10 Tips to Remember When You Design
Your Own Custom Military Gifts
By: Scott Alexander
There are at least 10 tips to remember when you design
your own custom military gifts. Giving gifts to military
personnel is slightly different than giving them to civilians.
However, keeping the following tips in mind can help the
donor save money, time, and effort, as well as ensure the
gift will be well-received.
10 tips on how to design custom military gifts
It really doesn’t matter if the gift is bought or self-made, as
long as the gift is given from the heart. However, these guidelines should be followed when designing
the custom military gift:
1. Consider who the gift is for: Think about the recipient’s age, activity level, military status, health,
hobbies, likes and dislikes.
2. Determine the primary purpose of the gift: Is it for boosting the person’s morale, showing love and
support, or supplying needed items?
3. Consider the location where the gift will be used: Will the location place any restrictions on the type
of present or its use? Is the gift to be used while the person is overseas or stateside? Will it require any
special conditions or precautions?
4. Choose a present that can easily be personalized or customized, such as these: gift cards, apparel,
photos/photo album, scrap books, dog tags, shadow boxes or display boxes, certificates, mugs, magnets,
stationery sets, care packages, pillows, memory quilts, memento boxes
5. Surf online arts & crafts and do-it-yourself sites for gift ideas, instructions and tools that can be
utilized for creating personalized or customized items. If online research isn’t feasible, then visit the
6. Familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations relating to packages being sent to service personnel
stationed overseas. Especially do this if it’s being sent to Iran, Kuwait or Afghanistan. There are
numerous websites and organizations that will provide you with this information.
7. Consider giving several little gifts if the person is on deployment rather than one large gift, unless it’s
for a special occasion such as a birthday, an anniversary, or a holiday.
8. Always include a part of yourself in the gifting to increase the sense of being connected. Send an up-
to-date photo of yourself or your most recent activities, write a note, draw a picture, record a short
video clip, share your own interests and hobbies, or send a self-made card.
9. Ensure that the package is sturdy and well-taped before shipping it overseas. Especially make sure
that anything fragile is well-protected by bubble wrap. The post office and various military organizations
will provide guidelines for packaging and shipping the package. Remember that it will take several weeks
to get to its destination and will be tossed about or have other heavy packages placed upon it.
10. Be sure that you properly file the customs paperwork with the post office. The government does not
guarantee your package will safely reach its destination so do not send anything of great value or that
cannot easily be replaced. Also be aware that all packages are inspected in Kuwait before being sent on
to Iran or Afghanistan and any restricted items will be confiscated by the inspectors.
Although this may sound like a difficult process, it’s fairly simple once you’ve become familiar with it.
Sending a token of gratitude to well-deserving military personnel is certainly worth the time, money and
effort. If you follow these 10 tips when you create your custom military gift, then you’ll become an
expert before you know it.