Holiday Gift Guide: 19 Gift Ideas for Artists & Makers

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.

This post contains affiliate links, which means I make a small commission if you purchase an item using one. Thank you for supporting danielle & co.!

GIFTS TO ADD TO THEIR TOOL BELT

Gift ideas for artists & makers; how to add to their tool belt this holiday season! From danielle & co.

 

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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!

  6. 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

Gift ideas for artists & makers; how to upgrade their studio this holiday season! From danielle & co.

 

  1. 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.

  2. 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)

  3. 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.

  4. 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)

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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)

Gift ideas for artists & makers; how to inspire & add some fun this holiday season! From danielle & co.
  1. 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!

  2. 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!

  3. Bob Ross novelty socks, $11: Am I getting a little too weird? I don't think so! Available from OoohGeez on Etsy. Who doesn't love Bob Ross? #happylittletrees (Link updated 11.28.18 to similar)

  4. 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!

  5. 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!

- Dani

Gift ideas for artists & makers; how to add to their tool belt, upgrade their studio, inspire and add some fun this holiday season! From danielle & co.
 

Holiday Gift Guide: 19 Gift Ideas Creative Entrepreneurs

Managing a creative business is challenging, time-consuming, and takes a lot of resources. Most importantly, you need support from those around you and to know they believe in your work. This holiday season, you can support the entrepreneur in your life by choosing a gift that gives them a creative boost and edge up in their daily work!

I've gathered up 19 gift ideas that are specifically fit for the hard-working, innovative & fun creatives in your life. They are all things I know I'd be happy find inside a bright-wrapped package! I've sorted them into three categories so you can find just the right gift you're looking for (even if it's just to buy for yourself, after-all.)

This post contains affiliate links, which means I make a small commission if you purchase an item using one. Thank you for supporting danielle & co.!

Gifts To Add To Their Tool Belt

Gift ideas for creative entrepreneurs; how to add to their tool belt this holiday season! From danielle & co.
  1. iPhone Tripod, $21: This small, flexible smartphone mount means being able do more, almost anywhere. Great for taking photos and videos hands-free, or multi-tasking while you're on FaceTime.

  2. Elle & Company Library subscription, $6.99/month: I have followed Elle & Company for quite awhile now, and Lauren Hooker is one of the best resources for running a creative business that I know of. She has put together a library described as "a convenient, inexpensive online collection of workbooks, templates, and files to help entrepreneurs organize and customize the behind-the-scenes of their business." Totally worth it, for the same cost as a cup of fancy coffee.

  3. Ultra-Compact Portable Charger, $20: Never have a phone die mid-brainstorm chat or photo session again! Just the size of a tube of lipstick, it can be easily tucked into any messenger bag and will always come in clutch.

  4. Denim-Covered iPhone Cable, $12: Avoid getting into "is this cord mine or yours?" conversation, and keep them from dangling and fraying too.

  5. Professional Headshots: Having a professional photog take your photo may feel like a splurge, but in a competitive business world the right image can mean everything. If you're looking for headshots on a budget, consider hiring a photography-major college student or someone just starting out; I had outdoor headshots taken by a student two years ago, and for $60 have a great set of quirky, high-quality photos I can use everywhere. (Photo by Adil Ansari on Unsplash.)

  6. Adjustable Laptop Desk, $45: You've probably heard sitting is the new smoking, and this light-weight laptop desk can turn any regular-height counter or desk into a standing one. It can always be adjusted to a lapdesk for lounging on the sofa, when late-night emails need answered.

  7. Wood-look Photo Backdrop, $18 for 3'x3': This high-quality, non-glare vinyl backdrop by Simply Photodrops on Etsy provides a quick, on-trend background to any product-photography or Instagram post.

Gifts To Upgrade Their Office

Gift ideas for creative entrepreneurs; how to add upgrade their office this holiday season! From danielle & co.
  1. Cable Management System, $9: It may not sound exciting, but every entrepreneur has a lot of things plugged in and charging at once. This versatile cable management system can corral all of those loose cords and keep them neat, lined-up, and out of sight.

  2. Don't F*cking Procrastinate Mug, $19: For the person who needs some tough love (and/or has a sense of humor), this bluntly phrased mug will serve up some motivation with their coffee.

  3. Marble Laptop Cover, $13: For a more polished look (yes, that was a marble pun.) this classy-looking laptop cover can make a device seem fancier, for way less cost than an upgrade.

  4. Motivational Pencils, $8 for set of 6: Give them a daily reminder of how hard they hustle and how answer they are, with these affordable message-pencils by CurioPress on Etsy.

  5. HappyLight, $32: As someone who lives in a cold, dark climate much of the year (I'm glaring at you, upstate NY), this is a practical gift that will keep giving, as it lifts an entrepreneur's spirits while they're stuck inside working.

  6. Bamboo Keyboard & Mouse, $60: One of the pricier gifts on this list, these wood keyboard & mouse combos are so unique they are sure to be something they don't already have.

  7. Don't Look Back Art Print, $24 for 11"x14" size: Remind them everyday of how much you believe in their work! This print is available in a range of sizes, by TypeCadCo on Etsy.

Gifts To Enrich Their Experience

Gift ideas for creative entrepreneurs; how to enrich their experience this holiday season! From danielle & co.
  1. Entrepreneur Magazine, $10.99 for an annual subscription: For your friend or family that loves Ted Talks and wants to talk shop over coffee, they can get a year's supply of detailed information & inspiration for just under $11.

