A handmade discoguaro looking extra sparkly near a rainbow.

Editor's note: This story was originally published in 2022 and updated in 2023.


'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 holiday merch! We have Tucson-themed ornaments, shirts, mugs, hoodies and more. Shop here!)

A disco ball that's actually shaped like a saguaro

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 or monsoon clouds. Here are some of them:

A candle that smells like monsoon

Find desert-themed candles from CICADA.

Cicada's hand-poured desert rain candle is one that I have purchased over and over again. There are other desert-inspired scents too, like spiced prickly pear and cactus blossom. 

Price: $24 for a 9-ounce, $34 for a 16-ounce

Where to get it: Cicada's website.

Bonus candles: There are Tucson-themed candles at Ārya Tārā and Four Forty & Co., too.

Diffuser scents and skin care 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 $34

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

Bonus creosote scents: Yōlia Botánica has creosote bath and body oil; Desert Mystic Goods has creosote bath bombs and salves.

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.

Bonus clothing: Check out Tanline Printing, Gabacho MediaPop Cycle, Why I Love Where I Live, True Descendants and #ThisIsTucson's online merch shop

Stained glass in the shape of a cactus

Potted stained glass made by Alex Berger, aka The Glass Desert, displayed at #ThisIsTucson’s artisan market on Feb. 18.

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. 

Price: Starting at $40

Where to get it: The Glass Desert's website.

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 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.

Bonus prints: Sonoran Watercolors, Fork Tailed Media, Jesse J Media, Brushes & Boots and Marcy Ellis.

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, Honest Bars Apothecary, Wolf Den Soap and Gigglestars Soap Co. Mama Bare AZ creates soap bars that LOOK like desert scenery!

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 $65

Where to get it: Heliotrope's website here. In person at Pop Cycle, 422 N. Fourth Ave.; and Creative Kind, 2905 E. Skyline Dr.

All the bookish gifts

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Book lovers, this one's for you. Rather Keen is known for their bookish gifts and accessories from their "get lit at the library" tote bags to a pin that says what we're all thinking — the book was better. Also find cutie keychains, earrings, hats and more.

Price: Totes are $22, most pins are $10, hats are $26

Where to get it: Rather Keen's website.

Bonus books: Artist Adela Antoinette created a cactus and succulents coloring book available at Creative Kind and Pop Cycle; Cactus Clouds Art created a desert-inspired coloring book available on Amazon. You can also get bookish gifts a very Tucson cookbook written by Jackie Alpers.

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 are $5, prints start at $12, luggage tags start at $3.95

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

Basically anything from Tucson Gallery inside Proper Shops

Artist Amy Bumpus sorts greeting card prints of her work in the Tucson Gallery corner at Proper Shops.

From canvases and stickers of our favorite murals to ornaments, puzzles and notebooks, Tucson Gallery is packed with colorful local art. If you continue into Proper Shops, which houses multiple businesses under one roof, you'll find University of Arizona memorabilia, clothing and vintage-inspired prints.

Price: Ranges based on item

Where to get it: Proper Shops, 300 E. Congress St.

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 locations at 4426 S. Sixth Ave.314 E. Sixth St. and 954 W. Prince Road. 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, plus their brick-and-mortar at 1211 W. St Marys Road

The cutest crocheted cactus you may ever see

Local maker Nopalito Crochet makes the most adorable crocheted cacti. From nopalitos in planters to a saguaro that covers your ballpoint pen, they're perfect for the cactus-loving person in your life. (There are crocheted conchas, too!)

Price: $12 for a keychain, $15 for a pen, $40 for a crocheted pot of three cacti

Where to get it: Nopalito Crochet's website.

This one's for all the plant parents

Owner Drew Berryhill waits for customers at his DruTopia pop-up plant and garden site in the Dunbar Pavillion, Tucson, Ariz., April 9 2021.

Stop by Drutopia to pick up a plant (or two or three). You'll find all kinds of plants, from cacti and flowers to herbs and leafy elephant ears.  Drew Berryhill started the beloved plant shop in 2020.

Price: Varies based on plant

Where to get it: Drutopia, 325 W. Second St.

Bonus plants: For seeds, check out local nonprofit Native Seeds/SEARCH. For indoor plants, check out Plantney. Other area nurseries include Harlow Gardens, Mesquite Valley GrowersPonderosa Cactus and YellowBird Farm. Find colorful cactus-themed planters at Libra & Thorn.

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 $9.95, prints are $12

Where to get it: Aall Forms of Life's Etsy shop.

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 start at $12, dangles start at $18

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.

The coffee mug you never knew you needed

Jaclyn Pacheco of Studio Katagami makes BEAUTIFUL coffee mugs, including a vintage Tucson design that's exclusive to maker shop Arizona Poppy. We are in love.

Price: $48

Where to get it: Arizona Poppy, 150 S. Fourth Ave.

Bonus mugs: Check out Happily Becoming.

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 $15.50

Where to get it: Juju & Moxie's website.

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 $35

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.

Desert-inspired wine and whiskey glasses

Creative Kind has stemless wine glasses with designs of prickly pear, saguaros and agave.

Creative Kind sells the cutest lightweight plastic stemless wine glasses with designs of saguaros, prickly pear and agave. There are whiskey and shot glasses, too! 

Price: $14

Where to get it: Creative Kind, 2905 E. Skyline Dr., or on Creative Kind's website.

Bonus drinkage items: Di Luna Candles + Goods has cactus-shaped wine and bottle openers.

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

#ThisIsTucson's collaborative gift box at Di Luna includes a boot-shaped vase, locally-made earrings and soap, a cactus-shaped pen, stickers and a candle made by Di Luna herself.

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


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