What to Put in Goody Bags for Adults

Published December 9, 2019
Mature friends are visiting their friend

Adult goody bags, sometimes called swag bags, are a great way to send home party favors for a variety of events. Fun and useful items all come together to create a special gift that keeps everyone's spirits raised after the occasion ends.

Creative Goody Bag Ideas for Any Occasion

Whether you're putting together a 40th birthday party favor bag or a goody bag for a neighborhood block party, these ideas will delight your guests. For a hint of theming without going to too much trouble add items with similar colors to make the bag stand out.

Foodie Favorites

Adults aren't immune to enjoying fun food in a goody bag. Look for adult versions of kid-friendly treats and add your own favorites to the mix. Homemade items are always a big hit, but make sure you account for any allergies or dietary concerns before making them yourself. Consider:

  • Elegantly decorated cookies with everyone's name on them
  • Mini cupcakes or muffins
  • Homemade mustard, seasoned olive oils, and flavored dips with artisan bread
  • Gourmet maple syrup sample with pancake mix
  • Retro candy, such as candy buttons or gourmet lollipops
  • Homemade pasta sauce with pasta and spoons
  • Box with flavored gourmet macarons

Small sample sizes and individual portions will make your food gifts go further for a large crowd. Large batches of homemade goodies can be packaged individually or in smaller jars to make them cost effective and reasonable options for goody bags.

Quirky Yet Useful Finds

When putting together your goody bag, think about items guests can use but with a festive spin. For example:

Themed Swag Bags

Matching your items to your party's theme is the best way to tie the whole event together. Add a tag with a short poem to thank your guests for attending, similar to a wedding favor tag.

Alcohol and Drinking Themed Goody Bags

Whether it's guys' night in or girls' night out, plenty of adult parties have drinking or involve alcohol. Consider making up a bag for your next bachelor or bachelorette party, adult slumber party, or 21st birthday that feature:

  • Mini cocktail bottles
  • Cocktail stirrers
  • Wine glass charms
  • Gummy shot glasses (package them individually)
  • Travel-size aspirin or ibuprofen
  • Eye mask
  • Mini water bottle
  • Ear plugs
  • Breath mints
  • Gift certificate for donuts or coffee at a nearby shop

Corporate Goody Bags

Customers, clients, employees, and fundraising volunteers all love to get things for free from corporations at office parties and events. Techy gadgets are always appreciated, but you can supplement those with other on-brand items featuring your corporate logo. Just a few ideas include:

  • Stationary items, like pencils, pens, erasers, and notepads
  • Pocket-sized calendars and appointment books
  • Water bottles or tumblers
  • Ear buds
  • Refrigerator magnet clips
  • Backup cell phone charger
  • Energy bars

Elegant Goody Bags

Adult party themes may have an elegant, luxe feel to them. From a sophisticated Hollywood party, to a masquerade ball for Mardi Gras, to a six-course murder mystery dinner party, you'll want to have things to put in swag bags that match the regal tone of the event. Ideas include:

  • Mini bottle of Champange or sparkling wine
  • Rhinestone jewelry or faux gemstone bracelets and cuff links
  • Caviar with crackers
  • Gourmet chocolate truffles
  • Crystal figurine that represents your theme (such as a mask for Mardi Gras)
  • Keychain with crystal monogram

Sports Themed Goody Bags

When you're hosting an adult league team party or one for a special sporting event, such as the Olympics or Super Bowl, you may want to get together a few items to send home with guests.

  • Stopwatch or timer
  • Stress ball in the shape of the sports ball (soccer, basketball, football, softball, or baseball)
  • Team pennant or pom-poms
  • Sports drinks
  • Face paint
  • Protein bars
  • Sweat bands and hair ties

The Great Outdoors Goody Bags

A party with a country, western, lumberjack, or eco-friendly theme calls for a bag full of items that celebrate the great outdoors. Consider putting together a few of these items:

  • Bandana in plaid or paisley
  • Handheld compass
  • Hand spade or trowel
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Multi-tool for the wallet
  • Succulents in a pot
Guests at Housewarming Party

Tropical or Summer Goody Bags

An adult pool party, Hawaiian luau, or tropical party means you need goody bags to suit the season. Ideas include:

  • Aviator sunglasses for women or men
  • Mini tube of sunscreen
  • Pineapple, coconut, or plumeria scented cooling spray
  • Beach towel
  • Battery-powered personal fan
  • Margarita mixing ingredients for one, such as tequila, triple sec, and flavored simple syrup

Winter Holiday Goody Bags

When it's just the grown-ups getting together for an adult Christmas or Kwanzaa party, New Year's Eve, or a singles Valentine's Day party, there are plenty of ideas to keep the cold at bay:

  • Holiday cake and cookie decorations, such as sprinkles, frosting dyes, and toppers, paired with cupcake liners
  • Lip balm in holiday flavors and scents, such as peppermint or gingerbread
  • Stretchy gloves or mittens
  • Ingredients for hot toddies
  • Ornament or small wall hanging with the year on it

Tips for Putting the Goody Bags Together

Take the stress out of putting the bags together by following a few simple tips.

Goody bags

Cost Considerations

The goody bag's size and cost should be considered when putting together your party budget. More expensive items can be stand-alone goodies that are nicely packaged with a bow. If you have a large number of guests, it may be best to put together bags with a few smaller, cheaper items to keep the budget in line.

Selecting Multiple Items

When picking out multiple items, it's best to choose similarly sized ones. This way, you don't need to worry about padding or additional packaging to keep things from shifting around. If you want to pick one larger item, add two smaller ones that don't create an unbalanced package.

Adding a Tag

A tag should be added to each goody bag. Pick a tag in a color or with a graphic that matches your event theme. Add the name of the event and date, with a short thank you message. If you are creative, a short poem to commemorate the occasion can be added.

Easy Goody Bag Packaging Tips

When it comes time to put the bags together, it's best to set up an assembly line.

  1. Gather all your supplies: gifts, packaging (bag, box, basket), ribbon, favor tag, and tape (if needed).
  2. Sort the individual goody gifts into piles.
  3. Start at one end with the bag, box, or basket you plan to use.
  4. Add tissue paper or whatever filler you're including.
  5. Then grab one item from each of the goody gift piles.
  6. Secure the package with ribbon or gift bow.
  7. Add the tag.
  8. Place in a large basket or tub for transporting to the party.

Small Goodies Make a Great Big Impression

While it may seem like putting together a small goody bag for adults is a waste of time, you may be surprised at how many grown-ups will find them endearing and memorable. Take your time to pick out a few things that fit your party's theme and send delighted guests home.

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What to Put in Goody Bags for Adults