If you’re here… you probably know this hobby can get spendy. And unfortunately, it’s also a pretty hard hobby to gift. Skiiers get new gloves, people who like cooking get swanky new knives, and people who like making lotions and soap get… odd looks. “4L of olive oil? Are you sure?” they’ll say. “That’s a lot of olive oil…” and then look at you like some oil-obsessed weirdo (and they probably aren’t wrong, let’s be honest). And so it goes. Hence, this post! If you need gift ideas for a friend who loves DIYing, or suggestions for people asking you for gift ideas, this should set you up.
Coffee Grinder & Dust Mask
Having a DIY-only coffee grinder is hugely helpful for anything involving powders, and especially pigments, but it seems it’s something people often resist investing in—but once they do, they’re so stoked that they did! Say hello to silky smooth face masks, evenly ground pigments, and beautiful powdered cosmetics. My favourite grinder is from Krups; just make sure you pair it with a dust mask for safety!
These particular spatulas are my absolute favourite. I have oodles of them, and they are amazing. If you’ve seen any of my YouTube videos, you know the ones and I’m betting you’d love to have one if you don’t already have three 😉
A bundle of tiny wire whisks makes a great stocking stuffer, and they’re incredibly useful for small-quantity DIY projects.
Tiny Measuring Spoons
I use these things all the time. If your recipient likes to make anything with pigments (cosmetics, tinted lip balms, etc.) or enjoys using potent, lightweight additives like silk powder, these spoons will quickly become a favourite piece of equipment. I like this specific set from Fox Run because it’s an extension of the more normal teaspoon set. 1 dash = 1/8 tsp, 1 pinch = 1/16 tsp, 1 smidgen = 1/32 tsp, and 1 nip = 1/64 tsp. This set is extra super awesome if you’re planning on getting my book 🙂 This Norpro set also works (and is easily available on Canadian Amazon, while the other set no longer is—though you can find the Fox Run ones easily on eBay.ca at a good price), with an additional spoon. 1 tad = 1/4 tsp, 1 dash = 1/12 tsp, 1 pinch = 1/16 tsp, 1 smidgen = 1/32 tsp, and 1 drop = 1/64 tsp. I’ve written up an FAQ page detailing the various sets you can buy and what measures they have—check it out here.
Prep cups are insanely useful, especially for small batches of things—I use them mostly for cosmetics. I have about 60 of them (ridiculous, I know!) and there were phases of my book development where I was using every single one of them.
A scale is 100% necessary for DIYing, so there’s a good chance your recipient already has one, but you can probably give ’em an upgrade with a more precise scale. Most people seem to start with one that is accurate to 1g/0.03oz. A bump to one that’s accurate to 0.1g or 0.01g is an amazing upgrade, especially for smaller batches of things. I like these two:
- Smart Weigh Digital Pro Pocket Scale with Back-Lit LCD Display, Silver
- Smart Weigh SWS100 Elite Pocket Sized Digital Scale, Black
I use these measuring cups for pretty much everything. I have at least two of each the 1-cup, 2-cup, and 4-cup sizes, and they get SO much use. They’re useful for everything from soap to lotion to body butter, and since they’re non-porous glass they’re also useful in the kitchen.
Gift Certificate to Suppliers
Without a specific wish list from your giftee it’s hard to know exactly what their dream ingredients are, so going with a gift certificate is the best idea. You can have quite a lot of fun for $50! Check out my big list of places around the world to shop for ideas of places to get gift certificates. If the recipient really likes making cosmetics, I’d recommend TKB Trading, if they like skincare New Directions is great, and if they like soap making, Brambleberry has some great moulds and kits and other fun soap things.
Vintage containers & cute jars
Go to some cool second-hand and antique stores and look for some cute wee jars to put projects in. They’re fun, unique, and awesome gifts.
Amazon has tons of these, and they make fantastic moulds for body butter bars, bath melts, soap, and more—depending on the size and what your recipient likes to make. I love this hexagonal mould, these cute wee hearts, and these jumbo cubes (awesome fod soap!).
Photo props (old boards, fabric, cute mixing dishes, etc.)
If your recipient likes to photograph their projects, interesting backgrounds, props, papers, dried herbs, and other fun things are awesome to play with. You can try hitting up a local Home Depot for things like large tiles to pretend you have different counter tops, search out old milk crates and boards, and look for wee antique jars, fabrics, and spoons. Other things I love are printed tissue papers (can also double as packaging), interesting wood/stone cheese boards, kraft paper, rustic wooden cutting boards, and marble pastry boards.
If your giftee wants to make their own cosmetics, you should definitely get them my book 😉 If they’ve already pre-ordered it, check out the list of ingredients and equipment needed to make the projects in it.