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Gifts for Artists: Get Them Something They Will Love

Many of us may have taken up drawing and painting during the pandemic, so you may find yourself searching out gifts for artists this holiday season. California, Los Angeles, and San Francisco boast the highest percentages of artists in their workforce, yet the lockdown means more of us have taken up the brush to express ourselves. Whether as a hobby or a profession, art remains the lifeblood of our souls.

You may find searching out the perfect gift a little daunting with so many art-related products out there. However, it is worth thinking outside of the box when you look for gifts for artists. Consequently, we have created a list of some quirky and unique gifting ideas.

Gifts for Artists

It is said that art is good for the soul. Indeed, it remains true that drawing and painting help to keep our minds sharp and represent a host of valuable health benefits. From developing good motor skills to improving mental health, the relaxing hobby and profession have far-reaching effects.

Finding gifts for artists need not feel challenging. The Earth Without Art Mug from 3dRose is a cheeky gift that may make the perfect stocking stuffer this holiday. And the Bob Ross Bobblehead from Bob Ross is the ultimate in kitsch gifts for artists.

Think outside of the box

Many of our gift ideas may seem a little unusual. However, buying materials for artists may feel challenging, which is why we have found some exciting alternatives for you to consider.

And all our ideas come with numerous positive reviews to ensure quality and value. While budgets tighten, our imagination grows with some humorous and practical holiday gifts for artists.

Our List of Perfect Gifts for Artists

Don’t fret over which paints to buy or what brushes may suit. Settle down to a variety of unique ideas to make the artists in your family smile.

JOTW Artists Paint & Palette Pendant

When you search around for gifts for artists, this gorgeous Artists Paint & Palette Pendant from JOTW is a top gifting idea for the holiday season. Nothing says ‘I love you’ like a piece of stunning jewelry, and this thoughtful pendant charm strikes just the right tone with its delicate detailing and pretty colors.

The pendant measures 1025 inches from top to bottom, and the 1mm snake chain measures 16 inches. Furthermore, the beautiful palette has a gorgeous paintbrush hanging with it as a separate charm to complete the charming set.

You may choose from two versions of the silver-tone pendant. The first is silver with a black background on the palette, and the second uses a white enameled background. Both options look gorgeous, and the tiny crystals used to represent the paint stand out from the background to provide a lovely sparkle.

The Artists Paint & Palette Pendant from JOTW is delicate, pretty, and detailed. Consequently, it makes the perfect gift for anyone who loves drawing and painting and comes in at an attractive price.

The Earth Without Art Mug

If you want to find a tongue in cheek gift, The Earth Without Art Mug from 3dRose is perfect. The mug displays a variety of colorful splashes against a white background with the words ‘The World Without Art is Just Eh.’ Any artist may well appreciate those words and enjoy sipping their tea or coffee from the gorgeous mug.

The ceramic mug has a capacity of 10.88 ounces, with the image printed on both sides. The mug’s exterior is white, while the handle and the interior are dark, glossy black to make a striking contrast. Furthermore, the high gloss finish makes the paint splash colors and black lettering stand out from the ceramic surface.

It would be best if you hand- washed the mug to preserve the design, though it is microwave safe.

If you want to find gifts for artists, The Earth Without Art Mug from 3dRose provides a budget-friendly solution perfect as a stocking stuffer.

Bob Ross Bobblehead

Who doesn’t want Bob Ross watching them from their desk as they paint? You don’t even have to be an artist to appreciate the iconic painter because most of us know the uber-famous cult figure of Bob Ross. Consequently, Bob Ross Bobblehead from Bob Ross is the ultimate in gifts for artists.

To add to the kitsch value of the bubblehead, it also speaks to you. The cute 4-inch bobblehead plays 10 different witty sayings by Bob Ross himself to provide you with constant inspiration. Furthermore, as an extra added value touch, the figure arrives complete with a mini easel book featuring 30 of Ross’s famous landscape works.

Bob Ross remains an icon in the art world, and his TV shows make for compulsive viewing. As his dulcet tones emanate from the ever-watchful bobblehead, you won’t be able to help but grin as you put paint to canvas.

If you want to find gifts for artists with a sense of humor, the Bob Ross Bobblehead from Bob Ross

Proves the perfect choice guaranteed to make everyone smile.

