Shopping for the perfect Copic gift is hard
Especially if you don't have the foggiest clue what your special someone does in the craft room with all those fancy markers!
After all, who really needs more markers? Isn't 100 of 'em enough?
Relax. Sometimes all you need is a little advice from another Copic Marker lover.
I've taught coloring classes for almost a decade now and I've seen a lot of marker products and marker accessories come and go. I'm also a brutally frank person, so if I think something is overpriced, useless, or downright stupid, I'll tell you not to buy it.
Here are 10 (well loved, not useless) gift ideas for your Copic lover:
(warning: the following article contains affiliate links out the wazoo...)
#1 - Help complete their marker collection
I know it looks like your special person already has too many markers...
But here's the thing- Copic makes 358 different colors and it's highly unlikely that he or she owns them all.
I've never met a colorer who didn't have a list of at least 20 markers that they would buy today if their Fairy Godmother handed them $100. Even the rare person who owns all 358 has lots of other Copic products to lust over.
The problem is that YOU don't know what colors your person is missing. Play it safe by going the gift card route and let them order items off their mental wish list.
What dollar value is reasonable? That depends upon how generous you want to be. Here's a clue to setting your budget: Copic prices fluctuate greatly based on who is running a sale. A single Copic Sketch marker can be priced anywhere from $5 to $10 depending upon the retailer. Amazon usually isn't the cheapest source but an Amazon card is the least likely to go unused. Other Copic retailers which also offer gift cards/certificates include: Dick Blick, Cheap Joes, Jerry's Artarama, Oozak, Carpe Diem, Simon Says Stamp, or order directly from Imagination International's Copic Shop.
#2 - Multiliner SP sets
Most Copic colorers also use fine line technical pens in their work. Copic makes thin pens called Multiliners that are totally compatible with their coloring markers. Chances are your person owns a few non-compatible pens that they're really careful about using (a non-compatible pen can ruin a Copic marker nib), or they own the cheaper, disposable version of a Copic Multiliner.
This SP version of the Copic Multiliner is the Rolls Royce of fineliner pens. I think they're the finest technical pen on the market and I use them on all my art, even the non-Copic stuff. The stainless steel body feels great in the hands; the weight is just right and the grip area is comfortable to hold. SP Multiliners are refillable (via pre-filled cartridge) and the nibs are replaceable if they accidentally become damaged. Over the long term, I think the SP version is a better value than the cheaper disposables.
Because few brick & mortar craft shops carry SP pens, it is likely that your person doesn't own any SP pens.
SP sets come in an A version and a B version set of 4 pens. Both are black ink and the nib size selection is different in each set. Either would make a lovely gift but I'd start with the A before purchasing B.
#3 - The Copic Collection App
Okay, I'll admit that this idea is cheating BECAUSE IT'S A FREE APP, but seriously, I can't write a list of Copic ideas and leave off my most used tool!
Most Copic colorers have little checkbook sized booklets like this where they keep track of which markers and refills they own. While booklets are fine, I'm cursed in that my book is always sitting on my desk at home when I'm standing in front of the Copic display in my local art store.
With this phone app, I have my list with me where ever I go... well, maybe not in the shower but certainly everywhere else.
I've tried several different apps and I like this one the best by a long-shot. It's easy to read, easy to modify, and from an artistic point of view, the graphics are so much cooler than a text based list app.
Shown at left is my collection of reds. Now you know which 6 red markers I'd love to receive this Christmas (hint, hint).
See, I told you, even those of us who own a ton of markers still have holes in their collection!
#4 - the Hex Chart
Speaking of inventories, even if your Copic lover owns a swatch booklet or app, Sandy Allnock's Hex Chart is still an essential tool that every Copic colorer should own.
I have no sway with the Nobel Committee over in Stockholm, but I still cross my fingers every year in the hopes that Sandy receives the Peace Prize. Boy, did she earn it for this piece of genius!
It's wrong to call this thing an inventory list. It's actually a relationship chart that demonstrates how marker colors are related. Want to know which colors can form blends with other colors? Which markers can substitute for others? Check the chart!
Best of all, filling out the blank chart shows where the real holes in your collection lie. Big blank areas of no color help a Copic lover decide which areas of their collection to build up next.
The Allnock Hex Chart is an online, digital download which includes a two page blank chart and a two page fully colored chart. Users record their own collection while the pre-colored version provides full-collection information.
I pretty much force my students at gunpoint to purchase this chart. They learn sooooo much from it!
#5 - the Copic Neutral Gray set
Colorers tend to purchase pretty colored markers first. Personally, I use my gray markers far more than any other color family and I teach more classes with them too.
Grays can actually save money when you're building your collection because you can use a gray UNDERNEATH another color to darken it. So if you're missing a dark red or a dark blue, ONE gray marker can help you replicate many colors you may be missing.
Chances are that your special person owns a few grays but not an entire set.
Copic grays come in four versions. I'll rank them here in order of how often I use them:
- Neutral (N)
- Cool (C)
- Warm (W)
- Toner (T) ... uhhhhh... actually, I don't even own any Ts
So I'd advise starting with an N set and gift them later with the C set on a different occasion.
The W warms can wait. I know a lot of colorers buy the warms right away but that's because they see so many projects online using them (note: "used most" is different than "featured on the internet the most"). But the Ws are far less versatile and thus should be a lower priority purchase. Give me an N neutral marker and I can rule the world!
