Holiday gift guide for the upcycler in your life

Need a gift guide to know what to buy for the upcycler in your life this holiday season? Note – if that upcycler is you, that’s fine too!

Have family or friends who don’t know what to buy, so want to narrow it down but still get a surprise? Send them this list and see what happens!

This gift guide has ideas for:

  1. Learning about upcycling and design

2. Tools to help with upcycling projects

3. Treats to splash out on

4. Ways to improve a creative business

And if you have those covered, head to the five products you need to start upcycling!

This page includes some affiliate links so you can easily find the products I love and use myself. If you purchase these products, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Books

Rescue, Restore, Redecorate

Gift guide - Rescue, restored redecorate book

In this book, Amy Howard teaches techniques that celebrate the ‘use what you have’ method of redecorating. She explains processes such as faux finishes, gold leaf and distressing, and what is needed to achieve each look.

This is a lovely coffee table book full of beautiful photos to help get inspired by new techniques.

The Furniture Bible

Gift guide - the Furniture Bible book

The Furniture Bible covers how to identify, restore and care for all kinds of furniture and wood types.

The author is from a long line of furniture restorers and teaches the best ways to lovingly care for pieces. It’s as in-depth as you could ever need but also works to dip in and out of, to get quick answers.

Amazing Furniture Makeovers

Gift guide - Amazing Furniture Makeovers book

Amazing Furniture Makeovers is by Jen Crider, from the upcycling blog, Girl in the Garage. It’s a compilation of 25 furniture makeovers with step-by-step tutorials for both beginner and more advanced projects.

It’s a lovely book to learn different techniques and also inspire your own projects.

The Artist’s Way

Gift guide - the artist’s way book

The Artist’s Way is a 12-week creativity course designed for people to work through the exercises and gain artistic inspiration. It aims to teach techniques and help people in gaining self-confidence in harnessing their creative talents and skills.


Magazines

Restore Magazine

Gift guide - Restore magazine

Restore is a magazine created for upcyclers, artisans and small business owners. It has features such as Etsy help, a day in the life, and upcycling advice.

It’s available in both digital and physical copies and can be bought as a one-off or subscription.

The Turquoise Iris Journal

The Turquoise Iris Journal

The Turquoise Iris Journal is produced by the artist, Dionne Woods, for the creative community.

The journal is a quarterly digital magazine. It aims to empower artists to recognise the value they bring to the world through insightful features, interviews, shopping guides, and in-depth tutorials.

Daphne’s Diary

Gift guide - Daphne’s Diary

Daphne’s Diary is a diary in the form of a magazine. This magazine is charming and cosy as Daphne shares her world of homes and gardens, cooking, travel, crafts and shopping. It often comes with extra items such as stickers and cards.

Maybe a less obvious gift choice for an upcycler but I love this magazine, it’s full of warmth. It’s best read in a quiet house, with a cup of tea and a biscuit. (We can all dream, right!?).


Stocking fillers

Tester pots

Gift guide - tester pot

Some brands, such as Fusion Mineral Paint make small tester pots. Their usual paint range is 500ml and the sample size is 37ml, which is enough to paint a chair.

Tester pots give you the fun of choosing a paint colour (or three!) for someone without the risk of wasting too much if they don’t like it. Then it’s their choice to splash out on the larger pot if they love it.

Sample kit

sample kit

Not sure what the upcycler in your life already has or maybe they want to try a few new things? A sample kit contains a variety of products to just get a taste for what they’re like. This Dixie Belle sample kit has two options, either chalk mineral paint and wax or a topcoat, paintbrush and a sanding sponge.

Fan deck

Gift guide - Dixie Belle fan deck

If your upcycler has ever complained about the paint colour not being what they expected, they’re in good company. Phone and computer screens just can’t recreate a paint colour and sometimes you need to see it in real life.

Gifting a fan deck from their preferred brand is a good way to physically see what a paint colour looks like, without buying a tester pot.

Fusion Mineral Paint’s fan deck also comes with recipe cards for how to mix custom colours.

Stencils and transfers

stencil

Want to treat someone to something more exciting than paint? Stencils and transfers add another level to upcycling projects. I think they’re an easy-medium level of difficulty and may just add some wow factor to someone’s piece.

Take a look at my floral chest of drawers as an example of how stunning it could be.

Painter’s Pyramids

painters pyramids

I mentioned these in my tools to make your life easier post because they are so helpful!

These pyramids are surprisingly strong little things that keep your furniture up to 90kg/200lbs off of the floor. The advantage is that it allows you to paint to the bottom of a piece without painting the floor and get a smooth finish right to the edge. An affordable and very handy little gift.

