Buying that perfectly thoughtful and personalized gift can be a real challenge! Don’t worry, we know the struggle! Whether you are shopping for an artist, writer, designer, or simply someone who loves to express themselves creatively, we’ve got you covered with a wide range of unique and inspiring gift ideas below.
We hope this Ultimate Gift Guide will help make gift-giving to that creative person in your life a little easier!
1) Gifts to encourage self-expression
Creative types often view the world around them and their own lives as a work of art and likely seek opportunities for self-expression in everyday life. Help them express themselves!
Some people enjoy expressing themselves through bold fashion statements and others through photography, the written word, or culinary delights! Some appreciate innovative technology and require all the latest tech gadgets while others are DIY creatives and enjoy making things by hand. Or maybe this creative person is more of a design minimalist and appreciates all things that represent great design. Whatever form of self-expression they enjoy, trust me, there is a gift for that!
FOR THE INSPIRED IDEA GENERATOR
Creative individuals often like to record things that inspire them. This set of 3 limited edition United States of Letterpress Notebooks from Field Notes are the perfect size to carry in a backpack, purse, or back pocket to be sure your creative friend is always prepared to capture moments of inspiration! Size: 3.5″x 5.5″, 48 graph pages, featuring beautiful letterpress work of nine independent letterpress shops from across the U.S.
FOR THE STYLE ICON
If she loves making a bold statement with a vibrant wardrobe, a fun pom-pom beanie in a “look-at-me” pink, burgundy, or sapphire blue will speak her fashion language. Oversized pom-poms, colored cashmere beanies, and chunky knits are all in style this season. And there are so many options to choose from!
Northface Women’s Oh Mega City Pom Beanie
Columbia Winter Blur Pom Pom Beanie
FurHatWorld The Lyric Navy Slouch Beanie Hat with Pom Pom
Tip: For more cost-effective options, go with non-cashmere and faux fur.
FOR THE CREATIVE MIXOLOGY LOVER
This Personalized Tennessee Bourbon Whiskey Bootleg Kit is for that unique person in your life who knows how to fully appreciate a well aged malt scotch whiskey, rum, or full-bodied bourbon. Allow them to get creative and express themselves by aging their own spirits! A great conversation piece for their home bar! (note: alcohol not included)
Tip: For a more cost-effective option, go with a non-personalized barrel.
FOR THE MODERN CREATIVE GENTLEMAN
Unique, stylish socks are such a cool fashion statement for a creative man! London Sock Co. works closely with talented designers and creatives, including professional stylist and image consultant Joe Ottaway and artist Rosemary Goodenough. Celebrities such as Daniel Craig, Sam Smith, and Dev Patel are also fans of these stylish socks! So many different size gift box options and even a sock subscription.
FOR THE NON-COMMITTAL ART LOVER
Temporary tattoos aka “flash tats” are great for those who might enjoy playing around with self-expression through body art but don’t want to commit to one particular work of art for life! For anyone wanting to experiment with body art, designs by Tattly celebrate the artwork of professional artists. These lovely tats shown here are designed by Rifle Paper Co. Find a variety of tatoos at tattly.com and flashtat.com.
Looking for a unique gift? One great place to shop for unique items is at art museum gift stores. Many of the world’s best museums have online stores. Did you know you could shop online at the Louvre gift shop in Paris, France? Museums tend to have an interesting variety of thoughtfully curated items that are perfect for gift-giving!
2) Gifts to excite their design sense
Creative people tend to get excited over unique and well-designed products and experiences. Speak their language with some ideas below!
FOR THE DESIGN-CONSCIOUS CREATOR
This sleek Grovemade collection has clean lines, and a thoughtful design, and is made from natural materials. This setup is sure to inspire your hard-working creative friend and allow them to take their workspace, and their work, to the next level.
FOR THE BOOKWORM
These books by typography superstar Jessica Hische are absolutely amazing! The Penguin Drop Caps series includes 26 unique hardcovers of classic literature featuring gorgeous cover art for each letter of the alphabet.