Old World Christmas Artist Palette Glass Ornament

If like me, you like to give unique Christmas tree ornaments as gifts to loved ones each year, then the Old World Christmas Artist Palette Glass Ornament from the Old World Christmas Store fits the bill. It represents the perfect addition to your list of gifts for artists.

The hand-crafted decoration uses ancient techniques of glass blowing dating back to the 1800s. Molten glass is mouth-blown into finely crafted molds to produce this exquisite artist’s palette. Furthermore, each ornament is painstakingly hand-painted to achieve stunning detail.

The ornament is 2.75 inches by 2.75 inches by 0.75 inches. The beautiful glass consists of a golden background with vibrant blobs of colored glass representing blobs of paint. Even a tube of artists paint squirting out color across the bauble, and a stunning paintbrush rests on the edge of the palette. Fine glitter detail makes each detail pop to complete the old-world charm of this exquisite Christmas ornament.

The Old World Christmas Artist Palette Glass Ornament from the Old World Christmas Store makes a charming addition to an artist’s tree this holiday.

Billion Dollar Art Gallery

What do you get the artists who have everything this Christmas? The answer is the Billion Dollar Art Gallery from Billion Dollar Art Gallery. This gorgeous gift may transform your TV into an art gallery to provide the perfect background when you have guests or give any budding artist the ultimate inspiration.

The Billion Dollar Art Gallery consists of a USB that plugs into your TV. The USB contains 500 of the world’s most famous and beautiful paintings to transform your lounge into the best museum in your state. The images use high definition resolution for sharp, crisp, vibrant images.

The USB contains both video and images, and you may control the speed of the display. Plus, the gorgeous chrome USB stick arrives in a stunning maple wood gift box to create the perfect presentation.

Billion Dollar Art Gallery from Billion Dollar Art Gallery may seem a little out of the box when finding gifts for artists. However, the unusual and quirky gift may provide hours of interest and inspiration.

U.S. Art Supply Artists Adjustable Wood Drawing Board

When you consider gifts for artists, a drawing board may feel like the obvious choice. However, you can never have too many of these useful pieces of equipment from personal experience, especially if you work on multiple projects. Consequently, the Artists Adjustable Wood Drawing Board from U.S. Art Supply may prove ideal.

The beautifully hand-crafted beechwood drawing board provides a large working area and measures 18.5 inches by 14 inches. The seasoned wood comes finished with natural oil to give a rich, lustrous finish.

The drawing board features 6 adjustable settings from flat to an 80-degree angle. Consequently, the artists may find the ideal position perfect for drawing. In addition, a handy ledge at the board’s base provides a perfect place to store your pencils.

Painting and drawing equipment tend to remain very personal to every artist who may favor a particular set of equipment. However, for any artist starting, the Artists Adjustable Wood Drawing Board from U.S. Art Supply provides a budget-friendly solution. Consequently, the board is a must for your list of gifts for artists.

WHIMSICAL Unisex Artists Watch

It’s so easy to lose track of time when you get lost in your work. So, the Unisex Artists Watch from WHIMSICAL takes the top spot for gifts for artists.

The gorgeous watch features a highly detailed watch face with tiny tubes of artist paints and a painter’s palette with brushes. The gorgeous colors contrast beautifully with a visible and easy to read watch face with traditional numbers and hands.

The watch features a precise, high-quality Japanese quartz movement encased in a silver-tone stainless steel case. The case measures 42mm in diameter. A sturdy red Italian leather strap completes the look and lends an outstanding quality to the gift.

It can feel a little daunting when you look for gifts for artists, but this quirky timepiece makes the ideal holiday gift at an attractive price.

Professional 85 Piece Art Set

Perhaps you have a budding artist in the family who hasn’t quite found their style or favorite medium. The Professional 85 Piece Art Set from Color More makes the ideal gift for artists exploring their talents.

The set comprises 85 pieces in a wooden case with everything a budding artist may need to explore their inner Bob Ross. The collection includes 12 sketching pencils, 12 watercolor cakes, 8 acrylic paints, and 28 watercolor pencils. It also contains 10 artist brushes, 8 oil pastels, a plastic palette, a putty eraser, and a wooden sharpener. Not only that, it features 5 drawing pads to get you started.

