If your teen is anything like mine, she has spent her life getting DIY bath bomb gifts and miniature looms and friendship bracelet kits. And while she has not totally lost her love for these things, anything with a 3+ or 8+ child label warning has already been gifted to her. (Casualty of having a crafty mom!)
So let’s take a look at some ideas that your teen will actually enjoy creating or DIYing that are still “cool”. My disclaimer of course is that each child is completely different and sometimes we have no idea what is going on in those brains of theirs. lol. But I feel like most shopping for teens should come with a “buy at your own risk” label. I’m pretty entrenched in teen life right now though and I think I have a bit of insight to offer. The most insulting thing for any teen is to get them a gift that it too young for them. So when in doubt, aim for sophisticated. Dress for the job you want, am I right?
This first one is one of my favorites and I’m planning on getting it for my daughter who just turned 13. A button badge maker machine so they can make buttons for their own favorite icons and sayings. Really this is the ultimate in customizable inexpensive gifts for them to make and share with friends. The initial cost of the button maker is a little higher than I would love, but this is a solid piece of machinery that they they can use forever. And the supplies to make more are not expensive at all. Honestly I can see a teen making these for her team or classmates or even starting a little business. Buttons like these are in every teen store I’m in and my daughter and her friends love to pour through them finding the perfect ones to add to their bags and backpacks.
A craft that takes some more precision and can be completely customized is a Flower Press kit. Your teen can create personalized items for friends and Secret Santa partners without breaking their bank. Think bookmarks (some people are still reading a physical book lol) and framed art and resin jewelry. With a huge variety of foliage, it doesn’t need to look like pansies and daisies. Maybe gift this with a plant perfect for pressing!
Now don’t freak out with the next one. But these temporary tattoo markers are a fun way to satisfy their need for individuality without any permanent body changes. Experimentations and exploration are all part of finding who you are as you grow. And some teens are definitely interested in body art. I say give them a chance to try it out and maybe get it out of their system so they can make a choice they won’t regret later if they do decide to add something more permanent to their body. Plus, this is just a fun sleepover party activity.
Encourage her to share her love of her favorite images with Photo hanging lights with clips. These are definitely age appropriate and give your teen the ability to switch up her decor as quickly as her heart desires. We have pretty strands of lights in every room over here because we just love the aesthetic. Add some special photos or cards or notes to display and your teen is happily decorating their space in very personal way.
A fun alternative to the strand of lights is this macrame wall hanging with lights and clips. Perfect for those who already tight on wall space!
Make your photo hanging gift complete with an instant film camera! Just don’t forget to buy extra film so that they can keep using this gift throughout the year!
This next one is a kit, but it looks so fun I think I may get it for myself! Up their jewelry making game with a DIY Resin Jewelry Kit. Again, this is a task that takes a steadier hand and involves mixing up some chemicals. Resin pours are super popular right now and everywhere on Instagram and Tik Tok. Give them a chance to try their own hand at it and see if it sparks a new passion.
Claw Clips are all the rage again and they are the perfect blank slate to add something custom to. Everyone in my house owns their own glue gun (that may tell you something about us!) and all it would take is a little hot glue and perhaps a floral stem or a bundle of plastic shapes to achieve next level cuteness….excuse me….sophisticatedness. 😉 By all means, let them choose their own ways to add some bling, but start with this base and they will happily be crafting away.
If you are looking for some suggestions for what to add to these clips, try looking for Croc shoe charms. You can buy bundles of these ready to be added to any surface and there is sure to be a group of them that your teen loves.
I hope this has sparked an idea or two for those teens who are growing into adults but are not quite there yet. It’s a challenging age for everyone, so let’s make it a little more fun with gifts they are sure to love!