gifts they might actually want

59 Teeny-Tiny Gifts

Small enough to fit in your hand, and all under $40.

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photo: Winnie Yang
Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photo: Winnie Yang
Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photo: Winnie Yang

For small-space city dwellers, minimalists, and reformed hoarders, holiday-season consumption can feel stressful and unnecessary. And besides, if you’re traveling, bringing gifts to and from just means an extra checked bag or two. When my family chose to do a destination Christmas in Sicily one year, I suggested that we give each other tiny gifts instead of our normal exchange. In order to accommodate objects of all shapes, the rule was that the sum of the dimensions (length, width, height) could not exceed ten inches. Additionally, the gift had to cost less than $40 — with unofficial bonus points for the most clever, smallest, cheapest gift. For my competitive and creative family, it turned out to be an amusing shopping challenge, and it gave me peace of mind knowing that I would have control over my suitcase space. If you, too, wish to downsize and gamify your holiday shopping, I’ve got 59 extremely small gifts to surprise everyone on your list with.

Everyone has a friend who eats so much citrus in the winter you wonder if they’ll turn orange. This sophisticated bone orange peeler will make their life easier, and save their manicured thumbnail.

Mogutable makes a whole collection of cute food-themed chopstick holders, including but not limited to: toast, leeks, scallions, kiwis, baguettes, peanuts, and shiso.

A set of mini cheese knives is a thoughtful gift for someone who enjoys a nice picnic, and these colorful French ones are as nice as they come.

I’d give this to someone who wishes they had a real log cabin. Paine’s classic balsam-fir incense is best burned in this tiny log cabin, where the smoke billows out of its chimney. This set is an all-in-one kit to turn your home into a cozy winter wonderland.

An obsessive toothpick user will appreciate that this personalized leather holder takes their favorite oral-hygiene task very seriously. You can even personalize it with their initials for added effect.

My sister is a fragrance snob who recently got her first adult car, so she’s getting a pair of these ridiculously fancy air fresheners from me this Christmas because they smell amazing and are just kitschy enough.

This tiny version of Helen Levi’s stoneware mug comes in a size that’s a mere 1 inch by 1.25 inches, and according to her product description, “would be best suited holding ten teardrops, or a drink for a pet hamster, or a fairy’s brew.”

This tiny donabe-shaped Japanese ceramic condiment jar is seriously upgraded storage for a ramen lover’s shichimi togarashi, or even just a fancy salt.

A very delicate porcelain vase, in a variety of colors and shapes — well-suited as a bud vas, or a hiding spot. I’m gifting one of these cuties to someone with a penchant for collecting colorful vases this year.

A flower frog is a chic and eco-friendly tool for floral arranging, as the pins hold the flowers in place just like floral foam would. While most normal sizes of floral frogs would fit the bill as a teeny gift, go the whole hog with this set of four extraordinarily tiny ones.

Earlier this year, I bought out the stock of scoops just like these at an Amish hardware store and have gifted them to friends who are into working with small craft things such as beads or sequins. Use them to add a little playfulness to dispensing salts and spices, too!

Elevate your martini-drinking BFF’s bar cart with these small and sophisticated cocktail picks. (For other options, the Strategist has a delightful roundup of cocktail picks.)

A shard box is a special type of tiny box because it’s made to showcase a piece of broken porcelain in its lid. You could store rogue buttons, jewelry, or small treasures in it.

Little linen coasters are a compact and stylish way to keep marks off of a coffee table. Fog Linen’s sets come in a variety of lovely stripe and check patterns and lend themselves to a more grown-up cottagecore aesthetic.

Everyone loves corn on the cob, especially when they have a fun pair of fancy corn holders to eat it with. Buy these for the friend who’s often hunting for dental floss at a barbecue.

For the friend who just really loves pickles: The Heinz pickle pin, originally designed as a promo item for the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair and a spectacular early example of wearable merch.

This saffron is handpicked by women on family-owned farms in Afghanistan, is packaged beautifully, and is a terrific culinary luxury for your favorite cook.

Fold up these small papers like an accordion, light the end, and they’ll release the resin-y, spicy fragrance the 800-year-old Officina Santa Maria Novella perfumery is known for. Gift these to a jet-setter who cares about home fragrance.

Packaged like a fancy perfume, these cult Japanese eye drops make your eyes look icy-white while also feeling cool, refreshing, and hydrating for dry eyes. Gift them to your favorite beauty junkie.

Your aunt who’s obsessed with season two of The White Lotus will love this Sicilian soap that comes in its own tin. Ortigia makes luxury olive oil soaps in fragrances inspired by the Sicilian landscape.

Travelers who are also obsessed with caring for their skin will appreciate this finger-size, fast-drying silk facial mitten for gentle face cleansing while taking up no space at all.

These very, very small plastic capsules hold just enough water-activated face washing powder for a single use and are a useful and cute thing to keep in an overnight bag or gym bag. They’re a cult-favorite Japanese beauty product for their cleansing power and convenient and compact packaging.

SYZY takes portable to an extreme. These bags are small enough for even a stupidly undersize women’s pants pocket, as they fold into a minuscule 2-by-1.75-by-1-inch pouch. Give one to that person who has lots of excuses for never having a reusable shopping bag on hand.

From a nearly 300-year-old American soap company, a high-quality folding pocket comb, for channeling your inner Clark Gable or grooming a mustache.

Coucou Suzette makes extremely sturdy and detailed hair clips in a wide variety of food and animal shapes, like this funny little mussel.

This festive glitter eye shadow, from Bobbi Brown’s fantastic new line of makeup, looks amazing on people of all ages and is easy to apply with just a finger.