It may take a while for any artist to find their style and favorite medium. The comprehensive Professional 85 Piece Art Set from Color More provides a wealth of materials for an artist to experiment and find their stride.

When you consider gifts for artists, the striking box set of artistic goodies makes a wonderful gift this holiday season.

Artists Canvas Apron

If like me, you get covered in paint while you work, the Artists Canvas Apron from Tour is the perfect addition to your list of gifts for artists.

The apron is hand-crafted from rugged 16-ounce waxed canvas and features reinforced pockets. The canvas remains breathable for added comfort and uses adjustable straps to provide a snug fit.

The smock apron skirt length is 25.59 inches, and the hem length is 50 inches. The extra-long waist tie may accommodate up to a 50-inch waist. And a slide adjuster at the neck allows you to customize its size for a comfortable painting experience.

Most artists may find this apron useful. Not only may it keep your clothes paint free, but you may also carry numerous brushes, pencils, and tools within its many spacious pockets.

If you find yourself looking for gifts for artists, the Artists Canvas Apron from Tour represents a top, practical idea for the holiday season.

HSOMiD Artists Wooden Jointed Mannequin

Drawing the human form may prove a challenge for any artist. Therefore, Artists Wooden Jointed Mannequin from HSOMiD provides the perfect solution when you consider gifts for artists.

The articulated figure comes on a stand and features flexible joints for posing in various positions. The hardwood mannequin provides a robust yet practical solution for getting the body’s proportions correct when drawing.

The Artists Wooden Jointed Mannequin from HSOMiD is suitable for beginners and advanced artists to capture the body’s correct scale and form. Plus, the excellent price-point makes it the perfect stocking stuffer this holiday season.

Our List of Gifts for Artists Explored

Buying the perfect gift feels challenging at the best of times, but we may find ourselves working with a tighter budget as we experience a year, unlike any other. However, our list of gifts for artists contains ideas for every budget and a variety of tastes.

Art is subjective, and so is gifting! Why not have a little fun with your ideas and put a bit of kitsch into a loved one’s life.

Author bio

Sean Kerr lives in Cardiff, Wales, and is a published author with over 10 novels to his name so far and still counting. As well as writing his next bestseller, Sean also runs a successful jewelry making business and sells his creations online.

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8 Best Glass Markers: What Works, and Which to Choose

Glass markers come in surprisingly handy around the home, especially if you like a bit of crafting. Perhaps you like to have friends round for a drink, in which case glass markers may come in particularly useful.

If you run a business and want to add a contemporary spin to notice boards and menus, you may want to explore the versatility of glass markers.

Perhaps you remain unfamiliar with this medium and would like to know what kind of markers write on glass. Alternatively, you may enjoy the idea of creating glass art and need to know about the benefits of glass paint markers.

Join us as we explore a world of creativity and find the best glass markers for your projects.

Glass Markers

Glass markers are paint markers explicitly designed for drawing and writing on glass surfaces. You may write on wine glasses, windows, drinking glasses, and all manner of glass accessories.

The markers use various inks, including acrylic paint, oil-based ink, and chalk paint, depending on the pen type.

Some inks dry with a permanent finish while others easily wash off the surface with a cloth and soapy water.

What are glass markers used for?

There is a wide variety of uses for these fantastic pens, including wine glass markers.

Writing the names of your guests on wine glasses is a nice touch when having a get-together. Plus, it will stop the drinks from getting mixed up!

You can use glass markers on glass whiteboards and glass menus as well. When you see menus written on the windows of cafes and restaurants, the chances are the artist made them using a glass marker.

You can also achieve some fantastic effects on glass jars, ceramics, and glass decorations using glass paint markers.

If you love crafting, then why not create your own stained-glass window effects by using glass markers? With such a stunning variety of colors and metallic finishes available, the only limit is your imagination.

An important note

Don’t use permanent or erasable markers on plates that you intend to eat from because the ingredients may prove toxic. Designs applied to glass and ceramic surfaces utilizing this medium are decorative only.

Two Types of Glass Markers

While you may find a wide variety of colors and finishes within the medium, two distinct types exist from which to choose.

