miniature gifts
Cheapism

22 Miniature Things You Can Actually Use

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miniature gifts
Cheapism

Little Wonders

The number of reasons people like tiny things is, well, anything but small. Over the years, anthropologists and psychoanalysts have come up with quite a few theories to explain "miniacs." Cute little things trigger our instinctive desire to play, these experts note. Miniatures can make us feel powerful, and they help us understand systems we can’t visualize at full scale. And dollhouses and other micro-tableaux let us live in fantasy worlds where, say, the living room is always pristine. But at the same time that diminutive objects meet deep psychological needs, some have practical and tangible applications as well. Ahead, we’ve rounded up a slew of adorable undersized products you can actually use, whether you’re a collector, an office worker yearning for a desktop distraction, or a person in need of a palm-sized plaything that won't be easily noticed by others.

Prices and availability are subject to change.

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World's Smallest Punching Bag
Kohl's

World's Smallest Punching Bag

$14 from Kohl’s
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How tiny is it? 5.5" tall
Well, they do call them micro-aggressions. Take out your minor frustrations on this wee version of the boxing gym staple, which attaches to hard surfaces via a suction-cup base. If batting it about doesn’t prove quite as cathartic as punching a life-size version, know that the small-scale exercise may also improve finger speed.

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Mini Handheld Sewing Machine
Bits and Pieces

Mini Handheld Sewing Machine

$8 from Bits and Pieces
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How tiny is it? 4.13" x 1.5"
Perform fabric repairs or alterations on the spot with a sewing machine that fits in the palm of your hand. In spite of its compact size, this practical device is said to deliver "a tight chain stitch" and can handle textiles ranging from silks to denim to leather.

Related: Great Gifts for People Who Love Crafting

Multi-Stick Trio
Stowaway Cosmetics

Multi-Stick Trio

$22 from Stowaway Cosmetics
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How tiny is it? Tubes are 2" tall and contain 2 grams of product
The premise at Stowaway is that smaller cosmetics reduce waste, prices, and the weight of carrying makeup around. These pinky-sized cream sticks can be used as eyeshadows or complexion enhancers for highlighting, brightening, and contouring the face.

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World’s Smallest Vacuum
Pottery Barn

World’s Smallest Vacuum

$12 from Pottery Barn Kids
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How tiny is it? 6" x 2" x 1.5"
You’ll think this mini vacuum is a novelty gift — until you realize how handy it is for sweeping up tabletop crumbs, and that it fits into nooks and crannies where larger vacuums and attachments can’t go.

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Mini Twister
Little Obsessed

Mini Twister

$7 from Little Obsessed
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How tiny is it? 3" x 3.25" x 1.25" (box)
Take it up a notch from thumb wars with this tiny version of Twister, which calls for two players to outfit their fingers in digit-sized tube socks before battling it out on a minuscule version of the classic mat.

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World’s Smallest Tool Kit
Kohl's

World’s Smallest Tool Kit

$11 from Kohl’s
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How tiny is it? 2.5" x 2.25" (toolbox)
With its small footprint and weight of just 0.1 pounds, this miniature toolset is easy to have on hand, enabling you to channel your inner MacGyver at a moment’’s notice. The box includes a 3-foot tape measure, Pillips head screwdriver, and flathead screwdriver.

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Miniature Mixer
Etsy

Miniature Mixer

$43 from Etsy
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How tiny is it? 2" x 1.2" x 2.2"
Don’t relegate this battery-powered mixer to the dollhouse — or at least know that you can break it out for non-pretend baking needs, too. It’s a working kitchen tool that can be used to whip up undersized baked goods for people who are into the tiny food craze.

Related: Gifts for Fans of 'The Great British Bake Off'

World's Smallest Leaf Blower
Pottery Barn

World's Smallest Leaf Blower

$13 from Pottery Barn Kids
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How tiny is it? 6" x 2.5" x 2"
You won’t get far using this teensy leaf blower in the yard, but it delivers a stronger-than-expected gust of air that will do away with dust that’s settled on keyboards, bookshelves, and other small and overlooked spaces.

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20x LED Pocket Microscope
Amazon

20x LED Pocket Microscope

$10 from Amazon
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How tiny is it? 1.5" x 0.9" x 1.7"
Use this mini microscope to reveal the details on anything from hair follicles to bugs to printed pixels when it magnifies objects by as much as 20 times their size. The pocket-friendly gadget also has a built-in UV flashlight that can detect counterfeit bills, among other uses.

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SmartLab Toys Tiny Baking Kit
Amazon

SmartLab Toys Tiny Baking Kit

$20 from Amazon 
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How tiny is it? 3.3" x 5.3" x 2" (case)
These micro-sized baking tools weren’t shrunk down for cuteness. They’re designed for little hands, so that kids can brush up on math, science, and art skills (think measuring, heat reactions, and sculpting) while having fun in the kitchen. And it’s not just the equipment that’s small in scale — the molds and pans result in delightfully tiny food, too.

