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20 40TH BIRTHDAY GIFT IDEAS – 40th Birthday Present Ideas


20 40TH BIRTHDAY GIFT IDEAS - 40th Birthday Present Ideas


Is someone close to you, a family member or a good friend, turning forty? If so, that definitely calls for a huge celebration! Turning forty, in other words, four decades old does not happen every day. Any way you look at it, forty years is a long time. Find the perfect gift for the soon to be forty-year-old. Something we always recommend is to make your gifts by hand. Putting together a special gift will show that you put actual thought, time and energy into making it. So take a look at our collection of 20 40th birthday present ideas. We are totally certain you will be able to find some amazing 40th birthday gift ideas amongst them for the forty-year-old!


1. Established In – A Collection of Memories

A great way to celebrate a birthday, and also take the birthday celebrant a trip down nostalgia lane, is by using photos in the gift. Looking at photos taken ten, twenty or even thirty years ago will bring back so many memories to the recipient! Naturally, since we are talking about the fortieth birthday you will have to organise the photos in a special way. Why not put together a collage of the numbers of the year they were born in. Then write “established in” above it and your birthday wishes underneath.

2. Scrabble Ideas – 40th Birthday Present Ideas

If you play a lot of scrabble with the person who is turning forty soon, why not use it as inspiration in their gift? Create a small poster or card for them, using scrabble letters to spell out “forty.” If you look at the points above the letters, the word “forty” will give you eleven points! Then you can write underneath the scrabble letters that forty is only eleven in scrabble. 40th birthday presents like these will definitely draw a smile on the birthday celebrant’s face, as well as make them feel a tad bit younger!

3. Forty Reasons – Why Everyone Loves Them

Forty Reasons - Why Everyone Loves Them

Is the soon to be forty-year-old someone that everyone loves? Create something personal and heartfelt for them with the help of everyone who is going to be at their 40th birthday party! Create a poster, that has forty hearts decorating it. Have each person write a reason on a heart, why they love the birthday celebrant. By the end of it, you should have forty reasons saying everyone loves the birthday woman or man! You might like to place this in a frame after everyone has signed it.

4. Forty Presents – Best 40th Birthday Gifts

Forty years is a long time! Make sure the birthday lady or gentleman feels a lot of love on their birthday! Instead of getting them one present for their special day, get them forty! Wrap each one in different shaped bags or boxes. You can number each one, so they will know which one to open first. You can give them this whole set of presents 40 days before their birthday. They will be allowed to open only one each day. These presents will lead them slowly to their fortieth birthday! Of course, if someone is turning 30, you can do this with 30 birthday gifts for their 30th!

5. A Survival Kit – Fun 40th Birthday Gift Ideas

A fun way of celebrating the fortieth birthday is by creating a survival kit for the birthday girl or boy! A survival kit will guarantee that the soon to be forty-year-old has a good laugh on their birthday. Write up a list of things they will need in their upcoming years of life. For example, you can write up “a penny” so they can start their retirement fund. Or write up “matchsticks” which they will need to help keep their eyes open after 9 pm! You can even buy some of these items and put them all together in a box. Hopefully, the birthday lady or gentleman will not take offence at this hilarious survival kit!

6. Brightening Their Day – Beautiful and Handmade Lamp

Create a bit of home decor for the soon to be forty-year-old! All you need is a wine bottle and a string of fairy lights. By brushing the bottle’s exterior with sandpaper, you can create a foggy texture and appearance on it. Use glass paint to write up “happy 40th birthday” on the bottle. Now all you will need to do is place the fairy lights inside the wine bottle and turn them on. This bottle of brightness will create beautiful lighting for any room, making this the perfect DIY present!

7. Forty and Fun – Great Cupcake Toppers

Forty and Fun - Great Cupcake Toppers

If you have been considering baking a cake or some sort of desserts, you might think about decorating it for the birthday party! Cupcakes have become a great alternative to birthday cakes, so it would come as no surprise if you baked a batch for the party. A great way of decorating cupcakes is with cupcake toppers. Print out pictures of the forty-year-old in a birthday hat. Then attach these photos to the cupcake toppers themselves. These funny 40th birthday gifts will look fantastic at the birthday party!

8. Fabulous at Forty – Beautiful 40th Birthday Present Ideas

Draw a smile on the forty-year-old’s face with this birthday present! Create a collage out of photos from their 40 years of life. You can include important moments of their life, for example, their first day of school, their graduation and their wedding. The important thing is to use a vast amount of memories to create something truly special and personal for them. Write “fabulous at forty” underneath the collage. Place this collage in a frame before presenting the birthday celebrant with it!

9. An Awesome T-Shirt – Experience and Age

Create a funny t-shirt for the birthday guy or girl, which will be guaranteed to give them a bit of a laugh. Using fabric paint or pens write up the sentence “I’m not forty. I’m eighteen with twenty-two years of experience.” This might make the birthday celebrant feel a bit younger than they actually are. The eighteen years of life and the twenty-two years of experience all add up to their forty years! Hopefully, they will wear this t-shirt proudly.

