It’s that time of year when one gets invited to the traditional bridal shower. Often included in the invitation are little cards telling you where the couple is registered. Although I think bridal registries are a great invention, often time and resources dictate a different path for me. If you like to get a little creative or more thrifty with your gifts for the bride-to-be this summer, we came up with seven unique ideas to get you brainstorming…

7 Unique and Thrifty Bridal Shower Gifts

1. Recipes

Don’t underestimate the value of a family recipe collection! I received a beautifully formatted family recipe book from both sides of my family and they are among the most-used books in my collection. Jennifer says, “My mother-in-law bought me a lovely recipe box (wooden, kind of antique-looking) and filled it with recipes from her side of the family — some of her own, and some she collected from aunts and grandmas. I loved it because when I began cooking for my husband as a brand-new bride, I knew I had recipes that would be familiar and favorites of his!”

2. Essentials

Katie recommends, “A basket of essentials — toilet paper, cleaning supplies, laundry soap, trash bags and light bulbs — all done up pretty. It doesn’t matter if they already have a home or are just starting out, it’s the little things that sneak up on you when you’re busy with setting up life!”

3. A Pound or Two

Pantry items are another gift that will surely be used and appreciated, and delight the bride who has a hankering to bake, but hasn’t yet filled out her pantry. Gretchen remembers, “I was given a laundry basket filled with bags of flour, cornmeal, sugar, etc. If you sale shop, that could be a very thrifty gift that not only helps start out the pantry, but provides a laundry basket!”  This can also be a group gift — each guest brings a pound of something for the pantry.

4. Spice it up

This is another great group gift. At one of Jessica‘s showers, the invitation told everyone to bring a spice or herb to contribute. “My mother-in-law had an empty basket (to receive them) at the shower…I got quite a variety (and only one duplicate!) and it was great not to have to buy all those spices to begin with.”

5. Party in a Basket

Chantel likes to create a picnic-for-two basket, with a vintage picnic basket, thrifted plates, goblets, and silverware. She often makes the tablecloth and napkins, and includes a bottle of sparkling grape juice, with a note that “picnics make ordinary meals special.”

6. Hospitality in a Bow

For a friend who loves to entertain, I found napkin rings, cloth napkins, and a big serving bowl to match. I tucked a little gift in the center of each napkin, and pulled the corners through the napkin ring to make a little bundle. I included a jar of homemade vanilla, homemade spice mix, and a coupon code for my cookbook. I wrapped the whole thing in cellophane — it looked so festive and it was lots of fun to open!

And my all-time favorite,

7. For the Writer

Natasha says, “For my shower, everyone brought me a blank journal with their gift. I thought I had died and gone to heaven. I’m still using out of that supply, almost five years later!”

Share a unique shower gift you’ve given or received!

Photography: JenniMarie Photography


  1. Also, a friend of mine received a tool kit at her shower…..something not many people think of, but you need screwdrivers and hammers for picture hanging and appliance assembly in your new home! Hers had cute pink handles. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Samantha R says:

    We did the recipe collection for Abigail P. when she got married. I was excited with the response we received! ๐Ÿ™‚ And I think she really enjoyed the gift.
    Also, I love the laundry basket/pantry idea; great practical gifts.

  3. I’m a fan of the whole kitchen-things gifts. ๐Ÿ™‚ Even for my gal pals who are still single, I agree with Pearl – sometimes glory box gifts are the best! I love baking – a beautiful cake or tin full of cookies with a time tested recipe can become a valued treasure! I’m also a fan of thrift shopping for cheap yet beautiful glassware, which I wash up and make beautiful. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. I love to give copies of Edith Schaeffer’s Hidden Art as shower gifts…..many of the showers I’ve gone to in the last year have involved brides who have lived on their own for years, so I want to give them something a little different. I made my sister-in-law a ‘Hidden Art’ gift basket……lovely things for making everyday life beautiful (candles, pretty everyday tablecloth, lovely notecards….).
    I remember receiving several gifts similar to those on this list……my very favourite wedding gift, however, was probably a half-dozen vintage tablecloths…..I use them so much, for showers, holidays, parties, and just to make everyday meals a little more special! I love them much more than anything new. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. For a recent shower I helped host, I bought a small table top fountain and had each guest write a verse reference or a word on the stones (using a water proof marker) that would bless the couple. Before asking ppl to write on the stones I also read a bunch of verses about fountains (in scripture fountains are almost always in reference to love or wisdom. And we all need wisdom on how to love!). The fountain went over well with the bride and the guests. This worked perfectly, especially for a card shower, because the bride goes home with something small and the guest are involved in blessing a couple whose house is already established without getting them things they do not need. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. These are some fantastic ideas even not for bridal showers. I also give home-made gifts, so this is some more I can add to my collection of ideas!

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