Unique and Eco-Friendly Sixth Anniversary Gift Ideas- Iron and Candy

by - Thursday, February 22, 2018

awesome eco-friendly 6th anniversary gift candy box
from WhatCandySays

Iron and Candy?!?!?!?

Ok, congrats lovebirds, because you have made it to the first of the truly weird anniversary themes. What do these two things have to do with each other? I can only imagine the theme stands in honor of a candymaker and ironworker couple who came to a romantically tragic end on their sixth anniversary. Or something.

It can be easy at this point to phone it in- you are probably crazy busy, caught in the momentum of life. No one ever talks about that big 6th anniversary, probably because you just went big last year for #5. But you only live once, and every year is worth remembering. If you make a plan, you can make this anniversary even more memorable and meaningful.

To me, part of what makes a great gift is that it takes care of the world we live in, not just indulging a want that will be forgotten in a minute anyway. We still have so much future together, and I want us to be sitting under a clear sky looking at a clean ocean for our 60th anniversary. So I want to get gifts that are meaningful for my partner and that invests in our future.  That means I want the gift to be good for the Earth too. This is how I do it-

I focus on experiences- Opening a gift is an experience we have over and over again in our lifetime, and you can probably only distinctly remember a few present-openings in your life. But how many times do you go on a big horseback riding trip? Or tour a chocolate factory? Or go golfing at a club you usually wouldn't step foot in? Experiences are more meaningful and memorable, and in most cases they create less waste.

I buy ONE great gift, not a bunch of "ehhhh" gifts- I love giving a big mountain of gifts, because it feels like a visual symbol for the big pile of love I have for that person. But I hold back now and try to get one or two AWESOME gifts instead of a bunch of little ones. Most of us already have plenty of stuff.

I buy used, local, or made in America- So much is made far away now, often with a cheaper price tag, but that "Made in Elsewhere" sticker comes with a high price. Depending on where it comes from, without a fair trade sticker, you can't guarantee the person who made the object was given a safe place to work or livable wages. Even worse, the further your things travel, the more fossil fuels they use. Why should your stuff get to travel more than you?

I avoid cheap materials like plastic- You want your gift to last forever like your love, not last forever like taxes and herpes. Plastic is the asbestos of our generation. Just skip it, always (important for candy- get things wrapped in foil or wax paper!)

So, iron and candy, such a natural combo. But I have so many fun ideas I can't wait to share, so let's get started-

Experience Iron and Candy Gifts

Make your Own Chocolate Truffles (or Chocolate-covered Anything) Together- Our city has a chocolate factory in it that you can go tour. That's fun, but I think it might be fun to look up a bunch of recipes on Pinterest (or you could get this kit from Uncommon Goods) and make a bunch of your own chocolate truffles! You could also try chocolate covered strawberries (or pineapple- shockingly delicious). Might make a fun surprise to have a finished made gift, or it could be such a fun and romantic gift to make together (just have the plan and supplies all ready).

Golfing Trip- Wow, this just sounds horrible to me (so much golf = so much boring), but if you have a golf-lover as a partner, you could go big at a course you usually can't afford or take a little trip to a nearby golf course for a romantic/golfy weekend away.

Want to love on your golfer another way? You could get him or her clubs and recycled golf balls (there are tons of these- never buy new balls again).

r2d2 cake

Cake Decorating Classes- We took cake decorating classes in our first year of marriage, and we had a great time (even though the teacher just wanted to go home and watch The Voice). Taking some sort of sweets class, from cake-decorating to candy-making, could be such a fun memory and you would have some cool new skills!

Romantic Iron and Candy Gifts

Local Treats... All Year Long- Just buying a box of candy seems pretty lame. Raiding a candy aisle sounds awesome, but it does come with a whole lot of plastic and the inevitable shame toss of half of your loot. What if you used this as an opportunity to try all of the goodies in the area instead? Commit to a monthly candy date to a local candy store or write a list of different candies to try, one for every month. If you need help starting to brainstorm candy near you, check out this list, which has candy from every state.

A Half Dozen of Anything Sweet (Bonus Points for Inspired Nostalgia)- 6 cupcakes. 6 doughnuts. 6 candied apples. What sweets did you serve at your wedding? Or eat on your first date? Or make together? Pick something that matters to you, is sweet and edible, and you have a cost-effective and literally sweet gift.
awesome eco-friendly 6th anniversary gift iron horseshoe heart
from hammeredforge
A Love Token made by a Blacksmith- You don't often think of blacksmiths as icons of romance, but you can find some sweet tokens in forged and recycled iron. I love these hearts, some are even made from horseshoes like my favorites from AmmoniteIronwork- some can be used as trivets, but most just look like a paperweight. I also think these iron bookmarks are sweet and could be really romantic. hammeredforge makes really pretty ones too.