The two varieties include permanent glass markers and erasable versions.

Temporary glass markers

Temporary glass markers are particularly useful for glass notice boards, glass menus, and for drawing on windows where you want to change the design.

Additionally, temporary glass markers prove very useful for writing names on drinking glasses and wine glasses when you don’t wish the moniker to remain permanently.

How to use temporary glass paint markers

You need to ensure the glass is perfectly clean and dry before drawing or writing on the surface. Once you have created your design, leave the item to dry before handling it.

When the party is over, you can easily wash the glass paint marker off the surface and start again!

With glass notice boards, the same rules apply, and you may wash away any writing with a cloth.

Glass markers remain incredibly popular for lectures, meetings, and teaching purposes for writing on glass surfaces.

Furthermore, writing menus and information is easy to achieve and equally simple to remove again when you want to write something different.

Permanent glass markers

Permanent glass markers come into their own if you want to create a permanent design. Consequently, most permanent markers of this type require the item’s baking after you complete the design.

Cleaning the glass with a little rubbing alcohol will ensure a grease-free surface for the marker’s application.

Build up the design in layers and leave each layer to dry before applying the next part of the decoration. You can intensify the color by re-applying the marker after each layer is dry.

When you have completed your design and allowed it to dry thoroughly, then you need to bake the item in the oven.

For the best results, follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer for timings and temperature. However, some permanent glass markers do not require baking as the ink dries permanent.

Once you complete the baking process, leave the glass inside the oven to cool down naturally.

Most manufacturers recommend handwashing your decorated items. A dishwasher may prove too hot and abrasive and may destroy your hard work, so wash it by hand using warm, soapy water.

A handy tip

Most erasable glass markers will run or dissolve in contact with moisture and condensation. If you write a name on a glass, ensure to create the design above the liquid line to avoid as much condensation as possible.

Additionally, store your glass markers upside down to prevent them from drying out.

How Did We Find Our Recommendations?

With so many products on the market, it may feel like a chore trying to find the best products. Therefore, we went for items that displayed a large number of reviews.

Additionally, we wanted to ensure the quality of our recommendations. So we went for those markers displaying positive reviews.

The end-user remains the best source of truthful information because they have the experience of using the glass markers in their projects. The insight and knowledge gleaned from these users proved invaluable during the compilation of this comprehensive list.

Our Quest for the 8 Best Glass Markers

If you want to know what type of glass markers to use on different surfaces, then look no further. We have compiled a great list of versatile markers for your consideration.

1. The Original Wine Glass Markers

The Original Wine Glass Markers remain one of the best erasable products to draw on your glasses.

Personalizing your glassware with these pens makes the event all the more memorable and unique for your guests. The markers are easy to use and they are an excellent value for the money.

They prove versatile for many different occasions where an individual touch is required, available in gold, silver, purple, red, and green.

You can label wine glasses with your friend’s names or write on spice jars to identify the contents. The possibilities remain endless, and you can remove any design easily using warm, soapy water.

Furthermore, the neat packaging makes the markers an ideal gift, especially for wine lovers.

2. Vino Marker Metallic Wine Glass Washable Pens

The Vino Marker Metallic Wine Glass Washable Pens come in a set of four colors and they make a fantastic gift in their gorgeous black packaging.

The lovely colors include silver, red, and two gold pens to cover the most popular tones for writing on wine glasses.

The manufacturer advises writing on the wine glass base for the best results to avoid condensation melting the name when used with cold and chilled drinks.

The ink inside the pens is non-toxic and food-safe, making them a perfect alternative to drink charms. They also prove incredibly suitable for place markers on plates and tableware.

You can easily remove any design by washing the item in warm, soapy water.

3. Stationery Island Chalk Makers

The Stationery Island Chalk Markers come in a pack of 10 assorted and vibrant colors. The range proves the perfect alternative to traditional chalk and particularly useful for writing on glass surfaces.

The chalk pens give a crisp, matte finish to your designs, perfect for window writing and drawing. And the fine nibs offer a smooth writing experience and allow you to create incredible detail.

The excellent color range includes pink, blue, purple, white, green, yellow, orange, red, brown, and black.

Additionally, the dry erasable chalk wipes off easily, making them particularly suitable for glass chalkboards and glass menus.

