Nostalgic 70s Gift Ideas

The 70s was a decade that was full of groovy and hip stuff, from clothing to pieces of furniture. While some of the stuff from the 1970s are outdated in today’s era, there are still a lot of things from the said era that are still quite popular today. If you have a friend or a family member that loves the 1970s, here is a list of nostalgic 70s gift ideas so that you can give the perfect present to them.

Home Decor

Flip Clock

flip clock

The flip clock is a type of time-keeping device that has a split-flap display, which can show different numbers with just a flip upwards or downwards. Flip clocks were quite popular in the 1970s because of how efficient they were in telling the time back then compared to most types of clocks that are available during the said time period. Interestingly, there are still some people that like to collect, restore, and sell flip clocks even though there are already better types of clocks on the market.

Here are three flip clocks that you can purchase online:

Lava Lamp

The lava lamp is arguably one of the grooviest decorative items that became popular in the 1970s. In case you don’t know, a lava lamp is a decorative lamp that lights up like a typical lamp, but it also has a colored wax substance inside that is mixed with water. Because the water and the wax substance have different densities, they don’t really mix, so the wax substance just floats upwards and downwards inside the lava lamp.

The lava lamp was Invented by a British entrepreneur named Edward Craven Walker, who had the idea for the lava lamp in 1963 after seeing a homemade egg timer that boils eggs using boiling liquid inside a transparent cocktail shaker. In order to make a prototype for Walker’s idea, he hired a British inventor named David George Smith, who then created a device and a chemical formula that would allow a wax substance to float inside a water-filled container. Craven Walker would then form a company in 1965 called Crestworth in order to sell the lava lamps.

Check out these three original lava lamps if you are trying to find the best ones to give as a gift:

Rocky Movie Poster

A movie poster of Rocky would certainly be one of the best gifts you can give to someone who grew up in the 70s, as Rocky is an iconic movie of that decade. Rocky is a sports drama film that premiered in 1976 and was directed by John G. Avildsen, who actually earned an Academy Award for Best Director for the movie. The film is about the titular character Rocky (played by Sylvester Stallone, who also wrote the script), a loan shark debt collector and club fighter who got the opportunity of a lifetime after he was selected to be the opponent of a popular boxer named Apollo Creed.

Rocky would go on to become the highest-grossing film of 1976, as it was able to get more than $225 million at the box office against its $960,000 budget. It also received ten Academy Award nominations and was able to win three, which includes the Academy Award for Best Picture. Because of Rocky’s significance in the history and culture of the United States, the film was preserved in the country’s National Film Registry.

Here are three great Rocky movie posters that you should check out:

Macrame Wall Hangings

Macrame wall hanging

Macrame wall hangings can also be great gifts for your loved ones that grew up in the 1970s, as they may have fond memories of having these pieces of home décor in their home. Macrame is a form of textile that is created through knotting, a technique where strands of yarn are tied into multiple knots to form various shapes and patterns. 

Macrame-style knots have been around before the 17th century, but they became massively popular in the 1970s, as Macrame-style wall hangings were sold abundantly in stores. Besides wall hangings, macrame-style knots were also used to make tablecloths, bedspreads, draperies, and even different pieces of clothing.

You can check out these three macrame wall hangings to have an easier time choosing what to buy:

Bean Bag Chair

yellow bean bag chair

A popular home décor item from the 1970s that is still selling well today is the bean bag chair, also known as the Sacco chair. The Sacco chair is a large bag that has a fabric exterior and an interior that is composed of many polystyrene pellets or beans. These bean bag chairs are usually placed on the floor and can be used for people to have a softer and more comfortable piece of home décor to sit on rather than on the floor or on a wooden or metal chair.

The bean bag chair was introduced in 1968 by designers Piero Gatti, Franco Teodoro, and Cesare Paolini. The design of the bean bag chair was considered radical during the early 1970s, but by the middle of the decade, more and more bean bag chairs are seen in households around the world. Today, the bean bag chair is much more common in homes and offices because of how comfortable they are to sit on.