Hogwash is magic soap that contains cornmeal for scrubbing, and is an absolute necessity for any gardener, frequent wine-spiller, or parent of young children.

Gardeners love the variety of heirloom, native, and specialty plants offered by Hudson Valley Seed Co., especially when they come in their beautiful art packs, which feature work by artists all over the country.

This keyboard brush is just right for someone who’s meticulous about their deskscape — a tiny and refined tool that is useful and pretty. Plus, there are two bristle stiffnesses for maximum efficiency.

Perhaps Coming Soon’s smallest and most affordable gift, Hester the Nail is a playful and large brass nail that makes an easy hook to hang a set of keys, a bike helmet, or an umbrella from.

A level is something that everyone occasionally needs, but might not have room to store. This one is very small and magnetic, and stows easily in a pocket for when inspiration strikes to hang something properly.

A stylish and highly functional tiny-screwdriver set with a selection of different heads that are held into place by a magnet. Perfect for an apartment-dweller with a DIY spirit.

A middle-schooler with a favorite mechanical pencil will love this little pack of high-tech colored Japanese leads in seven different hues. They can be used in any standard mechanical pencil that takes 0.5-mm. lead.

It might seem like an unnecessary tool, but the Original Presto Letter Opener opens mail with a single satisfying swipe and also comes in handy when opening packages safely and easily.

This isn’t the smallest tarot deck around (this one is), but it’s the most compact one that’s still shuffle-able, with cards measuring 2 inches by 3.25 inches. A regular tarot user would love this for travel.

Leatherman makes the most functional and durable multi-tool devices on the market, and this one is small enough to put on a keyring or tuck into a pocket. It has all of the tools you’d need for a weekend of fishing or camping.

Fun for the whole family! The new Richard Scarry for Tattly temporary tattoos are so cute, everyone’s going to want to wear one. Since they’re totally flat and tiny, you can easily stick them in an envelope and put them in mail.

My favorite book gift for children is this small hardback set of four Maurice Sendak classics, which are about the size of a playing card.

For trimming threads, these extraordinarily small and sharp scissors are a lovely gift for someone who’s into sewing or embroidery.

People tend to think of golf balls and ties as typical and lazy dad gifts, but what about a silly novelty ball-maker for the putting green instead? That’s a golf tool that they’re sure to not lose to a course water feature.

I have yet to find smaller notebooks that are as useful as these 3.18-inch-by-2-inch Rite in the Rain ones that feature smooth, water-resistant paper – originally designed for rugged outdoor use, but popular with daily pocket-notebook users.

Packaged in a deceivingly compact box, this set of 20 2.75-by-3.75-inch tiny notecards and corresponding envelopes make a great gift for a quirky stationery user. They’re available in five different themes and are perfect for itty-bitty love notes or gift enclosures.

A very serious fisherman recommended this retractable tether to wear on a vest or jacket to make frequently used tools more accessible while on the water.

The Oi Luxe bike bell is quite possibly the most minimalist and design-y bell out there and is lined with vegan leather to protect the finish on your handlebar.

The smallest gift you could possibly give a gamer is a die, and dice shopping is especially fun if that gamer loves D&D and might appreciate a special new D20. URWizards sells hundreds of dazzling resin, glass, and stone dice to suit all personalities and preferences.

Just like the ones all over TikTok — a tiny microphone that actually works when plugged into a phone or computer.

These little egg-shaped shakers are a cult-favorite instrument for kids learning to make sounds and play around with music.

Just as they did in the 1990s, these currently made Tamagotchis are keychain-size, beep at you to feed them, and are irritatingly addictive.

Name a cuter, tinier stuffed animal than this mouse tucked into its own matchbox bed. Maileg is a Danish brand of little heirloom-quality critters that are beloved by kids and parents alike.

Also from Maileg: a miniature metal chair, just right for a Maileg mouse.

Silly Putty
$7 for 3
$7 for 3

Before there was slime, there was Silly Putty, which is still a lot of fun for kids and, according to the reviews on Amazon, strangely useful for adults.

Natural, handmade paints are all the rage with watercolor hobbyists and artists, and these majestic pearlescent ones are stored in upcycled shells: nature’s watercolor pan.

Caran d’Ache Neocolor II pastels are rich, soft water-soluble wax crayons that can be used for drawing and painting. They’re a uniquely versatile medium that would be appreciated by artists of any age.

Knitters need ring markers to mark the beginning of a section or row, and since they’re small and easy to lose, new ones are always a welcome gift — especially when they’re this cute.

Baggu makes superior fold-up reusable bags, and the Baby size is just right for carrying small things and keeping on hand just in case.

Hafod Grange is a Welsh botanical paperweight specialist that is most known for its stunning dandelion model, which is a true marvel of craftsmanship. It ships from the U.K., but has reasonable shipping fees.

[Editor’s note: Hafod Grange lists all prices in pounds, so the price shown here is an approximate conversion to U.S. dollars.]

Tiny Doll House is a shop with an unbelievable selection of exquisitely detailed dollhouse miniatures. Pick out something specific to the person you’re gifting to, like a favorite food or household product.

Anyone who loves eating fish straight out of the tin knows that a tiny party fork is the best for picking the last mussel out of the corner. This set will look especially chic alongside their Fishwife on a snack platter.

In the ’80s and early ’90s, Lenox made an adorable and detailed collection of spice canisters shaped like little buildings. They’re no longer manufactured, but are readily available on Etsy for around $30.

The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best acne treatments, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, natural anxiety remedies, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.

59 Teeny-Tiny Gifts