Robin Tenelshof is the maker behind this hand-painted hat, flaunting Tucson icons.

'Tis the season for Googling "what to get my sister for Christmas" and reading through list upon list upon list of gift ideas.

I wanted to get in on the action, and create a list of very Tucson gifts to give this holiday season (and beyond). Saguaro-shaped earrings, candles that smell like Mount Lemmon, stickers that remind you of home.

All of the listed items are made right here in Tucson, by some of our favorite artists. At the end, we'll list some additional resources — upcoming markets and brick and mortars — to spark your gift-giving inspiration even more, in case nothing on this list catches your eye.

(Also: shameless plug for #ThisIsTucson's new merch! We have Tucson-themed ornaments, shirts, mugs, hoodies and more. Shop here!)

Super detailed hand-painted hats

Robin Tenelshof, aka Little Leoni Paints, paints all of our favorite Tucson icons on hats, denim jackets and shoes. You might find the neon sign at Pat's Chili Dogs hand-painted on a Panama hat, or maybe "A" Mountain on the top of some Vans shoes. She does custom hats, too!

Price: The pictured hat is $100

Where to get it: Little Leoni Paints on Etsy. You can also follow Tenelshof on Instagram.

A disco ball that's actually shaped like a saguaro

A handmade discoguaro looking extra sparkly near a rainbow.

Dubbed discoguaros by maker Karen Tully of Diosa's Discosaics, these double-sided hanging saguaros are clad in mirror tiles. Tully started making them in 2020, and she now makes discoguaro earrings, too.

Price: Depends, but available sizes are $75 and up

Where to get it: Discosaics Etsy page, and in person at Arizona Poppy, 150 S. Fourth Ave.

Earrings, earrings, earrings

Luna & Saya has many earring designs. Among them: these cute stacked saguaros.

If you're a frequent visitor to Tucson's artisan markets, you know earrings are a common find. Many artists draw inspiration from the Sonoran Desert, creating earrings shaped like saguaros. Here are some of them:

A candle that smells like Mount Lemmon

Ārya Tārā makes several Arizona-inspired candles, including one that smells like Mount Lemmon.

Ārya Tārā is home to hand-poured candles boasting scents like Mount Lemmon, monsoon, saguaro blossoms and prickly pear, among several other scents we love.

Price: $44 for an 8-ounce jar, $15 for a 3-ounce jar

Where to get it: Ārya Tārā's website here

Bonus candles: There are Tucson-themed candles at Cicada Goods and Eastland Alley Design Co., too.

A diffuser scent made with creosote bush

Sonoran Rosie has lots of desert-inspired products, including a monsoon diffuser scent and prickly pear lip balm.

Sonoran Rosie has a whole line of desert-inspired products, including a diffuser scent that's said to smell like monsoon, an herbal perfume made with creosote, and a prickly pear lip balm.

Price: The 2-ounce diffuser scent is $30

Where to get it: Sonoran Rosie's website, or in person at Arizona Poppy, 150 S. Fourth Ave.

An ABC book that takes you through Tucson's south side

Alex! Jimenez is the creator behind this seek-and-find alphabet book, which includes photos of South Tucson.

This is an alphabet book, sure, but it's also a photographic tour through Tucson's south side. Artist Alex! Jimenez photographed spots like Oasis Fruit Cones and Arizona Palms Tinting for her book "Abecedario del Sur," asking kid readers to find letters of the alphabet in the photos.

Price: $22

Where to get it: Jimenez's website here. You can also find Jimenez's work at Arizona Poppy, 150 S. Fourth Ave.

Bonus books: If you're looking for more Tucson-themed children's books, also check out Susan Lowell's "The Three Little Javelinas," and "The Twelve Days of Christmas in Arizona" by Jennifer J. Stewart. Julie Originals has desert dweller flashcards, too!

A lizard is riding a skateboard on these hats and shirts

How could you resist a reptile skateboarder on a hat? This cool design was made by Jos Par.

Maker Jos Par has some of the raddest designs, including this lil reptile friend skateboarding (on the shirts, the lizard is skating atop a prickly pear cactus). It's available on both hats and shirts, and there are a few other very Tucson illustrations to choose from, too.

Price: Hats are $20, shirts are $28

Where to get it: Jos Par's website, and in person at Arizona Poppy, 150 S. Fourth Ave.

Bonus clothing: If you're looking for more Tucson-centric clothing, check out Tanline PrintingPop Cycle, Why I Love Where I Live, True Descendants, and #ThisIsTucson's online merch shop.

Stained glass in the shape of a cactus

A certified master gardener, Alexandra Berger Clamons of The Glass Desert enjoys translating plants into glass, like this handmade stained-glass succulent cactus.

