What object should I personalize with an engraved phrase for a gift?
February 4, 2010 1:39 PM   Subscribe

ValentinesGiftFilter: I want to engrave/stamp/otherwise permanently mark a quirky phrase into ... something ... as a gift for my boyfriend. What should that something be?

I want to put the phrase "You are my sandwich" on something for my boyfriend as a valentine's day gift. Before your minds fall into the collective gutter, that line came from a 30 Rock episode where Liz compares her embarrassing Beeper King boyfriend to a good-but-not-perfect hoagie -- comforting, tasty, just "not THE sandwich I want to eat forever"(at which point Boyfriend turned to me and asked "Am I your sandwich?" ... and I, predictably, started muttering incomprehensively about lettuce and mayo).

Anyway, I really like the mix of irreverent humor and yet, uh, affirming loveydoveyness in that phrase and I'd like to find something fun to put it on. The caveat is that Boyfriend has a pretty clean/discriminating design aesthetic -- meaning I don't really want to paint it on a wooden pictureframe or give him something with too much of a macaroni-art feel. I was thinking of trying to get it engraved, but most of the engraveable objects I see online are pretty ... portentous-looking, and might look silly (see: pewter mug, silver cufflinks). At this point I'm leaning toward a pen or maybe a keyfob, but I just feel like maybe there's something cooler or more fun out there ... any thoughts, MeFites? It doesn't have to be engraved, either -- the words just have to be nicely lettered. Bonus points if it's something useful.

Just so you get a sense of our/his style, in the past presents have been small-but-not-cheap things we'd enjoy (tix to a favorite show, a DVD documentary, nice leather gloves for him, really good face cream for me, etc). He is involved in design and tends to like clean lines & modern styling & general non-superfluousness.

(I also realize it's only a week away from V-day. It's OK if it's not possible to get this done in time; I'm still interested in your ideas.)

Thanks, as always!
posted by alleycat01 to Grab Bag (30 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I bet you could get a simple silver money clip engraved quickly and easily.
posted by mkultra at 1:45 PM on February 4, 2010

Best answer: How about--the handle of a decent chef's knife (if he cooks)

Or a flask!

Or--------------------a lamp?

The chef's knife is the closest thing to a decent idea I can get, I guess.
posted by dervish at 1:46 PM on February 4, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: This guy will stamp you a good luck coin for free with the phrase of your choice, if you explain why you want it to him and he thinks it's worth it. Hopefully he's not swamped.

It's cool in a kitchsky kind of way, but maybe that's exactly what your boyfriend would hate. You'd know better than me, but there's pictures of the finished product on the site so you can decide for yourself.
posted by mccarty.tim at 1:47 PM on February 4, 2010 [3 favorites]

You could get him a wallet with a little engrave patch on it.
posted by biochemist at 1:47 PM on February 4, 2010

a coin!
posted by abitha! at 1:49 PM on February 4, 2010

Paper weight?
posted by sallybrown at 1:49 PM on February 4, 2010

due to lack of preview I was beaten so, seconding mccarty.tim
posted by abitha! at 1:49 PM on February 4, 2010

Best answer: Definitely a knife. And when you give it to him, present it with a block of really good cheese and some meat, and maybe some unsliced bread. Y'know. For the sandwich.
posted by Tomorrowful at 1:53 PM on February 4, 2010 [8 favorites]

Does he take his lunch to work? If so, in keeping with the sandwich theme, what about something like a lunch box? Could be sweet, and he'd use it every day.
posted by cider at 1:55 PM on February 4, 2010 [1 favorite]

I like the chef's knife idea.
A butter knife would be cute, but maybe too silly for you

Perhaps you can score a sandwich glass lamp and etch it on the base..
posted by caveat at 1:56 PM on February 4, 2010

Credit card bottle opener. That one's a bit expensive but I'm sure you can find a cheaper plain one.
posted by woolylambkin at 1:58 PM on February 4, 2010

A friend of mine's boyfriend gave her an iPod Nano with a personal message engraved on the back.
posted by Diag at 2:03 PM on February 4, 2010

Ipod touch
posted by digividal at 2:10 PM on February 4, 2010

Response by poster: This is why I LOVE metafilter! Some seriously good ideas here.