For reference, here are three great bean bag chairs that can be purchased online:

Disco Ball

disco ball

The disco ball is a very iconic piece of decoration in the 1970s, as it is commonly found in many clubs, bars, and even homes during that time. So, if you want to level up the room or home of your loved ones and make them feel like they are back in the 70s, you should definitely give them a disco ball. Of course, the disco ball should be accompanied by a nice stereo system or speakers that will blast 70s disco music in the room.

Here are three disco balls that you can buy and give as a gift:


Retro-Style Star Wars T-Shirt

vintage Star Wars print on a cloth

Besides Rocky, another film that was a blockbuster hit in the 1970s was the first Star Wars film, which was released in 1977 and was written and directed by George Lucas, who also produced the film under his company, Lucasfilm. The story follows Luke Skywalker (played by Mark Hamill) as he embarks on a mission to help the Rebel Alliance destroy the evil Galactic Empire’s newest weapon and ship, the terrifying Death Star. On his journey, Luke Skywalker would meet Han Solo (played by Harrison Ford), and Princess Leia (played by Carrie Fisher), the two other main characters of the story.

Star Wars would become one of the most influential movies in history, and its popularity enabled Lucasfilm to produce and create more Star Wars movies and TV shows in different decades. Due to the impact of Star Wars on the history and culture of the US, the first film was preserved in the National Film Registry in 1989. The iconic soundtrack of the movie was separately preserved in the US National Recording Registry in 2004. For the ultimate Star Wars fans, a retro-themed Star Wars t-shirt is a great gift that you can give them.

Check out these three retro-style Star Wars t-shirts:

Tie-Dye T-Shirt

tie-dye shirts

A very popular piece of clothing from the 1970s is the tie-dye t-shirt. Tie-dye is a coloring process wherein a t-shirt would first have to be twisted, folded, pleated, or crumpled before it is dyed in a specific color. Because the t-shirt is not dyed while lying on a flat surface, the dye that is applied on the t-shirt creates uneven patterns, where specific sections of the shirt are not dyed enough, thus having a different shade from the other sections. There are tie-dye t-shirts that are dyed twice or thrice using different colors, and there are also other kinds of clothing that can be tie-dyed, like pants, hats, and jackets.

The spiral pattern is arguably the most popular pattern for tie-dye t-shirts in the 1970s and even in today’s era, but there are also other patterns that are available, like the peace sign or the mandala (an intricate pattern that is composed of various symbols). Tie-dye shirts were very popular in the 1960s and 1970s, and while they became obscure by the 1990s, they experienced a resurgence in popularity in the late 2010s, as retro-style t-shirts became a fashion trend.

If you want an easier time finding tie-dye t-shirts, you can take a look at the three products below:

Flare Pants

flare pants

A fashion staple of the 1970s is the pair of flare pants, which is notable for being a style of trousers that gets wider from the knees downward. Flare pants, also known as bell-bottoms, have been around since the 19th century, although it has become quite popular in the 1970s because the extravagant look of the pants fitted well with the hip and cool vibes of the era. The flare pants during the 70s can come in solid colors, but there are some people that would wear flare pants that have different colors and patterns.

Check out these three 70s-style flare pants:


Led Zeppelin Vinyl Album

vinyl record

If you ask some people that were born in the 1970s what their favorite band is, most of them would say that their favorite band is Led Zeppelin. If you don’t know what Led Zeppelin was, it was an English rock band that was formed in 1968 by vocalist Robert Plant, drummer John Bonham, guitarist Jimmy Page, and bassist John Paul Jones. Led Zeppelin was widely known for being the progenitors or the popularizers of the hard rock and heavy metal genre, as heavily distorted guitars and loud drumming were rare during that time. However, it is important to note that Led Zeppelin was also inspired by softer music genres like folk and blues.

