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Perfect Gift: Personalized Presents

Looking to put a personal touch on your gifts this year?

In honor of Cyber Monday, The Early Show takes a look at some Web sites that allow you to customize the gifts you're giving this year.

Contributor Vera Gibbons found a variety of gifts for men and women, adults and kids, at a variety of prices. She gives her take on each item she ordered and personalized.


  • 1154 Lill Studio
    Prices: $28 to $210
    Holiday deadline: Order by Dec. 6

    There are many styles to choose from, from tote bags, to clutches, to small makeup bags. You pick the fabric for the body, pockets, interiors and straps. The "fabric palette" is constantly updated, and there really is something for everyone here.

    Vera's Take: "The site was easy to navigate. My only issue is that I wasn't confident that the colors and patterns I choose were going to match!"


  • L.L. Bean
    Price: $65.50 + $5 to monogram
    Holiday deadline: Order by Dec. 7

    Kids will enjoy these backpacks; the man in your life may appreciate the messenger bag. Once you've selected your style, you can choose colors for seven different parts of the bag - from the top front panel, to the straps, to the zipper handles and mesh pockets.

    Vera's Take: "No changes are allowed once you place the order, but I called the company after I placed the order and said I wanted to change the monogram on the front from 'Jack' to 'Harry.' The representative said that once I got the bag I could just send it back and they would give me a new one with "Harry" on the front. L.L. Bean really does have a great return policy, and the products themselves are good quality - they will stand up to being thrown around by kids or loaded down with work files."


  • My Own Labels
    Price: Starts at $7
    Holiday deadline: Order by Dec. 16

    This year, more people than ever may be giving homemade gifts. You can make these gifts look more polished by adding your own label to the bag or jar. This Web site allows you to design customized labels for food and wine products, hanging gift tags, CD label stickers, coasters and more. You can choose from the company's various designs, or upload your own logo like Vera did.

    Vera's Take: "The process was simple. Just choose the style, shape and colors you want. You add text, photos, art, logos. It's nice that you can do small runs. My overall impression was that the labels look professional yet personal, and I think the prices are extremely reasonable."


  • TasteBook
    Price: $19.95 - $34.95
    Holiday deadline: Order by Dec. 12

    For one cook to another, this Web site allows you to download your favorite recipes - including recipes from sites such as Epicurious - and design your own cookbook. Accompany the recipes with beautiful photos from the site, or download your own. The price of the book depends on how many recipes you include.

    Vera's Take: "I liked the instructional video on the Web site. It tells you exactly how to create your own cookbooks. It takes a little work to gather all of the recipes. I like that fact that you can look at the complete book online before you order. Custom orders only take 5 to 7 business days! This was the first gift that I ordered to arrive."


  • Vans | My K-Swiss | Reebok
    Price: $50 - $80
    Holiday deadline: Dates vary; check sites

    Customized sneakers have been around for a while now, and basically every athletic shoe company now offers this option online. You can customize shoes for men, women and kids. Some of the companies even allow you include a name or initials on the shoe.

    Vera's Take: "You choose colors for each area of the shoes. It's a very easy process and the Web sites allow you to instantly see how your design is coming together. This makes it easy to change something when you don't like it. I got exactly what I ordered, but I don't really like the K-Swiss shoes. I didn't think they were going to be so white!"


  • Zazzle
    Price: $60 & up
    Holiday deadline: Order by Dec. 6

    You can even design skateboards online now! This site allows you to design T-shirts, tennis shoes, mugs and other stuff. Zazzle added skateboards in August, and the company says they've been very popular. The company partnered with a skateboard pro to design the board technologies. You can also buy boards designed by other artists. Often, you can customize these designs by adding a name or changing the colors, in addition to creating a board completely from scratch.

    Vera's Take: "[My] biggest complaint is that when you order the board, you only get the board itself. You have to buy the wheels and other parts separately, and this is not made clear when you go through the ordering process. A kid or a skateboarding fan you might know this, but as a mother or an aunt, you may not! Adding these other parts from Zazzle ups the price quite a bit; but the boards are standard size so you can use wheels you already have if you want. When we called the company to ask about the wheels, they said that many people are choosing to order the board more as artwork to displayon their walls."


  • Shop Yellow
    Price: $170 & up
    Holiday deadline: Order by Dec. 16

    This Web site sells a variety of items, but one of the most unusual is a Swiss watch that you design yourself. The least expensive model is $170, but since you literally have thousands of possible parts to choose from during the design process, the price can escalate quickly. You select the movement, case, dials, hands, crown, buckle, bezel and strap - in short, everything that goes into the design of a watch is yours to select.

    The company's watch supplier, 121Time, is located in Martigny, Switzerland and is a member of the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry. It says its watches are created to uphold the quality, design, precision and craftsmanship that has become synonymous with Swiss-made timepieces. Watches are backed by a two-year International Warranty and quality guarantee.

    Vera's Take: "This is the one product that we did not order ourselves since the watches are so expensive. However, it goes to show that you truly can customize just about anything online these days!"


  • Felix Doolittle
    Price: $42 for 100 labels
    Holiday deadline: Order by Dec. 15

    The art on these return labels and on other products for sale on the site, such as notecards, invitations and more, are based on tiny watercolors designed by an artist who was born and raised in Hong Kong. For those who care, Oprah recently proclaimed this her "favorite stationary." If you go for a holiday design, the return address labels make a festive addition to holiday cards. Or, choose from a large selection of other designs for address labels that can be used all year long.

    Vera's Take: "I love them! The ordering process couldn't have been easier. The packaging is beautiful."

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