Gift Ideas for the Men in your Life

Gifts Ideas for Guys
Budget Friendly to Spare No Expense

I  love giving gifts! I try to be really thoughtful in my gift giving. When you give a gift someone really loves, it is magical to see their face light up. But there are some people who are really hard to buy for, no matter how well I know them.  I usually have the hardest time buying for the men in my family, my husband is the hardest nut to crack.

With Father’s day less than 2 weeks away and if the men in your family are anything like mine, they can be tough customers when it comes to giving them gifts. They never ever complain about the gifts they receive, but the many things they would really love are not in my budget right now. I would need to win the lotto to buy my dad the new truck and tractors he is eyeing. Maybe if I could invent something awesome everyone needs, I could send my husband to space or buy him a plane. So until I win the lotto or make it big, hopefully my dad and husband can enjoy one or two of the gifts on my list. This list could be used to help you think of gifts for birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas etc., for the men in your life.

When composing this list, I tried to think about a range of gifts: budget friendly gifts to spare no expense. Gifts that are pretty tried and true and ones that require a bit more thought and research. Hope this list helps if you are struggling to figure out gifts for your guys.

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Budget Friendly or Free Gifts

The Gift of Time: Does the man in your life like to camp, hike, hunt, fish etc. Encourage him to go on one of those trips. For this coming summer, if my husband wants to go camping and hiking, I am going to say yes, Happy Father’s day to him! And yes, I am awesome!

Gift of Time
My husband, son, and brother hiking. My beautiful sister-in-law took this photo.

Lend a hand on a big project he is working on. My brother gave my dad a full day of work at our family cabin last year as a father’s day gift. At first we teased my brother about cheaping out, but my dad really appreciated the help. They got a lot of work done and got to spend the whole day just the two of them!

Make the man or men in your life thier favorite meal, cookies, etc. Everyone loves to enjoy their favorite meal, especially when made be someone who loves them.

Homemade or Photo gifts: Pinterest has so many cute hand print, photo, and handmade ideas, check out my board. My board has so many great gifts for kids to make!!

Pitcure for Dad
This is Big when he was 6 months old. I framed this picture for Father’s day a few years ago.

Tried and True Gifts and short on time

I would pair one of these gifts with time spent together or making dad’s favorite meal.

3 S’s: Shirt, socks and slippers: Nice things about these gifts, the men in your life can probably always use these and you can find them in a wide range of brands and budgets. Next time you are at Target or at Nordstrom ( I wish I have not been in such a long time), grab the 3 S’s and your Fathers’s day gift is done. JCPenney is also a go-to because they have a good selection of Big and Tall items for my dad!

The ubiquitous Tie. I am not sure of the actual history of the tie for father’s day, but the Washington Post had a great article providing some historical background and a theory of why we keep buying them. To add some flare to the tie, you could add a nice dress shirt or accessories (cuff-links or a tie tack). Instead of the tie, you could just get the accessories, I got my brother some really cool initial cuff-links for Christmas this year. Here are the ones I bought. My husband has some really cool plane tie tacks that he received from work. Here are some tie tacks on Etsy. 

Are you super short on time? Grab a gift card at the grocery store for his favorite restaurant, store, movie theater, etc. My mom considers this an easy way out and she is right, but I think people appreciate getting a gift card to their favorite store or that’s what I tell myself when I give a gift card. My dad loves coffee so getting him a gift card to his favorite coffee stand would go over well. It’s the thought that counts!

Books: You could grab a few books in his favorite genre or get him the gift of thousands of e-books.

Gifts that require a bit of research and thought

Experiences: Think about what the men in your life love to do, what are their hobbies and interests? Experience gifts could have a small budget to a huge one. Once you have a list of about 3-5 interest or hobbies start researching.

For example,  my dad is such a racing fan, for his 50th birthday, the whole family chipped in on a race car driving experience in Las Vegas. We went to the Richard Petty Experience at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway . It was on the expensive side, but since we split it between a number of people, it was manageable. He had the best time and I know it is an experience he will never forget.

Is your husband, dad, or brother into cooking, beer or wine making, find a class in the area he could take? Take a cooking class together.

Do you have a daredevil in the family, what about the indoor skydiving places? I think I have seen gift cards for indoor skydiving at Costco, who knew.

Themed gift: You could put together a box with your guy’s or dad’s favorite things. These can also be budget friendly depending on what you put in the gift. Here are few examples:

Beer Enthusiast: Beer glasses, bottle opener with assorted craft beer.  This year along with being able to go camping any time, my husband will be getting a cool wooden bottle opener and fun glasses.  I found cute glasses at Target for $3.00 a piece and a wall-mounted bottle opener on Etsy. I still have to buy the beer.

Beer Theme Gift
Target: The glass says, Beer makes everything Better. Etsy: Wall-mounted bottle opener

The Griller in your life might need new gill tools and rubs .

Your hiker might need new fancy hiking socks, protein bars, and safety gear. REI has some great hiking gear lists.

Car Lover put together a car wash kit in a bucket.

Tech-Lover: My husband has been playing with all kinds of home automation. His favorite home automation products so far are the Amazon Echo, Eco-Bee thermostat and smart switches. Below are some of the products he started with on our journey to a smarter home.


Movie Lover: Buy several of his favorite movies, some snacks and movie tickets.

Thematic Gifts
Theme gifts. New beer glasses and a wall-mounted bottle opener, I just need to add some craft beers and I’m done.

Subscription box: If you don’t have time to shop for each item to make your own themed gift, check out some of the pre-made boxes at My Subscription Addiction or check out the cool boxes for men at ManCrates .

Giving him something that will remind him of a fond memory. One year, my husband and I took my Dad on a trip to Washington, D.C. for Jon Stewart’s Rally for Sanity. The rally was awesome, I think we need another one!!!! Years later, I made him a mug on Shutterfly highlighting several of the trip’s best pictures and gave him a gift card to his favorite coffee stand.

Custom-made  gifts: There are some amazing makers out there who could make you a custom-made sign, cribbage board, box, yard game etc. Get him a sign for the garage or man cave. My sister who owns and operates  New Life Carving makes beautiful signs and wood gifts. She made my brother a rugby shaped cribbage board and a rugby sign for his man cave. Keep in mind custom gifts will often take longer to create, so you will have to plan accordingly.

Custom Gift Ideas
Custom Gift Ideas. Items picture here were made by my sister and her husband of newlifecarving.com

Hope this list has given you some ideas for gifts to buy for the men in your life.

Cheers, Amy

14 Replies to “Gift Ideas for the Men in your Life”

  1. Wonderful list of gift ideas for Father’s Day or anytime to buy for a guy! Thanks Discovering Whimsy!

  2. I love the idea of giving the gift of time, my partner loves to play video games but with a toddler and working full time he never gets a chance. I know he would love it if I gave him time to just do his own thing for a little bit.

  3. Excellent ideas! I always have a hard time getting the hubby gifts. I usually just go with something homemade or personalized, and he always loves it. You are right about the socks! My hubby loves getting socks.

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