If your gift recipient can't keep plants alive, maybe try stained glass in the shape of a plant instead — specifically, the shape of a cactus. The Glass Desert's Alexandra Berger Clamons sells potted cacti made of glass. There are saguaros, barrel cacti and blooming prickly pear. 

Price: Starting at $40

Where to get it: The Glass Desert's website and in person at Pop Cycle, 422 N. Fourth Ave.

All kinds of desert-inspired paper goods

Annotated Audrey sells prints, stickers, cards and more.

When you look through Annotated Audrey's website, there's a good chance you'll want one of everything. Audrey De La Cruz makes cards for every occasion, plus prints, stickers and ornaments. There are plenty of prints and cards flaunting our beautiful desert scenery, cards with an illustration of a saguaro wearing a Santa hat, and even "AZ Connections" prints, connecting your Arizona self to your loved ones across the country. 

Price: Cards start at $3.99. Prints start at $11.99.

Where to get it: Annotated Audrey's website, and in person at Pop Cycle, 422 N. Fourth Ave.

Handcrafted soap made with desert plants

The Oro Indígena soap is a favorite among customers of Flowing Waters Soap Co.

Beatriz Bracamonte of Flowing Waters Soap Co. makes bars of soap with traditional plant knowledge that has been passed down through generations of Yoeme matriarchs. Bracamonte uses plants like creosote bush, aloe vera and nopales to make the soap. 

Price: $12

Where to get it: Flowing Waters Soap Co.'s website, and in person at Galeria Mitotera, 1802 S. Fourth Ave.

Bonus soaps: You can try other scents at Artemesia Soaps, Salts & Scrubs, located at 6538 E. Tanque Verde Road; or through Spring + Vine or Gigglestars Soap Co.

A bolo tie with a desert critter

Heliotrope Metal is known for its metal jewelry, often sporting desert critters and cacti.

Spring Winders is the designer and metalsmith behind the masterpieces at Heliotrope Metal. You'll be able to find bolo ties, cufflinks and jewelry (bracelets, necklaces, rings and earrings), sporting desert critters like javelinas, bats, snakes and tortoises. There are also bolo ties for the University of Arizona, and rings that simply have "Tucson" sprawled across.

Price: Bolo ties start at $60

Where to get it: Heliotrope's website here. In person at Pop Cycle, 422 N. Fourth Ave.; and Arizona Poppy, 150 S. Fourth Ave.

Basically anything from Cactus Clouds Art

Find lots of Tucson-centric gifts by Cactus Clouds Art. Among them: stickers, prints, tote bags, shirts and more.

Serena Rios McRae makes tees, totes, stickers, keychains, prints and pins — many of which center Tucson. There's this hilarious "dry heat" sticker, plus beautiful watercolor prints that remind us to stand tall. She also makes a deck of 52 cards that feature "affirmations moms actually need." And recently, she's been intertwining Pokémon with Tucson, like Blastoise on the Tapatío logo.

Price: Stickers start at $3, prints start at $14

Where to get it: Fourth Avenue Street Fair, Dec. 9-11. You can also find Cactus Clouds Art creations at Arizona Poppy, 150 S. Fourth Ave.

Retro-style prints of Tucson icons

Send your loved ones a retro postcard this holiday season, courtesy RetroTrek!

What started as luggage tags has since blossomed into prints, postcards, magnets, journals and dish towels. You'll find RetroTrek Gifts' imagery of the Tucson Inn, El Corral, El Con Mall and Lucky Wishbone. 

Price: Postcards start at $1.75, prints start at $12, luggage tags start at $3.95

Where to get it: RetroTrek's website, or in person at several locations.

Spicy versions of your loved one's favorite candy

Spicy Skittlez at Tanna's Botannas, 4426 S. Sixth Ave.  

Tanna's Botannas is known for their candies coated in a 20-spice blend, plus adorable keychain rim dips. Candies range from Skittles and Gushers to Peach Rings and gummy bears. I know of at least one person who would approve of this gift: our very own reporter Elvia Verdugo, who ❤️s spicy candy.

Price: Starts at $5

Where to get it: Online or in person at Tanna's location, 4426 S. Sixth Ave. Candies can also be found at stores around Tucson, see the full list here.

Bonus candy: Dirty T Tamarindo also sells spicy candies at several locations around town. 

Put together a bundle of seeds to plant

Pictured is Native Seeds/SEARCH’s conservation center.

Local nonprofit Native Seeds/SEARCH sells all kinds of seeds, perfect for your garden-loving friend. There's a monsoon collection that includes poppies, arugula and lemon basil, plus seeds for the Three Sisters (corn, beans and squash). The mission of Native Seeds/SEARCH is to "conserve and promote the arid-adapted crop diversity of the Southwest in support of sustainable farming and food security."

