15 Perfect Gift Ideas for Artsy Tweens and Teens

updated Nov 9, 2021
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colorful photo of wrapping paper and gifts
Credit: Marc Tran/Stocksy

TBH, buying a gift for a tween or teen can be a little nerve-wracking for everyone involved. We get it: These not-yet-adults are often so full of opinions, attitudes, and eye rolls. Of course, you know they’ll always appreciate cold hard cash… but you also want them to have at least a few gifts to unwrap when the big day rolls around… but you also need to find a gift that won’t make them cringe or, even worse, cause them to label you as cheugy. (It’s OK: You can look that up if you need to. We won’t tell.)

If the tween or teen in your life has an artistic flair, then you’re in luck. We’ve got 15 awesome gifts to help fuel their passion. Here you’ll find presents that will inspire creativity, encourage exploration of new materials, and also show that you’re paying attention to their unique interests. That’s🔥! (Yup, you can look that one up, too.)

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Neon signs usually look pretty cool, but your kid may not want the same design everyone else has. With this kit, they can shape the light-up cord into any design or word they please. A few easy templates also come with it in case they want to go the standard cactus or peace sign route.

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With a special air-dry clay that doesn’t need to be fired in a kiln, this at-home pottery kit arrives complete with everything an artist needs to make a few creations, including clay, sculpting tools, waterproof paint, brushes, and a smoothing sponge.

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was $125.77

Surprise the budding fashion designer in your life with this lightweight, starter machine from a brand that sewing enthusiasts love and trust. It boasts 37 built-in stitches and an automatic needle threader (a real time-saver). Plus, users will get access to tech support via live chat or online for the life of the machine.

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Two-dimensional art is so last century! This awesome pen allows its user to melt filaments (typically made of plastic, but mediums like copper can also be used) and shape them into 3D objects. Ideal for artists and engineers alike, the only limit to what they can make is their imagination.

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Home Depot

Know a tween or teen that has an interest in woodworking? It might be a good time to upgrade their tools or help complete their set with this smart-looking collection. With wood handles and brass accents, this smoothing plane, block plane, try square, and more are all attractive and durable.

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was $25.99

This kit comes with everything your expressive tween needs to create their own roll-on glitter body art. It has 180 designs that can be customized with color, glitter, and gemstones to fit any style. And rest easy, parents: Your kid can remove the designs easily with just soap and water.

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Younger generations may not be familiar with cyanotype — a printing process that uses light to create copies of objects — but they’re sure to enjoy the fun results. This kit is complete with everything your child will need to produce multiple sun prints and gives them access to free video tutorials to make sure they get the results they’re after.

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Home Depot

Best suited to older kids with a steady hand, this wood burning kit is just what your budding artist needs to churn out one-of-a-kind projects: a burning tool with different tips for varying effects, tracing paper, pencils, and more.

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Many jewelry-making kits have childish-looking beads that no tween or teen would be caught dead (or alive) in. Not this one! With more than 200 beads handmade by women receiving a living wage in poverty-stricken areas of Africa, this collection is filled with stylish options for making several bracelets and necklaces.

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This is an ideal pick for kids who are interested in animation, video game design, or photo editing, or those who would like to digitize the art they would typically make with a pen, pencil, or paintbrush. It’s compatible with both Mac and Windows-based computers and Chromebooks, and when it’s not being used for art, it can be a great tool for writing notes during class.

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A massive box of crayons (you know, the one with the built-in sharpener) is an eternally exciting gift for little ones. Elevate the idea a bit for older kids with a 72 count of Sharpie markers with a mix of colors and tips.

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A Sparketh subscription gives someone you love access to more than 1,000 video tutorials that are geared to 6- to 18-year olds. This way they can try out charcoal drawing one week and then acrylic painting the next. And with new videos added all the time, there’s sure to be something for their ever-changing interests.

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Room & Board

This oversized, steel board is the perfect spot for your tween or teen to display the artwork du jour — without putting any extra holes in your wall. It’s magnetic, so it would also make an excellent mood board for a budding fashion designer or a spot for storyboarding out a graphic novel.

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At-home screen printing will allow your artist to make matching tees or totes for themselves and their friends that are perfect for spirit week at school, spreading messages that are meaningful to them, or anything else they can dream up.

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Give them a spot to scribble their sketches, poetry, grand ideas, and more — all inside this appropriately dreamy notebook. The hardcover design can be personalized with their name or favorite quote, whatever is going is going to inspire the greatness inside them. Who knows, maybe you'll get a dedication in their book someday...