For many generations the first anniversary gift has traditionally been something made of paper. The tradition started centuries ago when anniversary celebrations were large, extravagant celebrations. While the extent to which anniversaries are celebrated has changed, the themed gift giving is a tradition still followed by many. Unfortunately, paper isn’t the most exciting or luxurious material but don’t let that get you down on your gift giving capabilities.
Of course items that are physically made of paper are the first that come to mind, you can also use the paper theme to inspire gifts made from other materials. For example, a necklace shaped like a piece of origami or a ceramic mug made to look like paper are both great options. There are still plenty of creative, playful and romantic ideas if you’re willing to think a bit outside of the (paper) box.
1. Personalized Folded Paper Book
A great option for both husband or wife, this is a gift that your significant other will want to proudly display on a shelf as a piece of decor. It’s no surprise that this item has five star reviews across the board. The craftsmanship is exceptional and the turnaround time is quick. Even if you’ve waited until the last minute to figure out a gift for your first anniversary, you can still give something thoughtful, unique, and personal. The design is made from recycled books with the initials of your choice in uppercase Times font. If you prefer, this version can be made with the date of your wedding instead.
2. Personalized Wedding Vows Print
This gift is a print of paper, ON paper, so we’ve got you covered in that department. What’s even better is the amount of personalization behind this art print. The print can be printed to order with your own message, names, and date, making it extremely customizeable. Our favorite part is the vintage coloring and typewriter on the print, which can be ordered in either black and white or sepia in a wide range of sizes. If you prefer a different image, Inspired Art Prints has a number of alternative customizable prints.
3. Classic Book Page Paper Roses
Giving flowers on an anniversary is pretty standard, but for your first anniversary forgo the $100 roses for something more affordable and unique. These paper flowers are so much more appropriate for your first anniversary where a paper component is a must. This set includes 12 paper flowers on stems. The music note paper also adds a unique and romantic element. They’re a perfect touch of whimsey to add to your flower-giving game and the best part is they’ll never die.
4. Glass KindNotes Jar
Let’s be honest for a minute. Daily love notes for your significant other are a great idea conceptually, but in between the morning alarm and darting out of the door to work, there isn’t an adequate amount of time for such grand gestures. This is a great paper gift that will last for the entire month of your anniversary. The jar includes 31 love-themed messages to be opened each day of the month or anytime your husband or wife needs a little pick-me-up. The jar can be ordered with a number of patterned linen envelopes, so choose the design that you like best. If you’d like to personalize the notes instead of gifting something pre written, this option allows you to do just that. Set aside a few hours to write a collection of meaningful notes that are personal to your relationship.
5. Handmade Paper Mache Ornaments
Adorn your Christmas tree with some beautiful handmade paper ornaments. If you celebrate your anniversary close to the holidays, these paper mache ornaments would make a useful gift that you can enjoy for years to come. This set of 18 ornaments is crafted using traditional paper mache techniques, with a different and unique design on each ornament. The balls measure three inches in diameter and have top loops for easy hanging. They’re finished with a shiny gloss so they have a nice sparkly sheen, but are not as delicate as glass ornaments. While this is the truest form of paper ornament, you can get creative with your interpretation and gift another type of “paper” ornament. Consider this cigar paper ornament, these origami bird ornaments, or this glass ornament filled with vintage maps.
6. Silver Paper Plane Pendant Necklace
This is one of those creative spins on the interpretation of paper that we alluded to earlier in this post. While not actually paper, this silver necklace is an adorable charm of a paper airplane, something that can be worn by men and women alike. The necklace is handmade with considerable attention to detail – from the sculpture, to casting, to the soldering, and finishing – it is all done by hand. The necklace can be ordered in 925 silver, or in 14 and 18 karat yellow or rhodium-plated white gold. If this gift is for man and you’re not sure if he would wear a necklace, gift him these paper plane sterling silver cufflinks instead.
7. Handmade Recycled Paper Bead Bracelet
The African Promise Foundation is known for its beautiful handmade jewelry, originating from Uganda. Each of the beads is made from 100 percent recycled paper. The bracelet is made on an elastic band, so the sizing should fit most wrists. The bracelet is lovely on its own, but if you’re looking to splurge in celebration of your anniversary, consider also purchasing the matching necklace.
8. The Beatles Inspired Song Lyric Art
Special songs hold special places in all of our hearts. Lyrical Artworks makes it easy to turn those special songs into awesome gifts with creative artwork. Each print is uniquely based on favorite musical lines. You can browse the hundreds of song options to find a lyric that speaks to your relationship the most. If you want to add to the paper gifts, consider combining one of these prints with concert tickets. To tie the music and paper theme together (quite literally), wrap your print in a box filled with this sheet music shred.
9. Refillable Leather Journal
This genuine leather journal not only looks incredible, but smells incredible too. The leather is a rich, dark brown coffee color with a vintage flair and some texture. It has an elastic cord with a leather strap to keep the journal shut. The interior portion contains three small book segments that are refillable. The paper is thick, so you can write with whatever pen or marker you choose without the ink bleeding through. It comes wrapped in a beautiful cardboard gift box, which adds to the presentation of this notebook. If this style and design isn’t for you, check out some other great journals to give on your first anniversary.
10. “I Love You” Toilet Paper
While this gift is on the silly and inexpensive side as far as first anniversary gifts go, the thought of your significant other finding this roll in the bathroom the morning of your anniversary is pretty phenomenal. Not only does it go with the first anniversary theme of paper, but it has an adorable phrase printed throughout, reading “I Love You from Top to Bottom”. If you prefer, “ this toilet paper roll gets right to the point and reads: “Happy 1st Anniversary”. Either choice is a funny gift that will get some great laughs from your husband or wife.