I just submitted my story for the 3-word lucky coin -- mccarty.tim and abitha!, that's the perfect balance of simplicity and kitsch and I think he'd really like the story behind it. I think I'm going hedge my bets and do the chef's knife (score again, mccarty.tim) + actual sandwich components (so clever, tomorrowful!), too.
posted by alleycat01 at 2:11 PM on February 4, 2010

Personalized pencils
Or a lunch bag (embroidered).
Beach towel
posted by BoscosMom at 2:14 PM on February 4, 2010

A tatoo........
posted by digividal at 2:30 PM on February 4, 2010

A Swiss Army Knife. I don't care what your boyfriend's like, everyone needs a Swiss Army Knife.

Leather journals are nice, too.
posted by i_am_a_fiesta at 2:34 PM on February 4, 2010

How superstitious are you? (or you boyfriend?) Some people believe if a lover gives you a knife as a gift this means the love will end soon. Because of this superstition, it is common that the gift of a knife will be given along with some money so that the recipient can give back the money, saving the relationship from being severed by the giving of a sharp blade.

(but I vote for a knife and a penny)
posted by ninebucks at 2:36 PM on February 4, 2010

You could put it on a sandwich using these cookie cutters.
posted by mrsshotglass at 2:39 PM on February 4, 2010 [1 favorite]

Red or pink iPod Nano.
posted by spinifex23 at 2:43 PM on February 4, 2010

Everything. Look up sign generators. Here's one. Make funny pictures and change his screen wallpaper, make a slide show for his screen saver, etc. Print out pictures and cards and put them anyplace he could possible find them.
posted by theora55 at 2:48 PM on February 4, 2010

I think that would look cool on personalized m&ms.
posted by emyd at 3:00 PM on February 4, 2010

If you are going to the trouble of buying a chefs knife with something engraved, make sure it is at least a halfway decent knife (once you start really cooking much, that is the one knife that you will use all of the time). Also, I would find it a bit uncomfortable to use certain knives if the handle was engraved, so make sure you think carefully about the style of handle and how you guys would hold the knife when using it. It would be a shame if you got him this, and then ended up buying a new knife down the road because this one wasn't comfortable to use.

Alternatively, if you want to put a decent amount of money towards something, a panini press is a fun sandwich related gift that is certainly big enough to be engraved (my wife bought one, and I've made more sandwiches in the last month than in the year leading up to it. One of the best gifts I have been given in quite some time).
posted by markblasco at 3:13 PM on February 4, 2010

Best answer: If that were my "nickname" I would love it engraved on an old fashioned/rocks/cocktail glass. Maybe just "My Sandwich" because it would be a double entendre of the joke about a "liquid lunch" plus the meaning the two of you have. I'm sure they have those at a store like Things Remembered. Just my two cents.
posted by carlh at 4:12 PM on February 4, 2010 [1 favorite]

Seconding the recommendation of a nice money clip. It's classy, it lasts and he can use it and look at frequently.
posted by Simon Barclay at 4:14 PM on February 4, 2010

Bathrobe! Especially if it makes him look like a boxer :)
posted by Madamina at 6:01 PM on February 4, 2010

How about a really cool stainless steel lunch box? I am looking for one now.... You know, to put is sandwich in.
posted by beccaj at 7:10 PM on February 4, 2010

i have a really adorable old-fashioned silver cheese knife that has "spread love" engraved along the blade.

so you should probably do something rad like that.
posted by chickadee at 7:39 PM on February 4, 2010

Best answer: I would also suggest the Alchemy function on etsy.com. In case you're not aware, etsy is a marketplace for artisans to sell their wares. So everything is handmade. The Alchemy function is where customers/users can submit a "special request" to someone to make something one-of-a-kind just for them. If you were to find something you like on etsy (which shouldn't be hard, as the items truly run the gamut), you can ask the seller/artist to make a personalized one.

How cool is that?!
posted by wwartorff at 7:47 PM on February 4, 2010

Response by poster: Awesome stuff, all. I just ordered the knife (although, hoo boy, chef's knives are expensive! Boyfriend already has a pretty good chef's knife anyway, so I middle-of-the-roaded it a bit with a decent serrated/bread knife) from the Oregon Knife Shop. They engrave on the blade itself so the handle comfort isn't an issue, and a super nice guy from the company spent 15 minutes on the phone with me just generally answering my questions and assuaging any concerns about what fonts would look good, etc. I'm going to add the cheese & unsliced bread, too.

carlh, Boyfriend is a big Scotch drinker and I may have to use the etched glasses in the future as I freaking love the wordplay. (Although, haha, maybe he'll get tired of having stuff with "sandwich" all over it in his apartment.)

Favorited wwartorff and etsy, too, for future use. And finally, I incorrectly attributed the original knife idea -- sorry, dervish. You rock!
posted by alleycat01 at 9:14 AM on February 5, 2010

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