Contractors, freelancers and the self-employed can be a difficult bunch to buy for  (especially as an extra pair of hands isn’t an option) so we’ve compiled a wish list from our freelancer friends to help you out!

Personalised Apron

For your freelancer friend that works from home why not treat them to a personalised apron? A major benefit of working from home is being able to cook wholesome food to stay fuelled throughout the day (well, sometimes anyway). However, it can be a messy operation and ruining your outfit for that client meeting in the afternoon is a nightmare. A personalised apron not only shows that you’ve given their gift some thought but also by buying it through Etsy or Not On The High Street you’re supporting other independent businesses too!


Finding a contractor who doesn’t spend their workdays on a caffeine high is rare, so give them the kick they need with a pouch of premium coffee. Independent roasters are appearing across the UK so search your local area to see what’s on offer (it’s also a great excuse to try lots of nice coffee). Our favourite local gem is Atkinsons who do an amazing Christmas Blend, you can see their full range of coffees online here.

Custom Air Fresheners

For your self-employed friend who spends their life on the road, what better than a customised air freshener to put a smile on their face. We found these on Firebox and there’s a wide range of scents to choose from including New Car, Mojito and Bacon! You could be nice and use pictures of their family or you could scour their social media for the worst selfie you can find, your call…

A Good Book

Now while it may seem like a safe option, a well thought out book choice can make the perfect gift. Reading is a great way to wind down after a hectic day, it can be used to increase knowledge and has been shown to improve concentration and focus. Upskilling is an important part of a contractor’s personal development so you could buy your designer pal the Paul Rand’s 1985 classic, A Designer’s Art or your entrepreneurial friend Eric Ries’ The Lean Startup. Reading can also help to escape the day-to-day stresses of being your own boss, especially fiction, and with so many genres you’re guaranteed to find something that suits your freelancer friend’s taste. Our marketing executive Tom suggests Ben Elton’s Identity Crisis for a tongue-in-cheek murder mystery about social media, referendums and a satirical synopsis of modern life. If you’re buying a gift for a tech-savvy freelancer why not treat them to an e-book and upload some of your favourite reads? Here’s a selection of the best in the market for 2019.

Monogrammed Notebook

In an increasingly digital world there is still a place for the humble notebook. From filling with notes at a seminar to sketching on a long train journey, having a notebook means you aren’t relying on your battery lasting for you to be productive. There are a plethora of options from recycled paper to hardback, leather-bound books but we especially like these lined notebooks with a metallic monogram on Etsy.

Heated Mug & Coaster

A pet peeve for workers, whatever the job, is a cold cup of tea. Whilst heated coasters have been around for a while, this year has seen the emergence of heated mugs such as the Ember appearing on wish lists across the country. Now you’re going to have to really like someone to fork out almost £100 for a mug (£179.95 for the travel version) but if you’re looking for that gift to blow someone away this may be it. They can keep drinks at a constant temperature for up to 3 hours off the coaster so long enough for most journeys across the UK! If you’re not planning on splashing the cash, there are great USB heated coasters out there for under a tenner.

Noise-Cancelling Headphones

Some days the only way to get work done is to block out the world and focus on the task at hand. It’s these days that the noise-cancelling headphones come out of the drawer. Prices for a pair run anywhere from £20 to £3,499 (yes, really) so it all comes down to how much you want to spend. TechRadar highlighted some of the best deals for 2019 here but it’s worth shopping around as the most expensive aren’t always the best!

We hope this rundown of our favourite freelancer gifts helps spark your inspiration. What are you looking forward to giving or receiving this year? Let us know in the comments!

Further Reading:

Forget Black Friday: shop small and local to make a big difference – The Times

Christmas gifts: does your family splurge or go for zero waste? – The Guardian

How To Plan A Freelance Christmas Party – The Guardian