15+ creative ways to gift mugs

A trio of mug-based gift bundles sit on a yellow fabric sweep; the three mug gift bundles are birthday, gardening, and pet themed.

I think lots of things are underrated, like mint chocolate chip ice cream (which does NOT taste like toothpaste, FYI!). Or bouncy houses. Having a bad day after being in one? Impossible.

But there’s one thing we really don’t appreciate enough, specifically when it comes to great gifts: a mug. It’s easy to tailor to your recipient, the perfect vessel to give other cool gifts and great when you need something last minute. And with this roundup of ideas, you can make gifting a mug a super sentimental, over-the-top experience for anyone.

Dive in, friends!

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Our favorite times to gift mugs  

It’s always a great time to give someone a mug, but these occasions make them feel even more special:

  • New parent. Because they’re gonna need all that coffee!
  • Father’s Day. The “dad mug” is so iconic that we dedicated an entire article to it. Be warned—it’s a tearjerker.
  • New college student. Long nights of studying call for coffee. Or they can use it to decorate their desk and hold all those shiny new pens and highlighters.
  • They’re obsessed with coffee, tea, hot cocoa or another warm beverage. This one might seem obvious, but if you have to start your day with a hot drink, you can never have too many mugs. NEVER!
  • They’re part of a fandom. Superfans appreciate all the merch they can get from their favorite franchises, including mugs, of course! We’ve got great ones for fans of Harry Potter, Friends, Gilmore Girls, Disney, Star Wars and more.
  • When you’re gifting an experience. Think concert or festival tickets, plane tickets or a gift card to a spa or their favorite restaurant. 
  • When you have no idea what to gift someone. Maybe it’s the retirement party of a co-worker you kinda-sorta know, but not really. Or a birthday party for that distant aunt or uncle or random cousin who has so many memories of you, but you don’t recognize at all. Whatever the gifting situation is, a cute mug filled with some basics (see pullout section below) is always a safe bet!

Themes for gifting mugs  

1. Baking bonanza

If they love to bake, you could fill a mug with some kitchen essentials like measuring spoons, personalized recipe cards, etc. Or fill it with their favorite cake mix and mini treats like brownies, cupcakes cookies or another sweet they love.


2. Book lovers only 

For the person who always has their nose in a book, try bookmarks (scented ones if you wanna be fancy), a gift card to their favorite bookstore and a personalized book stamp/embosser. 


A ceramic mug covered in an impressionist-style floral pattern lays on a dark green blanket aside a pair of black and white grid pattern socks that have a light blue heel, toe and ankle trim; there is also a puzzle, a tea tray, a small candle and a tiny box of matches nearby, hinting at the idea of this being a cozy themed gift idea.


3. The cozy club

Treat them to a night in with some cozy essentials like this mug and comfy sock bundle, some mini candles and a matchbook, and an ice cream-themed puzzle to really wind down.


4. Mini scrapbook

For a sentimental gift, make a tiny scrapbook in their mug. Choose a mug that feels personal to them, whether it features their favorite color or an iconic character they love. Fill it with pictures, handwritten letters/notes and other small trinkets that remind you of them. It can be something as simple as a seashell from the last beach trip you took or a ticket stub from a movie you saw together. This one is all about the details!


A gardening-themed mug gift bundle that includes a ceramic mug with the saying


5. Garden lover

Anyone with a green thumb will appreciate this bundle of gardening goodies! Start with this super fun, colorful “Suns Out Mugs Out” mug. Add a pair of gardening gloves, a plant or succulent with seeds and this cute “You Make me Happuccino” mini card to finish it off.


6. Holiday hello

We love this one as an actual Christmas gift or for celebrating Christmas in July (the second-best time of the year, ahem). Just fill any holiday-themed mug with festive fun like a Keepsake Ornament, candy canes and some hot chocolate mix.


7. Traveler’s toolkit 

We all know (and maybe want to be) that person who is somehow always traveling to new, exciting places. You check their Insta story and they’re casually in Fiji. FIJI. Stock their new mug with gifts like a luggage tag, compression socks and a waterproof passport holder.


8. Get well soon

Feeling sick is the worst, but getting a surprise “I’m thinking about you” gift always helps. If someone is feeling under the weather, send them a mug filled with goods like lemon juice, cough drops, honey, tissues and their favorite herbal tea.



A pet-themed mug bundle that includes a teal blue mug that reads,


9. Dog parents have entered the chat

Your favorite pup parent needs this the next time their cutie-in-crime poops on their bed or wakes them up at 4 a.m. 😊 Start with this mug they wish they couldn’t relate to, then fill with a few dog treats and toys.


10. Self-care time

Encourage them to have a pamper day with a mug that includes all the essentials, like a mani-pedi kit, face/eye masks and this Naked Bee Hand & Foot Repair Kit.


A light green mug that looks like a cupcake wrapper is filled with the makings of a small birthday celebration, including rainbow sprinkle-covered marshmallows, colorful glitter birthday candles, and a mini birthday card with balloons on the front; the mug is sitting in a clear acrylic tray with its lid, which is white and shaped like a swirl of cupcake icing covered in rainbow sprinkles; also on the tray is a party popper and colorful confetti.


11. Party in a mug

Celebrating a birthday? This adorable cupcake mug (coming soon) brings all the festive vibes! Fill it with party essentials like confetti poppers, balloons, mini cakes/cupcakes, streamers, blow horns and a rolled up celebratory banner. Don’t forget a sweet mini card to send them some extra birthday wishes, too.


12. Game night

The person always hosting everyone will probably love this one the most. Fill their mug with things like a deck of cards, dice and mini scoreboard to keep track of their winning streak.


13. Inner child unlocked

 Bubbles, chalk, crayons, markers—we’re taking it back to summer camp days. For this one, just fill any mug with as many art supplies as you can.


A mug gift bundle for a teacher that includes a white ceramic mug that reads,


14. #1 teacher award

Whether you’re celebrating Teacher Appreciation Day or simply want to show gratitude to an important one you know, this mug highlights the beautiful heart behind every great teacher. Plus it up with gifts like a notepad, pens, stickers and this “You’re Changing the World” mini card, along with some adult art supplies. Just make sure you specify that they’re for them—kids aren’t the only ones who love art class!


15. For the stationery superfan 

Whenever I’m in a store that sells stationery, an unknown magical force compels me to waltz over to that section and buy something. My cart might already be overflowing with things I don’t really need, but it doesn’t matter—as soon as I’m in that aisle, I have to get something. Stickers! Sparkly notepads! SCENTED GEL PENS! Once I see all that cuteness, it’s genuinely out of my control.

If you know someone like this, stock a mug with some of those items (along with pretty washi tape and stamps) and I promise they’ll love you forever!


A mug gift bundle meant for a mom that includes a light blue ceramic mug that reads,


16. Mother’s Day

Don’t tell the other mugs, but this one might have the most adorable set of goodies on the list. Just look at that handmade art—it doesn’t get any cuter! You can also fill her mug with film for her instant camera to capture memories and a mini flower bouquet for a floral touch.


That’s a wrap on all this mug-tasticness! I’m calling it now—the next time you need to give a gift, one of these ideas will come to mind. I’d even bet a mug on it…(okay, okay, I’ll stop!).


Need more gift ideas? Check these out: