Sweet Sixteen Gift Ideas

Updated on September 11, 2008
V.L. asks from Sandwich, IL
22 answers

My daughter and her friends will be turning sixteen this year. The first of them is having a party this weekend and I'm having trouble thinking of a symbolic, yet inexpensive gift for the occasion. I'm thinking that this will be the first of many and would like to have some ideas that I can use for all of them. Also, an idea for my own daughters sweet sixteen. Any ideas would be much appreciated~thanks in advance!

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S.E.

answers from Chicago on

i know you have a daughter and I had a son but on his 16th birthday he went to the Chicago Cubs game for the very first time. He has been back many times since then but he had a blast.
Is there someplace that she would love to go that would hold great memories for years to come that would bring so much joy.
You could still have a party for her But the greatest gift a parent can give their child is an every last memory.

S.

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I.K.

answers from Chicago on

Things Remembered has a lot of affordable jewelry options that you can get personalized. I got my niece a sterling silver initial necklace which came with a silver keepsake box that I was able to get engraved with her full name. She really liked it, and she was 18 at the time.

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M.P.

answers from Chicago on

When I was 16 my mom paid for me to see a play with a bunch of friends. If you're a guest at a party you could buy her 2 tickets to a show so she could go there on a date.

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D.C.

answers from Chicago on

For her gift how about a nice gold or white gold ring with her birthstone or a couple "real" diamonds in it? That way it can be her right hand ring and she can wear it always and think about her family, especially if she's away at college in a few years?

My parents got me a nice stereo for my room, which I in turn brought away to college. It was a nice, practical gift.

You could bring the girls to a make your own pottery place, there's one in downtown Wheaton where you paint the pottery, that would be fun. Or what if you check into a craft store locally and see if they have a jewelry class or cake decorating class where they can make something together, and then you can take a picture of them in the class and put it in a matching frame for all of them? Just an idea. Thatt's sweet of you to do this for the girls too:-)

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J.S.

answers from Chicago on

Check out the jewelry at somethingsilver.com -- they have a lot of pieces with quotes written on them, or with words such as "dream", "love", etc. I have a sister-in-law who is about to turn 20. I purchased her this type of jewelry a couple times for special occassions -- milestone birthdays, graduation, etc. The prices range from $20 to pretty expensive, so you should be able to find something nice and resonable.

Good luck!

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C.H.

answers from Chicago on

How about an Italian Charm bracelet; they are pretty inexpensive? You can purchase the bracelet and add a charm each year until they complete college. Its very nice to get gifts in the mail so a packet from you each year will say a lot; and you can tell the girls that you expect to have the bracelets returned to you when they complete college. Of course its up to you, if you decide to keep them or not. Then you can give them back or add another charm, at their wedding or any other special occasion.

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C.S.

answers from Chicago on

I think a nice sterling silver sweet 16 charm that is engraved with her birthdate is a very nice idea. If she dosnt already have a charm bracelet 9which are making a HUGE comeback), then the charm will be a good start.

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A.C.

answers from Chicago on

Well, I'm not sure if you have enough to do this but certainly with your daughter's help you could make one. The best gifts I ever got from friends are memory books/ scrapbooks, filled with pictures, stories and our many inside jokes. It's an inexpensive, yet extremely thoughtful gift that the girls will cherish for years to come. Good luck!

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M.W.

answers from Chicago on

V.,
Maybe a necklace(or bracelet) with the same charm on it for all the girls. That way they will feel "connected" as a group and always remember their 16th birthday and friends when they wear them. I think kohl's usually has boxed silver necklaces for not alot of money.
For my niece's 16th birthday...I took her on the Metra to downtown to see Wicked and then I took her out to dinner. She absolutely loved it! If your daughter has already been to Wicked...I heard that the Jersey Boys was a really good show too! Good Luck!

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B.D.

answers from Chicago on

Two ideas: 1. when I was on vacation (years before I turned 16) I found a pearl. My mother had it set in a ring for me, and gave it to me on my 16th b-day. 2. For my 1-yr wedding anniversay (paper), my mother made a calendar for me; the calendar contained pictures with me and my husband with special people (or special moments) that were reflective of that month. All of our immediate family members, and close friends birthdays were in it with corresponding picutures and ages representive of that year. Perhaps something like this would be a nice way to capture the year for when she was sixteen? All the best to you and your family!

