A great gift for the tween or teen in your life can be hard to find. Sticking to a tight budget along with that is even harder! Never fear – our curated selection of crafty gifts are sure to delight any tween, all under $20 CAD.
Why crafty gifts? My daughter was recently invited to a birthday party for a very crafty friend. We’re crafty, but this friend is AMAZING. Wanting to get her something unique but on a budget, I started searching Amazon.ca.
This post was created first as a shopping list for my daughter and expanded for Alberta Mamas. I hope you’re able to find the perfect gift for the crafty kid in your life, too! Whether it’s for a birthday, holiday, or just because, these budget-friendly options provide the perfect mix of fun and creativity. Let’s dive in and discover the top crafty gifts for tweens without breaking the bank.
Note: Make sure you check shipping time! The joys of “cheaper” items on Amazon, they often have later delivery dates than “next day shipping.” Also, these were all under $20 when I added them to the list. As we all know, Amazon pricing fluctuates, and they may not be under $20 when you click through.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links, at no cost to you. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Please read the disclosure for more info.
Table of Contents
Paint-based Crafts Teens will Love
Often, when you think of a crafty kid one of the first things that comes to mind is paint. I usually try to steer clear of paint-based gifts because my kids are SO messy and prolific with it.
At the same time, painting is EASY. There’s a reason my kids love it.
This collection of more unique option and higher end products are perfect choices for a tween or teen that parents (hopefully) won’t curse you for.
Are things not displaying nicely in the Amazon boxes? Here’s a list:
- Paint-your-own Moon Lamp
- Rock painting – consider adding a sealant/varnish to complete the gift
- Mandala starter kit – turn meditation into art.
- More mature watercolour book – great for travel or camping as the paint is part of each sheet
- Watercolour paint set would be great with a pad of watercolour paper
- Better but not professional (ie: $6+/each) brushes than what you get from Crayola and the dollar store
Paint-by-Number Suitable for Tweens
A category of it’s own within painting, this is a selection of paint-by-number crafts that are complicated enough for a teen, but not so mature they won’t be interested. (My daughter squealed over the turtle.)
Here’s a list of the Amazon links above:
- Balloons lifting a house “Up!” style
- Hogwarts in the snow
- Rocking out chimpanzee – I love the large areas of a single colour in this one, making it an easier project
- Triangle deer – the geometic design of this piece simplifies painting
- Turtle – for the VSCO girl in your life (are those still a thing?!)
- Grogu from The Mandelorian
Yarn-Craft Under $20!
Right after painting, knitting, crochet, and other yarn work often comes to mind for “crafty” people. I’ve included a mix of beginner-friendly projects and supply kits that can be used with YouTube tutorials.
If the Amazon shopping boxes aren’t showing up, here’s a list:
- 8-animal balls beginner crochet set
- Crochet monkey – I couldn’t resist adding this guy!
- Starter crochet kit – if you’d rather set them up with the tools and let YouTube do the teaching.
- Round knitting loom set
- Knitting starter set
- Macrame moon kit – not all yarn craft requires needles
Affordable Beading Kits
There are many crafty ways to go with beading. From tiny glass beads, to jewellery making, to creating your own from paper or clay, beads are versatile and a generally portable craft.
Here are a few options for older kids to try out:
Amazon boxes not displaying properly? Here’s a list:
- Charm bracelets with more mature packaging
- Charm bracelets with more mature beads
- Alphabet beads for the Swifty in your life
- Seed beads starter kit
- Bead Jewelry Making for Beginners book – add some beads from the dollar store to round out this gift!
- Polymer Clay starter kit – I’m strict with the $20 budget for this list, but if you have an extra $10 I’d get this set instead.
Needle-and-Thread Based Crafts
From felting to cross stitch, embroidery, quilting and clothes making, these super portable crafts are even great while travelling (provided you don’t get car sick). Great in front of the TV or while listening to an audiobook or podcast, too.
Oh, right, we’re talking about gifts for kids. That explanation works for them, too, right?
My only problem with these kinds of crafts is my kid is still learning, so she needs a lot more assistance from me – and I’m not super confident in my own skills here. Thank goodness for YouTube!
Can’t read the Amazon item description? Here’s a list:
- Easy no-sew sunflower pillow (for the less-skilled crafters out there)
- Beginner applique cactus
- Beginner felting kit
- 3-piece embroider sampler set
- ‘Hanging with my Gnomies’ beginner cross stitch
- My First Sewing Machine: Fashion School book – There are very few sewing books under $20 that aren’t self-published. This one hits those marks, and is well reviewed! The only downfall is it’s part of the “Learn to Sew Kids” series, so if your gift recipient is sensitive to that, this may not be the book for them. It covers all the basics and includes 8 beginner-friendly projects.