10. Kissing the Thirties Goodbye – Chocolate Ideas

Turning forty means you have to say goodbye to your thirties. What better way can you express this, than with a few farewell kisses? Not literally though! Buy a bunch of Hershey’s kisses and pour them in a mason jar. Stick a label on the front of the mason jar, which reads “kiss the thirties goodbye!” You can place some streamers and toppers into the jar itself, to decorate it further. Gifts like these are funny 40th birthday gifts! This is a small and simple gift for the forty-year-old, but we are sure they will appreciate it!

11. A Selection of Memories – Best 40th Birthday Gift Ideas

A Selection of Memories - Best 40th Birthday Gift Ideas

We all know that personalised and personal presents are the best, whatever the occasion is! Using a selection of photos from the soon to be forty-year-old’s life, create the word “forty.” Cut out photos of them, each one turning into a letter of “forty.” Stick them next to each other on a plain sheet of paper, then place this in a frame turning it into a wall decor idea. The birthday celebrant will be overjoyed to receive a present such as this! It’s up to you, whether you want to write a small message or a birthday wish around the photos.

12. Forty Messages – From Forty Fantastic Friends

An amazing way of expressing love and gratitude towards the soon to be forty-year-old is with messages from all of their friends or family members. Create forty messages, each message from a different and important person from their life. Naturally, it’s up to everyone what they choose to write or tell the birthday celebrant. It can be some simple birthday wishes or a more personal message. By the end, you should have forty messages from forty friends. Is there a better way of celebrating forty years of your life, than with an idea such as this?

13. Forty Years Ago – 40th Birthday Gift Ideas

Remind the birthday celebrant what was happening in the world during the year they were born in! Write up fun facts, such as, what sort of music or movies were popular or which famous people were born in the same year. Also, write down big events that occurred during their birth year or how many people lived on the planet. Naturally, you can put things into perspective as well, for example, how much something used to cost forty years ago. They will be able to compare what the world was like in the year they were born, to what it is like in our modern-day. This is one of many great 40th birthday present ideas!

14. Forty Years – What They Add Up To

To live for forty years means so many memories and countless experiences. Create a collage of words for the birthday celebrant. You can write down exactly what forty years means to them. For example, forty years is equivalent to fourteen thousand and six hundred days or more than twenty-one million minutes. Write down a few of their personality traits as well, or the roles they play in everyone’s life (wife, husband, mother, father, sister, brother, etc.) You can place this collage of words in a frame.

15. List of Reasons – Personal 40th Birthday Gifts

List of Reasons - Personal 40th Birthday Gifts

We have mentioned writing the birthday lady or gentleman a list of reasons, why everyone loves them, for their birthday. This is a great homemade birthday gift as it’s extremely personal and heartwarming. Since they are turning forty, make sure to write forty reasons why you love them. For example, you can include their great sense of humour, their ability to see the big picture or that they dance really well. It’s really up to you what you decide to include as reasons. These will make the best 40th birthday gifts!

16. A Big Forty – Wishing Them the Best

A Big Forty - Wishing Them the Best

Here is yet another fabulous idea to create for the birthday celebrant! Cut out two numbers, a four and zero, out of wood or thicker material. Place these numbers next to each other, sticking them on a small platform. Make sure that all the guests invited to the birthday party sign the numbers or just close friends and family members. Allow them to write and send the soon to be forty-year-old all their best wishes. The birthday man or woman will be overjoyed to receive these good wishes written on this number! They will be able to place this number in their room, as a reminder of what beautiful 40 years they have had!

17. A Jar of Messages – 40th Birthday Present Ideas

Here’s another way to incorporate the reasons why you love or why the birthday celebrant is amazing into a present! Write forty messages on small slips of paper. Throw them into a mason jar. You can give this present to the birthday man or woman  40 days before their birthday. This way they will be able to read a message each day that leads up to their big day. We’re sure these personal messages will brighten their days!

18. An Array of Gifts – Forty to Be Precise

If you have run out of ideas on what to get someone for their fortieth birthday, get them an array of gifts! Exactly forty gifts to be precise. Wrap each one up beautifully, attaching a number and a message to it. The numbers should represent which ones they can open first and which ones they can open later. It’s up to you what you place in each box or bag. Ranging from a book to a simple message, we’re sure they will be happy with these 40th birthday gifts!

19. Looks, Feels and Acts – 40th Birthday Gift Ideas

Looks, Feels and Acts - 40th Birthday Gift Ideas

While turning forty means you have officially entered middle age, it does not mean that they have to feel middle-aged. Write up underneath each other “looks”, “feels” and “acts”. Also write a number next to each one of these, expressing how old the birthday celebrant looks or acts. If you add all three numbers together, you should get a total of forty! Naturally, if someone is turning a different age, such as fifty, you can change the numbers to get a different sum, making this a great gift for 50th birthday or any birthdays in fact!

20. A Bit of Luck – A Fabulous Gift Basket

Create a gift basket filled with 40th birthday presents for the soon to be forty-year-old. Bring a bit of luck to their birthday, by gifting them a multitude of scratchcards and lottery cards. Maybe they will even be able to win some cash! Also, place some lollipops inside the gift bag. You can place a message on the front of it saying “40 doesn’t “suck”. Here’s hoping 40 brings you lots of “luck”!” A clever rhyme will uplift your gift bag!


This pick of 20 40th birthday gift ideas was made to help you! Hopefully, you found some awesome 40th birthday present ideas amongst these! For other present ideas, such as gift ideas for dad or birthday gift ideas for mom, just go to our website!