4. HBCT Creations Liquid Chalk Markers Set

The HBCT Creations Liquid Chalk Markers set comes in a fantastic range of 10 vintage colors. The classic colors are perfect for creating stunning artwork in unique, rustic colors.

The water-based ink is smooth on application and won’t smudge. This set comes with five extra replacement tips and tip changing tweezers, and the packaging makes the perfect storage container.

Suitable for glass, windows, blackboards, metal, and ceramic, the set is versatile and easy to use. When you’re ready for a change, you just easily wipe away any designs with a damp cloth.

This set of 10 vintage colors is excellent for shops, restaurants, business presentations, and kids looking to express their creativity.

5. Arteza Acrylic Paint Markers

The Arteza Acrylic Paint Markers are the perfect set for those artists wishing to achieve a permanent finish on glass. After you create your artwork, bake the item in the oven to make the design permanent.

The set comprises 20 assorted colors, including 3 metallic pens that are vibrant and versatile enough for any crafter to use on glass. You can also use the set for pebble painting, for the decoration of wood and plastic.

The fine tip allows for intricate, detailed work. Replaceable nips come included in the set together with a pair of nib replacement tweezers.

The markers are non-toxic and water-based. And the ultraviolet resistant finish gives your designs durability.

6. Trio Art Paint Pens

The Trio Art Paint Pens arrive in a selection of 18 vibrant colors, including 10 basic colors, 6 pastel colors, and 2 metallic pens.

The permanent water-based ink needs baking in the oven once you complete the design and the fine nylon tip allows for intricate detail and drawing.

An enhanced pump-system design gives the ink superior flow and allows for drawing on glass, stone, pebbles, porcelain, and wood.

The set represents an excellent value for the money in an attractive presentation box suitable for storing your kit.

7. Sharpie Metallic Permanent Markers

The Sharpie Metallic Permanent Markers remain one of the best of its type on the market. Sharpie a strong brand leader in the pen world.

The set consists of six metallic pens with two each of gold, silver, and bronze. A durable fine point tip produces thinner detailed lines on many hard surfaces, including glass.

The innovative design means no priming of the pens to start the ink flowing. Simply remove the cap to begin your design.

The ink is a specially formulated, opaque, permanent ink that, when dry, remains waterproof. The metallic finish is sharp and glimmering with a stunning sheen.

8. Sharpie Oil-Based Paint Markers

The Sharpie Oil-Based Paint Markers offer a medium point for painting onto various surfaces, including glass, pebbles, and wood.

The colorful ink is oil-based and permanent, and the high contrast colors create opaque and glossy designs that last.

Sharpie provides medium point tips for this set that lays down highly visible lines that are perfect for decorating windows.

A selection of vibrant colors includes white, yellow, and blue. Before you use the pens, shake the markers well and press the tip down several times to activate the ink.

The World of Glass Markers Explored

Glass markers offer a host of versatile applications for the artist, crafter, and retailer alike. Whether you want to create striking window displays or write names on a wine glass, markers for glass allow for many applications.

Wine glass markers make the perfect alternative to wine glass charms and the ideal gift for wine lovers. The temporary ink is easily washed away using soap and water.

Glass paint markers make for the perfect medium to draw on windows to advertise your store or menu. Additionally, the markers provide the ideal alternative to chalk for presentations and lectures.

You can easily remove the writing using a cloth to leave a clean surface for a new application.

Permanent glass markers represent the ideal medium for artists and crafters for use on glass and ceramics. You can create a variety of stunning effects and designs with colorful permanent markers and beautiful metallic markers.

Do you have any experience using glass markers? Why not leave your comments below and share your experience with us?

Author bio

Sean Kerr lives in Cardiff, Wales, and is a published author with over 10 novels to his name so far and still counting. As well as writing his next bestseller, Sean also runs a successful jewelry making business and sells his creations online.

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How to Choose the Best Beginner Sewing Machine

There are as many different types of sewing machines as there are sewists. The best beginner sewing machine for you might not be the best for someone else. It’s a good thing you have a lot of choices.

At the same time, those choices can be overwhelming. 

Fear not. If you understand your needs and know what’s out there, making the right choice is easy.