Stuffed Animals for Big Kids to Make
There are just so many cute stuffed animal kits, I couldn’t pick just one! Here are a few ideas to spark your imagination and hopefully match your gift-recipient’s favourites.
Pictures too small or Amazon being glitchy? Here’s the list:
- Fuzzy Llama
- Bunny template
- Teddy bear template
- Pattern for lion, elephant, giraffe, and zebra
- 50 Fabric Animals Book
- Fun of the Fair book
Consider adding some fabric if you gift some of these books and patterns. WalMart usually has small cuts of cheap quilting cotton for a reasonable price as well.
Paper-Based Craft Kits
Personally, this is my favourite kind of crafting. From origami to dioramas to scrapbooking and more. There’s so many things you can do with a simple piece of paper.
Are the Amazon link boxes not working? Here’s a list:
- Paper airplanes – particularly awesome for kids with younger siblings
- Origami – includes an instruction book and paper
- Scratchy scratch notes pad
- Blank comic book
- Modern paper dolls – not what grandma grew up with!
- Beginner scrapbook kit
Beyond Basic Art Supplies for Older Kids
By this age most kids have a good collection of crayons, pencils, and markers. Now they’re old enough to start getting into some better quality items and more specialized tools.
These are products that get me excited and wanting to play, things that make my crafting easier, or things my daughter regularly “borrows” from my craft supply stash.
Are the Amazon link boxes not working? Here’s a list:
- Pentel Watercolour Pencils
- How to Draw in 30 Days book
- Outline Metallic markers
- Washi tape or simply double sided tape to use in place of a glue stick
- Quality paper scissors
- High end craft glue and precission applicator
Tip: Add a ream of paper to the gift! By this age most kids have “outgrown” construction paper, but can still go through 500 sheets in a year of white. My daughter was confused about getting some for Christmas last year but asked for more in September. It turned into one of her favourite and most used gifts!
Miscellaneous Craft Kits Under $20
Not all crafts fall into a box. Here are some unique ideas that I just couldn’t categorize. (And, honestly, where I think the best gifts are!)
Are the Amazon link boxes not working for you? Here’s a list:
- Cat’s Cradle – the old string game has come back! Particularly popular among grades 4-6.
- Sticker by Number – lots of options here, a great project for on the go.
- DIY lip balm made with all natural ingredients
- String art hearts with fairy lights
- Colour your own paper moose head
- Jelli Rez beginner resin set
Other Crafty Ideas for Teens & Tweens
I’m not a big “shop in person” kind of gal. If I can take care of things online, I will. But some things are just cheaper in a store than over Amazon, especially craft supplies.
These can also make cheap add-ons to a gift above so you don’t break the bank but can bulk up the gift.
- Local craft stores: Shop local! Whether you go to the art supply store, scrapbooking shop, yarn store, or quilting shop, it’s always nice to support our local businesses. You can buy supplies or a gift card and let the receiver pick out exactly what they want.
- Dollar Stores: Some of their stuff is garbage, but some is surprisingly decent. If you’re looking to experiment with a new craft, sometimes it’s a great way to get started.
- My daughter loves getting new sketch books and canvases from Dollarama.
- Micheals: Use the current coupon, watch for sales, or grab a gift card. You can also shop online with them.
- Check the back end caps for clearance items or look for yellow price stickers in the aisles.
- There are lots of impulse items near the front of the store. These used to all be $1.50, but it has become a mix now. Watch the price before you decide to buy!
- Classes: whether you get something like an online course (or Craftsy subscription) or an in-person lesson, this will give your crafter the chance to learn from an expert!
- If you’re looking for in person, consider local stores, the library, municipal programs, and local schools. You may also have luck searching on Marketplace.
- Supplies: If you know your recipient is already into certain crafts, pick them up some consumable supplies. Things like quality sketch paper, tracing paper, fabric, aida, embroidery floss, or organization tools are so useful!
Our Gift of Choice
My daughter picked the all natural Purple Ladybug Lip Gloss kit, which was pennies over $20. It arrived about 18 hours after I ordered it!
We added a small bead kit from Dollarama as the box was quite compact. I like that there wasn’t a lot of excess packaging, but would have preferred a bit less plastic.
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