It’s that time of the year! Here are my recommendations for the best gifts to get makers in 2020. To keep up with what I’m working on, follow me on YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and subscribe to my newsletter. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases you make using my affiliate links.
2020 proved that having a sewing machine at home can be a real lifesaver. This year I sewed so many fabric face masks that I wrecked my machine through lack of oiling. Lesson learned. I bought a new Janome HD-3000 and immediately began a routine of cleaning and oiling it (with sewing machine oil) after sewing a bobbin’s worth of thread. If your giftee already has a sewing machine, consider adding a serger or electronic embroidery machine to their arsenal.
Tools and How to Use Them Book
This timeless classic book is great for both casual reading/discovery and also as a reference text for how to use hundreds of common tools. Tools and How to Use Them by Albert Jackson and David Day
I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t benefit from having an abundance of microfiber cleaning cloths around. They’re good for cleaning glasses, screens, fine jewelry and silverware, and plastic surfaces that scratch easily, like motorcycle helmet visors.
Every maker has a use for canned air, like cleaning out a computer keyboard or dusting off a macro photography surface. Personally, I work in a pretty small space that has to work triple duty, so I use canned air to dust off my houseplants when they inevitably become covered in sawdust. Don’t use this stuff inside your sewing machine, though.
Get ’em while you can! Makers who work with epoxy resin or other chemicals need gloves to protect their skin, but the pandemic has dramatically increased demand for nitrile gloves, and they can be hard to find in stock. Keep your maker safe and productive with an always-welcome gift of PPE.
Leuchtturm1917 A5 Hardcover Notebook
Every creative needs a place to jot down ideas and create small sketches. The Leuchtturm1917 A5 hardcover notebook is absolutely perfect in every way. It’s durably portable because of its hard covers and elastic closure. It lays flat when it’s open. It has a pocket. It has enough pages to last at least a whole year. The dotted paper helps with drawing neat diagrams, but doesn’t overwhelm like full-on gridded paper does. Nobody would be sad to receive one of these excellent quality notebooks as a gift!
Hakko Wire Strippers
Any electronics fan will love a new pair of Hakko wire strippers. They’re miles better than the cheap facsimiles and will improve the experience of working with wire considerably. Check out my review video.
Pump-Top Solvent Bottles
These incredibly versatile dispensers are just as at home on a modelmaker’s bench and a manicurist table. There are several crafts that involve handy access to alcohol, acetone, or another solvent, and these pump-top dispenser bottles are the perfect thing.
Olfa Utility Knife
The Olfa ratchet-lock heavy-duty utility knife is super high quality and versatile. It holds the blade more securely than your average boxcutter. It’s lightweight enough to be comfortable for precision work while still being strong enough to breakdown a pile of cardboard boxes. Watch my review video.
GoPro HERO Session Camera
Although it’s been discontinued, you can still buy the GoPro HERO Session camera online. The tiny square form factor is easy to rig in the workshop or on the body to capture critical project documentation.
Art for Their Workshop
Extra Power Tool Batteries
Find out what kind of cordless power tool brand reigns supreme in your loved one’s workshop and buy them extra batteries. Leisurely battery management is a simple luxury.
Small Parts Organizer Drawers
Akro’s small parts drawers can come in handy no matter what you like to make. Almost every hobby has some amount of small parts that need to be organized, and these are awesome. You can mount them to a wall or stack them on each other.
The Parrot Teleprompter is an amazingly useful piece of gear. It comes with different sized rings to fit any lens, and your phone slips into it to become the screen for the teleprompter using the companion app. I can control the playback with a bluetooth remote. This is the perfect gift for a content creator who wants to have an easier time filming direct-address video segments.
The Art of Noticing Book
Even if I didn’t know Rob Walker already, I would still love to recommend his book The Art of Noticing. It’s full of great ways to shift your perspective on just about anything, which will boost your creativity and satisfaction in life. You can also join Rob’s TAoN email newsletter for a weekly dose in your inbox.
For more ideas, check out last year’s gift guide:
Thanks for reading! You can browse more of my favorite products for makers on my Amazon storefront.
If you liked this post, you might like these others:
- Appearance on Cool Tools podcast
- Top Cutting Tools – My Favorite Knives, Scissors, and More
- Workspace Inspiration – My Desks and Studios Throughout Time
- My Camera Gear 2020