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The 2017 Gift Guide for Church Designers

Is there someone on your Christmas list who is unusually difficult to shop for? And does that person happen to be a designer? Read on.

By Cathy Hutchison   •  November 9, 2017 1:03 pm EST

Tags: business, community, design,

It can be unbelievably difficult to find gifts that designers enjoy. (You might have noticed they have an opinion about aesthetics.) To help out, Church Designer magazine has assembled a list of 12 gifts to help you decide what to get the designer in your life.

Happy Socks – Beatles Edition

Have you been to a design meeting recently and noticed the SOCKS? The room is a sea of gray suits (or jeans, funky jackets and black t-shirts) but under the table just above the shoes are the most interesting colors. The people at Happy Socks have a Beatles Edition for 2017 featuring the Yellow Submarine Socks, Green Apple Socks and Sgt. Pepper’s Socks. Each pair is $14 or you can get a gift box with three pairs for $42.

Brooklinen Sheets

Brooklinen sheets make the whole bed feel like the cool side of the pillow, producing a luxurious night’s sleep. Yes, as you might have guessed by the name, the sheets are pricey, but your designer will enjoy this gift for more hours each day than almost any other. Even the lowest level—the Classic Collection—is a big jump up from anything you can pick up at a box store. The Classic Collection starts at $164 a set.

Trtl Travel Pillow

Does your designer log so many hours on a plane that they have ultimate-best-ever-elite status? Consider getting them a Trtl Travel Pillow. Unlike traditional travel pillows that are bulky and take up room in the bag, the Trtl Travel Pillow folds flat. It sells for around $30.

Cubi Under-Desk Elliptical

You’ve probably heard someone say “sitting is the new smoking,” referencing the negative impact sitting is having on our health. Does your designer log long hours at a desk? Want to help them out? Look into Cubi, the under-desk elliptical. Designers can continue working while keeping legs in motion. It’s a great way to add motion to the workday while still meeting deadlines. Models run from $249 - $359.

S’well Bottles

Want to protect your favorite designer from the BPAs of plastic water bottles? S’well brings style to hydration. While there are a sea of knockoffs, it’s hard to beat the bottle that started the trend. It keeps water surprisingly cool all day long. And with a variety of styles, you can find one that fits your favorite designer’s exact taste. S’well bottles run from $25 to ridiculously expensive for a water bottle if you get one with Swarovski crystals.

Prismacolor Colored Pencils

Forget everything you know about colored pencils from when you used them in school. Prismacolor is the artists’ version and effortlessly lays down color on a page. Remind your favorite designer of how much fun it is to design in analog. Available on Amazon, a 72-pencil tin is $24.

Matcha Tea Set

If your designer has left coffee in favor of tea, consider a matcha tea set. There is a bit of morning ritual to the making of matcha. You warm the ceramic bowl with hot water, then scoop matcha into the bowl with a bamboo scoop. More hot water is added as you use the bamboo wisk to make it frothy. There are a variety of matcha sets available at varying price points. Tealra makes one that's available on Amazon for $37. Matcha tea is sold separately. You can order online or pick it up in stores like Whole Foods, Sprouts or Trader Joes.

Borealis Backpack

Consider upgrading your favorite designer’s backpack to the Borealis from The North Face. The 28-liter backpack has a padded compartment for a 15-inch laptop and has straps that are designed to be comfortable no matter how many times the flight changes gates. The backpack is priced from $77 - $109 depending on the online retailer.

Kindle Paperwhite

While the Kindle Fire is an incredible deal for a tablet, the Paperwhite can’t be beat for e-readers. The “E Ink” technology offers high brightness and contrast, a wide viewing angle, and best of all, it uses very low power. While screens usually cause eyestrain, this technology is much more like reading actual paper. (You can even read in direct sunlight.) The Paperwhite is also lighter than the fire. Cost? Around $120. You may want to get a case as well.


If your favorite designer is also an astronomy buff, check out the Stellarscope. Use the right latitude adapter and microfiche star map, then rotate the tubes to align the date and time and take aim to start calling the stars by name. The Stellarscope is 6 3/8 inches long and works anywhere between latitudes 20 degrees and 60 degrees North or South. Stellarscope sells for around $39.00 and is also available on Amazon.

Sphero Mini Orange

The Sphero Mini Orange is an app-enabled robot about the size of a ping pong ball. One app, called Face Drive, uses your facial expressions to drive the ball. If your designer is extra geeky, they can download the Sphero Edu app and program the robot using JavaScript. In fact, Sphero Mini just might be the next big thing. Cost: $49.

Non-Traditional Gift Cards

We hope you’ve found the perfect gift, but if it isn’t on this list, you can always get a gift card. Consider non-traditional versions to a local indie coffee shop, record store, favorite car wash, Guitar Center, or even Whole Foods for a cooking class.

Of course, the best things in life are free, but there is something about having someone you love hand you a wrapped box -- makes you feel deeply appreciated. Happy shopping!

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