Congratulations! You’ve made it through the first year of marriage, and it’s time to celebrate with a slice of thawed wedding cake and a thoughtful anniversary gift. The traditional first-anniversary theme is paper, which symbolizes delicate beginnings and an unwritten future. Paper may seem like a limiting category at first, but as you’ll soon find out, there are a surprising number of ways you can get creative and find that perfect gift for your husband. Whether you’re going for sweet or sexy, funny or heartfelt, something (or somethings) from this list should do the trick.
Traditional First Year Anniversary Gifts for Him
1. Funny Anniversary Card
You can’t go wrong with an anniversary classic — a paper card. The usual Hallmark cards seem corny or insincere? Maybe you’d rather make your guy laugh with a sweet-but-funny anniversary card. You’ll get a good chuckle yourself when you see the look on his face as you hand him a jumbo-sized envelope (it’s a whopping 8.5 by 11 inches!). That also means there’s plenty of room inside for you to write a more personal message.
View this Still Hate You Anniversary Card on Amazon
2. 175 Best Date Ideas: The Ultimate Bucket List of Dates for Couples
He’ll likely love ready-made date night ideas and you of course would love to participate. Here’s something you’ll both love.
View this 175 Best Date Ideas Book on Amazon
3-4. Sex Checks / Sexy Truth or Dare
This set of 60 paper checks is for “maintaining balance in the bedroom,” and it can spice things up. The tasks range from naughty favors to mandatory poetry. You can customize each one to suit both of your interests with fill-in-the-blank answers and check boxes. Take turns picking out your favorite checks, or even leave one on the bedside table for him as a special surprise.
View these Sex Checks on Amazon
The Sexy Truth or Dare Pick a Stick game is a similarly flirtatious and paper-based gift idea. Each stick features a truth and dare side to inspire bedroom antics as well as interesting conversations.
View this Sexy Truth or Dare on Amazon
5. Fill-in-the-Blank Love Journal
A personalized love journal is another way to express your undying affection. The What I Love About You fill-in-the-blank book provides prompts for you to describe your significant other, such as “You are my favorite ________ in the world” and “I believe we’d make a great ________ team.” As the product description suggests, “make it as mushy, racy, or witty as you choose!”
View this Fill in the Love Journal on Amazon
6-7. Photo Album / Hanging Photo Display
If you want to get a bit crafty and include a more personal touch for your paper gift, consider a vintage photo album or a hanging photo display, complete with pictures of memorable activities and places you’ve experienced together. The photo album is a great way to immortalize special events; you could even chronicle your relationship, from your first date to your engagement, wedding, honeymoon, and important moments from your first year of marriage. Leave a slot at the end for a picture from your first anniversary!
View this Vintage Photo Album on Amazon
The hanging photo display is more decorative, allowing you to showcase your favorite pictures in a single exhibit and brighten up a room with happy memories. If you want to surprise your hubby, you can choose your favorite photos in advance, then set it up somewhere in your home where he will see it when he walks into the room. A naughtier variation of the photo album or display could involve personal pictures for him to enjoy.
View this Umbra Hangit Photo Display on Amazon
8. First-Anniversary Toilet Paper
Anniversary-themed toilet paper is a great gag gift if you’re looking to match the paper theme while also giving something of practical value. This roll says “Happy 1st ‘Paper’ Anniversary,” so your husband will be reminded of your special day every time he visits the bathroom. The night before, you can replace the regular toilet paper with your anniversary gift and try to hold in your giggles until he discovers the surprise.
View this Romantic Gift Toilet Paper on Amazon
9. Paper Plates
Another practical-yet-silly gag gift is a set of paper plates, which will elicit a sarcastic “thanks” from your beloved and save you both a night of doing dishes. You can even buy a themed set, such as a football frenzy design, and make plans for finger-food game nights or friend get-togethers. To be extra thoughtful, you can pick out a set that features the logo of his favorite sports team.
View these Football Dinner Plates on Amazon
Piñatas aren’t just for kids! A papier-mâché numero uno to represent your first year together is a fun way to bestow smaller gifts. Fill the piñata with his favorite candies, pictures of you, gift cards to restaurants he’s always wanted to try, dollar bills, or thoughtful notes. Hang your piñata from a tree in the yard, then grab a bat or broom and let him go to town. Remember to blindfold him so that he has to work for his present (and who knows — maybe that blindfold will come in handy later that night).
