The best part of any party? The free stuff. Obviously, the food and drinks also fall into this category, but a good party should also have good party favors. And the biggest trend in party favors is personalization. Maybe your child has designed a logo of her initials for her bat mitzvah. Or maybe he created a hashtag. Or maybe you just want to commemorate the event with personal flair.
“Probably over the last 18 months, I would say two out of three of our clients are using a logo and branding the event throughout,” said Carin Lomax, owner of Events Extraordinaire in Falls Church, Virginia.
And logo doesn’t just mean you put your child’s name on everything, she added.
“We’ve definitely gone away from ‘Max’s Bar Mitzvah’ on everything, but something really more graphic,” she said.
But you don’t want to send people home with the usual pens, keychains and magnets that will just end up in the trash. Party favors don’t have to be trinkets or kitsch.
“I have definitely had parents come in and say, ‘Oh, those are just throwaway, we’re not going to do favors,’” Lomax said. “ Actually, they’re not.’”
So, here are 11 party favors you can customize that people will actually want to use — or eat, as the case may be.
1. Beach towels
These can be on the pricier end of party favors, but personalized beach towels with your logo on it are sure to impress. A recent family of Lomax’s did this for the bat mitzvah girl’s beach-themed party and the towels were very popular, she said.
With the ubiquity of smartphones and iPods, anyone could use at least two sets of earbuds — one to use and one to lose. Slap a personalized sticker on them and voila! You have custom earbuds for today’s tech-savvy kids.
This has gone a little out of style, Lomax said, but who doesn’t love candy? You could wrap some candy bars in custom wrappers or get your child’s initials on M&Ms or even create your own lollipop flavor. Lomax had one party that made a chocolate iPhone for each guest.
Not only are sunglasses always cool, but they also, you know, protect the eyes. Wearables like sunglasses, T-shirts and sweatshirts never go out of style in party favors, Lomax said.
There’s a lot of opportunity for great — and terrible — puns here: “You’re the balm!” or “We’re so chappy you came!” (You’re welcome.)
6. Lounge pants
Put a monogram or a small logo or even a thematic character on some pajama pants and you’ll be seeing it for years to come at sleepovers, sports games and weekend trips to the store.
If your child is a sports fan — especially baseball — you can go all in on your logo design and hand out customized baseball hats as a great favor. They’ll come in handy during summer and beach season. Is your bar or bat mitzvah party happening in cooler weather? Beanies are also a popular choice, Lomax said.
8. Guitar picks
You can put monograms, messages or even photos onto guitar picks — a great nod to musically inclined kids. And they’re one of the cheaper options on this list, so it won’t even break your wallet.
9. Phone chargers
Technology-related favors are hot right now, according to Lomax. An extra phone charger will always be wanted, she said. Plus, it’s pretty easy to get your logo on there.
This is just a very practical favor. Sunscreen is super useful and slap a personalized label on there and you have yourself a gift that keeps on giving while your party is remembered fondly.
11. Playing cards
Lomax had a family recently that did this. The bar mitzvah boy often went to tournaments with his friends or they were all hanging out together at someone’s house. A nice branded deck of playing cards is always handy for staving off boredom.
Hannah Monicken is a Washington, D.C.-based freelance writer.