76 Awesome Gift Ideas for Teens

Top Gift Ideas for Teens featured by top life and style blog, Design Mom: image of wrapped holiday gifts

Your #1 most requested gift guide category? Teens! This gift guide includes 76 options — and 39 of those are $20 or under. Lots of great stocking stuffers too.

My own teens were a huge help figuring out what to put on this list. There’s something here for every type of teen you can think of. I’ve got all the Breakfast Club stereotypes covered, and a whole bunch more as well. Shopping for Tweens? There are quite a few items on this list that I know tweens would love as well.

Let’s get started. 

76 Top Gift Ideas for Teens

Old-School Label Maker, $12.
No plug. No batteries. Just a tool, some tape, and rad raised lettering that you can stick on jars or books or your phone case. We have a couple of these and they are irresistible to teens and tweens. Heads up: It comes pre-loaded with one roll, but you’re going to want more label tape.

Dotted Moon Threader Earrings, $28
So sweet and delicate! And Madewell is having lots of holidays sales (at the time of this posting, you can get 40% off!)

JLab – Go Air Sport True Wireless Earbuds, $29
These are beloved by Design Mom Readers! Great quality at a great price. And they’re comfortable! Available in 3 colors. If you have small ears, try this set.

Frixion Erasable Pens, $20
All the French kids use these at school. Truly erasable! And refillable. Another Euro option: Try these metal tipped fountain pens, fill them with erasable ink, and use these to erase them.

Herschel Supply Co. Novel Duffle Bag, $96
Teens are often on the move — sleepovers and team travel and visits to cousins. A good duffle bag is ideal.

Kelty Campgound 3-Piece Car Camping Kit, $43 (markd down from $79!)
Having a sleeping bag handy feels like an adventure is right around the corner.

Photo Clip Lights, $14
These are so great! You get a string of 50 clips — and the clips are the lights. Perfect for hanging up polaroid pics, postcards, drawings, tarot cards, or whatever your teens prefer to hang on their walls.

Countertop Pebble Ice Maker, $169
These used to be like $500, so it’s nice to see a big price drop And HELLO pebble ice.

Taotree Fineliner 24-Color Pen Set, $9
In 0.38 mm for a fine line. This is a set of 24 colors. Perfect for journaling, and based on reviews, these are beloved.

Bendable Magnetic Pick-Up Tool, $10
I didn’t understand what this was when I first saw the image, but when I read the description I thought it was awesome. It’s basically a strong telescoping magnet to help you grab things that have gotten out of reach. Such a cool stocking stuffer. Maybe for your husband or brother too. (Also: great reviews!)

Vintage Typewriter, prices vary.
Ebay is a treasure trove of old school typewriters, and so many of them are super charming. Read the descriptions carefully to make sure you’re buying a working model. Some plug in, others are completely manual. I’ve found that this low-tech stuff is super interesting to Gen Z. (And don’t forget to buy a typewriter ribbon that works with your model!)

Mulberry Silk Pillowcase. $80. Better for your hair and skin. Why not make sleeping as luxurious as possible. In several colors.

Friendship Bracelet Kit, $14
This is an essentiall for any Swiftie.

Record Player, $49
This is a Victrola 3-Speed record player with bluetooth and built-in speakers. It has great vintage styling, and great reviews too.

Silo Trilogy, $28 (also available at Bookshop.org)
My daughter Maude introduced these to me and it’s such a compelling series. Set in a not too distant future, where the population has been driven underground.

Eno Hammock, $45
Lots of color options and a fan favorite. For your backyard, or a camping trip.

Wool Beret, $14
A pop of color for your fashionistas.

Reliable Portable Charger, $26
Because sometimes phones run out of power right when you need to call your parents and tell them about your change of plans. In Black, red, blue, or white.

Cake Decorating Set, $16
Lots of cake decorating happening on TikTok these days.

Ejaculate Responsibly, $15 (Available at Bookshop.org too)
I’ve been told this book is THE stocking stuffer this year.

Canvas Roll-up Pencil Case, $10
Such a simple smart way to keep colored pencils or pens organized. Throw this in your bag and you’ll be ready to doodle at school or church or at your desk at home. The canvas is simple and handsome, but is also calling out to be drawn on. Note: this is just the pencil case, but it would pair well with the fineliner pens I listed above.

