2018 Holiday Gift Guide for Creatives

Written by Mark Rogers

The holidays are just around the corner, and it’s time to start checking off your gift list. If you have a photographer, artist or dedicated DIYer in your circle of family and friends, skip the standard holiday gifts and get them something they’ll treasure. We’ve put together our top picks for creative gifts -  all under $50 so you can spread the holiday cheer and get a little something for yourself too.

Framed Scratch-off Travel Map

gift guide for creatives travel scratch map USA Scratch Map, Uncommongoods.com, $30

Perfect for travel photographers who want to see it all — or the artists who want to paint their version of the world — a scratch-off travel map lets recipients watch as their travel stories grow. Also available in pushpin varieties, a travel map of the US, the world or anything in between lets them relive their past travels as they document their new adventures. Frame the map in an elegant wood frame or modern metal frame before gifting so that it’s ready to display as soon as they receive it.

Artists Sock Gift Set

guide guide for artists socks The Artists Socks Gift Set, ChattyFeet.com, $39.38

Photographers and artists who like to practice their craft outside could always use some cozy socks. These socks, designed with some of the world’s most famous artists, are not only cozy — they’re quirky enough to show off a little bit of creativity. The four-pair set transform feet into Frida Kahlo, Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso and Vincent Van Gogh in funky colors and unique artwork. If your recipient is more into modern art, the modern artists gift set features artists such as Salvador Dali and Piet Mondrian, stylized in the art for which they’re known.

Do-It-Together Holiday Decor

Holiday Shadow Boxes Shadow Box, FrameDestination.com, starts at $21.90

Crafters often have closets full of supplies, but there’s always room for a few more. A shadow box frame — in other words, a frame with a very deep rabbet — is perfect for the holiday season, as they’re excellent homes for DIY holiday decor. Make this a project for you to do together by including the materials for holiday shadow boxes, such Christmas ornaments, themed craft paper and other themed items. You can even make it a set and include items for all the seasons, creating a project that can last a whole year

Frame Destination Ar-Tee

gift guide ar-tee Ar-Tee, FrameDestination.com, $19.95

Creatives are in the business of “expression” — and now they can express themselves and their passion for art and photography with these ultra-soft Heritage T-shirts featuring your FBF (Framer’s Best Friend), Artie. The fun photo-inspired Ar-Tee pays tribute to all of Artie's favorite photographers and shutterbugs, while the fine art-inspired version lets Artie celebrate all his fab artistic friends. With these unique, playful sentiments, this T-shirt makes a great gift for all the creatives on your list. And while you’re there, pick up our Limited Edition True Blue Ar-Tee for yourself — only available while supplies last!

Custom Hand-Painted Mugs, Cups and More

gift guide for hand-painted mug Fox mug with birch trees, Essex Studio, $27.00

Artists love to support other artists, so give your creative friends and family members a hand-painted item of their creative icon, favorite animal, seasonal scenery, or a completely unique design. Sites such as Etsy are chock full of independent artists of all types of talents across the world, so you can always find what you’re looking for. If you're into custom prints, try a design template for photoshop and then have it printed onto the mug through a site like Zazzle. The mug above is from Essex Studio, a small shop in New York that specializes in hand-painted glassware of woodland creatures and farm animals. Another series, painted by Los Angeles artist Meena Kumar, depicts famous female icons such as Frida Kahlo in a mosaic style, while Utah artist Rachel Kozlowski paints whimsical pet portraits on all sorts of household items.

Shadow Box Bank

gift guide honey fund shadow box Honey Fund Shadow Box Bank, FrameDestination.com, starts at $21.90

There’s always the latest equipment, high-end supplies or new project that creatives want to undertake but can’t yet afford. If you can’t fund the entire gift, create a custom savings shadow box to help them save. You can decorate the inside of the shadow box to perfectly represent the item they want: use a print of the exotic land they’ve been dying to visit and paint, or an image of that camera lens they’ve been eyeing.

To create this unique gift, order the shadow box in the size of your print with a piece of 3/16-inch backing board. Order a piece of standard acrylic separately that is two inches smaller than your frame size.

Example: If your print is 11x14 inches, order a frame kit with a piece of 3/16-inch foam core. If the print is horizontal, order the acrylic at 9x14. If it’s vertical, order it at 11x12. Note that “Honey Fund” tag is not included, but you can easily make your own custom tag with card stock and colored sharpie markers —and don’t forget to slip in some cash to start them off!

Monthly Subscription Box for Crafters and Artists

gift guide for artists subscription box Monthly craft box, AdultsandCrafts.com, $33.00

Subscription boxes are a popular gift, but many don’t realize it’s not just food and wine. Monthly subscription boxes specifically made for crafters and artists have grown in popularity, and there are now dozens from which to choose: Adults and Crafts offers themed kits that include everything you need for Pinterest-worthy crafts, while Scrapbooking Store sends handpicked scrapbooking supplies in a monthly package. For the artsy types, try ArtSnacks or SketchBox, which offer monthly shipments of high-quality art supplies.

Frame Destination Gift Card

Frame Destination gift card Gift card, FrameDestination.com, $5.00-1,000

You can never go wrong with a gift card. A Frame Destination gift card can be the perfect standalone gift — especially for photographers and artists who regularly need ready-made picture frames and other framing supplies — or a companion gift, such as with a scratch-off travel map. Including a gift card for a picture frame can also help make your present even more personal: your recipient gets to choose how to frame that print you’ve specially selected or piece of original artwork.

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