Let’s be honest, receiving a mug as a gift isn’t the most mind-blowing experience. While of course you’ll be grateful, deep down you’ll know it will never replace your favourite mug. Within a matter of days, the new mug will be lost to the abyss (the back of the cupboard). Fear not! We’re here to show you 11 great mug gift ideas to show you that a mug can make a great gift!
Combine the mug with another gift
Mugs are literally designed to hold something – why not use it to hold another gift? Here’s where your imagination can run wild…
The Hug in a Mug
Does anyone else remember this old tv ad about a hug in a mug? I had to find it and post it below so everyone would know what I’m talking about – and assure me that I wasn’t alone in witnessing this nightmare.
While your gift does not have to be so creepy (as a child, it terrified me), you can create the same feeling with some thoughtful extras to your mug gift to make it feel like a cosy little hug.
- Fluffy Socks. Fluffy enough to give your feet a hug but compact enough to fit into a mug.
- Hot Chocolate Sachet or Individually wrapped tea bag. While your gift recipient may be an avid coffee fiend, including a hot chocolate sachet or speciality tea may encourage them to take a minute and relax. If you’re going to go for a nice tea bag, find one that has nice calming properties and comes individually wrapped – it’s probably best not to just throw a PG tips bag in there.
- Mini Marshmallows. You can’t give a mug and a hot chocolate sachet without mini marshmallows – there’s no bigger hug out there!
The Mug Cake Mug
A mug filled with the dry ingredients for a microwavable mug cake is sure to go down a storm. You’ll need to be careful of how you wrap the gift, as you don’t want the mixture leaking out!
I am no baking expert, so we had great fun at the Gifts-2go kitchen trialling mug cake recipes until we found this one from Krysten Merkley at Lil’ Luna, which was so delicious that we had to share!
The ‘Perpetually Late’ Mug
My university days were a blur of missed alarms and skipped breakfasts. Turns out, I wasn’t alone! Travel mugs also make a great gift, so you can treat your friend… while dropping subtle hints about their timekeeping.
- Chewing gum. You think that someone who is running too late to drink their coffee in a normal mug has had time to properly brush their teeth? Actually, don’t think about that.
- Cereal Bar. Breakfast is super important guys! But maybe not more important than that extra 5 minutes in bed. Make sure you got them covered so they don’t pass out by 11am.
- Coffee Gift Card. Include a gift card to their favourite coffee shop. That way, they don’t even have to make the coffee themselves, saving them time to go stand in a line for barista coffee!
Everyone knows that magical unicorns can make the impossible happen, making a unicorn travel mug the perfect choice for helping your time-challenged friend!
The Pamper Evening Mug
Space for filling is at a premium in a mug so have a look for smaller, travel-sized lotions and potions to create a fully-inclusive pamper evening without leaving anything out.
- Face Mask. An absolute staple to a pamper evening, face masks are small and malleable enough to easily fit into a mug.
- Hand Cream. You can buy small 30ml tubes of hand cream that will likely last much longer than one evening.
- Chocolates. Small, individually wrapped chocolates make a great filler for making the most of the mug. For a pamper evening, think of more luxurious chocolates like Lindt or Ferrero Roche.
- Nail polish. Pick a colour you know they’ll like or push their boundaries with a new colour. For an extra-luxurious feel, go for a gel polish (they’re thicker and will last longer) from a brand like Essie or Barry M.
The Plant in a Mug
As Millennials found new uses for old things, lots of unusual décor began filling our Pinterest boards (fairy lights on a stepladder anyone?). If your recipient has been wanting to introduce more plant life into their home without those bulky vases (that’s so 1990), the plant in a mug could be perfect for them. They take a bit more work than throwing together some trinkets and tying with a pretty bow, but the results can be super cute!
- Rocks. Yes, everyone wants to receive rocks as a gift! Seriously though, putting small rocks at the bottom of the mug will help with keeping your plant hydrated without flooding the soil.
- Soil. Pretty essential to sustain plant life. If you are buying plants, you should get enough soil with the plant to fill the mug.
- Plants. The best plants to use as mug decorations are little succulents (which also include cacti) as they fit perfectly snug in a mug.
- Water. Once you’ve put the plants in, its best to give them a good watering to set the soil and make sure it has enough to drink. Just don’t flood it, no one wants to receive a drowned cactus as a gift.
The ‘Thank You Teacher’ Mug
This one is a bit more versatile, being easily adapted for giving to work colleagues, business clients and stationary nerds. We like to show teachers our appreciation at the end of a long school term, as a thank-you for putting up with our offspring, so this delightfully compact mug gift filling works great as a ‘thank you’, and also a ‘I can’t wait for you to take the kids back off me after the Summer holidays’.
- Homemade cookies. Pour some love and gratitude into your gift with some home baking. If you have the time, they’re super cost-effective fillers!
- Mini stationary kits. Teachers love stationary. Fill a mug with adorable little staplers and paperclips, and other stationary items that are probably too small to use but look damn cute. Make sure you separate the thumb tacks from the cookies though, as that could send a completely different message.
- Keyrings. Keyrings are pretty versatile, being a gift that you never really ask for but quite enjoy receiving (or am I a bit sad when it comes to keyrings?). There is a ridiculous amount of designs out there, so go for something that complements the recipient. Or, aim straight for the cliché and get your favourite teacher an apple keyring!
Being a teacher can be a stressful job, especially when it comes to exam period. Add a little whimsy to your teacher’s day with a super fun inflatable balloon mug to put all your treats inside!
