11 Unique Gift Ideas for Creatives Under $50

Gina Clark

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Struggling to find gifts ideas for the artsy and crafts-y people in your life?

Well, struggle no more.

I’ve compiled a list of 11 unique gift ideas for creatives under $50.

These unique picks are perfect for holidays, birthdays, or just because.

And, while everything on the list does make a great gift, these are also wonderful ideas for those times when you want to self-indulge and treat yourself!

1.  Portable Watercolour Kit

portable watercolour kit

This little kit is the size of a smartphone and easily tucks into a pocket or bag.   There is also an elastic band attachment that allows you to carry it snug it against your wrist.

The kit hold a surprising amount of paint considering its size.  It features pans for liquid and solid watercolours.  Palettes are fully customizable, as paint is not included with the kit.

Mixing trays, water containers, and 2 brushes complete the package.  This sturdy little kit is perfect for travel, on-the-go, and en plein air painting and sketching.

2.  Shaun Tan – The Bird King Artist’s Notebook

The Bird King book by Shaun Tan

Most creatives, be they painters, writers, or sculptors, have a notebook or twenty lying around.    In The Bird King, author and illustrator  Shaun Tan invites us into his artist’s notebook and creative process.

This book is a feast for the eyes, and Tan’s fantastical images jump off the pages.  Peppered throughout the book are Tan’s sketches, doodles, and creative experiments.

Tan writes and illustrates graphic novels for young adults.  And, while The Bird King is a fantastic gift for tweens and teens, creators of all ages will love thumbing through this book.

3.  Messenger BagCanvas and leather messenger bag

This stylish, unisex bag is the perfect size for a sketchpad, art supplies, and your personal essentials.  Bonus points for the water-resistant canvas and leather construction that makes this bag equally at home in the city or the backcountry.

This messenger bag features 2 large interior sections, one of which is zippered.  Another zippered interior pocket,  2 pen holders, and 2 open pockets ensure you stay organized.  An additional open pocket and security pocket are on the exterior.  This bag has an adjustable shoulder strap.  It’s compact, yet large enough to carry a tablet or small laptop.  Perfect for the art student, professional artist, or the dabbler.

4.  Moleskine Watercolour Pencil and Sketchbook Set

Moleskine art sketch journal and set of 12 watercolour pencils

The folks at Italian-based Moleskine have been creating iconic notebooks and writing/drawing implements since 1997.  Moleskine notebooks are designed after the classic, rounded notebooks manufactured in Paris in the 19th and 20th centuries, and used by artists and authors such as Vincent Van Gogh and Ernest Hemingway.

The notebooks are designed to lay flat, and this sketch-grade artist’s notebook is no exception.   It features a sturdy hard cover and a ribbon bookmark.

The 12 watercolour pencils have a cedar core and will not roll away due to the gently squared edges.  Colours include pitch black, woodnote brown, maze green, breathe green, lift blue, plunge blue, rave purple, blush pink, pulse red, glow orange, shine yellow and dazzle white.

5.  Pottery/Clay Sculpting Tool Set 

Arteza 42 piece pottery and clay sculpture tool set

This beautifully crafted pottery/clay sculpting tool set makes a great gift for beginner and experienced artists alike.

Included in this 42-piece set are double-sided tools for cleaning, scraping, smoothing, and sculpting.

All tips are stainless steel for durability – these tools are strong and won’t bend.  There is also a double-headed rubber shaper in the kit.  The light wood handles will be a practical, and stylish, addition to any studio space.

6. Circular Weaving Looms

Trimits circular weaving looms 5-pack

I love this set of 5 circular weaving looms.  I’m currently obsessed with Tammy Kanat’s stunning organic weavings.  Seriously, check them out.

This affordable set will start anyone on their own circular weaving journey.  Sizes included in the set range from 7.5 to 27.5 cm.  And, bonus:  weavings can be taken off the loom, or kept on and used as a hanging frame.

7. Buddha Board

Original Buddha Board

Meditative, reflective, and eco-friendly!  The Buddha Board is a lovely way to practice brush strokes or just refine your doodling.

The board is made of a slate-like surface that turns black when water is brushed across it.  As the water dries, the image slowly changes until it eventually disappears, leaving an empty board again.  No paper, no ink or paint, and no mess.

The Buddha Board is an environmentally-safe way to sketch ideas and experiment.  Like a zen garden, it evokes the Japanese concept of wabi-sabi or embracing imperfection and impermanence.  Board, stand, and brush included.

8.  Foldable Mini Photography Studio Light Box

foldable mini photography lightbox

Whether your creative is a photographer or just needs to take photos of their work, this mini photo studio light box makes a great gift.

It features integrated and rechargeable LED light strips.  There are 4 different coloured backdrops included.  The light box is designed to take front-facing and overhead shots.  It also includes a smart phone tripod.

At 35 x 40 cm (14 x 16 inches) this light box is suitable for smaller items.  It folds up easily for storage or transport in the included carrying case.

9.  Dual Tip Coloured Alcohol Markers

dual-tipped alcohol markers

Coming in at under $50, this permanent marker set is an amazing value.  Each of the 72 markers have broad and fine tips for any colouring and illustrating need.  The markers are alcohol-based for bold, clear colour.

These markers are non-toxic, fast-drying, and won’t bleed or smudge.  The markers are blend-able and perfect for layering colour.  Comes with a carry-case.

10.  LED Light Box Tracing Board

LED light box art tracing board

This light box is a useful gift for all kinds of creatives – illustrators, photographers, textile artists, painters, or anyone who needs to transfer a design.

The light box is a slim 5mm and weighs under a kilogram (less than 2 lbs).  The LED lighting is adjustable and can be dimmed or brightened depending on what is needed.

The 398 x 300 x 5.15 mm (15.6 x 11.8 inch)  surface has an integrated ruler along two sides.  Comes with a 2 m (6.6 foot) long micro USB cable to connect to a power supply.

11. Alexa Dot (3rd generation)

Alexa Dot 3rd generation Okay, so this one is a little over $50, but it would make a fantastic gift for your creative.  The Alexa Dot ( 3rd generation) comes in at $54.99 and is a great addition to any studio or creative space.

Whether their jam while creating is music, podcasts, or audio books, the Alexa Dot will let them switch it up hands-free.  No more cleaning up dirty hands, or stopping to take a call while in the flow.  Alexa will read the news, check a flight, make a call, and more!  Anything that will help check off mundane tasks, while the creative process is underway, is a win-win.  Yes.  Please.

These are 11 unique gift ideas for creatives under $50.

Happy Creating!

Check out these posts for more creative ideas:

7 Simple Tips to Hang Art for Maximum Impact

How to Set Up an Inexpensive Portable Home Studio

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