25+ Ideas for Creative, Personal Birthday Care Packages

By Rose Marthis and Megan Haave on February 8th, 2024
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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.

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Make the care package personal

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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 favourite 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 favourite memories together and maybe even some BFF jewelry.

2. Staycation-in-a-Box
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 favourite 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 favourite 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 favourite 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.


Think about what they love

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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.

6. Go Colourful for Kids
Celebrate a creative kid by filling a box with their favourite colour—all of them! Get some Crayola crayons, markers and a colouring books for hours of fun. Add glittery star-shaped candles for them to wish on and tuck in a little friend like the itty bittys® Sesame Street® Elmo talking plush for a few giggles. Then let the special kid in your life know how loved they are with a Recordable Storybook that lets you add your own special message to the “Happy Birthday” song! Tie it all together with a cute Video Greeting Card, a gift box covered in rainbow sprinkles (coming soon!) and a brightly coloured bow.

7. Cooking
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.

8. Wellness
Support their healthy lifestyle with a wellness journal and add a Birthday Goddess water bottle for an extra element of fun. Or encourage self-care with an eye mask or a spa day kit.

9. Pets
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.


Make it a fan favourite

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A favourite TV show, movie, book or character is the perfect excuse to put together a themed birthday bundle for fans of all ages.

10. Peanuts
Happiness is… a gift full of Snoopy and friends! Help your Beagle Scouts-loving friend celebrate their birthday AND the 50th anniversary of Snoopy’s camping and exploring bird friends. Gift a water bottle that reminds them to find fun every day, outfit them with socks and a coffee mug for mornings inside or in the woods, or a picnic blanket and a set of journals for a fun touch to lunches in a park. Some badges will make their inner scout feel proud, and a Snoopy plush gift card holder with a sweet card on top is sure to make them smile. This collection is coming to Hallmark Gold Crown stores very soon, but in the meantime, you can find more Peanuts gifts here!

11. Disney Princesses
Bring some fairy-tale magic to their birthday gift and make them feel like royalty. Add some jewellery or hair accessories to a basket topped off with their favourite flowers. Toast a crown-worthy adult with a Disney Princess Cinderella stemless glass or send a honeycomb Disney Princess card to help a younger fan decorate their room or party. Check out the whole collection of Disney Princess gifts and cards.

12. Harry Potter
Everyone deserve a magical birthday. Fill a basket with an itty bittys® of their favourite character, a “Hogwarts is my home” tea towel, or Gryffindor mug to help them show their house pride. Add in some Chocolate Frogs or Bertie Bott’s Beans to sweeten things up, then top off your gift with this Harry Potter pop-up 3D card. Find even more Wizarding World fun here!

13. 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.

14. Golden Girls
Want to say, “Thank you for being a friend”? Give them a birthday surprise from their favourite 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.

15. Star Wars
What Star Wars fan wouldn’t love an itty bittys version of Star Wars: The Madalorian™: Grogu? A Lightsaber™ pizza cutter is fun for fans of all ages, these Star Wars socks and slippers let them cozy up for their next intergalactic movie night, and a “Rebel Hero” mug might just help them start each day with The Force on their side. See our Star Wars gifts here.


Make the birthday last

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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.

16. 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 favourite aromatherapy scents or essential oils. Choose scents that promote calm and relaxation or mood-brightening and energy-boosting.

17. 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 favourite candy or 33 wishes for the year ahead.

18. 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 favourite candy bar? Who was the president? Include nostalgic treats or vintage finds from that era.

19. Kids Birthday Package
Stick with the sweet birthday theme with Better Together milk and cookie plush, or focus on foods most kids love, like PB&J, mac and cheese or hot dogs and s’mores. Then add some fun and colourful candles, a little creativity with a sprinkle art shaker kit and make it extra festive with a party popper.


Plus it up with packaging

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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.

20. 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.

21. 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.

22. 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.)

23. 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.

24. Colour-ific Care Package
Do they have a favourite colour—maybe the colours of their school or favourite team? Fill a box with things of that colour. 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.


Deliver it with style

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Not mailing the package? Make your care package a doorstop showstopper. You’ll have extra options to go a little over-the-top.

25. Party Over Here
Tie a helium balloon to the package so they can’t miss it when they open the door.

26. Iconic Assembly
Wrap and stack or arrange boxes to create fun icons like a birthday cake or a cute critter.

27. 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.

28. 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.

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28. Bucket of Birthday Fun
Get a cute bucket or basket, line it with a fun printed tissue paper covered with stickers and fill it to the brim with birthday-specific goodies. Shopping list: Confetti-filled card, a bright rainbow mug, Better Together doughnut and coffee plush, festive candles, plates, and napkins to indulge in a treat, and stickers and decals to decorate their space or share with the next birthday bucket recipient! Leave it on a porch, in an office chair or anywhere else they can’t miss it.

Fun tip:

Start a new workplace tradition by working as a team to fill up the bucket for each birthday person.

  • Keep the bucket (or basket) and Better Together plush (which the birthday person should display prominently) together—they’ll travel from person to person.
  • Everyone signs the card and adds a little something sweet.
  • The recipient is in charge of getting a card and passing the bucket around for the next birthday person. (Bonus points for adding a funny button on the cake or a sticker to the bucket when they pass it along.)