11. Scratch Off World Map
If you’re a couple who prefers experiences over material items or a couple who spends time traveling, this map is a wonderful first anniversary gift. You and your significant other can use a coin to remove the scratch coating, reveal the countries you have been to, and reminisce about your trips together. Each time you travel somewhere new, you can continue uncovering the various cities and countries, revealing more of the gold map below. It’s a fun activity that also makes an awesome piece of home decor. The map also comes with a few extra accessories including four thumb tacks, a small red marker you can use to mark up the map, and a small metal tool to scratch off the map coating. If you’re looking for a more personalized map, this map is printed on high quality foam so you can pin each of the locations you’ve traveled too. It’s also printed with your names on the map so it’s an extremely personalized and beautiful gift.
12. Six Pack Greeting Card Box
While beer bottles are technically glass, this amazing cardboard paper carrier doubles as a first anniversary card. The carrier is made of thick, high-quality cardboard with graphics that match the occasion. The little flap means that there’s no need to buy a separate card – so unique and clever. You can fill this gift with your spouse’s favorite beer, or mix and match several varieties that he or she hasn’t yet tried. Grab these awesome brown paper bag koozies to go with your paper and beer themed gift.
Price: $15.95 (20 percent off MSRP)
13. Dessert for Two Cookbook
Books of any kind work well for a first anniversary gift for the obvious reason – they’re made of paper. Rather than gifting any old novel, think of a book that represents your relationship. Purchase a nice coffee table book about your spouse’s hobby or about something that you enjoy doing together. If you spend a lot of time in the kitchen, cookbooks are a great avenue to explore. Dessert happens to be a priority for us. We eat it after every single dinner (and sometimes lunch and breakfast too). It’s usually tricky to scale dessert recipes down, but not with this amazing cookbook. The author says it best – “Dessert recipes typically serve eight to ten people. Finding the willpower to resist extra slices of cake can be difficult; until now.” If dessert isn’t your thing, check out some other cookbooks for two.
14. Recycled Magazines Photo Frames
You’ll feel good about gifting this cool frame for your first wedding anniversary as it’s made entirely from recycled magazines. The small pops of color and hints of text peeking through make it a visually interesting frame that’s neutral enough to sit in any living room or bedroom without disrupting the current decor scheme. The frames hold a 4×6 and 5×7 inch photo respectively. Find one of your favorites from your wedding day and have it printed and ready in the appropriate sizes.
15. Beginner Hand Lettering Kit
If you and your spouse are the creative type who like to get artistic, consider gifting a beginner calligraphy kit. If this is something your spouse might enjoy doing alone, that’s great too. This gift includes everything you need, including a beautiful Moleskine sketchbook filled with an abundance of paper for practicing. It also has four practice alphabets, a watercolor set, paint brushes, a micron pen, a small chalkboard, chalk lettering supplies, a pencil, an eraser, a sharpie, and a metal pencil sharpener – unbelieveable given the low cost.
Price: $55 (15 percent off MSRP)
16. Personalized Message in a Bottle
What’s more romantic than a message in a bottle? Absolutely nothing is the answer. Haven’t you ever read that Nicholas Sparks novel? There’s your proof. We especially like this first anniversary gift for couples who were married on the beach as it’s such a great tie-in to that special day. The bottle is 12 inches tall, a nice large size. It’s filled with sand and seashells, and packaged inside an elegant wood crate. The scroll is printed with your own note, so you can personalize it with whatever message you’d like to share. After your spouse reads the message you can take this to the beach and throw it out to sea.
17. Vouchers for Lovers Coupon Book
Paper coupon books allow you to give multiple gifts all at once. If you’re not sure what to include in a coupon book to your loved one, this one has 20 various gifts already spelled out for you. It includes things like breakfast in bed, alone time, ending a fight – little acts of kindness that your partner won’t need to feel guilty requesting. It’s made from high-quality paper stock and printed just like shown on the above photo.
18. Best Wine Ever Paper Gift Bag
How fun are these paper wine bags? If you and your significant other enjoy wine, fill up a few of these bags with your favorite varietals. If you served a special wine at your wedding, this is the perfect gift to remind you of those celebrations. If you’re looking to make a date night out of your gift, set up a blind wine tasting at home. Have your favorite wine shop fill these bags with some surprise bottles, and you and your spouse can spend the night sampling wine and getting tipsy. This wine tasting book is another paper item that can be your go-to guide.
19. First Anniversary Adult Coloring Book
Millions of people are using adult coloring books to help manage stress. Let’s face it, marriage can be stressful, especially 365 days of it. This beautiful book contains 50 pages along with a one year planner. Your significant other can relax, unwind, and let the stress of the day float away. Don’t forget to also gift some colored pencils. This set comes packaged in a paper cardboard container.
20. TableTopics Couples
Keep things interesting in your relationship for years to come with a game that makes deep conversations fun and interesting. This game features conversation starting cards with provoking questions so you and your partner can pour a drink and get down to it. The bulk of the cards feature questions about your relationship such as “What advice would we give a younger couple?” or “What does your partner do to make you laugh?” or even “Who wins the battle for the remote?” It also includes fantasy questions, like “What would you do…” with lots of money, or a free vacation anywhere, or “What’s your ideal – ” fill in the blank. They’re great for a couple with a solid foundation who wants to explore some new and interesting topics of conversation that they may not have touched on before. Best part? You guessed it. Paper.