Ugg Slippers, $70
So classic and cozy!

Tombow Brush Pens, $10
These are my daughter Olive’s favorite creative pens and they come in lots of different sets with other color options. Perfect for practicing hand lettering.

Bluetooth Shower Speaker — Certified Waterproof, $24
Do you have a kid that likes to sing in the shower?

Wreck This Journal, $9
This series of journals is so terrific. They’re probably the coolest journal you’ll ever see and come with instructions on how to paint, poke, create, destroy, and wreck this book to create a journal as unique as your teen.

Watercolor Paint Set, $18
A watercolor palette presented in a practical and transportable way.

Lovely Tea Set, $21
Floral teas are having a moment.

Compact Binoculars, $16
For sporting events, or birding, or other adventures. Small enough to keep in a backpack just in case.

The To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before Paperback Collection, $18
The first one was made into 3 Netflix movies and they are great (but the books are better, of course).

Penny Board, $29
Skateboards can be pricey! Start with one of these, and the investment won’t feel like such a punch. They’re cool, and they come in lots of different color combos.

Puffin in Bloom Book Collection, $35, (Also available at Bookshop.org)
This hardcover book set, with cover art by Rifle Paper Company, is stunning. It includes 4 titles that would improve any personal library — Little Women, Anne of Green Gables, A Little Princess, and Heidi.

White Porcelain Bunny Lamp, $24
This softly glowing creature is endlessly appealing. What a gentle, sweet addition to any bedroom. Click through for other animals (but the bunny is the most elegant).

Slack Line Kit, $54 (Plus Amazon is listing a couple for 25% off!)
Have your kid watch some slackline videos on youtube and then head to the backyard or the park to learn a new skill.

US Chess Federation Supreme Triple Weighted Chess Set, $32
This set looks so official, right? And the carrying case makes it easy to bring to Chess Club. No chess club at your school? No problem. Your teen can start one and add that to their college apps. Comes in other colors too (we have green).

Washi Tape Set, $16
Such gorgeous colors and so many uses. Perfect for bullet journal fans.

Get Nail Kit, $27
In tons of colors options. Comes with the UV light and everything else needed for long-lasting gel nails.

3-inch Green Mini Clock, $9
It comes in 6 different colors, but the green and blue are my favorite. Oh, and it’s non-ticking! So it won’t bug anyone who likes to fall asleep in a quiet room. 

How to Stay Alive in the Woods, $17 (Also available at Bookshop.org)
It’s divided into 4 essential sections — Sustenance, Warmth, Orientation and Safety — and it has excellent reviews. Your teen will approach the upcoming zombie apocalypse with confidence.

Accessory Stand, $41
A simple, good-looking organizer designed in Japan. It holds necklaces, bracelets, eyeglasses, a cell phone — and has a tray on the bottom for rings and watches.

A Gorgeous Slingshot, $35
Hella Slingshots are handmade in California, they come in tons of colors and styles — and the company offers felt ammo too.

Punching Bag, $33
I hung one of these in my family room when we lived in New York and had 3 tiny kids. It was an amazing stress reliever! This full-size, affordable version comes flat, and can be filled with whatever you like. (Gloves too!)

Leuchtturm1917 Journal, $24
My daughter Maude introduced me to Leuchtturm1917 journals and they are SO GOOD. Available with dots, rules, blank, or grid pages. Great looking and great details. Available in 15 different colors.

Starter Ukulele, $51
It comes in 10 different colors (I’m really feeling the black version), with all the needed accessories — Canvas Tote Bag, Strap and Picks. They’ll be playing Somewhere Over the Rainbow by New Year’s.

Pro Art Drawing Set, $8
Very affordable, with rave reviews. This set has everything you need to get drawing. Pair it with a sketchbook for a handsome gift.

Harmonica, $9
A great stocking stuffer. They can treat it as a novelty or toy, or if they like it as an instrument, and start figuring out songs (youtube has tutorials), you can upgrade them to an even fancier version later.

Telescope, $23
Because the night sky is full of inspiration. And looking at it together is incredibly bonding.