Individual Drop Caps books
Full Drop Caps series of 26 books
FOR THE TYPOGRAPHY LOVER
Those who are passionate about type design might want to protect their desk in style with these premium leather ampersand coasters. Copywriters in your life might also appreciate this one! Ugmonk Leather Coasters, Set of 2
FOR THE ILLUSIONIST
This unique black metal superhero bookend adds unexpected visual interest to any bookshelf.
FOR THE COLOR LOVER
This cheerful Color Wheel Umbrella with 24 colors will certainly brighten up a dreary rainy day. Available at MoMA Design Store online gift shop.
FOR THE PUZZLE ENTHUSIAST WITH A KEEN EYE
Our office is filled with creative people who love a good puzzle break during the workday! As creatives who solve tough design challenges, we sometimes need a quiet mental break. Puzzles are a great way for us to step away from our computers and work together. These beautiful puzzles from BetterCo. are created by designer Vin Thomas. Find others at the BetterCo. on Amazon.
FOR THE PRINT NERD & CARD PLAYER
Gorgeously designed and printed, these handcrafted luxury playing cards combine multiple print techniques including gold foil, hot stamping, and bronze foil. Wow, such amazing details! The Citizens deck of cards from @Theory11 was illustrated by the amazing @kevincantrellstudio and printed by @studioonfire
Some brands have more creative packaging designs for their products, which are perfect for gifts! Often packaging that is unique and well-designed can take your gifting game to the next level. Great packaging design has the ability to elevate everyday products to something more extraordinary, impactful, and memorable. Be on the lookout for cool packaging design!
3) Gifts to encourage trying new things
One common trait of many creative people is that they are often more open to exploring and trying new things. This openness is a significant predictor of creative output. Look for uncommon things and experiences that are off the beaten path or a little unusual. These are more apt to fuel their creativity.
FOR THE ADVENTUROUS WINE DRINKER
Help your creative friend discover new wines! Vinebox wines are carefully curated by the team of Vinebox sommeliers and include three vials of spectacular wines!
FOR THE WANDERLUST JOURNALER
The Celestial Hardback Journal with art by Yao Cheng is a beautiful 5-year, one-line-a-day, hardback journal that includes dreamy celestial watercolor artwork on the cover, featuring gold foil details and gilded page edges. It’s sure to inspire the recipient to record their daily adventures in short and sweet one-liners.
FOR THE TEA DRINKER
The WellBeing Presentation Box is perfect for a tea lover who might enjoy trying new teas. Tea Forte also has a great packaging design including unique pyramid tea infusers with their iconic green leaf on top.
Gifts that can be personalized add an extra special touch! Sites like etsy.com and markandgraham.com offer many great gift options that can be personalized for the recipient such as with a name, monogram, or special date that is embossed, embroidered, etched, or engraved. Just be sure to leave extra ordering time for customization. You can also personalize your own gifts if you are skilled at hand lettering with basic things like embossing powder and an embossing heat gun. Check out this tutorial: Emboss Like a Boss!
4) Gifts to encourage creativity
FOR THE WITTY WRITER
These popular felt letter boards are so fun and can be super creative! Letterfolk offers some great size and color options. Give your witty friends a board of their own for ongoing creative fun in their homes or office!
FOR THE DIY HOT SAUCE LOVER
The Chili Lab Homemade Hot Sauce Kit by Williams Sonoma includes the signature spices and essential tools needed to craft two artisanal blends. They’ll have some red-hot creative juice flowing in no time with this kit!
FOR THE ASPIRING HAND LETTERING ARTIST
Inspire an artist to do more of what they love with this bestselling book, Creative Lettering and Beyond, which combines artistic talents, inspirational tips, and tutorials from four professional hand letterers and calligraphers.
FOR THE SERIOUS DIY CRAFTER
The Cricut Maker + Essentials Bundle cutting machine offers amazing precision, performance, and simplicity! It cuts a wide variety of materials from paper to iron-on transfers to vinyl — even thick materials like leather and felt. Every serious crafter needs one! The possibilities are endless for what can be done with this machine. The Essentials Bundle has the essential tools to get you started!
