Paperliker’s Holiday Gift Guide: The Best iPad Accessories for Creators & Doers [2021]

Hey Paperlikers!

It’s the holiday season again, and you know what that means: It’s time for the new Paperliker’s Holiday Gift Guide!

Most of the other guides out there will feature popular items for your shopping list, but we’re going to guess that you’ve already heard about the Apple Pencil, the Apple Magic Keyboard, and the Apple AirPods. (Are you sensing a theme here?)

This year, we dug deep and found some of the most unique and interesting iPad accessories for today’s digital creatives.

Come take a look!

Table of contents

An image displaying the Paperlike screen protector alongside an Apple Pencil and iPad featuring a drawing
    of a purple skull.

01. Paperlike by Paperlike

Price: $39.99 / €34.00

What is it? A screen protector designed to make your iPad screen closely resemble the texture and feel of real paper.

Who is it for? Notetakers, digital artists, and anyone else using an iPad and Apple Pencil to write or draw.

Why they’ll love it

Okay, we know it’s an obvious (shameless) plug, but if you’ve ever tried to use your Apple Pencil to take notes or sketch a picture, you already know how frustrating it can be to draw on slippery iPad glass.

The Apple Pencil is a powerful writing tool, and dozens of great apps exist for digital artists and notetakers — but the iPad’s glass display is slippery and can make the entire experience a real pain.

That’s where Paperlike comes in. Our screen protector adds friction and stroke resistance to your iPad glass so that it feels like paper.

This makes writing and drawing more natural. Every stroke with the Apple Pencil is more precise, allowing artists to create finer lines when drawing and writers to create smaller, more precise text when taking notes.

Plus, Paperlike doesn’t conflict with any iPad case (including keyboard cases), so you never have to worry about compatibility issues after you apply it.

Order your Paperlike now!

An image of iPad seated in the cradle section of the Sketchboard Pro by Braintreehouse

02. Sketchboard Pro by Braintreehouse

Price: $119 / €129

What is it? An iPad cradle and drawing surface designed to expand your workspace while using the iPad.

Who is it for? iPad artists looking for a portable drawing surface for better artistic control and support.

Why they’ll love it

For serious sketchers, an iPad is an incredible tool.

But even with a 12.9-inch iPad Pro, the most powerful and largest of all the iPad models, the digital workspace can feel a little limiting. The iPad rests flat against the surface of a table or desk, and it rests at a higher elevation than your arm or elbow while you work.

Sketchboard Pro changes all of that by adding additional space around the iPad while providing a small cradle for your iPad to sit in. The result: A completely flat drawing surface designed to give you total freedom and control over your creative workspace.

But wait, there’s more. (Yeah, we went there.)

Skechboard Pro also comes with popout legs so that you can work diagonally, allows you to charge your device while you work, and support both landscape and portrait orientations so that you can draw where and how you want.

If you have a case, you’ll need to temporarily remove it in order to work with Skechboard Pro. Screen protectors like Paperlike are still supported, though, so you can just snap it back into the case when you need to travel light. 

An image of an iPad mounted to the iPad Stand by Yohann

03. iPad Stand by Yohann

Price: Starting at $149 / €149

What is it? A high-quality wooden iPad stand that strikes the perfect balance between functionality and aesthetics.

Who is it for? Anyone who wants a great-looking iPad stand to use around their home. Also a great fit for digital painters using more traditional painting styles.

Why they’ll love it

There are thousands of iPad stands out there, but few are as elegant and well-built as the line of products by Yohann.

Fashioned from oak or wood, this iPad stand is as much an accessory for your household as for your Apple devices. It can hold your iPad in six preset positions — three different angles in both portrait and landscape — which provides added versatility during use.

The design supports charging and leaves the iPad open so that you can enjoy clear sound from all speakers. While it doesn’t support most cases (the grooves in the stand are fitted specifically to the dimensions of the iPad), it’s a great solution for home use.

For traditional artists transitioning to digital mediums, the Yohann stand offers added functionality due to its viewing angles. Setting the iPad upright will allow painters accustomed to painting on canvas to approach the iPad as they might approach a more traditional medium, adding an entirely new dimension to digital art.

You can pick up your own iPad Stand by Yohann below, but be sure to check around for other products. They have other stands for iPad Pro and iPad Mini, as well as stands for your Macbook and iPhone.

An image of an iPad wrapped inside the Magic Sleeve by nedrelow.

04. Magic Sleeve by nedrelow

Price: $99 / €86.95

What is it? An all-in-one desk pad and protective sleeve for your iPad.

Who is it for? Anyone who wants to protect their iPad and bring comfort to their workstation at the same time.

Why they’ll love it

Everyone wishes that their workspace was a little more comfortable, but you can’t always take that comfort with you when you leave your office behind.

That’s where the Magic Sleeve by nedrelow comes in.

Crafted from Merino wool, this sleeve invites you to rethink comfort on the go. But that doesn’t mean you’re forced to stuff your Magic Sleeve into your bag in order to take it with you. Instead, the Magic Sleeve folds around your Apple iPad using hidden magnets, providing an extra layer of padding and protection while you travel.

The dual functionality of this gadget makes it one of the more interesting iPad accessories that we’ve found. It’s great for anyone who wants to accent their workspace, and it can be used with other iPad accessories, like cases, adapters, chargers, and connectors with no issues.

Plus, the Magic Sleeve is available for all iPad Pro and iPad Air models. The company even has sleeves for Macbook Pro and Macbook Air. From the gift-giving perspective, that makes it a fast and easy fit if you’re not too sure about technical specifications when giving gifts.