There were many legendary albums that Led Zeppelin recorded and released throughout the 1970s, so picking a specific vinyl album to give to your loved ones can be difficult. However, two of the best albums, according to fans, are Led Zeppelin IV (1971) and Physical Graffiti (1975), so you can start with those if your friend or family member doesn’t have those albums yet on vinyl.

Black Sabbath Vinyl Album

vinyl album

Another popular band from the 1970s is Black Sabbath, who arguably helped establish different subgenres of metal, like goth metal and doom metal. The original lineup of Black Sabbath is composed of vocalist Ozzy Osbourne, guitarist Tony Iommi, bassist Geezer Butler, and drummer Bill Ward. The lineup of the band changed over the years, with the most notable change being the replacement of Ozzy Osbourne with another iconic vocalist named Ronnie James Dio. Tony Iommi remains the only constant member of the band throughout its history.

Black Sabbath remained active from 1968 to 2017, and because of how long the band has been active, they have released dozens of albums over the years. If you are going to choose what particular Black Sabbath vinyl album to buy, you should get the first three albums, namely Black Sabbath (1970), Paranoid (1970), and Master of Reality (1971).

Vinyl Record Player

Victrola vinyl record player

If your friend or relative doesn’t have a vinyl record player yet, or their player is already broken, then you should give them one as a present for their birthday or for the holidays. There are dozens of vinyl record players to choose from today, and they now have modern features that aren’t present in the vinyl players of the 70s, like Bluetooth functionality or the capability to download the audio from the vinyl album and transform it into MP3 files. However, some people may prefer simplicity over having many features, and luckily, there are still a lot of basic vinyl record players on the market that are durable and reliable.

Here are three popular vinyl record players for you to choose from:

Scooby-Doo Where Are You! DVD/Blu-ray Collection

Mystery Machine

Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! Is one of the most iconic animated TV shows of the 1970s, and it is created with so much quality that it can still be fun and exciting to watch today. So, a very nice gift you can give to someone who grew up in the 70s is a DVD or Blu-ray collection of the said animated show.

Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! first aired on September 13, 1969, as a Saturday morning cartoon, then it ran for two seasons until October 31, 1970. Due to the popularity of the show and its characters, the series had multiple re-runs throughout the 1970s.

Pet Rock

Pet Rock

One of the craziest toys to come out of the 1970s was the Pet Rock, which was originally released in 1975 and invented by an advertising executive named Gary Dahl. The Pet Rock, as its name already suggests, is just a simple rock that can be considered a pet. The catch to having a rock as a pet is that you don’t need to feed it, bathe it, and take care of it extensively, unlike other kinds of pets. So, the Pet Rock is basically a stress-free and less time-consuming pet.

During the holiday season of 1975, the Pet Rock became a craze, as many people began buying it due to its popularity and its uniqueness compared to other toys. The craze lasted for about six months, and Gary Dahl was able to sell more than one million Pet Rocks within that span of time. The Pet Rock was discontinued in February 1976, although a new version of the toy became available recently, so you still have the opportunity to buy a Pet Rock today as a gift.

Typewriter Keyboard

typewriter keyboard

Before computers became the common machine that people use to write documents and other texts, the typewriter was the primary typing and printing machine during the 1970s. While typewriters are difficult to find nowadays since they are already replaced by desktop computers and laptops that are lighter and less clunky, there is still an option for you to give a typewriter-style computer keyboard to your loved ones.

Some of the typewriter keyboards that you will find online and in specialty stores feature the signature “click” that whenever you press buttons or keys on a typewriter. In addition, the keyboards are also designed to look like typewriters, although some of the parts in the keyboards don’t really work and are for display purposes only.

Check these three typewriter keyboards that are great as gifts to friends or family members:

And, there you have it, the best nostalgic 70s gifts that you can give to your loved ones during the holidays or their birthdays. If your friends or family members grew up loving every décor, music, movie, and TV show in the 70s, then they will surely love the items that we have provided above.