With some large mason jars, create ready-to-make cookie recipes for your friends and family. You can get very creative with decorating and personalizing them for specific people. This kit on Etsy makes it easy for you — it includes all the materials needed to decorate 12 mason jars so you just need to decide on your recipe!
5) Gifts to support their high-tech habits
FOR COFFEE-LOVING TECH NERD
The Ember Mug² in Copper is a ceramic Bluetooth mug that will let you select your preferred drinking temp so your hot beverage is perfect from the first sip to the last drop. Beautifully designed and easy to use, thanks to a dedicated and simple app.
FOR THE INNOVATIVE ILLUSTRATOR
Let their imagination run wild with the ability to draw in mid-air using the 3Doodler Create+ or 3Doodler PRO+ Printing Pen Set.
FOR THE ON-THE-GO TECH LOVER
These stylish double-leather charger roll-ups are perfect for people who love style and function! These can also be foil-debossed with a personalized monogram. Available via Mark and Graham.
Online sites like uncommongoods.com specialize in unique, unforgettable items that are created by talented artisans. You can often read about the stories behind the product and creator. These are perfect for gift-giving when you want something a little unexpected.
6) Gifts to keep them focused & productive
FOR THE MUSIC LOVER
Beats by Dr. Dre, now a part of Apple, specializes in headphones that combine design, style, and great sound into one. You are sure to find the perfect pair in their product lineup at various price points. Shown here are the Beats Solo3 Wireless On-Ear Headphones in Rose Gold.
FOR THE COFFEE ADDICT
Let’s be real: creativity without caffeine is an impossible task. Give the gift of a monthly coffee subscription from Counter Culture for 3, 6, or 12 months. Choose a theme, such as “Apollo” which is specifically Ethiopian coffees with floral and citrusy notes.
FOR THE GOAL-GETTER
Thousands of women from all over the world have made their goals happen with the Cultivate What Matters Powersheets Goal planner. It is for anyone who desires a grace-filled system that truly works. Help someone you know achieve their creative goals and give this planner as a life-changing gift!
FOR THE CREATOR ON-THE-GO
The BLUBOON Backpack is one of the coolest backpacks we have found for the price. With loads of pockets, it’s perfect for that person you know that likes to carry a lot of creative tools… sketchbooks, cables & cords, laptop, Pantone books, etc. It has a cool vintage look with soft canvas and genuine leather trimming.
If you have artistic skills yourself, you could create a personalized illustration or piece of framed artwork as a gift for someone special! There is nothing cooler and more unexpected than being able to surprise someone with artwork you personalized for them. They will likely cherish it for a long time.
Here’s one great example in which my co-worker created a custom illustration as a gift to our boss. He decided to illustrate a humorous story our boss told us about a gaggle of turkeys that were wreaking havoc in his neighborhood. This gift has since gone down in our record books as one of the coolest creative gifts in our office!
(Artwork created by Christopher Arinez gifted to Dave Belyea)
7) Gifts with an extra personalized touch
CUSTOM RUBBER STAMP PORTRAITS
How cool would it be to give a friend a custom rubber stamp of their pets?! Simply provide photos of the pets to the artist. This Etsy shop also offers people/family portrait stamps as well!
CUSTOM FAMILY WATERCOLOR PORTRAIT
Have a super sweet custom 8×10 watercolor portrait created from a family photo that you supply to the artist! (*3 month lead time)
PERSONALIZED CHEESE BOARD
Why settle for just an ordinary cheese board when you can give someone a truly memorable board for entertaining? There are so many unique designs, sizes, woods, and finishes to choose from available on Etsy. This one shown here is made from mahogany and engraved with your custom text.
And finally, one of the most creative ways you can dress up your gift is with the visual presentation of your wrapping!
There are so many ways you can get creative with wrapping gifts beyond the regular store-bought paper, bows, and tags. You can reuse, repurpose, and rethink different materials you might not ordinarily associate with wrapping a gift and create something extra unique and memorable! You might be able to use things like fabric, greenery, twine, stamps, bells, feathers, gift toppers, and unique ribbons and paper.
We hope the samples below will help to inspire you to try something a little extra special this year. Sometimes the first impression of the outer wrapping is important in setting up the amazing gift inside!