Creative people can be really hard to shop for. Do you go for something quirky, useful... or both? How do you know what tools they already have, or what they would enjoy? Is a gift card to Michaels too basic? I totally get it. When I hint at what gifts I want, I also often have to explain exactly what they are and why they exist. For instance... a bone folder? Unless you've spent a lot of time with big sheets of fine art paper, you might not know what it is - but it can be a great stocking stuffer! So, I've put together 19 gift ideas I know I would love, and that I bet the artist or maker in your life would appreciate.
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GIFTS TO ADD TO THEIR TOOL BELT
A quality pencil set, $11.85: All creative people can use some high-quality sketch pencils! Jot down some ideas, invent a new logo, or begin a new fine art project. This set by Staedtler covers all of the bases.
Brush cleaner & preserver, $5.99: The perfect size to stuff in a stocking or add a little something to a larger gift, this small but long-lasting brush cleaner works for watercolor, oil, acrylic mediums and more.
Bone folder, $5.73: As I noted at the beginning of this post, a bone folder is super useful and on my own wish list for this holiday season! My college-era bone folder was lost somehow over the years, and I definitely miss it. A bone folder is perfect for getting a just-right edge on paper, and getting neat & clean tears.
Finetec Pearl & Finetec Metallic sets, $24-$27 each: Finetec palettes are way more than a typical paint set; they are useful for creating fine art, scrapbooking, calligraphy, and adding a touch of something pretty or bright to pretty much anything.
Mjello water bucket, $10.59: For all painters, calligraphers, or anyone else wielding a brush or dip pen, this water bucket can take things next-level. The handle multi-tasks and a brush-rest, and with multiple compartments there is always clean water at-hand!
A very good pencil sharpener, $26.99: Not all pencil-sharpeners are equal. When you're using fine art or watercolor pencils, you need something that can handle different densities of lead or pigment and that won't loose it's edge. This one can be plugged in when it's in your studio, but battery operated if you need to sketch on-the-go.
Gifts To Upgrade Their Studio
Canvas brush or pen organizer, $28.79: One thing that seems universal for painters is, brushes are everywhere! This simple, canvas roll-up brush organizer can also be used for pens, sketching pencils, knitting needles, etc.
Hand-made ceramic brush or pen rest, $12.04 for a 4-brush holder: warmceramics shop on Etsy offers ceramic brush rests in a variety of lovely colors, and they have such a sweet hand-made look, who could resist? (I own this exact one, and love it. (Link updated 11.28.18)
Portfolio backpack, $18.99: This sturdy canvas bag can fit a drawing board along with all of the supplies needed for a day painting in the park, sketching at the beach, or just hanging out at the local coffee shop. A regular backpack can't manage all that.
Artist apron, $24.99: Creating is messy work, and this apron will make it feel a little more manageable. (Link updated 11.28.18 to similar)
A classy portfolio, $17.99 for 17"x23" size: This is a step-above the plastic, black portfolio's of my student days! A great value at an affordable price, this sophisticated, felt portfolio is sure to show-case artwork when it's being delivered to galleries.
Wood table easel, $16.96: I do almost all my painting at my kitchen-table, and a portable wood easel can help keep things at a comfortable angle while providing valuable storage, too.
Custom address stamp, $24.95: This was one of the first gifts I got myself when I launched danielle & co., and I don't regret it for a minute! A custom address stamp makes all of your mailings look professional, and you can provide your own font so it stays on-brand, too.
Air-lift artist stool, $179.99: This may be a splurge for a gift, but will save your artistic loved-one some back pain while keeping their work space sleek and fashionable. Height-adjustable and with a real-wood seat, this is a studio must-have.
Gifts To INSPIRE (& Have Some Fun)
Not Paint Water mug, $16.95 for 15 oz size: In my house, it's my cat that's known for drinking the paint water, but I could see myself making that mistake, too. This cheeky mug makes it clear which is your coffee!
Calligraphy complete starter kit, $39.50: Give the gift of a new skill this holiday season! There are so many great starter-kits out there that even the most seasoned artist can find something new to try. This calligraphy kit on Amazon provides everything you need to get a calligraphy skill launched!
A great book, $10-$16 each: A useful, inspiriting book is a classic holiday gift a reason. Some of my favorites include The Freelancer's Bible by Sara Horowitz and Modern Calligraphy by Molly Suber Thorpe (both of which are on my own bookshelf). I'm excited to get my hands on the new book, Modern Watercolor by Kristen Van Leuven - I've followed her on Instagram forever!
Color Schemes Poster Set, $22 for 11"x14" size set: While it's great to decorate your own house or studio with your own work, having something a little different (and in this case also functional!) can be refreshing, too. This poster set by BackAlleysBackRoads on Etsy provides a nearby color theory guide that looks great, too.
I hope this list has given you some fun, new gift ideas for the artists & makers in your life!
What creative gifts have you given to artists, before? Do you keep it fun & quirky, or go for the useful supplies? Let me know in the comments!