In celebration of the first holiday season as an official company, I’ve have decided to launch our first ever gift guide. Buying for creative teens is not easy, so I thought this list might help make it a bit less stressful. My goal at The Art Supply Junkie is to encourage creativity, inspire people to try new things and to find creative gifts that stand the test of time. Enjoy!
Holidays are a wonderful time for learning something new…
Can you believe It’s that time of year again? Creatives are their own breed and you probably have a few artsy teens on your list, which means you’ll need creative gifts. Teens are so hard to buy for so I thought I would take some of the guess work out of the equation. I interviewed dozens of teens and these were some of the products that kept popping up. Without further ado, here is The Art Supply Junkie’s 2019 gift guide for creative teens…
Affiliate disclaimer: Although I stand by all of the products I use, I can receive a small commission from any products purchased via my affiliate links.
Amazon Alexa is a perfect gift priced at $39.99
You can’t go wrong with Amazon Alexa. My kids love having them in their room. Aside from always having an alarm on hand, they also love to listen to music, make lists and play trivia games. Alexa is great for quizzes, list building and calling friends to look up facts. I can’t imagine what I could have done with an Amazon Dot at their age. Extra bonus, they now come with a digital screen so you can see the time without asking. Perfect for late nights studying and you don’t want to wake the whole family…
Most kids love being able to take pictures. But phones don’t make prints so an Instax camera is always a fun party tool. Just make sure that you also buy extra film for the cameras – and batteries. There’s nothing worse than a gift you can’t use right away. And the best part is they come in lots of fun colors! I love this bundle because it comes with everything and costs $99. If you want it without the bundle, you can get it for $59 here.
My son also highly recommends the Polaroid Mint instant digital camera. It is thin, it is sleek and it fits in your pocket and it has bluetooth. It shoots and prints and is priced at $79.
We are also big fans of the Go Pro. It is a bit more expensive but I do not think the most expensive model is necessary for teens. The Go Pro Hero Silver is still incredible and has a built in battery (fewer pieces to lose). The new Go Pro is the Max which shoots in panoramic – this one is great for more adventurous teens – it would be amazing while surfing or skiing. But for the average budding film maker, Polaroidis just fine and priced at $199. For an extra $30 you can get the whole bundle which is a great value.
I am also a huge fan of the Canon M50. I personally own this camera and it is mirrorless, shoots 4K video and takes incredible photos and video. It is expensive, but maybe a great gift for someone who is pretty serious about travel and photography. I think it is also the best bang for the buck in the point and shoot category.
I am obsessed with the Sprocket. It’s probably because I used to love having pictures of friends on my wall in high school and college. Who remembers those magazine collages in the 90’s? The sprocket is simple to use – just attach to your I phone and it instantly prints out pictures. No more waiting at the store for pictures to be ready. Doubles? No problem! Just hit print twice. You can even print right from social media. These little printouts are amazing for handmade collages, cards and room decor.
Sproket photo printer, $79.99
Learning to make things using Sculpey is a relaxing and rewarding experience. Having the skill to sculpt or make jewelry or functional art can be empowering. Sculpey is always a hit with older kids and teens. For beginners using polymer clay, we recommend Sculpey multi-pack because it provides so many colors to start for a great price. It also makes an incredible gift. We also recommend the following ad-ons to make this set ready to use right away. We absolutely love this acrylic rolling pin and this pasta maker for rolling out the clay. The rolling pin is more than enough for a beginner, but the pasta machine makes it even more fun. We love this book because it has such a diverse set of projects with which to get started. Newbies can also reference our guide to beginners use of polymer clay. Keep some baby wipes on hand for easy clean up and they’ll be ready to go..
Sculpey multi-pack, 30 colors for $21.56
Color changing phone case
I am obsessed with this phone case. This is the mood ring for this generation. When you take your hands to it, it changes color. SO cool! Just make sure you have the proper size phone case. Nothing is worse than a phone case that doesn’t fit!
Changes color with the warmth of the touch, $7.77
HYDRO FLASKS WITH STICKERS
Hydro flasks are not going away. Why are all the kids jumping on the trend? Well, they have a clean design and they stay cold for 24 hours. They come in many different colors and sizes and also make a perfect canvas for personalization. I think most kids are using the 24oz right now. The stickers make for a great representation of who they are. Amazon sells an amazing pack of stickers to choose from for just xxx. You can’t beat that!
*a little disclaimer – amazon stickers are the best deal around. There are a few strange stickers included in the logo bundle, so you might have to pull a few out before gifting, but the rest are amazing. My kids love them.
