When a friend’s birthday rolls around and you can’t be together to celebrate, the next best thing is to bring the celebration to them with a birthday care package. Who wouldn’t love to find a happy birthday box at their doorstep? Care packages can be as fun and unique as the birthday person—the possibilities are endless.
We put our party hats on and came up with some birthday care package inspiration for you. Just add your own creative twist on our ideas to make them truly one of a kind.
Inspired? Create and share by tagging @HallmarkStores.
Show you know them with a just-for-them birthday care package.
The best way to get creative ideas is to focus on the birthday person. What are some of their favorite things? What are they into? What unforgettable memories do you want to remind them of? These thought-starters might spark something for you:
1. Friends Forever
Been friends for a long time? Break out some vintage photos of the two of you and make a birthday care package that’s a blast from the past. Fill it with nostalgic snacks, a link to a retro playlist, a card that recounts your favorite memories together and maybe even some BFF jewelry.
If your friend can’t take that beach vacation they’ve been dreaming about, bring the beach to them. Include yummy-smelling sunscreen, a beach towel, sunglasses and a postcard of their favorite ocean view.
3. Let’s Get Together
Just because you can’t be in the same place on their birthday doesn’t mean you can’t get some quality time. Start a shared journal you can pass back and forth to keep a record of your lives and your friendship. Or send a book you love, bookmarked with notes and highlights. They can send it back with their comments and favorite parts—it’s like a long-distance book club. Or if you’re feeling artsy, try a collaborative art or craft project and you can each add your special touch.
4. Local Love
If they’re proud of where they live, help them show off their love for their city or state with a box of their favorite locally made products, accessories and stickers. Or go nostalgic: Make a care package filled with reminders of good times in their hometown or college town.
5. Big-Deal Birthday
Grown-ups deserve to be celebrated, too. Turn up the fun factor with birthday-themed gifts. Pack a cake mix, candles, party hat, birthday banner and don’t forget the birthday booze (mini bottles). Top it all off with confetti.
Are they into gardening? Grilling? Travel? Books? Turn their interests and hobbies into a one-of-a-kind gift. Consider which hobby-specific items might need to be frequently replaced or updated—or include supplies they can never get enough of.
Arrange some spices, sauces or marinades in a mixing bowl, or use a ribbon to tie a new mixing spoon to the top of a recipe organizer. Use fun, cute hand towels to wrap it up, and you’ve got a gift perfect for anyone who loves to cook.
A pet-themed bundle is perfect for all those dog and cat parents in your life. A dog notepad, cat magnet or sign will let everyone know just how much they love their furry friend. Make it a treat for the pet and their owner by wrapping everything up in a new food or water dish, or attaching a toy or bandana to the gift with a ribbon.
9. Crafts for Kids
Celebrate a creative kid by giving them new ways to make stuff. Fill a plastic storage bin with crayons, window markers, washable glitter paint and a coloring book for hours of fun. Or use a ribbon to tie some fabric markers to a rolled-up T-shirt or tote bag for decorating. For a more guided activity, add a Crayola clay string art kit or Scribble Scrubbie to your package.
A favorite TV show, movie, book or character is the perfect excuse to put together a themed birthday bundle for fans of all ages.
10. Disney Princesses
Bring some fairy-tale magic to their birthday gift and make them feel like royalty. Add some jewelry or hair accessories to a basket topped off with their favorite flowers. Toast a crown-worthy adult with a princess wine glass or send a honeycomb princess to help a younger fan decorate their room or party. Check out the whole collection of Disney Princess gifts and cards on hallmark.com
11. Harry Potter
Even muggles deserve a magical birthday. Fill a basket with an itty bitty of their favorite character, a “no muggles allowed” hand towel, or Gryffindor socks to help them show their house pride. Add in some chocolate (even if it’s not a jumping frog) or jellybeans (even if they’re not earwax flavored). Top off your gift with this Harry Potter Signature card. Shop Harry Potter.
12. Hallmark Channel
We all have that friend who celebrates the holidays all year round with Hallmark Channel movies. Pair a cozy blanket with a Hallmark Channel movie and a book, Hallmark Channel Movies Guide to a Happy Life. Or keep the fun going after the movie with a game: Hallmark Channel Monopoly. Shop Hallmark Channel.
13. Golden Girls
Want to say, “Thank you for being a friend”? Give them a birthday surprise from their favorite girls, with a Sophia itty bitty, Dorothy socks or a Rose mug. Add in a “stay golden” keychain, and tell them how much they mean with a card that fits right in. Shop Golden Girls.
