves indecisive but still loves to experiment in the kitchen, this gift might hit the nail on the head. Food dice contain different food items labeled on each side. Give them a roll to see what you’ll cook up today. Give this gift to your bestie to help them come up with new meals to try. Or if indecisive, help them settle on something to eat for dinner.
Do you and your best friend go way back, since childhood? Or did you both share any unique life experiences together? To touch someone’s heart, sometimes you just need to remind them of the good times from way back when.
“I would get my best friend a picture of our time together from childhood to now,” UMass Amherst junior Aayush Patel said. “Or some kind of physical representation of our growing relationship; maybe throw some toys or other things that are meaningful in there.”
Sift through your old pictures and find one that means a lot to both you and your bestie. If you own more than one picture, consider putting together an entire collage full of photos. Throw the pictures in a frame, write a deep message that will bring your bestie to tears, and remind them of some of your favorite memories this upcoming holiday season.
Does your BFF enjoy a quiet evening in with a strong, hot cup of tea? Maybe they’d like to get a taste of teas from around the world. This set holds 10 tubes of tea leaves, featuring the “Butterfly of Taiwan” and other unique teas like the “Grand Himalaya.” Ranging from China to Paris, a tea in here will satisfy your bestie’s tea obsession. Let them enjoy a rich blend of tasty flavor with this tea set from around the world.
If your best friend appreciates a night in filled with video games, then they’ll most likely appreciate a solid new video game to add to their collection. Do they own several gaming consoles or merchandise of their favorite video game characters or franchises? If so, then nothing would make them happier than a new game to play for hours on end.
“My best friend loves video games, so I’d get her one from a video game franchise that she likes,” Mt. Holyoke College junior Johanna Sullivan says. “Video games are a fun way to wind down after a long day, so I’d gift her one of those.”
Whether your BFF likes action or adventure, role-play or racing, you can find a video game for anyone that loves them. Find one for your best friend and make their Christmas better than they ever thought possible.
If you know your BFF currently finds themselves going through a rough time, or went through something difficult, gift them something that will raise their spirits no matter what. A “What I Love About You” book, written straight from you, will surely put a smile on your best friend’s face; even when they face their worst moments.
“I would definitely get my friend some kind of book or journal where I could write about our memories, or how they’ve helped me through a hard time,” Northeastern University sophomore Neha Prasad said. “Especially if they’ve been there for me through thick and thin, I would want to give them something that really shows how much I appreciate them.”
The “What I Love About You” book is a perfect way to show your best friend why you love them. Emotionally support your BFF even when you can’t physically. Making it a surefire way to make their holiday season bright!
**Updated on April 9, 2018 to include list items 11–21 by Brooke Miller
**Updated on March 26, 2019 to include items 22 – 31 by Kelly Donaghey.
**Updated on December 12, 2021 to include items 32-41 by Archana Purohit.
**Updated on November 13, 2022 to include items 1-10 by Noor Zayter