Sentimental Iron and Candy Gifts

awesome eco-friendly 6th anniversary gift a cookie jar
from CarrieHomeMadeGifts

A Cookie Jar- For my bachelorette, we went to a pottery painting place, and I made us an owl cookie jar (wild woman, I know). I doubt that it has ever had cookies in it, but it is our home for leftover candy after holidays. It works perfectly, and it makes me smile that my kids will associate this owl jar with sneaking lollypopolies and chocolate. Or, if you have way more self control than we do, you could put cookies in there.

If you don't have one already, this could be great. You could go simple, like this glass jar from Anchor Hocking. You can find tons of cool ones at antique shops or you could go paint one at your local pottery painting place! And Etsy has 13,000 options for cookie jars too. And, I'll be honest with you, browsing them has changed my life. I had no idea just how weird vintage cookie jars can get. It makes me like the world that much better. Here are three delicious tastes, but honestly, go look it will change your life- a clown, nightmare bunny, and Granny.

awesome eco-friendly 6th anniversary gift candy dispenser
from BranchingOutward
If you want something to assist your self-control, these candy dispensers from BranchingOutward are pretty genius (those are mason jars on top). Also, why is this picture posed on the floor? Who is giving their dogs candy?

awesome eco-friendly 6th anniversary gift cookie cutters

Cookie Cutters- One year, my dad bought me a giant box of American-made cookie cutters with all kinds of kooky and traditional shapes. It reminded me of making cookies as a kid and made me excited to make similar memories with my kids someday. In short, it was a great gift. It might be a great gift for an anniversary as well- not romantic, but family-focused and hopeful for a happy future. You could check your local secondhand stores, because many of these things last, or look at the selection at Sur la Table, most of which are made in the United States. It combines metal and sweets, so could be a slam dunk?

Dinner Bell- Wrought Iron dinner bells like this one take nostalgia to an epic level, but if you live in the country, it could be handy! Or it could just be a pretty little thing for in your kitchen.

Home Iron and Candy Gifts

awesome eco-friendly 6th anniversary gift hummingbird feeder
from Amazon
Hummingbird Feeder- In case you want to feed someone else some sweets. Could be a zen addition to your space, and you are doing a little bit of good too! I like this one that uses a glass bottle, cutting down on plastic that much more. Plus, it says clearly it is the best right in the title.

A Cast Iron Pan- Cast iron pans are a great investment- they last forever with only a small amount of care, and you can use them for so much. If you don't have a cast iron skillet, I would highly recommend it. Since they literally last forever, you can often find them secondhand and whip it back into shape. If not, Lodge is an American-made company that I recommend on here at least once a month. They make things to last. If you already have a pan, you could also consider a grill or griddle, a dutch oven, or even a camp oven (if you are outdoorsy).

awesome eco-friendly 6th anniversary gift bottle opener
from TexasTieDyeGuy

Bottle Openers- If you need one of these, you probably already have it. If not, there are so many cool options. I like these iron openers from ShineBoxPrimitives, but BlueFoxFurnishings has taken it to another level with these openers. The vintage cans at the bottom are to catch the caps. I know nothing about beer (ok a little more now), but he sure has a lot to choose from!

awesome eco-friendly 6th anniversary gift pot rack
from 24thStStudio
Pot Rack- You know movie kitchens? Where there is always a beautiful pot rack with copper pots and no mess? Yeah, that is nothing like my kitchen either, but if you could add a beautiful rack to hang your pots on in your space, this might be a surprisingly awesome gift (pretty and practical- you would free up cupboard space too). My favorite, though not that Ephron-esque, is this minimalist pot rack from 24thStStudio. If you want something similar at a lower price, try RusticModernDecor or KeoDecor.

  EchoHillForge makes a beautiful Craftsman-style one out of iron. You can find some really cool ones out of repurposed materials- alpinewinedesign out of a recycled wine barrel, EdnaFayeCreations out of a ladder, and RobsRusticCreations out of a pallet.

awesome eco-friendly 6th anniversary gift towel rack
from VolcanoForge
Somewhere to Hang Towels- Towel racks are not the most exciting gifts ever, but I know in a lot of houses, what is already there can be pretty underwhelming. If this is a thing you might want to work on in your house, these iron towel racks from VolcanoForge are gorgeous. Just make sure to donate the old ones if they are still usable. This hammered iron coat rack from LundsMetalArt has a more rustic look but would be great to hang towels too.

