Great First Apartment Housewarming Gifts

From Kitchen Paraphernalia to Cash

Moving into a first apartment or home is an exciting thing for anyone, but especially for a college student or young 20something. Of course, if you're the one paying the rent and/or outfitting the ktichen and bathroom with essentials, you may figure toilet paper, sponges and oh, first and last month's rent is plenty. But if you're in the market for great housewarming gifts, here are a few ideas.


of 09

'The First Apartment: Cool Design for Small Spaces'

Young man moving into apartment
Westend61 / Getty Images
Kyle Schuneman's new interior design book is aimed squarely at 20somethings - who live in tiny spaces, have tiny budgets and whose landlords have a deathly fear of paint or hammers - but who still want their quarters to sport some style. An audience, in other words, of our kids. It's a great book, with tips ranging from apartment hunting (flush the toilets, check the cell signal, map out the big stuff) to furniture foraging, DIY (how to camouflage Great Aunt Martha's floral loveseat) and creative, quirky design that reflects the renter's personality. Best of all, the 10 apartments in the book are real ones, rented by real people on real budgets. This book is a gem.
Photo by Jackie Burrell

Help that new studio apartment feel cozy by whipping up this simple, fringed, fleece blanket. It will keep your college kid or 20something warm and cozy, and remind him of home. And a fleece blanket is a great project for younger siblings to make too. More »

of 09

Cooking Classes

Cooking class
Caiaimage/Agnieszka Olek / Getty Images

Hankering to whip up some Tikka Masala? Perhaps Pad Thai? Or simply a lesson in how not to burn toast? There’s a cool cooking class out there for everyone, from kitchen newbie to culinary master. Get a cooking class gift certificate for your college kid or 20something from one of the major gourmet stores or any small indie foodie boutique.

of 09

A DIY Ruffled Apron

It's the coordinating ruffles that make this DIY ruffled apron so adorable. Go cute with stripes, checks and cherries, or use collegiate fabric to make an alumni-perfect apron for tailgates and football-watching parties. Photo by Jackie Burrell
Every new cook needs an apron. Make it a DIY ruffled apron - using adorable patterns and college-prints - and you've got the perfect accessory for a tailgate or that first dinner party. This easy-to-make craft project goes together in an hour, makes excellent use of mascot art - hello Arizona Wildcats! - and it's a great way to use up fabric scraps too.
Young woman using cookbook
Yuri_Arcurs / Getty Images

From student grub to "Sam the Cooking Guy" tome of fantastic, 20something-ready recipes, there's a cookbook to suit every taste. Pair it with a whisk and mixing bowls, or a really good knife and cutting board. Then invite yourself over for dinner... More »

A DIY family cookbook is one of the loveliest housewarming gifts you can give your favorite new apartment dweller. Photo by Jackie Burrell
Your kid may be a whiz with a whisk or adept at flipping fried eggs, but there comes a point when he starts craving Aunt Sylvia's killer cookies and your homemade macaroni and cheese. And whether you go techno-fabulous or decidedly old school, a DIY family cookbook is a perfect little project. Here's how to turn the contents of those tattered old recipe cards into something wonderful, practical and fun. More »
DIY Duvet. Photo by Jackie Burrell

There's nothing like colorful bed linens to warm up a bare-walled first apartment. But you don't have to spend a fortune to add color and style. Not when you can make your own DIY duvet cover, pillowcase, pillows and throws. Here are instructions for making stylish bed linens that coordinate perfectly. More »

UGA ornaments
Photo by Jackie Burrell

That first Christmas tree is a spartan affair - all branches, very little bling. That's because holiday ornaments are expensive, especially when you're buying them by the dozen. So why not make a set of utterly personalized ornaments - glossy college-themed balls that salute their alma mater, clever little people and glitzy ornaments that hold cherished photographs? Here are a few DIY ideas to get you started. More »

A Monopoly game-themed gift box makes a perfect housewarming or graduation gift for any 20-something. Photo by Jackie Burrell

Sure, you could hand that new apartment dweller or homeowner an envelope with cash or a gift card to Sur La Table, Williams Sonoma or a local supermarket. But getting a card or cash, welcome as those things are, is much more fun if the packaging is clever. So why not riff on the real estate theme with a Monopoly-themed box? More »