#6 - Uniball Signo Pens
Copics are beautiful but they don't make a white marker, nor do they make metallics.
I call for the Uniball Signo white on about 60% of my class projects and it's part of the required kit for my beginner classes. It's a flat, dense white that releases in a very generous and wet line. It's perfect for adding details and accents to coloring projects and especially excels for eye highlights.
The silver and gold are basically liquid metal. Most metallic pens are actually glitter or sparkle pens. Not the Uniball version. You could color gold bars and silver coins with these pens, they add the look of metal leaf to projects. They're an absolute must-have for Christmas cards.
#7 - Coloring Mat
Yes, I know this is technically a cutting mat, not a coloring mat. Read on, cowboy.
There's nothing sadder than to see a student happily coloring along when suddenly the texture of the table starts showing through on their project.
If you've ever done crayon rubbings with leaves or on tombstones, you know what I mean. A bump on the table can quickly turn into a bump in your coloring project. It happens a lot with colored pencils but I've also seen it happen with markers. Yes, with markers. Not kidding.
Coloring on a smooth surface is important. Coloring on a clean surface is important. Coloring on the same hardness of surface for every project is important too.
All of these things are solved by using a small cutting mat as a coloring board. They're inexpensive, lightweight, and easily cleaned. I use one for every class I teach and I have several for use in my studio. the 8.5x11" size is great, so are the 9x12". Both sizes can easily tuck into a folder or bag for transport.
Note: I do not use my coloring boards for cutting. No sense buying a smooth surface and then unsmoothing it!
#8 - Travel Tote
I have several supply totes, some good and some bad. This bag is the best of the best and it's the one I almost always grab for carting supplies to class.
The Everything Mary Deluxe Papercraft Organizer holds an amazing amount of stuff and it's been an incredibly durable bag. I've been dragging mine around for almost 5 years now and it still looks new.
The handles are what makes it perfect. They're longer than average which means that you can fill the center section with tall items and still clasp the handles together in one hand for easy toting. That's pretty unique. The center section dividers are smartly placed and the side pockets offer both open pockets and secure pockets with magnetic snaps or velcro.
Even if you're special person is only toting items from the craft room to the living room, this bag will be appreciated and well loved.
#9 - Various Ink Case
Copic sells markers in sets and most of sets arrive in an acrylic box. These boxes are treasured by colorers because they not only store the markers securely but they also display the markers like pretty little gemstones.
Having said that, I'm not a fan of the acrylic boxes and mine are gathering dust on a shelf in my closet.
The Wide Marker box is my one exception. I love these boxes, but not for wide markers!
Various Inks are small bottles of refill ink. Every colorer has at least a few bottles bouncing around their craft room right now. Ink bottles are a challenge to store because they're a different shape and the I.D. caps are set at a different angle than the markers.
But Various Ink bottles fit beautifully into the Wide Marker box! One box holds 24 colors and the boxes themselves slide nicely into several different sized storage tubs. The gridded bottoms allows one to organize the colors (hooray for Obsessive Compulsive Rainbow Disorder!) and they'll remain in order rather than knocking around. I absolutely love these boxes!
#10 - Most Incredible Stamp Tool Invented (Misti)
Most of my projects use my original Vanilla Arts Co. digital stamps but I do use a few commercial rubber or silicone stamps each month.
One of the reasons why I began working digitally is my high failure rate stamping rubber stamp images. Clean images with no smudges or missing parts are something I simply can't get the knack of... at least not on a consistent basis. And I hate wasting paper stamping something out two or three times, praying for a usable image.
The MISTI tool from My Sweet Petunia is perfect for all-thumbs stampers like me. It lines up the stamp and stamps exactly where you want it to, every single time.
Best of all, if part of the image doesn't stamp well, you can re-ink the stamp and try again. Believe me, I take advantage of that feature a lot! I've even successfully re-re-re-stamped a stamp with this tool.
#11 - Online Coloring Lessons
Okay, I know I was supposed to stop at 10 Gifts but I can't resist throwing in a bit of obvious self promotion...
I teach online Copic coloring classes that are perfect for any level colorer. Marker Painting Basics teaches art based painting techniques using markers with colored pencil accents.
Because my classes cover art techniques, they're perfect for any level colorer from beginner on up to advanced marker mavens. This isn't a copy-cat style craft level class!
M.P.B. is a membership style class and new lessons debut every month. Each lesson is available for 60 days. The monthly staggering means that TWO classes are always available for students to watch and download.
Marker Painting Basics classes include:
- 60-90 minutes of guided coloring video featuring informative and fun time outs and technique breakdowns
- 15 minute Technique of the Month video provides a deep-dive look at one technique, method, or mindset
- original digital stamp in three formats
- full color printable project sample
- full color prinatable color map + recipe
- full color printable guide to shade & shadow
- class discussion board with full instructor Q&A access
So there you have it!
Ten, no make that ELEVEN awesome and battle tested gift suggestions for the Copic Marker lover in your life.
Be sure to check out my other helpful gift suggestion lists:
10 (more!) Gift Ideas for a Colored Pencil Lover (coming soon)
10 Gift Ideas for a Watercolor Lover (coming soon)
10 Gift Ideas for an Art Journal Lover (coming soon)
Questions? Suggestions? I'd love your feedback in the comment section!
CURRENT AMAZON PRICES on products mentioned above: