Favorite Gifts for College Students From Uncommon Goods (2021)

If you’re looking for something different, meaningful and fabulous for your college student or teen, look no further. We’ve found unique gifts from one of our favorite sites, Uncommon Goods.  Not only do they sell presents you can’t find anywhere, and offer an inventive way to sort gifts by your recipient’s interests, but they also do much good for the world.

Note: We are a reader-supported site and receive compensation from purchases made through some of the links in this post. 

Uncommon Goods gifts for college students and teens

1. Storm Cloud

Your teen will be mesmerized with this desk top cloud that changes appearance as barometric pressure rises and falls. The special liquid inside the glass crystallizes in different patterns for a chance to watch weather up close and personal.

storm cloud

2. Vintage National Park Puzzle

Working on puzzles has been an activity that’s become wildly popular during the pandemic. This 1000-piece puzzle celebrates US National Parks in vintage imagery.

national parks puzzle

3.The Path Necklace

Featuring a powerful quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson, this beautiful piece provides a reminder to forge your own trail. Green tourmaline promotes creativity, and smoky quartz calms to clear the psyche. The silver bar represents their path.

necklace with Emerson quote

4.Custom Pet Pillows

Personalize a pillow with your pet’s likeness. Just submit a photo and it will be used to create a keepsake pillow that your teen will cherish. Especially if they will be off to college soon and want a reminder of their best buddy to take with them.

Unique holiday gifts

5.Long Distance Friendship Lamp 

Sync up your lamps via WiFi. Then you keep one lamp and give one to your kid, your mom, your sister or a friend and when you touch your lamp, theirs will light up as well even if they are clear across the country.

Graduation gifts for girls

6.Peanut Butter Sampler

For your peanut butter enthusiast, this set of 6 delicious variations of small batch samplers includes 6 yummy flavors. Handmade in Indiana.

peanut butter sampler

7. Smartphone-Controlled Paper Airplane

For the aviator-fan, this Bluetooth-enabled airplane can be controlled by a smartphone. Crash-proof carbon fiber is the “paper” to be folded and then flown at speeds of up to 25 MPH.

paper airplane

8. 1000 Colors Puzzle

This super-popular 1000 piece puzzle will be a challenge for anyone used to following the photo from the box top to put it together. Each piece represents a unique hue and family members will have to rely on an “intuitive sense of color” as they place each pigmented jigsaw piece in place.

color puzzle

9. Hand-Held Maze

The object of these hand-held puzzles is to move a ball through corridors, tiers, gears, and more until it emerges from the puzzle. Four different hand-held mazes are available to challenge your teen or young adult.


10.DIY Mochi Ice Cream Kit

For your budding cook who is also a Japanese-food enthusiast, this kit has green tea and cocoa powder to add to ice cream to create these unique frozen ice cream balls.

ice cream kit

11.Fix it Kit

This portable collection of handy tools will keep your teen’s life in good repair. The compact set includes all the basics for dorm and first apartment living: Hammer, LED Flashlight, Pliers, Tape Measure, Screwdriver with 10 assorted screwdriver bits. Available in pink or black.

tool kit

12,Embroidered College Pillows

These collegiate pillows are embroidered with all the highlights that make each college unique. This extra stylish and personal throw pillow is a keepsake gift that your teen or young adult will enjoy for years to come.

embroidered college pillow

13. Tea Bag Pocket Mug

For your tea-drinking son or daughter, this clever mug has a pocket for their tea bag.

Unique holiday gifts

14.Game Used Baseball Bat Bottle Openers

Here’s great gift for the baseball buff in your life. These baseball bat bottle openers are handmade from game-day bats swung by MLB players.

Unique holiday gifts

15.Mother & Daughter Letter Book Set

This letter book set includes 40 cards and hundreds of writing prompts that help you get started creating a legacy for your daughter.

Unique holiday gifts

16.Tabletop Cornhole

Beginners and pros alike will enjoy this wooden, tabletop corn hole game.

Unique holiday gifts

17. Create Your Own Reel Viewer

Who knew that your college student (or anyone in your family) could create their own retro reel-viewer with a customized disk of their own photos.

reel viewer

18.Make Your Own Hot Sauce Kit

If your teen loves spicy foods, they can follow simple rules and make their your own hot sauce as fiery, or not, as they want.

Unique holiday gifts

19.Game of Phones 

Pick a prompt card and see who can use their iPhone the fastest to do as directed.

Unique holiday gifts

20.Scratch Map

The world is their oyster so help your teens track their travels with this “scratch-off-where-you’ve-been map.”

Unique holiday gifts

You May Also Enjoy:

21 Uncommon Goods Gifts for Under $25

About Grown and Flown

Mary Dell Harrington and Lisa (Endlich) Heffernan are the co-founders of Grown and Flown the #1 site for parents of teens, college students and young adults, reaching millions of parents every month. They are writers (Lisa is a New York Times bestselling author), moms, wives and friends. They started the Grown and Flown Parents Facebook Group and are co-authors of Grown and Flown: How to Support Your Teen, Stay Close as a Family, and Raise Independent Adults (Flatiron Books) now in paperback.

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