Duct Tape Crafting Book, $10
So many cool projects! Part art, part engineering. Everyone in the family will enjoy getting involved in this creative process. Don’t forget to order some colorful duct tape too.

Colorful, Sturdy Umbrella, $19
Something cheerful on a rainy day. It comes in solid colors too.

Digital Piggy Bank, $11
This hits a sweet spot between high and low tech. Ultimately, it’s just a jar for their coins, but the fact that it can total the amount inside? That’s pretty darn inviting.

Shoot the Moon, $29
Think of it as one of the first video games. (Adults love this one too!)

Illuminated Globe, $29
It’s pretty. It’s practical. Have it plugged in and glowing under the tree on Christmas morning and it is sure to bring a gasp of wonder.

Floral Socks, $15
The prettiest socks! And click through for more designs and colors.

Solar Robot Building Toy, $19
It’s designed for building early STEM skills. 

Cotton Jump Rope, $16
Pair it with a Jump Rope Rhymes Book. And buy 2 if they want to learn double dutch. (This is also a great family gift. It’s a group activity — two people need to swing the rope, and then 1 or more can jump at one time.

12-Pack Sheet Masks, $10
Introduce some self-care into their routine. Fun to try alone or with friends and family.

Folkmanis Animal Puppets, $15-50
Have you seen these in person? Folkmanis makes really good puppets. There are lots of animals available, including a llama, an owl, and a clam with a pearl inside. If your kids think they’ve outgrown stuffed animals, but still appreciate something cuddly, a cozy puppet is a nice alternative.

Vertical Vortex Interactive Spring Toy, $19
A friend of Betty’s showed up at a theater rehearsal with one of these and Betty says it’s irresistible and super fun to play with.

Glow In The Dark Stars, $10
These are so cool! They stick to the wall or ceiling, absorb light during the day, and glow in the dark. You could use the starts to make constellations or any pattern you like.

Pro-Yoyo, $15
It comes in four different colors, a it’s ready to be used for all the best yoyo tricks.

Star Wars Millennium Falcon Waffle Maker, $36
Have batter waiting in the fridge, then they’ll open this with Ohs and Ahs, and all of you can spend the rest of day in your jammies making waffles. Sounds like heaven.

Slinky, $7
Do you have stairs? Then this will be a hit. Put it in a stocking.

Traditional Matryoshka Russian Nesting Dolls, $23
My mom lived in Russia for awhile and brought us a set of nesting dolls when she moved home, and now I’m convinced every home needs a set. I’m telling you, people of all ages love them. They’re quite irresistible.

Magna-Tiles Building Set, $119
Another irresistible one. Try your best not to play with these when someone sets them in front of you. It’s basically impossible. And they’re so pretty too! Keep a basket or box of these in front of the TV.

Lincoln Logs, $109
This is another all-ages building set that is hard to resist. It’s a good family gift.

CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser, $15
Show that teen skin some gentle love. You can also pair it with this CeraVe moisturizer.

Free Play Magnatab. $14
I picked one of these up at a Museum gift shop and couldn’t put it down. It’s sort of like drawing with magnets. It comes in a larger size too.

Exploding Kittens Card Game, $19
Two of my kids put this on their wish list a few years ago. I had never heard of it. But the reviews made it sounds like it’s the best game ever. So why not? And we love it still!

Mysterious Benedict Society Paperback Set, $27
A really great series your kids might not have discovered yet because they haven’t been made into a movie.

Pogo Stick, $42
Everyone needs an option to get their energy out.

Set of 12 Gliders, $6
Have you introduced your kids to gliders yet? This set is a bargain and would be great in a stocking.

Fabric Markers, $6
Pair these textile markers with white sneakers or a plain tee and let them go to town.

Retro Handheld Pacman, $17
Old school stuff like this is always a hit.

Clay Charms Kit, $15
I’m a fan of Klutz kits, and this one looks especially good. And they end up with an awesome charm bracelet when they’re done!

Rainbow Maker, $37
It basically makes magic. Hang it in a window and spread rainbows around the room.

Mudpuppy Beetle Puzzle, $22
We love putting together a big puzzle on Christmas afternoon as the day gets quiet. This ones is so colorful and charming.

