There’s a saying that the best gifts come in small packages, and I wholeheartedly agree. In fact, it’s the smallest gifts—the teeny, tiniest, miniature gifts—that truly make my heart squeeze with delight.
As a kid, I collected miniature things—miniature cookware, clocks, games, and nesting dolls that finally opened to reveal a doll smaller than a grain of rice. Later, I studied Japanese, and in my travels there, was struck by its kawaii culture—an appreciation of adorably small things, from itty bitty trash cans to tiny snack-shaped erasers. Turns out, we’re perhaps all hardwired to gravitate towards tiny things; we want to protect them, are impressed by the craftsmanship of things that are incredibly small, and have a desire to play with them. And somewhere in the last decade, there’s been a surge in the communities surrounding miniature artistry, owing perhaps in large part to Instagram (@TheTinyChefShow, @DailyMini, @Tanaka_Tatuya, to name a few) and TikTok (#tinythings).
There are all sorts of small gifts and gadgets on the market, many of which have a nostalgic spin. You’ll find magical minis like the world’s smallest vacuum cleaners (that really work!), palm-sized record players, arcade games, and even tiny keychain terrariums that house live plants. These thimble-sized toys make unique stocking stuffers for the holiday season, birthday gifts, and just-for-fun gifts for any friend, family member, coworker, or for your own personal collection. Plus, its small size almost always means its price is small, too.
Below, find the best miniature gifts and other gift ideas from retailers and brands like Urban Outfitters, World’s Smallest Toys, Etsy, Amazon, and Uncommon Goods. Good luck not buying them all!