  2. Marimekko Postcards, $16 for 100: Everyone running a creative business needs to network; these beautiful, artistic postcards will be memorable when they are sent as a thank-you after an interview, or to request a coffee date.

  3. Audible Subscription, $45 for 3 months: When you're spending hours crafting, making, or typing it can make the time go a lot faster to have something interesting or inspiring to listen to. While podcasts are amazing (and often free), there are so many books it's hard to find the time to read them.

  4. An Inspiring Book, $11 each: I highly recommend Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, for a boost in how to take creative risks. Adam J. Kurtz is one of my favorite entrepreneurs to follow on Instagram, and I can't wait to get my hands on a copy of Things Are What You Make Of Them.

  5. Canvas Fold-Over Backpack, $98: Help them haul all those laptops and notepads in style and comfortable. This bag by Hershel is a perfect fit to keep items secure, and in a neutral and dark enough fabric to hide the inevitable espresso stains. (Link updated 11.28.18 to similar bag to the Madewell one originally shown. I have had a Hershel bag for years now that I adore.)

Well, that's a wrap! I hope this gift round-up has given you some fresh, new gift ideas for that entrepreneur in your life.

What other gift ideas would you recommend? Do you have a favorite gift to give?

- Dani

Gift ideas for creative entrepreneurs; how to add to their tool belt, upgrade their office, and enrich their experience this holiday season! From danielle & co.

Gift ideas for creative entrepreneurs; how to add to their tool belt, upgrade their office, and enrich their experience this holiday season! From danielle & co.

 

18 Gift Ideas For Exploring Artists (or Creative Sorts)

Most people share gift ideas right before the Hanukkah/Christmas holiday season, but Valentine's Day is only a little over a week away and there are always birthdays, anniversaries, graduations... so many gift-giving opportunities! If you are gift shopping for an artist, a art-appreciator, or just someone who is creative and fun, consider an art-related gift! Art supplies are such a fun (and sometimes unexpected) gift to receive. Even experienced artists love having something new to try out, or add into the mix just to keep things fresh.

So, if you're considering another mug or scented candle, hold off on ordering for a minute and check out the ideas below!

Affiliate links are included in this post - thank you for your support!

18 Gift Ideas for Exploring Artists (or Creative Sorts) from danielleandco.com - perfect for Valentine's Day gifts!

In loosely clockwise order...

  1. Watercolor paints: I've been using this set from Kuretaki, and really enjoy it. It's affordable, and yet still has bright and vibrant colors.
  2. Watercolor pencils: While some people think they are "cheating", in mixed media work (or just for fun) I love my similar set of watercolor pencils for their versatility.
  3. Water brushes: It's a little thing, and an awesome add-on or stocking stuffer for anyone into mixed media, watercolor, ink, etc.
  4. Calligraphy set: Modern calligraphy seems to be really on trend right now, and a kit is an awesome gift for anyone who enjoys learning new skills.
  5. Modern Calligraphy Booklet by Mon Voir: On a related note, this booklet has been on my own wishlist for awhile now - or consider gifting someone a ticket to a workshop by a local artist! Mon Voir is located in Costa Mesa, CA.
  6. Art box/mini-easel: I have this one from Amazon, and really like it! It is sturdy enough, and makes it easy to take supplies on the go, for a road-trip or if you want to paint in a natural setting. I included it in my tiny art studio options post awhile back.
  7. Sketchbook: This little moleskin is affordable, well-made (Moleskin is a great brand) and is handy on the go.
  8. The Artist's Handbook: By author Ray Smith, out of all of the art books & guides I've read (I went to art school, so it's not a small amount) this is by far my favorite. I still reference it regularly, and find it provides such good explanations, it always makes me less nervous to try something new!
  9. Giftcard to a local store: Picking out your own art supplies can be the fun part! Maybe pair it with a smaller sketchbook or set of pens? This giftcard is to a local art store near us, Standard Art Supply & Souvenir in Ithaca, NY.
  10. Standing easel: These can be great for allowing an artist to move around more freely while working, and this one also tips so it can lie either horizontal or vertical (and comes with a carrying case).
  11. Micron pens: These pens are the BEST. These are handy for mixed media work, line drawings, but also just for sketching out ideas ahead of time. It's fun to collect different styles and colors, too! As a stocking stuffer or along with a giftcard, these could be a perfect fit. 
  12. Brush cleaner: This one is so cute! Little and adorable, and also functional. I always forget to clean my paintbrushes really well, and having this on a shelf nearby would be a great reminder.
  13. Palette: Very affordable, and necessary too. For watercolor painting, I find this type with many little wells really useful. 
  14. Portfolio case: Once you've started creating work, you need a way to store it! I actually keep my portfolio case under my bed; it just fits super well there.
  15. Art Inc.: Taking art from a hobby to a career can be intimidating; Lisa Congdon has a guide to make it so much more manageable.
  16. Steal Like An Artist: Austin Kleon wrote this small but inspirational book about being creative - it can be exactly what someone needs to keep on creating when the going gets tough.
  17. Adult coloring books: This one by Lisa Congdon (I love her, obviously) is awesome, and I think appeals to a wide range of people - geometric patterns are so neutral. It's a way to be creative and have fun, without the pressure of creating original artwork.
  18. A beret: Because, why not?  Artist's shouldn't take themselves too seriously.

For those who are more into art-appreciating than art-creating, consider some actual artwork - maybe something quirky and fun, or personal to your relationship. Emily A. Clark recently posted art gift ideas for your valentine, and had some great suggestions.

Any other suggestions? Anyone just want to buy some of the stuff for yourself?