Punch hole locator

Gift guide - hole punch locator

Know anyone who gets frustrated by adding handles to a piece? This hardware hole drilling tool takes the guesswork out of it. By measuring the drawer, handle and hole distance, you can accurately plan out the hole location before drilling.

Measure twice, cut once is the wisdom. If you use this tool right, you can measure once, check once and cut once. Job done.

Spray can handle

spray gun

When spraying a piece that takes a reasonable length of time, holding the nozzle down can be uncomfortable.

This is a handle that you attach to a spray paint can. The trigger grip gives you the whole handle to squeeze instead of just the nozzle. It sprays like normal but without the pressure on one finger.


Big gifts

Cricut Explore 3

Gift guide - cricut explore 3

I use my Cricut primarily to make stencils but the list of what an upcycler could use it for is almost endless.

The Explore 3 can cut more than 300 materials and has tools for writing, scoring, foiling and embellishing. That is a lot of options for projects to try!

As there are newer Cricuts on the market, the older model, the Explore Air 2 is now more affordable. It’s still a big gift item though.

Creative Business Coaching

Know an upcycler who is keen to grow their business? There are private Facebook groups where successful business owners tutor others in how to succeed.

Jami Ray from Jami Ray Vintage is a DIY blogger, YouTuber and has a vintage shop. They also offer coaching and business-building advice.

This comes in the form of access to their business coaching videos, weekly topics and live videos with more in-depth training on how they grow their business.

This could be ideal for someone who wants to improve the commercial side of their upcycling business.

Furniture painting class

furniture painting course

There are classes for all abilities so even if your upcycler is a seasoned professional, there might be a class for them. I’ve done both Annie Sloan and Autentico furniture painting classes where I took my own furniture to makeover and they were great fun.

Alternatively, someone like Dionne (The Turquoise Iris) does tutorials such as blending which could be great for an upcycler with a specific interest.


Other

Craft subscription box

craft subscription box
@Jamirayvintagehome

How about a monthly crafting subscription box? Jami Ray Vintage creates boxes for crafts, home decor, thrifted finds and more. There are lots of subscription box options out there, so think about what projects would appeal the most. It’s a nice way to spread the pleasure of receiving a gift across the year.

Patreon

Gift guide - patreon example membership

Patreon is a way to financially support content creators you like.

This gift relies on knowing who the upcycler in your life follows on Youtube (or other places) and would like to support more. The advantage of Patreon (other than financially supporting someone whose work you appreciate) is they often provide bonus content just for Patreon backers.

A DIY and upcycling YouTuber who I respect with a Patreon account is DIY in Progress. They provide perks such as early video releases, behind the scenes, and exclusive Patreon stories.

If someone you know would appreciate more content, this is a thoughtful way to show them that you know them well.

Gift card

gift card

Gift cards are a practical option if you’d like to let someone choose for themselves but want it to be more thoughtful than giving money. By choosing a retailer that the recipient likes, it’s still convenient while showing that you were thinking of them.

The possibilities are almost endless. You could choose somewhere with lots of products such as Amazon, to a paint company they use like Dixie Belle or a craft shop such as Hobbycraft.


I hope these ideas give you some inspiration when buying gifts for your loved ones this year. If you have any great suggestions, please share them below for others.

Happy Holidays!

If you liked this post, you might also find the must-haves for upcycling helpful too.


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Kirsty
Kirsty
29 days ago

Very informative! Just downloaded the Christmas restore mag to have a look at 🙂 if I find more craft projects I’ll be blaming you haha
Kirsty x

Crystal
Crystal
29 days ago

What great suggestions! I would love to have all of the books!!! Maybe I will be sharing your blog with my husband hint, hint, lol!!!

Paula@SweetPea
29 days ago

You found so many great ideas for gifts for people who like to upcycle.

Juliet
29 days ago

What great ideas, Rachel! I had not idea there were so many books and magazines available as resources for up cyclers. Amazing (first) Gift Guide … you knocked it out of the park. Congrats! xo

Kim Hume
29 days ago

What a thoughtful and informative post! I would love to have all of the books!

Rosemary Palmer
Rosemary Palmer
28 days ago

I would love to get any of these gifts. Great ideas.

Christin
28 days ago

Great ideas!!

Libbie Burling
Libbie Burling
28 days ago

What a great list and I wouldn’t have thought of these. Thanks for sharing.

melba
27 days ago

Amazing upcycle ideas! Super creative!