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R.R.

answers from Peoria on

I don't know about the friends but I like the balloons idea w/ the $.
For your girls since you have 2 so close in age, it's an old idea but why start putting together a hope chest? They will be heading to college before long.
things like kitchen dish rags, towels,a few pots or pans, bath towels, wash clothes, table clothes, silverware, bedding, dishes. Anything you can think to help set up a home really.

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I.D.

answers from Chicago on

Hi V.,
I have an idea for you. I have a Pandora Bracelet. It is a charm bracelet except the charms screw on instead of the traditional dangle. I have 2 daughters of my own and I am planning to get them one when they turn sixteen. That way every year I can add to it. They sell the Pandora bracelet at the Little Traveler store in Geneva. You can also check out their website Pandora.com
Hope this helped-
I.

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N.B.

answers from Chicago on

Here a few ideas for you. my niece just turned 16 and this is what we gave her.
1. classic movie Sixteen Candles
2. money, 16 singles in card or in balloons
3. gift cards

Good luck to you!

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B.B.

answers from Chicago on

A really cute idea that I did for my niece was a really pretty engraved keychain. I put her name on it and a little message. I looks like those silver bracelets they sell at Tiffany's. She loved it- and still carries it (she's 22 now). I also made her a "car kit" with snow brush, little carrier for the glove box that holds her insurance card and registration, jumper cables, etc. I put it all in a crate and she continues to have it in her car.
Just some ideas!
Good luck!
B.

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L.W.

answers from Chicago on

I love the matching charms idea for your daughters and friends! An added gift for your daughters could be passing on special pieces of jewelry or keepsakes of your own or something that belonged to a grandmother or aunt. Very meaningful, yet very inexpensive! I come from a pretty small family, but I was given a bracelet that had belonged to my great grandmother whom I'd known as a small child. It doesn't fit my wrist anymore, but I still treasure it. Congratulations on such a milestone in your lives!

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K.C.

answers from Chicago on

My favorite generic gift is a framed 4 leaf clover. You can get them at Red Envelope online and I think they are adorable. If you sign up to recieve Emails from Red Envelope, they are always sending you discount codes too. Or you could try to search couponshare.com for coupon codes to use. Hope this helps!

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J.R.

answers from Chicago on

I think charms/necklaces with the girl's first initial are pretty popular right now.

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B.V.

answers from Chicago on

V.:

When I had my cotillion, I received a Porcelain shoe, porcelain doll "with my color dress and my color hair", a ring with my sign, a bible, a diary, a rosary. These are items that I still to this date have and remember that date. A Cotillion or Sweet Sixteen is a meaningful day. A day that means that the girl is now becoming a young women. The gift has to be symbolic. You can also try a charm that says "sweet 16". Those I'm sure are inexpensive.

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E.B.

answers from Cincinnati on

When my cousin turned 16, I got her a Coach keychain. Either that, or Coach sells little slim wallets where she can keep her new driver's license. It was a hit!

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L.P.

answers from Chicago on

I don't know if you are crafty or not, but you could make them all matching scrapbooks to put their photos in (could even be photos from each of their parties). They don't have to be big scrapbooks, and if you make them all at once, you'll have all your gifts ready. Your daughters might enjoy helping as well.

On the other hand, I REALLY like the suggestion of matching charm bracelets/necklaces - very cute!

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J.D.

answers from Decatur on

When my middle daughter turned 16,I had a pizza party for her and asked everyone to bring items suitable for a new driver.. She got everything imaginable from an auto ( insurance ) policy case to road maps,etc. Some of her friends were quite creative including one mom who sent a glove box size phone book. I inheirited the car from my daughter and the phone book which tho outdated is still handy to have!!! She got bobble head dolls for the windows/dash area,cd holder for under the visor,snow scraper/brush combination,I think she even got a key chain or two. A gift from you could include any of the above including a key to your car on a key ring. I don't know how much you are thinking of spending on friends' bdays,but gas cards with restriction for gas only might be a great gift to consider. Good luck with both for your daughter and friends!!!! J.

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S.B.

answers from Chicago on

I love the matching charm bracelet idea and I also love the scrapbook idea too. Pottery painting is something I enjoy now so that sounds like fun. I have been the Color Me Mine in Wheaton... I think they would have fun. Plus, there is the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory right around the corner from there. YUM. The special key chain is also really sweet. Oh my, do all of them!! =) I think it depends on your daughter... is she really girly? Does she have scrapbooks now? Does she wear jewelry? You will know which idea she would absolutely love and maybe your second daughter would enjoy something else from the list of great ideas all the mamas have come up with on here. I think it is wonderful that you are thinking of her friends as well. You are so sweet!

Happy Sweet 16 to all your girls!