How to Pick the Best Beginner Sewing Machine

Choosing a great first sewing machine comes down to two things. First, you need to know your own needs. Then you need to know the market.

Step One: Know Yourself

A sewing machine is a big purchase. What’s more, your first sewing machine is a purchase you’ll remember for the rest of your life. Of course, you want that memory to be a happy one.

So there are a few things to consider before you press “buy.”

First, you want to get your money’s worth. You want maximum features at minimum cost. What’s more, you don’t want to pay for features you’re not going to use.

Also, you don’t want to lay down a lot of money for the wrong sewing machine, or worse, one that’s only going to sit in your closet.

Before buying the first machine that catches your eye, ask yourself the following:

  • What do you see yourself making with your sewing machine?
  • How confident are you with your present sewing skills?

Whether it’s your first sewing machine or your fifth, the best sewing machine is the one you’re going to love using. And the first step is knowing your own needs.

What’s your sewing goal?

Do you see yourself whipping out your own runway fashions? Or maybe you want to try your hand at a cheerful quilt. Perhaps machine embroidery is more your style.

However you see yourself as a sewist, there’s probably a sewing machine for that. A quick internet search will turn up a huge number of sewing machine types, including:

  • All-purpose sewing machines
  • Quilting machines
  • Embroidery machines
  • Sergers

And more.

You might wonder whether that $20 mini sewing machine would make a good sewing machine for beginners. Alternatively, you might think to splurge for an expensive do-it-all model for your first sewing machine.

However, in our experience, the best beginner sewing machine isn’t an expensive craft-specific model with all the bells and whistles.

Why not?

Well, complex machines can be intimidating for new sewists. Moreover, some semi-pro and professional craft-specific models don’t actually do regular sewing. And, it goes without saying that they can be expensive.

Rather, we think an all-purpose home sewing machine is often the best sewing machine for beginners.

What’s your skill level?

Be honest.

If this is your first sewing machine, your experience is probably limited. And that’s fine. There are plenty of simple models that can get you up and sewing right out of the box.

On the other hand, maybe you’re up for a challenge.

In that case, then a more complicated model can stretch your skills and help you to grow in your craft.

In either case, be honest with yourself. Don’t buy a machine so complicated that it terrifies you. By the same token, you don’t want a model so simple that it bores you before you even get started.

Look at the product. Do the controls look friendly and easy to master? Can you understand at a glance what each button, knob, and dial does? If not, are you willing to spend a bit of time with the manual?

Examine the specs. Will the machine do everything that you want it to? Will it help you to learn those new skills that you’ve been dreaming about?

The best beginner sewing machine for you will tick all of these boxes.

Step Two: Know Your Machines

Once you have a handle on your needs, it’s time to see what’s out there. That can be overwhelming.

There are a lot of different kinds of sewing machines, and many can make a great first sewing machine. Others, however, are less suited to novice users.

Mechanical sewing machines 

Mechanical sewing machines are the simplest kind of sewing machine.

First, they have a limited number of stitch designs. Usually, that means a straight stitch, a zigzag, a buttonhole, and one or two stretch stitches.

In short, they can do everything most sewists need to do, but they don’t have a lot of bells and whistles.

Also, as the name suggests, you control things like stitch length and width with knobs, dials, and sliders. There is no on-board computer.

Finally, mechanical sewing machines tend to be less expensive than other types of sewing machines.

On one hand, some users may find a simple sewing machine limiting.

On the other hand, though, other users will enjoy a mechanical machine’s ease of use. And, quite frankly, manual controls allow a sewist to fine-tune their stitches in a way that’s impossible with push-button computerized controls.

If you want to get started sewing right away, and don’t want to keep flipping back and forth between your machine and the manual, then a mechanical sewing machine may be for you.

Electronic sewing machines

Electronic sewing machines offer a compromise between mechanical machines and high-tech computerized models. Basically, they have a simple onboard computer, but it’s not as advanced as that of a computerized sewing machine.

The simple computer inside an electronic sewing machine makes certain features possible that are impossible with a mechanical sewing machine.

These include:

  • Speed control
  • Programmable needle position
  • Manual start/stop
  • Generous selection of stitch designs
  • Increased selection of buttonhole designs
  • Push-button control of stitch length and width
  • Automatic thread tension

These features aren’t strictly necessary. In fact, you can go quite far without them. However, many sewists find that these additional functions make sewing easier and more convenient.