From Vans to Nike, so many big sneaker companies are offering ways to make a beautiful pair of original sneakers. I have to be honest, I love all the color combos and I am grateful that kids are turning on the color these days. They take a few weeks to deliver, but it’s worth the wait. All you do is click on the Nike by You page and have them customize. The website is amazing. They can change the sole, the laces, the tongue, the swoosh and the fly wire. Little tip: Make sure you let them pick what they want. There’s nothing worse than a custom pair of shoes you didn’t have a hand in customizing (and can’t return.)
There are hundreds of color combos and styles to choose from
Sewing can inspire so much creativity. This is a perfect gift for a teen who loves to design, can’t get enough Project Runway and wants to gain the skills to make their own clothes and pillows. There are so many amazing machines out there, but for a teenager starting out I highly recommend this one. It’s simple to use, has 10 built‐in stitches, and is extremely safe because the needle is covered to protect fingers. It is also not insanely heavy which makes it portable. It also comes in lots of fun colors. If you think they need a guide to help figure out what to make, I love this book because it includes amazing projects to get kids amped up to use their machine. You can’t go wrong with this little stocking stuffer – how cute are these pin cushions?!
This little machine is mighty and easy for beginners
There’s been a needle punching renaissance and I am so excited. When I was a kid I used to love making latch rugs. But, by the end, my arm hurt from all the twisting. Needle punching makes beautiful little (or big) rugs and they are so much easier to use – no twisting of the arm! I personally love the Amy Oxford tool because it works so well and is comfortable. It comes in lots of different sizes but I recommend starting with #10 needle. You can always add on as it gets more exciting. If you’re a true beginner, you might want to try one of her kits. They come with everything you need to get started.
The Oxford Needle Punch
My kids love hanging out and doing homework on the floor. I love these cushions because they’re flat. They can be used for elbows and on the backs of chairs. They’re also great for travel. Aside from that, they’re super cute and sure to make a punch. Did you pick up on that little pun?
How cute are these?! And under $7!
5 SURPRISE MINI-BRAND MYSTERY CAPSULE
I had never heard Surprise Mystery Capsules before but if they were around when I was a kid, I would have been obsessed! They seem like they would be too old to like these, but so many teens said they still love the surprise element. And, how cute are they?
Here’s what a local teenager told me, “I love surprises. Does anyone else? The anticipation of waiting for a surprise is a feeling everyone can relate to. What I really like about this is that there is a little ball with a secret compartment. You open it up and a surprise comes out. Different capsules have different surprises but there are a variety of surprises inside. You can get a box of candy, toys, fidgets, a bottle of soy sauce, fruity pebbles. They are all real products, but miniatures.”
This is what they look like
This is what they look like
I asked myself the other day – why do kids love gift cards? It’s the same thing as just giving a kid money and telling them to go to Target… but it’s not. They love the freedom of being able to go to a certain place – like Starbucks, Amazon, and iTunes. If someone is obsessed with getting their Vanilla Frappe and a warm muffin, there’s nothing better than whipping out the old gift card. Trust me, you cannot go wrong with a gift card. As an added bonus – when your kids keep asking for things, you can say, “just use your gift card.”
Why are air pods so cool? What makes them different from other bluetooth listening devices? They’re portable, have crystal clear sound, and a microphone for talking on the phone. But the best part is that the minute you take them out of your ears, they disconnect. It may sound silly, but it saves you the extra step of going to settings and turning them on and off. I was dubious, but once I tried them I totally understood what all the fuss was all about. Extra bonus: the price went down recently, so they’re now under $150
Air Pods, now under $150
This one might sound like a strange choice, but I have to include them in the gift guide because I am in love with them. Made by FCTRY, a creative company based in Brooklyn, these umbrellas are sure to wow. And if you want to get a political gift, their political action figures are perfect for your little activist.
They’re even more magical in real life
I know this sounds like a silly choice, but I have never met a creative kid who doesn’t love a fresh pack of markers. Sharpies now come in neon colors and they recently came out with a 72 pack of markers in a lovely box. I think if someone bought the 72 pack for me I would love it. Plus, Sharpies are great for so many things – from doodling to labeling to fake tie dye. If you don’t want to invest in Sharpies, I am a big fan of the Amazon brand of permanent markers. I think they work just as well…
And that’s a wrap on the ultimate guide for creative teens, 2019. If there’s anything we missed, please comment below! Happy Holidays!