Whether it's Christmas, Valentine's Day, his birthday, or 'just because,' choosing a gift for your teenage boyfriend is hard work. You don't want to be too mushy or romantic, but you also don't want to get him a gift that doesn't mean anything. Think about his interests, moments you have shared together and your budget, and then use these gift ideas to help narrow down your choices.
Gifts to Buy
If you know what your guy likes, you may be able to find the perfect gift at the mall or online. Before you start looking, set a budget. You don't need to empty your savings to get a gift your boyfriend will like.
Build It Yourself Games
Guys who love engineering and gaming will be happy to receive a DIY game kit. For $30 you can buy the Build Your Own Marble Coaster where he must assemble laser-cut wood into an entertaining contraption. If you've got a little more to spend, the Build Your Own Pinball game is $50 and uses rubber band power to work a small cardboard pinball game. Definitely for the guy who likes to tinker, these gifts might provide some bonding time while the two of you put them together.
Personalized Phone Accessories
Most teens have a special connection with their cellphones. If your boyfriend can't live without his phone, a fun accessory is a perfect gift. Create a custom phone case using a picture of the two of you, something that represents a hobby he loves, or your favorite place to hang together. For a smaller budget, get him a silly cellphone stand like a dinosaur tail or an astronaut. Make sure whatever you get fits his personality and interests.
Have a nerdy guy? Let him know you appreciate his hobbies with a robotics kit. Robotics kits range in prices, from the $80 EZrobot Robot Developer Kit, which allows him to customize a unique robot, to a Robotic Arm (which costs around $45). Alternatively, stores like the Maker Shed and Robot Shop offer gift certificates that you can get in any amount you want so that your guy can spend money on toys he'll enjoy.
You can get almost any product in a subscription box today. These are the packages you get monthly that include everything from shaving supplies to snacks. Most services allow you to choose a one-time, three-month, six-month, or year-round monthly subscription. Look for a company that provides something your guy is into. Lootcrate features fandom gear for under $20 per month while Say It With a Sock gives him a new fun pair of socks each month for around $10.
If your guy is seriously into sports, tickets for an upcoming game or match are a great gift idea. Package the tickets inside a foam finger to make opening the present more exciting. Ticket websites like StubHub are great places to see what's happening in your area. If you can't quite afford game tickets, there are lots of other awesome sports-related gifts. Get him a jersey from his favorite team, new sporting equipment like an exclusive edition basketball, or a collector's item from his favorite player. Online retailer, Fanatics has a huge selection of apparel, accessories and memorabilia for nearly every major sports team or organization from basketball and football to racing and soccer.
If your boyfriend's favorite band is coming to town, get him tickets to a show. It doesn't have to be a music event either. Tickets to a local amusement park also make a fun gift. If it's in the winter, look for things like skiing tubing or any other event the two of you could do together that he would really enjoy.
For something a little cheaper than concert or game tickets, give him tickets to a popular movie. Buy general movie tickets so he can pick a movie or get them for a movie you already know he's dying to see. Order tickets directly from the movie theater or from a website like Fandango. Package tickets up in a movie-themed gift basket with popcorn and candy to make it more fun.
If you don't have a theater close by you can also get him a DVD of a movie the two of you saw together or the latest season of his favorite TV show. DVD's or Blu-rays are great because they often include special features like gag reels or behind-the-scenes secrets, so look for a movie with lots of extras.
Guys who listen to music a lot would also love a fun speaker they can plug into their phone or MP3 player. Look for one with a unique style like this kissy-face emoji wireless speaker or one with fun features like lights and vibrations. If he's into playing music, you might even consider getting him a new instrument. Wrap this up in a package that includes a CD or T-shirt from his favorite band.
If you have to pry your boyfriend's fingers away from his controller, a video game may be the best gift ever. Look for the latest edition of his favorite game or get him a gift card to his favorite game store, like GameStop, so he can choose games. Gaming accessories like a new controller in a fun color or limited design would be great too. Make sure you know which console(s) he has, so you know he will actually be able to use the gift you get him. If you're not sure about his console or game preferences, you could get him a collection like a mini retro arcade game set. A subscription to a video game rental service like GameFly may also be something he'll enjoy.
Most guys have a pretty laid back style and are not too concerned about the clothes they wear, but that doesn't mean your boyfriend will not appreciate a special piece of clothing as a gift. Get him a funny T-shirt or a shirt featuring his favorite movie character. Pay attention to his style and brand loyalty and look for something that fits him, but also stands out, like a limited edition hoodie.
Believe it or not, your boyfriend may care a lot about how he smells when he's around you. Get him a bottle of his favorite cologne or the scent you would like for him to wear. Head to the store and start testing out fragrances to make sure you pick something you'll love to smell. Aqua di Gio by Giorgio Armani is one of the most popular fragrances for young men because it's not too strong and heavy. If he already has a favorite cologne, look for a gift set in that scent that might include things like body spray and body wash in the same fragrance.