Electronic sewing machines tend to be a bit more expensive than mechanical sewing machines. However, the price range is quite wide. What’s more, if you do your research, you can often find great deals online.

If you want a first sewing machine that will stretch your skills and grow with you, then a computerized sewing machine could be a good choice for you.

Computerized sewing machines

Singer introduced the first computerized sewing machine, the Touchtronic 2001, in 1978. It was revolutionary at the time.

However, technology advances fast. As a result, today’s computerized sewing machines have features and functions that Isaac Merritt Singer probably never even dreamed about.

Like what? You might ask.

Well, in addition to the functions listed in the previous section, advanced computerized models can provide some truly astonishing features, including:

  • Touch-screen controls
  • Hundreds of stitch designs
  • Monogram fonts in several different alphabets
  • Editing stitch and embroidery designs right on the machine
  • WiFi and/or USB connectivity
  • Uploading your own designs onto your machine
  • The ability to combine stitches into sequences
  • Stitch sequence memory
  • On-board video tutorials
  • Sensors to tell you when your thread is running out

You won’t find all of these features on every computerized sewing machine. However, if you research carefully, you can find a machine with a combination of features that you need.

The downside of advanced computerized models is complexity. These machines’ interfaces can be intimidating. Also, it can take years to explore and master all the features and functions of a computerized sewing machine.

But maybe that’s what you want.

If you’re a serious beginner, and the idea of mastering complex technology excites you, then an advanced computerized model may be the best beginner sewing machine for you.

Sewing machines by level

Your sewing machine search may include a combination of domestic and industrial sewing machines.

Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to tell the difference.

Industrial machines tend to be focussed. They do one thing, they do it well, and they’re made to do it all day long.

Industrial sewing machines also cost a lot. And many of them are enormous.

However, you’ll find a range of levels even among domestic sewing machines. It’s important to know the differences.

All-purpose home sewing machines are just what they sound like. They perform a variety of basic functions that equip them for different crafts.

You can use an all-purpose sewing machine for making clothes, housewares, quilting, and more.

Some all-purpose machines come with crafting accessories that make them more attractive to crafters, particularly quilters. These might include a detachable wide work table and even a machine embroidery hoop.

All-purpose sewing machines come in mechanical, electronic, and computerized variations. You’ll find a wide range of complexity among all-purpose machines. Likewise, you’ll find a wide range of price points.

Intermediate sewists who want to pursue a specific craft at a higher level may choose a semi-professional sewing machine.

Semi-pro machines are often quite a bit more expensive than all-purpose sewing machines. They often have more stitch functions, as well as advanced craft-specific features such as:

  • A knee lifter (for quilting machines)
  • Built-in embroidery designs
  • On-machine embroidery design editing
  • Multiple thread capacity

Professional (or semi-industrial) sewing machines tend to be one-trick ponies. Like industrial machines, they’re tough. They’re also quite expensive.

Professional-level sewing machines are great if you’re starting your own business. A pro machine doesn’t make the best sewing machine for beginners, however.

Specialized sewing machines

Your search for your first sewing machine may also turn up a variety of specialized sewing machines.

Although we think an all-purpose model generally makes the best beginner sewing machine, if you go far enough in your chosen craft, you may eventually want to invest in a specialized sewing machine.

Quilting machines

Quilting machines come in a variety of forms.

Some manufacturers dress up all-purpose sewing machines with quilting accessories to appeal to aspiring quilters. You might find, for example:

  • A detachable extra-wide quilting table
  • A heavy duty metal frame
  • An extra-high presser foot lift to accommodate multiple layers
  • Extra quilting and decorative stitches
  • Included specialized presser feet, like a walking foot

This type of machine can take a hobbyist far. However, there may come a time when you want more advanced quilting features. A semi-pro quilting machine may include:

  • An extra-long throat to accommodate large projects
  • A knee lifter

Professional quilting machines are a different animal altogether. A high-speed straight-stitch only machine is one choice. A large, prohibitively expensive longarm quilting machine is another.

But these fall outside the purview of this article.