Coogam Metal Wire Puzzle Set, $12
This comes with 16 puzzles and a carrying pouch. Each puzzle is a brain teaser that you have to disentangle. Something to play with when they’ve maxed out their screen time.


Your turn! What are you giving to the teens in your life this year? Does anything on this list spark a gift idea for you? I’d love to hear.

87 thoughts on “76 Awesome Gift Ideas for Teens”

  1. Awesome ideas! I’m going to come back to this when I begin my shopping in earnest. There are some great finds here for my 16-yo. :)

    1. I particularly like the jewelry organizer, the magnets, the pink clay soap, the washi tape set, and the clock. My daughter is redoing her room so it would be fun to get her some things that would fit with her new color scheme.

      1. Same here! My 16yr old chose to redo her bedroom instead of a big sweet16 party. It’s been fun and interesting to see her tastes. She wants acrylic drapery rods and I think I’ve found some affordable ones from a TX manufacturer.

    1. Agree. There is some great stuff here. A lot of these gift lists are usually junk but I see some things on here for myself as well.

        1. My daughter has the watercolor set and LOVES it!! It’s very portable & she carries it on trips & even to school. It doesn’t make any mess when she’s done. Superb gift for any budding artist.

    1. For dorm dwellers, may I recommend an electric tea kettle? A great way to make ramen, hot cocoa, tea, etc. ALSO a great way to make friends–once his floormates know he’s got one, they’ll be knocking on his door! (I don’t know if this is great for Covid season, but I’m sure his dorm has policies in place.) I sent one, with a lidded mug large enough to hold a square of ramen noodles, to a friend as a graduation gift, and it was a hit! It’s not a “big” gift, but may be well received. xox

  2. Also quality – possibly monogrammed if they’re into that – luggage. So many more travel opportunities as you grow, and then college around the corner. I like to give books but that can be hard unless you know someone well.

  3. Great list. Definitely will get a few of these items for my kids including the programmable scrolling badge for my 13 year old girl and the bath bomb set for my 16 year old who has newly rediscovered that baths are relaxing! I also love the Make Art Not War poster. We have the sticker version of those and am thinking we might need the poster now too.

  4. This is lovely. I was a little light on gifts for my 14-year-old (whose big gift is these crazy things, and the accompanying safety equipment, help us all), and this has helped me round it out a bit more.

    As always, you are the best!!!

    1. So glad I could help! And those skate things look super cool. I’m trying to picture how they work and can’t figure it out — I need to go look them up on Youtube. Hah!

      1. This is brilliant. I have a Japanese hot water dispenser and it is my favourite thing in the house. When I lived with housemates it was used all day and night.

  5. Your final link, the one to your shop, just goes to an Amazon sketchbook.
    Love this list! I want to get a record player for myself! And the washi tape!

  6. It may seem random, but as a teenager, one of my favorite gifts was a monogrammed manicure set – small scissors, nail clippers, a metal file, etc. – not nail polishes. I think it was a high school graduation gift, and over the years it’s continued to come in handy. It’s practical, but not something you would go out and buy yourself, which I think is the perfect criteria for a gift!

    1. I’d be interested in that answer too… So far sports socks, slides for after practice, and waterproof drawstring backpacks (the XL kind), and lightweight portable chargers. My guys are Scouts too so I’m looking at handy gadgets like pocket-size portable blankets or dry sacs.

  7. This is about the best list I have seen in a long time. I have an ‘about to not be a teen any longer’ and am going to have to get a couple of things here. But I really love the inclusion of the record player and Marvin Gaye (one of my favorite albums of all times). Thanks for the memory! And I love the scrolling badge, so many uses! Thanks so much for this, really great job!

    1. I agree! I kept thinking, “Man, she really gets it!” while I was scrolling through this list. It was so special to me when I got a gift as a teen that felt splurge-y in a small way—like the magnets and the lenses and the washi tape. Thanks for the great list!

  8. Pingback: Gold Stars: Christmas Edition | KendraNicole.net

  9. This is EXCELLENT! Wow, so useful, thank you. I have two teens, and two on their heels and there are lots of things on this list they would love! (and that are new to me!)