If you are still having trouble thinking of something for your man, get him a gift card to his favorite store. He'll likely appreciate the fact that you didn't get him something he would hate and when he picks out an item at the store, he'll be thinking of how sweet the gift card from you was. Create a custom gift card with MasterCard where you upload a personal photo to display as the card's background and add any amount of money. The MyVanilla Prepaid Card allows your guy to withdraw the funds as cash at an ATM and add money to the account so he can use it like a bank account. To make gift cards more exciting, wrap them creatively. For example, you could place the card in an extra large box or a series of nesting boxes so he has to hunt for it.
Teenage boys love to eat. Give your boyfriend a basket of his favorite snacks as a gift so he'll have a stockpile to grab from. You could also get him a gift certificate to his favorite restaurant or offer to take him out on a dinner date. Think about what he likes to eat and look for unique options with that food. For example, if he loves Cheetos, maybe you could get him a basket full of every kind of Cheetos on the market.
Jewelry is not just for girls. You can give your boyfriend a special piece of jewelry to wear to remember you. Give him some dog tags engraved with a special message or a chain with a special charm on it. Rope bracelets, chains, leather jewelry like engraved cuffs, shell necklaces and titanium necklaces are also popular jewelry options for guys. Look for something he'll actually wear and customize it with engraving to make it more special.
Gifts to Make
When you're on a tight budget, making a gift may be the best option. Homemade gifts are not only cheap, they also contain a lot of love.
Make him a custom wall-hanging for his room so he'll always be reminded of how much you care. Use painter's tape to help you write words by spelling with the tape on a canvas then painting over the tape and removing it. The letters will stay the same color as the canvas and the rest of the picture will be whatever color you used to paint. Choose a fun word (or words) to describe your relationship, such as your pet names for each other or your celebrity couple mash-up name.
Cut the graphic out of an old T-shirt for a band, game, or show your guy likes. Sew the patch onto a new T-shirt to give your guy that classic look with modern comfort. Look for vintage shirts at second hand, or thrift, stores. He'll love the thought you put in and the fact that he's now got a unique look.
Make your guy a fun keychain using classic boy toys or game pieces. You'll need to buy keychain hardware like a key ring and jump rings or re-purpose an old keychain by removing the decoration. Choose your fun object like an army man, wooden car, or other plastic toys. Drill a hole in the toy to fit a jump ring through. Then you'll be able to attach the toy to the key ring. Add on other charms like his initials or your initials to personalize.
Give your guy a sweet treat when you use his favorite wrapped candies to make a fun sculpture. Stack candy bars to make a candy sleigh or come up with your own architectural creation. The point is to present him with some sweet snacks in a sweet way. Get creative and keep his preferences in mind.
Poem or Letter
Write a poem or letter to him. A poem is always a creative and fun way to show how you really feel about someone, and you can make it look nice by writing the finished poem on nice paper and adding decorations such as glitter, stickers, or even drawing a picture around the words if you are artistic. Make it even more special by framing the finished product.
Make your boyfriend a scrapbook of all the memories you've made together so that he can look fondly on your time together. Take screenshots of your sweet text or social media messages to each other and add in some quotes from his favorite movies or bands to personalize the photos. Add in handwritten notes and draw Instagram filters onto pictures to make them more fun. Sort the pages into themes like the different reasons why you like him or the specific things you do together.
Make a special playlist of songs for his iPod, MP3 player, or on Spotify. Be sure to include songs that are special to the two of you as a couple as well as songs that make you think of him. If you make a custom playlist online, make sure to give it a good, descriptive title. If you are going to burn the playlist onto a CD, you could also make a customized CD with photos of you together and hand-drawn images or phrases.
If you know how to make friendship bracelets, then make two using his favorite colors and give him one to tie around his wrist or ankle. Do the same with yours, and when they fall off each of you make a wish. Use a unique pattern to help your bracelets stand out. For a more masculine look, use thicker cords and darker colors to make paracord survival bracelets that resemble friendship bracelets.
Show off your cooking and baking skills by making your boyfriend a cake, a dozen cookies or a special dinner. He'll appreciate the effort you put into the gift and he'll love the food. Find a recipe for his favorite meal or dessert and try making it yourself. Serve up the dinner with an elaborate table setting or pack it up for a picnic in the park. Decorate desserts by spelling out phrases you use with each other. Remember, the way to a guy's heart is through his stomach!
Finding the Perfect Gift
Don't stress too much about the amount of money you spend on your boyfriend's gift or worry that you will never find the perfect gift. Pay attention to his interests and things he points out that he likes when the two of you are together and finding a gift will be easy. The point of the gift isn't to impress him with how good of a shopper you are or how much money you have, it's to show him that you care about him. Most guys are fairly easy to please. Chances are he'll love anything you get him.