Embroidery machines

Embroidery machines also come at different levels.

Many entry-level computerized sewing machines have a variety of decorative embroidery stitches. These provide ample opportunity to experiment and create.

If you outgrow embroidery stitches, however, and want to move on to pictures and text, then an embroidery machine can help you to do that.

Even lower-level embroidery machines can offer an array of really fun features, like:

  • The ability to upload and use your own designs
  • Onboard design editing capabilities
  • Extensive memory to save and re-use your favorite designs

Be careful, though. Many advanced embroidery machines don’t do regular sewing. So you may need a separate machine for other types of sewing.

Sergers

Serging means sewing a seam while simultaneously sealing off the seam edges. A serger (or overlocker) is a sewing machine that does this and only this.

A serger uses three to six different threads simultaneously. It does not do regular sewing, and it doesn’t have decorative stitches.

If you’re planning on sewing garments, a serger can be an excellent investment. However, we wouldn’t recommend it as a first sewing machine.

The Best Beginner Sewing Machine: Features

Now that you understand the market, it’s time to talk features.

Dealbreakers

Your mileage may vary, of course, but these are a few features that we don’t want to do without.

One-step buttonhole

Most sewing machines come with a one-step or a four-step buttonhole. You can get by with a four-stepper, but why would you want to? Check out the difference here.

A one-step buttonhole isn’t just easier. It also allows you greater consistency, in case you need to do multiple buttonholes. Also, if you use an automatic buttonhole foot, you can tailor the size of your buttonhole to a specific button.

Automatic needle threader

Do you hate trying to thread a hand-sewing needle? Now imagine trying to jam that fuzzy thread-end through the eye of a sewing machine needle. You’re working at an angle, and there’s no wiggle room.

An automatic needle threader is an inexpensive, low-tech tool that makes threading your needle a snap.

Even the lowest-level mechanical machines often have an automatic needle threader. But be careful. Some sewing machines do not.

Reverse stitching

Almost every sewing machine has reverse stitching capability. This is essential for locking your stitches at the beginning and end of a row.

It’s also helpful for sewing curves, angles, and other fiddly tasks.

Free arm

A free arm sewing machine allows you to detach part of the base in order to create a smaller workspace.

Why might you want a smaller workspace?

For one thing, it’s essential for small, circular work like collars, cuffs, waistbands, and hems. Here’s how it works.

https://youtu.be/UFvrdrratu4

Most sewing machines have a free arm, but plenty do not. So check carefully before you buy. Especially if you’re planning to use your machine to make clothing or housewares.

Nice to have

There are other features that aren’t strictly necessary, but which can make sewing easier.

Start/Stop button

Most of us start and stop the sewing machine with the foot pedal. But if your foot pedal breaks, a start/stop button allows you to run your sewing machine without it.

Also, a start/stop button allows you to make a one-step buttonhole with a single touch. And that’s very convenient.

Finally, a start/stop button is an important accessibility feature for people who are unable to use the foot pedal.

Manual speed control

Again, a lot of us use the foot pedal to control our sewing machine speed. But manual speed control allows you to set a maximum sewing machine speed using a slider.

It’s like cruise control for your sewing machine. If your foot slips, you won’t lose control of your work. And again, if you can’t use the foot pedal for whatever reason, manual speed control allows you to adjust your speed anyway.

Programmable needle position

Most sewing machines start with the needle in the “up” position by default.

However, if you sew long enough, you’ll find that for some projects, it’s more convenient if your needle starts and stops in the “down” position.

A programmable needle allows you to set your default needle position where you want it for any given project.

Unnecessary

One way that manufacturers justify a higher price is by loading a machine up with features most people never use. What different people consider essential varies, of course. But some features are gimmicks, plain and simple.

These may include:

  • Hundreds and hundreds of stitch designs
  • Onboard “social” features like sew cams and live broadcasting from your machine
  • Excessively large accessory packs

Choosing the Best Beginner Sewing Machine

At the end of the day, your first sewing machine should be one that you’ll use over and over. For this reason, an all-purpose sewing machine is often the best choice in terms of price and features.

Additionally, knowing your own goals and needs will allow you to pick the right type of sewing machine, and at the right level.

Did you find this information helpful? We’d love to hear about it in the comments!