Price: Starts at $3.95

Where to get it: The Native Seeds website here.

Possibly the most desert snow globe you'll ever see

Run to Why I Love Where I Live this holiday season for a saguaro snow globe!

Why I Love Where I Live is a complete hub for all things Tucson. There are shirts, stickers, books, candles and truly an endless amount of gift ideas. One of our favorite items in their shop this holiday season, though, are the snow globes that center our favorite saguaro giants.

Price: $36

Where to get it: Why I Love Where I Live in the MSA Annex, 267 S. Avenida del Convento. You can also purchase it online.

Hang wildlife ornaments on the tree this year

Aall Forms of Life has a number of ornaments this holiday season, including this one of a baby javelina.

'Tis the season for gifting ornaments. Aall Forms of Life is headed by scientific illustrator and wildlife biologist Nathalie Aall. That means her drawings are accurate — and still super cute. In her Etsy shop, you'll find ornaments, notecards, prints and even a puzzle.

Price: Ornaments are $10, prints are $12

Where to get it: Aall Forms of Life's Etsy shop or in person at Pop Cycle, 422 N. Fourth Ave.; and Arizona Poppy, 150 S. Fourth Ave.

For the person who loves pan dulce

Taco Bout Crafting has adorable clay earrings, including these ones of conchas. 

Yes, those ARE little clay conchas. Taco Bout Crafting sells these ones, plus another set that are CONCHAS SHAPED AS HEARTS. She also has earrings shaped as cochitos, both as dangles and studs. 

Price: Studs are $10, dangles start at $12

Where to get it: Taco Bout Crafting's website, or in person at Galeria Mitotera, 1802 S. Fourth Ave.

A very holographic saguaro paper weight

Watch now: Local maker Q.street Collective makes iridescent saguaro-shaped paperweights.

After experimenting with resin crafts in 2018, Q.street Collective was born. There's a whole "desert vibes" collection that features a beautiful iridescent saguaro-shaped paper weight, plus pill trays and phone grips.

Price: The iridescent paper weight is $48

Where to get it: Q.street Collective's website.

Save your place with these desert-inspired bookmarks

Get the book lovers in your life a bookmark from Lil' Desert Doodles.

Lil' Desert Doodles is just that — lil desert doodles. Find them printed on bookmarks, greeting cards and tiny pins. The maker behind the shop, Hailey Dukart, calls herself an honorary desert rat and is inspired by the Sonoran Desert.

Price: Bookmarks are $5. A four-pack of cards is $15.

Where to get it: Lil' Desert Doodles' website here or in person at Arizona Poppy, 150 S. Fourth Ave.

Very Tucson tea towels

You can find Tucson-centric tea towels, stickers, prints and earrings from Juju & Moxie.

You may have seen Juju & Moxie at local markets. If you have, you've probably also seen the hordes of people crowding around maker Rachel Rausch's holographic stickers and explicit tea towels. When the towels aren't quoting pop culture or saying something sassy, they're an ode to Tucson. A sunrise scene, sketches of saguaros, and the outlines of our neon signs. Juju & Moxie also has prints and postcards (on the back, you can fill out a thermometer to tell your recipient how dang hot it is here).

Price: Tea towels are $14

Where to get it: Juju & Moxie's website here, or in person at Pop Cycle, 422 N. Fourth Ave.

A pocket tee where the pocket is actually shaped like Arizona

Qmulative makes pocket tees — except the pockets are shaped like Arizona! 

Pocket tees are fine and dandy, but what if the pocket was shaped like the Grand Canyon state? That's what maker Qmulative does, sewing Arizona-shaped pockets onto T-shirts. The pockets themselves are uniquely Arizona, too, with fabrics showing zoomed-up saguaros or one with baby saguaros tucked into some canyons. 

Price: Starting at $30

Where to get it: Qmulative's website here, or in person at Why I Love Where I Live in the MSA Annex, 267 S. Avenida del Convento; and Pop Cycle, 422 N. Fourth Ave.

Gift cards to your favorite places

Cruz, a 10-year-old mountain lion, sticks out its tongue while sunbathing on a ledge inside its enclosure inside the Mountain Woodland exhibit at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, 2021 N. Kinney Road.

When in doubt, get a gift card or membership to a local spot. Here are some very Tucson places to consider:

Upcoming markets

Cheryl D’Amico, right, and her mother, Gert Sims, take in some art during the Fourth Avenue Spring Street Fair in 2019.

Below are upcoming markets happening throughout Tucson, in which some of the above makers may be in attendance. 

Brick and mortars for Tucson-themed gifts

Creative Kind has endless gift options, including desert stocking stuffers sorted by recipient and a foodie gift box in collaboration with Tucson Foodie (pictured).

Looking for more Tucson-themed items? Here are some in-person shops.


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