View this Multicolor Piñata on Amazon
11. Star Wars Origami Kit
Like piñata-whacking, the art of paper folding is not just for the under-twelve crowd. The 36 figures in this origami kit provide a unique diversion for any Star Wars enthusiast, with everything from light-sabers to the Death Star. Origami is a new skill you can learn together while you grunt in exasperation at the difficulties of constructing Jabba the Hutt. There are also training chapters for beginner origamists to help with the basics until you can get to folding the Millennium Falcon.
View this Star Wars Origami Project on Amazon
12. 3D Puzzle
Jigsaw puzzles can be fun, but why not turn your gift-giving up a notch with a 3D paper puzzle? Here’s one 3D puzzle suggestion a Game of Thrones fan may love:
View this 3D King’s Landing Puzzle on Amazon
13. Swear Word Coloring Book
Everyone needs a way to blow off steam, and a swear-word-filled coloring session is one way to goof around together and relax. Grab a set of coloring pencils and cut out a couple pages from the Go F*ck Yourself coloring book so you and your significant other can work side by side. You can take your pick of forty different expletives surrounded by intricate patterns and color to your heart’s content.
View this Swear Word Coloring Book on Amazon
14. Cards Against Humanity
As the self-proclaimed “party game for horrible people,” Cards Against Humanity is the risqué version of Apples to Apples. Using paper playing cards, one player asks a question from a black card (“Why am I sticky?”) and the other players answer with their funniest white card (“Lumberjack fantasies”). If your husband has a tasteless sense of humor, Cards Against Humanity will provide an evening of pee-your-pants hilarity. Invite your friends over and have a good time playing a few rounds over drinks.
View Cards Against Humanity on Amazon
If you’d rather not buy them on Amazon, we have this article for you: Where to Buy Cards Against Humanity In Stores and Online (10+ Places)
15. A Game of Thrones Boxset
Books are another classic paper product, and you can make this gift extra fancy by going all out with a leather-bound boxset, like the one for A Game of Thrones. This boxset is the ultimate collector’s item and features the first five books in the series (Let’s face it — the last two books aren’t going to exist any time soon).
View this Game of Thrones Boxset on Amazon
16. The Princess Bride
Reading can be a wonderful shared experience for couples, even for those who have vastly different tastes. If you both enjoy stories, you can create a new bedtime ritual and read a book aloud. One modern fantasy classic that has pleased both male and female readers alike is William Goldman’s The Princess Bride, which reads like a contemporary fairytale with plenty of adventure, romance, and humor throughout.
View The Princess Bride on Amazon
Although a calendar is a good paper-based gift, it may only be relevant if your anniversary is in December or January. However, if you like the idea of a productivity tool, opt for a customizable daily planner instead. Since this planner is not date-specific, this gift can be given at any time of year. It includes daily, weekly, and monthly calendar sections as well as pages for notes and goals, a pen holder, and card slots. The sleek design makes for an attractive present for any workaholic husband.
View this Daily Organizer and Planner on Amazon
18. Pocket Journal
A pocket journal or traveler’s notebook is a great gift if your guy loves to jot down his thoughts on the go, whether it’s notes for work, grocery lists, story ideas, business concepts, or travel plans. The Robrasim-brand notebook is made with high-quality paper and leather binding that feels smooth to the touch. It also comes in four different colors: black, brown, coffee, and wine. (black, brown, and coffee shown below)
View this Handmade Traveler’s Notebook on Amazon
19-20. Travel Guide / Road Atlas
If you’re the type of couple who loves to daydream about faraway places, you can encourage future vacation-planning through a travel guide or road atlas. National Geographic’s Destinations of a Lifetime: 225 of the World’s Most Amazing Places includes full-page color photos of jaw-dropping sights around the globe, along with plenty of facts about each destination.
View this National Geographic Photograph Book on Amazon
With a North American road atlas, you could plan out a route for your next trip together and even stick a sample itinerary inside with ideas for restaurants, outdoor activities, and attractions.
View Rand McNally Road Atlas on Amazon
Bonus: Vinyl Wall Clock
Although the traditional first-anniversary gift is paper, modern tastes have suggested clocks as an alternative. A wall clock made from a vinyl record is both awesome and thoughtful, as you can find ones that honor his favorite movie, TV show, or band. There are nifty skyline designs as well that don’t break the bank.
View Vinyl Record Wall Clock on Amazon
Would he prefer a funny gag gift, a mushy-gushy expression of love, an idea generator for sexy times, or a combination of all the above? You know your husband best, so follow your intuition and pick what you think will make him smile. Anniversaries are a time to cherish the uniqueness of your relationship, and we hope that your first will be one of many!
Ready to get a jump on next year? Here’s the next article: 2nd Anniversary Gift for Husbands (16, All on Amazon)