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World's Smallest Super Soaker
AlwaysFits

World's Smallest Super Soaker

$9 from AlwaysFits
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How tiny is it? 3.75" x 2" x 0.5"
This Lilliputian water gun won’t exactly drench your opponent, but at a mere four inches long, it’s ideal for firing off covert blasts. It has an impressive range, too — its makers say it can squirt water as far as 25 feet.

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Tiny Mail Activity Kit
Little Obsessed

Tiny Mail Activity Kit

$27 from Little Obsessed
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How tiny is it? 7.5" x 5.5" x 1" (box)
If you believe the adage that good things come in small packages, this teensy mail kit is for you. It comes with mini envelopes, stationery, stamps, kraft boxes, twine, and a fine-tipped pen so you can send off little letters or pint-sized parcels to fellow fans of all things small.

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World’s Smallest Hair Dryer
Pottery Barn

World’s Smallest Hair Dryer

$13 from Pottery Barn Kids
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How tiny is it? 4" x 3.6" x 1.75"
This USB-powered hair dryer only delivers cool blasts of air, so it’s safe for little ones who want to treat dolls to ‘salon’ styling, as well as for adults who want to do things like dust off keyboards or dry a small dog’s wet paws.

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Mini Helicopter Flying Ball
Target

Mini Helicopter Flying Ball

$8 from Target
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How tiny is it? 4.25" x 6.25" x 2"
Part disco ball, part helicopter, and part drone, this tiny toy covers a lot of ground for a plaything that’s only about as tall as a dollar bill is long. Use your hands to keep it in flight (it soars courtesy of infrared motion detection), but don’t try to catch it — it flies higher and higher the more you move.

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Mini Basketball Game
Uncommon Goods

Mini Basketball Game

$30 from Uncommon Goods
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How tiny is it? 4" x 5" x 10"
One way to look engaged during eternal Zoom calls? Shoot some hoops outside of camera range. This single-player basketball game calls for a flick of the finger instead of the wrist, but you can increase the level of difficulty by moving the bean bag "ball" launcher farther away from the "net."

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Two-Player Mini Basketball Game
Bed Bath and Beyond

Two-Player Mini Basketball Game

$10 from Bed Bath & Beyond
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How tiny is it? Dimensions not available.
It doesn’t quite compare to time on the court, but this mini basketball game accommodates two players, making it a good choice for deskbound sports fans who thrive on competition.

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Bob Ross By The Numbers Mini Paint Kit
Target

Bob Ross By The Numbers Mini Paint Kit

$10 from Target
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How tiny is it? 3" x 3.75" x 2"
This minute art kit includes three paint-by-number canvases (two landscapes and one portrait of iconic TV painter Bob Ross), along with art supplies and, of course, a petite easel on which to display your work.

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World’s Smallest Rubik’s Cube
Bed Bath and Beyond

World’s Smallest Rubik’s Cube

$14 from Kohl’s
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How tiny is it? 0.75" in diameter
Sure, you can solve a Rubik’s cube. But with this diminutive version of the iconic 3D puzzle, you can twist and turn the pieces in the palm of your hand for some discreet analog entertainment.

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SmartLab Toys Tiny Robots
Walmart

SmartLab Toys Tiny Robots

$20 from Walmart
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How tiny is it? 8.5" x 2.25" x 5.5" (package)
SmartLab’s robotics set was designed to impart the fundamentals of mechanical engineering while kids build itty-bitty robots. The wheels, axles, arms, legs, and gears in this kit can be configured to create 10 different mini machines.

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World’s Smallest Pictionary
Urban Outfitters

World’s Smallest Pictionary

$9 from Urban Outfitters
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How tiny is it? 3.5" x 1" x 1.26"
You and a loved one are on a long flight or train ride, or stuck in a waiting room. Instead of turning to your respective screens, break out a micro-sized version of a beloved board game. The World’s Smallest Pictionary has everything you need for on-the-go drawing and guessing — just don’t forget to pack your glasses.

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Design Ideas Desktop Croquet Set
Bed Bath and Beyond

Design Ideas Desktop Croquet Set

$31 from Bed Bath & Beyond
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How tiny is it? 6" x 1.2" x 4"
This downsized croquet set brings the classic British lawn game into the office. You can practice your mallet skills solo when you need a desktop distraction, or challenge co-workers to mini-matches in between meetings.

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World’s Smallest Voice Changer
Urban Outfitters

World’s Smallest Voice Changer

$15 from Urban Outfitters
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How tiny is it? 3" x 3"
Speak into this mini megaphone to switch up the sound of your voice, with four different options to choose from. Just don’t forget to block caller ID if you’re indulging in some old-school prank calling.

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