The ‘Work Survival Kit’ Mug
We all love a gag ‘survival kit’ gift. Only your imagination (and whether their boss will see it) will limit you here. If you’re colleagues, there are sure to be inside jokes and company-specific fillers you can put here, but we’ve kept it general below:
- Hand Sanitiser. Everyone knows, offices can get a bit… ew. With all those people in one place, spending most of their waking hours, you soon learn who the real animals are. The added bonus is you can get adorable little travel sized bottles to fit perfectly into a mug!
- Earphones. Another little small and mighty gift. Drown out the noise of an annoying co-worker or dreadful office radio with a pair of noise-cancelling earphones.
- Coffee sachets. It’s not been a full day at the office if I don’t have at least 4 cups of coffee. While your gift recipient may not be quite so much of a caffeine fiend, a sachet or two of high-quality, strong coffee can be just what they need to blast through a 9am meeting.
- Post-its. The stationary that you never seem to buy, but always end up with 3 or 4 pads on your desk. With funky colours and shapes available, they’re a fun way to remind your friend of their soul-destroying 9-5 job.
The ‘Man-Flu’ Mug
Now, we believe in equality here at Gifts-2go, and I am a firm believer that women can catch the dreaded ‘man-flu’ and suffer just as badly as men. Giving a mug filled with illness-busting treats may be just the thing to shift the flu and get your recipient back to full health.
- Tissues. They’re that one thing that you take for granted for the majority of the year, but when flu season rolls around, they’re your best friend. Why not splurge on some aloe-infused tissues to give their nose a break?
- Lip balm. Your head is full of cotton. Your muscles have aged 40 years. Added bonus? Your lips are sore and cracked. We love using Burt’s Bees Lip Balm, or in a real emergency, the Body Shop does a heavenly hemp balm.
- Netflix gift card. If they’re as ill as they’re making out to be, its unlikely they will be moving far from the sofa. Give them the gift of a good old TV binge, sure to keep them quiet and catch up on their favourite shows.
- Honey & Lemon. If you can find bottles small enough (or a mug large enough), honey and lemon is the hot drink for fighting the flu.
The Makeup Station Mug
If you don’t know what your gift recipient wears regularly, you may need to enlist some help for this one. If you can make it work though, makeup is the perfect mug filler due to its mostly compact size! Not to mention how expensive makeup can be… so you’ll surely have a very grateful response.
- Makeup brushes. There are infinite colours, styles and shapes of brushes out there. Buying a set and arranging them in the mug like some sort of flower bouquet will help pull the whole gift together (that sound like a florist-y thing to say, right?).
- Individual eye shadow pallets. While most multi-shade eye shadow pallets probably won’t fit in a mug (what are you giving them, a cauldron?), you can get individual eye shadow pans that have one colour on each, making them a perfect mug filler.
- Lip Colour. Lipsticks, glosses, balms, liners… basically anything to do with your lips. They’re slim, compact, and work great as a mug filler.
- Mascaras & eyeliners. When I said makeup was mostly compact… I meant it! Pretty much all mascaras can fit in a mug, and you’ve got the whole world of liquid liners and eye pencils to choose from for filling your mug.
The ‘Morning Person’ Mug
If you know a creature of habit that must have a cup of coffee with the morning paper, this could be the perfect gift for them.
- Pocket Sudoku. Much like computers, pocket Sudoku books have been getting smaller and smaller – to conveniently fit in mugs for a great filler gift!
- Small pencils. You can’t do a Sudoku book without a small pencil, it just wouldn’t be… right. You can pick up a pack just like the ones you get in IKEA pretty easy.
- Luxury coffee sachets. As I’m writing all of this, I can feel you judging me for how much I talk about coffee. They just make such great filler gifts, you can get such nice coffee in little individual sachets! What’s not to love!
- Magnifying Glass. Have you seen how small some of the newspapers print?! Not only that, but your recipient can look sophisticated AF doing their best Sherlock Holmes impression over the morning paper.
The ‘Keep it Together’ Mug
Life can get a little much for everyone every now and then, and that’s okay! Putting together a mug full of thoughtful little gifts can be enough to cheer them up, but if not? The fillers inside are sure to help!
- Stress ball. Sometimes, you just need to squeeze something… really hard. Boss getting you down? Squeeze it. Home life a little hectic? Give it a squeeze. Debilitating road rage? Grab that ball and squeeze my friend!
- Bath bomb. A relaxing hot bath absolutely helps to cure many of my mental ills. When life is getting on top of me, I always reach for a bath bomb! Infused with essential oils for some low-key aromatherapy, they’re the perfect weapon against a low mood. Bath bombs come in so many sizes, so you’re sure to find one that would fit snugly in your mug.
- Fidget cube. Spinners, buttons, toggles, switches – anything to keep your hands busy and away from strangling the next person to pile work on your desk is a win. They’re also usually compact, making a great addition to a mug gift.
There’s no better way use a mug gift to add a little sunshine into your friend’s life than by literally telling the rain to go away! It also helps when the mug looks so damn adorable.
To finish off your gift, wrap in cellophane and tie with a bow so everyone can see your lovely presentation with all of your thoughtful little gifts inside it. Its also much easier to do that than try to stuff the mug and its filling back into the box it came in!
There are thousands of instances where giving a mug filled with goodies is a great shout. We have only scratched the surface here people! If you want more ideas for mugs to put your little treats in, check out our full range of mugs here. Are you feeling more inspired to go forth and gift all the mugs? Maybe you have the perfect combination of mug fillers that goes down a storm every time? Let us know in the comments below!
TL;DR – If it can fit in a mug, you can give it as a gift.