— Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission.
Art gifts are some of the most thoughtful you can give: they’re versatile, they place a huge emphasis on creativity and self-expression and they open doors to new hobbies and pastimes.
Don’t get thwarted by shipping delays or sold-out favorites this holiday season. Sign up for our free weekly newsletter and get the product reviews, deals and holiday gift guides you need to start shopping now.
Now, there are incredible tools for art on offer, from digital art to sculpture to writing. We’ve talked about our favorite gifts for young artists before, but art is an ageless pursuit, so we’ve rounded up some of the best art products you can get for everyone, from the budding painter to the seasoned creator.
Just make sure to start shopping for your favorites right now—you never know when they might sell out.
Tackle your holiday shopping early with deals and expert advice delivered straight to your phone. Sign up for text message alerts from the deal-hunting team at Reviewed.
1. For the one who’s always adding Drawing to their class schedule: The Prismacolor 92885T Premier Colored Pencils
Art kids™ will recognize this tin of colored pencils from a mile away. If you’ve ever been in an art class, then you’ve likely had to purchase these classic soft core colored pencils from Prismacolor. Whether you’re planning on doodling on your own time or furiously shading your next sketch for class, this pack of 36 different colors will see you through. If you really want to impress your giftee, you can invest in the 150 pack.
2. For the painter: Soucolor Acrylic Paint Brushes set
Brushes are essential to many art forms, from the obvious example of painting to sculpture, calligraphy and more. This set of 20 paintbrushes (designed for use with acrylic paint) are perfect for someone who's just starting out with acrylics or loves to dabble with painting as a hobby. More than 15,000 reviewers gave this product five stars and many people complimented their high quality at an affordable price.
3. For the jeweler: 73 Piece Essential Jewelers Kit
Jewelry-making is a hobby a lot of people seemed to hop on over the course of the pandemic, and if you’ve been waiting to take the plunge or you know someone that’s been noodling around with ideas for a pair of earrings, look no further than this beginners’ jewelry kit. The kit comes full of the tools every jeweler will need for their trade, from files to pliers to bezel pushers—several reviewers did recommend purchasing it as an addition to a guide to jewelry-making, so that the purpose of all the tools was made clear.
4. For the one whose always shopping for candles: DIY Candle-making Kit
This candle-making kit from Etsy is a great activity that can easily be transformed into a long-time hobby. This DIY kit comes with six glass vessels and up to four 2mL vials of essential oils (you choose your own from the list of 22 provided by the seller that includes bergamot, jasmine, lavender and more), as well as everything else you'll need to create your candles. You can also choose your add-ons, from flower buds to gemstones. It's a gift that has the potential to keep on giving!
5. For the one who never reads the directions: The LEGO Classic Large Creative Brick Box
LEGOs are (very) arguably a perfect gift. They offer an activity, they're fun for many age groups and, in the case of this large Creative Brick box, they're evergreen in terms of their ability to encourage creativity over and over again. This box of more than 700 pieces comes with LEGO bricks in many different colors and sizes and encourages the user to build without roadmaps, creating structures and scenes from scratch.
6. For the absentminded one: The Hedley & Bennett All-Day Crossback Apron
Aprons are a staple of art workshops, especially if you work with messier materials like clay. We tested this apron against highly pigmented holi powder and declared it our favorite for its ability to stand up to both holi powder and water. It even features super adjustable straps. It's a great gift for someone that's constantly complaining about getting their clothes messed up during their ceramics class or hate the look of the smocks provided by the studio. It also has a very convenient front pocket, so your giftee can keep all their tools close at hand.
7. For the designer and beyond: An Adobe subscription
Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and Lightroom are deeply intrinsic to a lot of art careers, and if someone in your life is looking into design (or photography, or illustration or video editing) as more than a hobby, and wants to boost their skills, consider investing in their future by way of a subscription to Adobe's suite of creative tools. You can get individual subscriptions for ad hoc prices, or simply invest in the entire suite.
8. For the one who wants to display their work: Iron Display Easels
Understated and neutral, these wrought iron easels are perfect for displaying not only the art you make but the art you receive or purchase in your home. You can get these easels in either a hammered texture or twisted texture and select either small or large versions of each style. Reviewers noted that they loved the hand-forged detailing and sturdiness of these easels.
9. For the makeup artist: Real Techniques Everyday Essentials makeup brushes
As with any art form, having the right tools makes a huge difference, and in makeup artistry and design, brushes are particularly important. We tested out several different sets of makeup brushes and found that the Real Techniques Everyday Essentials set was our overall favorite thanks to its durable build, affordability and soft bristles. This set would make a great addition to a makeup-themed gift this year, or even as a great add-on to your personal collection.