  10. So fun!!! I love this list and am happy and relieved for a an abundance of amazing ideas that are also affordable. I bought a double eno hammock for my family this summer and my teen loved it and pretty much stayed it in on a three-day backpacking trip.

    As a middle school teacher, I want to add one item – a tin of Prismacolor pencils. My undergraduate years were spent in studio classes and we used Prismacolors so that is what I use with my students now. The color is vibrant and the pencils are soft so the color lays down easily. My students love them and get so excited to use the Prismacolors. Amazon sells a set of 24 that come in a sturdy tin.

  11. What a great list! Our 16 year old daughter’s “big” present this year is redoing her room. So many of these gifts would be perfect for the new space. I will definitely be adding a few of these.

  12. So grateful for your gift guides! They always point me in the right direction. I’m sure they are a lot of work to put together. Thank you! They are a great gift to the gift-givers!

  13. Fantastic list! My eldest is almost 12 and I found lots of great ideas for her here! It’s tricky: she doesn’t want “toys” any more, but she is still so tiny. :) (When I saw the Michelle Obama book I teared up a bit. And I’m not even American! Strange times.)

  14. I got two items on the list for my then seven-year-old last year; the washi tape and the small watercolor palette and she loves them and used them all year. This really is a great list.

  15. BRB, getting alllll the dogs in my life personalized tennis balls!
    Gifting the teens in my family this cedar air dry clay [https://cwpencils.com/collections/recent-additions/products/mokunensan-clay-120g?utm_source=CW+Pencils+-+Website+Subscribers&utm_campaign=3e808512f0-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_11_30_08_47&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_028ad82f4b-3e808512f0-226662657&mc_cid=3e808512f0&mc_eid=5c15f7f27c],

    Tattly [https://tattly.com/],
    Dixit [https://www.amazon.com/Asmodee-DIX01-Dixit/dp/2914849656]

  16. Gabrielle,
    Can you make a post about good white elephant gifts for work Christmas parties ($10-20 limit). I’d love some ideas.

    1. We did a white elephant gift exchange after our Thanksgiving dinner and the “tortilla blanket” was the most fought over gift- teens and adults. Search on Amazon, there are lots and there’s even a pizza and some other ones!

  17. Soooo am I a teenager? (I’m 38.) Because this is the closest I feel a list has ever come to things I’d like. Maybe it’s all the great pens.

    1. I’ve had the Taotree Fineliner 24-Color Pen Set since 2018 – got them as a gift! Use them daily and they’re still going strong. They are an absolute delight!

  18. Thank you so much Gabrielle. In a sea of gift lists and ideas, this is the first list that I’ve actually enjoyed reading through. My babies are just 9 but I think they will love some of these.

  19. Les produits sont très bien mais le vendeur Am..on ne respecte pas des conditions de travail décentes pour les ouvriers en France donc je n’achète pas chez eux, dommage !

  20. This is a seriously excellent list. My blended family has five kiddos between 14 and 22 and I’m pretty sure I found something for everyone. Amazing.

  21. Love this gift guide. So many great things for teens that are affordable. Many thanks to you and your children for putting this together. This has made my day!

  22. You just reminded me, one of my favorite gifts ever, which I didnt ask for, and don’t even think I knew about ahead of time, was a VHS box set of The Breakfast Club and 16 Candles! It opened my eyes to a whole new awesome world of movies. It was from my mom, and I honestly don’t even think she’d have known anything about those movies…who knows?

  23. Gabby… I hope you see this! Or other faithful readers – please help!
    What is the electric ukulele that is your go to wedding gift??? Your link didn’t work the time you wrote it up, and then your site crashed… I can imagine how stressful it was, so I didn’t want to bother you. But it’s killing me!!!

    1. Hi Julie. Sorry for the any confusion — we’ve only given an electric ukulele as a wedding gift once. I don’t remember the brand — we just stopped at a music store and picked one out (they only had two electric options). The missing link just went to this one (it looks similar to the one we gave and has good reviews).

  24. This is a fantastic list. I splurged on a chess set that can play by itself. It’s called SquareOff and it works via app. My son is a great player and I am not. This way he can play at his level. The pieces actually move themselves. Hopefully it works as good as it says it does!

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