I also found really pretty towel racks and even toilet paper holders on BackcountryIronworks.

awesome eco-friendly 6th anniversary gift volkswagon planter

Yard Art (or Just Regular Art)- You can find pretty amazing yard art made of recycled iron. I mean, if you need to feel better about the universe, just remember someone spends their days making mini- Volkswagen vans out of recycled iron (check out that whole store- so much cool stuff). It turns out you can find anything made in recycled metal. Don't believe me? Ask these quails:

awesome eco-friendly 6th anniversary gift iron quails
from UniversalIronWorks
Not the right recycled metal wildlife for you? Check FoothillMetalArt for ridiculously pretty butterflies or any of these amazing recycled iron birds on Pickiforyou.

awesome eco-friendly 6th anniversary gift iron orbs

For something totally different, these metal orbs from PurpleThumbNotions would make neat art for a house or they show how you can turn them into chandeliers (an outdoor one would have a lot of ooh ahhh. I also love these wrought iron lanterns for your outdoor space.

awesome eco-friendly 6th anniversary gift bookshelves
from CascadeIronCo

Wood Furniture with Metal Accents- Reclaimed wood furniture, from bookshelves to stools to tables often come with iron legs and clasps. The look is super industrial and fits a very particular style, but you would be surprised how many  stylish pieces  (from Mission Style to Modern) share this aesthetic. Check out this bookshelf, which belongs in a loft somewhere. It kind of reminds me of a big castle door from the movies, so I am just waiting for Andre the Giant to smash through them at any second.
awesome eco-friendly 6th anniversary gift chairs
from josephallenhome

Weirdly, my favorite of all of these pieces are these appropriately-named Central Park chairs made of reclaimed wood and wrought iron. I can imagine lots of sunny rooms where these would look beautiful.

Practical Iron and Candy Gifts

Iron- Hopefully we are all adult enough to have an iron by now, if we need one (some of us just don't). If you do need one, you can probably find one used (just ask if you can plug it in before you buy if you worry). And unless you can think of a real reason it would be useful, your partner doesn't need a travel iron, no matter how many lists it's on. If anything, I guess I would recommend a Jiffy Steamer. They are made in the USA, and they work really well for everything from clothes to curtains. Also, one burnt the shit out of me one time, so if you need a weapon for intruders or something... I would recommend it.
awesome eco-friendly 6th anniversary gift usa pan baking set
from Amazon
Baking Pans- Instead of buying sweets, you could gift tools for making them. I will absolutely swear by anything made by USA Pan in Pittsburgh. We use their cookie sheets and baking pans, and they do the job perfectly with tons of longevity. If you got something junkier when you got married and you think your partner would appreciate replacing them,

Branding Iron- Putting a brand on meat is the opposite of my thing, especially since I have mostly cut out meat, but it could be perfect for family. You can even get it from American makers like SloanBrands (it's made in Texas, for goodness sake- how legit is that?). The Boy says you should get one where you can put your name on a hot dog, like you could at a restaurant we went to as a kid.

Candy and Iron Jewelry

awesome eco-friendly 6th anniversary gift dirtyprettyartwear earring
My favorite iron jewelry is from dirtyprettyartwear. This store makes beautiful pieces that ride the line between airy and rough. Alchemyartworks has pretty hoops too.

awesome eco-friendly 6th anniversary gift candy earring
from PleaseBuyMyArt

awesome eco-friendly 6th anniversary gift iron ring
from RachelPfefferDesigns
awesome eco-friendly 6th anniversary gift m and m earring
from ThomiGirlPink
awesome eco-friendly 6th anniversary gift iron ring
from urbanIron
awesome eco-friendly 6th anniversary gift cotton candy necklace
from SaphirazliJewels

Happy Anniversary! If you want more wedding and anniversary ideas, check out the Green Wedding and Anniversary page. If you just want more gift and shopping inspiration, check out the Giant List of Shopping Lists page. 

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  1. These are so unique!!! I always end up getting the lame same ol gifts LOL Definitely outside the box. Especially those earrings :)

  2. Love these. I love buying experiences. Instead of spending something that will eventually just get tossed aside, we put that money towards going somewhere special. Awesome post!

  3. I just love your idea of experience gifts! Those truly are the best. You really spend some time on this post make it genuinely helpful. Thanks for the resource.

  4. Great list! Every anniversary I find myself struggling to find the perfect gift, not even knowing where to start. This will be very helpful for my next anniversary 😊

  5. Such great ideas - we truly don't do gifts very much in our house, we're normally short on cash or we spend on experiences, but there are a few exceptions on your list!

  6. These are such great ideas! I love your picks! We usually travel on our anniversary instead of giving each other gifts. :)

    Belle | www.OneAwesomeMomma.com

  7. What interesting gifts! There are some great ideas here... I'm more of an experiences type person, and rather get a trip as a gift or an experience!

  8. So I’m a strange one. I like the VW plant holder and the wooden chairs. Because I’m practical and it’s hard to surprise me anymore. Lol!

  9. I am so with you when it comes to choosing one big gift rather than a bunch of eeeeeh gifts. It's such an easy way of helping the environment as well as being socially conscious!

  10. This is so perfect! My 6th anniversary is next month. I have candy down but have been struggling for iron themed gifts. THANK YOU!



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