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How to choose the perfect holiday gift someone will actually use

Purple star dust

The holiday season seems to be coming faster every year and once again we are looking for gifts for the family and friends. We could go with gift cards again which would be used, but they don’t really give the personal touch. Another coffee cup with their favorite saying is better, but its going to be added to the collection and only used when you are around. How about something personal, premium, and made to be used on a daily basis?

White mug with black Mad Hatter logo engraved on the frontThe simple answer -> buy a laser engraver… or find someone who owns one and is willing to make something beautiful for you. Here is a list of 5 wonderful everyday items which will be actually be used by your loved ones.

Now you are probably asking “what the heck is a laser engraver and why will it solve my shopping list woes?” First a quick rundown of what a laser engraver is, how it works, and why its used by professionals to make the best gifts around.

PEW PEW Lasers!

In short, a laser engraver is a machine usually built like an inkjet printer but instead of putting ink on paper it shoots a concentrated beam of light at a material/object. The power of the beam and when it’s fired is controlled by a computer. The stronger the beam, the deeper the engraving. A CO2 laser which is the most common industrial laser runs around 13,000°F. This laser is able to engrave a wide variety of materials such as wood, slate, granite, glass, leather, and so on. Due to the material being incinerated by the laser it leaves behind a permanent finish which will stand the test of time. A few examples are shown below.

Now what does this have to do with the perfect holiday gift? Simply put a laser engraver is able to make a durable, elegant, and custom gift for your loved ones. Now on to the gift ideas:

Blue 30 oz RTIC tumbler with Mad Hatter logo on it

1. Tumbler/Mugs

Everyone loves a good mug or tumbler to drink their coffee or cold drinks throughout the day. Now you can give them a gift they will actually use as part of their everyday schedule. Powder coated tumblers give you a large variety of styles, designs, colors, and price points to pick from. The only down side is most are handwash only, and they are designed specifically for hot or cold drinks depending on their lid designs. 

Black granite coaster with Mad Hatter logo engraved on it

2. Coasters

Slate and wooden coasters have been available for years and have a natural feel to them. With a laser engraver these everyday items can be customized with your family name, favorite team logo, or sayings.

Wooden cutting board with Mad hatter logo engraved on it in the bottom right3. Cutting Board

Wooden cutting boards are a staple in a proper kitchen. Now take this everyday item and personalizing it for the cook in your family. Pro tip!! Take a handwritten family recipe and have it engraved into the cutting board. Nothing like permanently engraving grandma’s famous recipe into the cutting board. Feeling the handwritten note engraved into the board will make you wish you did it years ago.

Navy, white, red, light blue, dark blue, black, and pick bottle openers laying side by side.4. Bottle Openers

Generally something more for the adult friends and family in your life. Having a customized and quality bottle opener is perfect for the get-togethers. Everyone will be asking you where you got it and if they can get one as well. These come in silicone, leatherette, and cork options and are built for years of use.


square light up sign with Mad Hatter logo engraved on it with remote to change

5. Light up acrylic signs

Whether you are looking for a personalized night light for your children or looking for a cool man cave addition, acrylic signs have you covered. They can be made in a variety of sizes and shapes and tend to be lit up by multicolored LEDs. Most LEDs can be powered by either batteries or plug in and come with remote controls. Acrylic is easy to work with as it can be cut and engraved by laser which allows you to make the perfect gift. Your loved one’s face will light up when they see this gift (I had to get one bad pun in this somewhere).

So, I hope this list has given you some ideas for holiday shopping this year!  They also work well for weddings, graduations, and other special events in your family’s life. The pricing for items on this list can range from $5-$100. Don’t be discouraged by gift cards and pairs of socks. You can get your family gifts they will use and remember for years to come. If you have any questions about items listed above or are looking for a quote from us specifically, please send me an email at

If you are looking for a gift with a premium price tag and materials check out our blog “What are some of the best gifts I can get for my partner?”

Thanks for reading!

Patrick Schmitz

Owner of Mad Hatter Designs LLC

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