14. Star Wars
What Star Wars fan wouldn’t love an itty bitty version of “The Child”? A Porg plush is also a great option for fans of any age. Fill a basket with the Death Star popcorn popper and a container of popcorn kernels for their next intergalactic movie night, and add a Leia “Rebel” Mug to help them start each day with The Force on their side. Shop Star Wars.
Unwrapping a gift is usually over in a hurry. Instead, make the care package experience last a little longer.
- Tuck smaller packages inside of medium packages inside of bigger packages—like nesting dolls.
- Or if one day is just not enough to celebrate the special people in your life, celebrate their whole birth month with a card for every day or a calendar with a special message for each day.
- And if you want to build anticipation leading up to their birthday, make it a countdown with something for them on a few days in a row, with the most special gift on their birthday.
15. Scent-sational Celebration
Capture the scents of their birthday season. If it’s fall, you could include a pumpkin-spice scented candle or apple cinnamon tea. Or give them self-care products with their favorite aromatherapy scents or essential oils. Choose scents that promote calm and relaxation or mood-brightening and energy-boosting.
16. Number the Ways
Age is just a number, but you can use that number to come up with special ways to mark the milestone. A 33rd birthday can be celebrated with a list of “33 Things I Love About You,” 33 pieces of their favorite candy or 33 wishes for the year ahead.
17. Birthday Time Capsule
Fill a box with small gifts and slips of paper printed with fun facts about the year they were born. What was the hit song? How much was their favorite candy bar? Who was the president? Include nostalgic treats or vintage finds from that era.
18. Kids Birthday Package
Stick with the birthday theme with a cake & ice cream plush or some rainbow & star candles, or focus on foods most kids love with a pizza & soda plush. Add a little creativity with a cupcake clay string art kit, and make it extra festive with a party popper.
A birthday care package should be fun inside and out. We’ve got a few tricks up our sleeves for making that gift box shine.
19. Inside Out
Switch things up by keeping the outside of the package plain and simple and decorating the inside with wrapping paper or fabric. It’s a little touch that adds that something extra—and it’s perfect for sending a birthday care package through the mail.
20. Shellac Attack
Who doesn’t love a good collage? Use Mod Podge to cover the outside or inside of your package with pictures from magazines, photos and wrapping paper. Have a sticker stash you can raid? Turn the box into a junior-high-level sticker explosion.
21. Puzzle it Out
Use crosswords, word finds and sudoku puzzles to wrap the package. (You could even challenge them to solve the puzzles before they open the package.)
22. Festive Filler
Try these alternatives to bubble wrap or packing peanuts: tissue paper confetti, strips of paper with messages to the birthday person, little blown-up balloons, feathers (or a boa) or mini pom-poms.
23. Color-ific Care Package
Do they have a favorite color—maybe the colors of their school or favorite team? Fill a box with things of that color. You can start with one really special gift (like a scarf or candle), a star item with supporting players (like a mug and candies) or a bunch of fun little things (we love dollar stores and candy shops for this). Wrap each item in coordinating shades of tissue paper and tuck it all in a gift bag or wrapped box.
Not mailing the package? Make your care package a doorstop showstopper. You’ll have extra options to go a little over-the-top.
24. Party Over Here
Tie a helium balloon to the package so they can’t miss it when they open the door.
25. Iconic Assembly
Wrap and stack or arrange boxes to create fun icons like a birthday cake or a cute critter.
26. Decked-Out Door
Hang streamers or ribbons to create a curtain over their door. Or tape double-sided gift wrap to the door frame so they can burst out of it.
27. Birthday Blooms
Add a bouquet to the package and get creative: It could be flowers—or a bouquet of candy, craft supplies, gift cards, fruit or tiny liquor bottles. (You can hot-glue or tape things to kraft sticks or dowels to make them easy to arrange.) If they’re more of a plant person, get them something easy to care for.
28. Bucket of Birthday Fun
Get a cute bucket or basket, line it with confetti-covered tissue paper and fill it to the brim with birthday-specific goodies. Shopping list: Confetti-filled card, stuffed birthday cake plush (never goes bad or gets eaten!), number candles and festive matches, party-ready can coolers, garland, noise makers, balloons and DIY tissue paper confetti. Leave it on a porch, in an office chair or anywhere else they can’t miss it.