10. For the aspiring calligrapher: 'Modern Calligraphy: Everything You Need to Know to Get Started in Script Calligraphy'
This book by Molly Suber Thorpe will take you from aspiring calligrapher to script wizard. Our editor Meghan Kavanaugh recommended this book for beginners, noting that it gave her a good understanding of the fundamentals. It would be a good add-on to a calligraphy-themed gift, along with items like calligraphy pens and inkwells.
11. For the one who wants to learn to crochet: Woobles Crochet Kits
Give the gift of Pierre the Penguin and more with Woobles Crochet Kits. We adored Woobles when we tried them out, and each kit comes complete with designs, yarn and everything else you need to develop your giftee's crochet skills. As a bonus, they'll get a deeply adorable little animal friend at the end of their efforts.
12. For the one with more yarn than they can manage: BlueMake Woven Seagrass Belly Baskets
Storage can swiftly become the bane of anyone that owns art supplies, and if you have a knitter, sewer or crocheter with more yarn than space, consider getting them these woven seagrass storage baskets, which come in three different sizes. More than 5,000 reviewers gave these baskets five stars, noting that they used them to hold everything from plants to linens—so you know they can handle all your stray yarn.
13. For literally every artist: Strathmore 400 series Sketch Pad
You can never go wrong with the gift of sketchbooks—I've probably purchased at least 20 Strathmore sketchbooks for myself over the years and would still be ecstatic to receive one over the holidays. They’re one of those easy-to-exhaust resources that are constantly in use, whether you’re a dedicated artist or if you're like me, and use them in lieu of daily planners. Perfect for note-taking, doodling and drawing, these sketchpads from Strathmore are classics for a reason.
14. For the future coder: Artie the Art Bot
This interactive creative toy is perfect for the budding artist and coder on your list. Artie allows kids to design the code for Artie's line drawings, teaching kids the ins and outs of designing code while allowing them to see the results of their designs in real-time.
15. For the one obsessed with 'Moonrise Kingdom': 'Accidentally Wes Anderson'
Art books make perfect gifts. They can elevate a room and tap into the giftee's particular area of interests—in short, they're the best. This book by Wally Koval features real-world images of settings and scenes that reflect the iconic, visionary filmmaking aesthetic of Wes Anderson. As a bonus, it makes for a fantastic coffee table book.
16. For the night owl: The Lumens Z-Bar Gen 3 Desk Lamp
It's like if the Pixar lamp had Elastigirl's powers. The Z-Bar Gen 3 is perfect for art and work that requires attention to detail as it's completely adjustable (it can be contorted into many different configurations), features a touch-strip dimmer, and has a long reach. You can either buy the version with a wall mount or stick it to the table base. Reviewers (several of whom were designers) noted that they used this desk light to replace floor lamps and used it for long hours.
17. For the one with too many paintbrushes: Ceramic Paintbrush Holder
For the painter: a gift for artists made by artists. These drip-effect glazed ceramic cups come with two grooves on the lip, perfect for holding and supporting a horizontally balanced paintbrush. The cups come in colors like peppermint, lilac, peach and more. They're beautiful, functional and will look great no matter where your giftee places them.
18. For the scribbler: Marvy Uchida LePen Fine Line Marker Set
Pens are a staple of almost every kind of art, whether your artist is taking notes, doing fine line work, sketching out designs, or simply has a thing for really great pens. These Marvy Uchida pens come recommended by our editor Meghan Kavanaugh and are fantastic for calligraphic lettering, detailed doodling and everything in between. They're also quite affordable.
19. For the one who wants to get into photography: The Nikon D3500 Camera
If you have someone on your shopping list that wants to get into photography, having a good camera is a great place to start. The Nikon D3500 camera was our favorite camera for beginners, earning our top spot thanks to its compact frame, its simple setup and system menu, and its 3x zoom lens.
20. For the one who loves functional decor: Blick Hardwood Manikin
If your giftee is getting into drawing, loves prioritizing art in their home, or is simply all about interactive art, these hardwood manikins make great reference tools and great home décor. Reviewers recommended these manikins for the price they're also incredible fun to pose.
21. For the artist who loves the holidays: Gingerbread House Kit
Gingerbread houses are classic and so is Dylan's Candy Bar. If your giftee likes to get creative with their gingerbread creations over the holidays, consider giving them the canvas of this Dylan's Candy Bar gingerbread house kit, so they can add their own personal flair to a prebuilt gingerbread structure.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Gifts for artists: The best gifts ideas for artists in 2021