An image displaying an assortment of accessories secured by the Grid-It! interlocking organizer.

05. Grid-It! by Cocoon Innovations

Price: Starting at $14.99 USD

What is it? A grid-based sorting system for all your cables, connectors, and accessories.

Who is it for? iPad users who want to bring all of their accessories with them and stay organized in the process.

Why they’ll love it

At its core, the Grid-It! organizer is a rectangular board with interwoven elastic bands running from left to right and top to bottom. It’s perfect for anyone who has a ton of accessories and prefers to keep things neat and tidy while on the go.

The Grid-It! system is unique in the sense that it’s device agnostic. The elastic bands can hold a Logitech stylus as easily as an Apple Pencil or a set of AirPods Pro earbuds. You can even stick your smartphone in the grid if you want to pack it for travel.

While the original Grid-It! is still available on the Cocoon Innovations website, it’s not the only accessory available. The company has expanded in recent years to offer the Grid-It! system in larger organizer boards, backpacks, and laptop cases, and more.

If you’re looking for an accessory to minimize clutter and add versatility to any workspace, Grid-It! is a great place to start.

An image displaying a braided cable from Nomad Goods.

06. Braided Cables by Nomad Goods

Price: Starting at $29.95 USD

What is it? A Kevlar-reinforced, braided charging cable for your tablet or smartphone.

Who is it for? Anyone who is tired of dealing with broken cables.

Why they’ll love it

At Paperlike, we love Apple products — but even we know that the charging cables that come in the box aren’t known for their durability. And cables get bent all the time, whether you’re stuffing them in a bag before you run out the door or wearing them out from constantly charging and unplugging your devices.

And when they break, you’ll have to buy another cable.

If that sounds familiar, check out one of the braided cables from Nomad Goods. These cables are extra durable and heavily reinforced, so they can stand up to extra wear and tear. These cables might be a little more expensive than the standard cables you’d get from Apple, but not by much, and the added durability will pay off in the long run.

An image displaying the Luna Display plug-in component and packaging from Astropad.

07. Luna Display by Astropad

Price: $129.99 USD

What is it? A plug-and-play device that turns your iPad into a wireless display for your Mac or PC.

Who is it for? Desktop users who want the added versatility of using their iPad as a secondary display.

Why they’ll love it

Let’s face it: iPads are incredible tools and they can be used in a variety of ways. But sometimes, the best way to use them is to expand the amount of screen space you have when working on a large project.

Apple has even acknowledged this with the advent of Sidecar, which allows you to use your iPad as a secondary display for your Mac.

So what makes Luna Display so different?

Luna Display brings a ton of added versatility to your hardware environment. You can create a computer-to-iPad setup, a Mac-to-Mac setup, or even a headless mode setup where you use your Mac or iPad as the main display for a Mac Mini or a Mac Pro (both of which have no monitor or external display).

Plus, Astropad is known for minimizing lag and latency in its hardware and software, so your display setup will always be fast and smooth.

Quick note: Luna Display is a great physical product for all types of desktop users, but Astropad also offers Astropad Studio, which can turn an iPad into a drawing tablet for use with Mac apps. Astropad Studio is a software-only tool and might be a better alternative gift for dedicated digital artists.

An image displaying two App Store gift cards featuring the Apple logo.

Last-Minute Gift: App Store Gift Card

So far, we’ve kept our list focused on physical products that you can purchase through an online order.

There’s a simple reason for that: if you want to buy someone a digital product, picking up a gift card to the Apple App Store is the easiest way to do it. There are tons of great apps out there for digital artists and notetakers. While it’s possible to gift a specific app to someone, sending gift cards is often faster and easier.

So, whether you forgot to order a gift or just found out that shipping delays will prevent your order from arriving in time, keep in mind that an App Store gift card can be a powerful addition to a new iPad or Mac.

An image displaying the Pencil Grips by Paperlike and the Paperlike Cleaning Solution.

New this year from Paperlike

This year, Paperlike has also expanded its product line with two brand new items, the Paperlike Cleaning Kit and the Pencil Grips by Paperlike.

An image displaying the Pencil
    Grips by Paperlike mounted to the Apple Pencil 2.

Pencil Grips by Paperlike

Delivered as a set of two, our new pencil grips are designed with your creative goals in mind.

The first grip, the Maximum Comfort Grip, is designed for long notetaking and drawing sessions when you need to keep cramping and hand fatigue to a minimum. The second grip, the Maximum Precision Grip, is perfect when ultra-precise lines and strokes are a must.

You’ll get both grips in a single pack, so you can swap between them based on your needs and preferences.

Pencil grips available on our shop right now!

An image showing the Paperlike
    Cleaning Kit, including the hardshell casing and microfiber spray bottle.

Paperlike Cleaning Kit

Don’t let the name fool you! Our cleaning kit can be used to clean your iPad and all other electronic devices. The kit comes in an all-in-one container that includes a spray bottle, cleaning solution, and microfiber hardshell. It can easily be added to a purse, bag, or carry kit for all of your electronic devices.

Cleaning kits available for purchase now.

Title card for the Paperliker’s Holiday Gift Guide

Wrapping Up

And there you have it: The 7 best iPad accessories that we’ve found this year!

While you can still browse Amazon and find other great gifts out there, we hope that you found the Paperliker’s gift guide helpful when shopping for the digital creative in your life.

Happy shopping!