15+ creative ways to gift mugs

By Tamia Miller, Nikki Colletti and Erin Martinez on March 22nd, 2024
17719 Mugs MC

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!

Inspired? Create and share by tagging @Hallmark_Canada.

17719 Mugs MC

Our favourite 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 favourite 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 favourite 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 favourite 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 favourite bookstore and a personalized book stamp/embosser.

17719 Mugs Cozy

3. The cozy club

Treat them to a night in with some cozy essentials like the mug and comfy sock bundle above, 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 favourite colour 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!

17719 Mugs Gardening

5. Garden lover

Anyone with a green thumb will appreciate this bundle of gardening goodies! Start with thais super fun, colourful “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 travelling 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 favourite herbal tea.

Great basics for filling gift mugs

We love a good theme, but if you just want basics for any mug or recipient, give these a try:

  • Wax candles
  • Small headphones
  • Mini Better Togethers
  • An extra phone charger for the person always losing it (yes, my hand is raised…)
  • A mini flower bouquet
  • Mini skewers with the recipient’s favourite food included
  • itty bittys®
  • Keepsake Ornaments (or mini ones if you need extra space)
  • Mini cards
  • A gift card to a restaurant or place they love
  • Mini hand sanitizer
  • Microfiber cleaning cloth, if they wear glasses
  • Very tightly rolled poster
  • Cute keychain
  • Jewellery
  • Hot cocoa mix with mini marshmallows
  • Rolled-up socks
17719 Mugs Dog

9. Dog parents have entered the chat

Your favourite 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 a Naked Bee Hand & Foot Repair Kit.

17719 Mugs Birthday

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.

17719 Mugs Teacher

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 a “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!

17719 Mugs Mom

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!).