11 Best Gifts for Tattoo Artists

These creative gifts can help the artist in your life discover more ways to put their skills to use.
These creative gifts can help the artist in your life discover more ways to put their skills to use. / Tattoo Dictionary: Mitchell Beazley, Amazon; Colored Pencils: Prismacolor, Amazon
This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

The relationship between tattoo artist and client is an intimate one. If your time on the tattoo table  led to a genuine friendship with your artist, you may be wondering what to get them for the holidays. Look no further—whether they’re a rising star or a seasoned pro, they’ll appreciate these best gifts for tattoo artists. 

1. The Tattoo Dictionary; $15

Tattoo dictionary book.
'The Tattoo Dictionary' / Mitchell Beazley, Amazon

A cool-looking image isn’t enough for some clients; they want to know what a tattoo symbolizes before getting it permanently etched onto their body. This illustrated compendium lets artists decode the meanings behind popular tattoo designs for anyone who asks. It’s organized alphabetically like a dictionary, so they can look up everything from anchor to the yin and yang symbol.

Buy it: Amazon

2. Leda Art Supply Sketchbook; From $15

Bendable sketchbook
Leda Art Supply Sketchbook / Leda Art Supply, Amazon

Most tattoo designs start as sketches. With 160 pages of dense, color-friendly paper, this sketch book is the ideal place for artists to test-run their ideas. The softbound cover travels well, and there’s an inner pocket for holding pens and pencils. That means artists can doodle wherever they are, even when they’re not working. 

Buy it: Amazon

3. Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils, Pack of 72; $57 

Packs of colored pencils
Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils, Pack of 72 / Prismacolor, Amazon

These colored pencils make great companions to the sketchbook above. With 72 colors to pick from, the pack includes a pencil to correspond with every shade of ink in your favorite artist’s studio. They’re built for professionals, with crack-resistant leads and soft, thick cores that facilitate shading and blending. 

Buy it: Amazon

4. A4 Ultra-Thin Portable LED Light Box Tracer; $16

Person drawing on light box tracer.
A4 Ultra-Thin Portable LED Light Box Tracer / A4, Amazon

Tracing is an artform of its own—just ask the tattoo artist in your life. With this portable light box tracer from A4, they can practice that skill wherever they go. The LED lights will illuminate sketches or printed images to the drawer’s preferred brightness level. The screen measures 13.2 by 9.2 inches and is less than 0.2 inches thick, so owners can take it anywhere as long as they plug it into a USB power source. 

Buy it: Amazon

5. I Heart Cats Tattoo Enamel Pin; $10.95

 I Heart Cats Tattoo Enamel Pin by Pinsanity
I Heart Cats Tattoo Enamel Pin / Pinsanity / Amazon

With its bright colors and retro lettering, this enamel pin for cat lovers is a fun riff on a classic tattoo design. Unlike a tattoo, the wearer can take the pin off whenever they want to—which is good news if the tattoo artist in your life isn’t as crazy about cats as you thought they were.

Buy it: Amazon

6. Fetcoi Tattoo Stand Desk; $60

Fetcoi Tattoo Stand Desk
Fetcoi Tattoo Stand Desk / Fetcoi / Amazon

Though it’s not quite as painful as receiving one, spending hours inking a tattoo can get uncomfortable. This stand desk from Fetcoi makes the artist’s job as easy as possible. The portable tray has space for ink bottles, paper towels, water, and disposable gloves—plus, the height is adjustable, so artists can customize their work station to suit any job.

Buy it: Amazon

7. Sacnahe Tattoo Transfer Stencil Machine; $150

Machine printing tattoo stencil
Sacnahe Tattoo Transfer Stencil Machine / Sacnahe, Amazon

Turning sketches into stencils is an important part of the tattoo process. This compact appliance scans images of tattoo designs and prints them onto transfer paper in minutes. Even if the tattoo artist in your life has a stencil machine at the studio, they may appreciate having the option to print stencils at home, too.

Buy it: Amazon 

8. Electrum Tattoo Transfer Gel; $11

Tattoo stencil transer gel in bottle.
Electrum Tattoo Transfer Gel / Electrum, Amazon

After printing their stencil, tattoo artists use special gel to transer it to skin (either the real or the fake kind). Replenish their supply with this tattoo transfer gel from Electrum. A group of experienced tattoo artists formulated the solution to leave bold, long-lasting stencils. It’s also deodorant-free and gentle on sensitive skin.

Buy it: Amazon

9. Tattoo Practice Skin; $13

Fake skin swatches for practice tattoos.
Tattoo Practice Skin / Gospire, Amazon

If the tattoo artist in your life is new to the trade, give them a low-stakes way to practice their craft. The silicone swatches in this 10-pack respond to needles and ink just like real skin—and if the artist messes up, they can always throw the canvas away and try again. Fake skin is a great tool for beginners, but even experienced artists may enjoy the opportunity to practice in a pressure-free setting.

Buy it: Amazon

10. Skull Tattoo Ink Cup Holder; $10

Fake skull holding ink cups.
Skull Tattoo Ink Cup Holder / CINRA, Amazon

This vessel does the same job as a regular tattoo ink holder, but it does it with style. The top half of the skull comes off to reveal seven wells for plastic ink cups. On top of being practical, the spooky accessory can add personality to any tattoo artist’s station.

Buy it: Amazon

11. BENTON Snail Bee High Content Lotion; $19

Bottle of healing lotion surrounded by rocks.
BENTON Snail Bee High Content Lotion / BENTON, Amazon

Tattoo artists are frequent patrons of their industry, which means their medicine cabinets are filled with aftercare products. This healing lotion from BENTON will be a welcome addition to their inventory. It contains bee venom, which offers anti-inflammatory benefits, and snail secretion filtrate, which helps damaged skin recover fast. After their tattoo has healed, the artist in your life can continue using the cream as part of their regular skincare routine.

Buy it: Amazon