"Get Creative" Gift Guide: Fresh finds for fans of Star Wars, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings

After providing a bunch of gateway gifts to get your receiver hooked on new genres, it is time to show off those creative gift-fu skills. It is certainly a swell time to be a fan, when nerd merch can be acquired not only in comic shops or bookstores, but at most big-box retailers and on every mainstream seller's site. Yet sometimes the overproliferation of the stuff we love can also detract from its unique personality. Luckily, there are a bunch of artistic and crafty creators out there who have an indie spirit as well as a geeky one. These are the folks to buy from for those on your list with distinct and discriminating tastes, but not for those lacking a sense of fun. From exceptional Star Wars art to a Predator helmet, click ahead, dear reader, to get creative with your gift-giving.

Keep an eye out for Fan Sights, our next gift guide dedicated to DVD and Blu-ray recommendations, and check out a link to our previous installment below:

Gateway Nerd Gift Guide: Gifts to introduce fledgling fans to the stories you love

Fan Sights: Blu-ray, DVD, and boxed sets

Paper Cuts Gift Guide: Books about Marvel Comics, DC Comics, Doctor Who, The Expanse, Game of Thrones

Game On Gift Guide: Power up with gifts of Halo, Walking Dead, Lord of the Rings, Adventure Time

Playtime Gift Guide: Epic toy picks with Batman, Indiana Jones, Black Widow...and William Shatner?

Live It Up Gift Guide: Geek lifestyle gifts from Firefly, Hellboy, The Hobbit, Star Trek, and more

Freak Out Gift Guide: Cheeky, drinky, scary ideas with DC Bombshells, Game of Thrones, Captain America, and Battlestar Galactica

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    If you know a Star Wars fan who is also a history buff — or just someone big on extremely cool mash-ups — these Thirteenth Floor art prints are the best around. The shots, which mostly range around 11x17 in size, are all printed on 100lb coated card stock and combine real-life black-and-white historical shots seamlessly merged with Star Wars imagery. It’s a fascinating blend, and makes for some striking twists on iconic images. If the Empire ever develops a time machine and finds Earth, this is what life will be like. (Holiday special of eight prints, $35) - Trent Moore

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    Buff Monster reminds you art can be fun (and really friggin’ weird at times, yet kind of cute...I don’t know, just go with me here). The artist’s work of prints, toys, tees -- featuring bright creatures living in trippy, happy worlds -- is influenced by ice cream, heavy metal and Japanese culture. Specifically, I’d suggest gifting Buff’s Garbage Pail Kids homage, The Melty Misfits. The trading cards are on sticker stock and wrapped in vintage-style wax wrappers with nerd bait names like Gandalf the Gooey, Justin League, He-MANuel. For art fans, Buff’s pretty legit; he has applied his style to clients such as Disney, Hello Kitty and Kid Robot, and was commissioned by Warner Bros. to create a Batman cowl for a San Diego Comic-Con 2014 exhibit. ($20-25 for four packs of seven cards; $120-150 for unopened box with a complete set and added goodies; Free stickers with every order) - Aaron Sagers

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    Picture it: You’re riding around on your motorcycle feeling like a bad-ass and thinking nothing can make you look any cooler than you are at that very moment. Au contraire, mon frère! Be the envy of mere human riders on the road, and scare the crap out of everyone else, with this menacing and slick Predator Beserker helmet by NLO Moto. Foamed-rubber dreadlocks, metal spikes, LED lights, oh yeah, and it meets DOC safety regulations. Combi-stick for fighting Aliens not included. ($890) - Cher Martinetti

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    The problem with gifting clothes is that sizes are tricky, especially when the wearer can't try them on -- because that would spoil the surprise. But clutches and purses are wearable every day, and the only size you need to worry about is the length/width of the recipient's cell phone, psychic paper, sonic screwdriver and TARDIS key. Blink and you'll miss this particularly adorable Doctor Who-inspired one, made with fabric from the fabulous Spoonflower.com. The Weeping Angel design is against a darker grey TARDIS pattern, and the strap is attached to the zipper so it stays closed while on the run. The angels might have the phone box, but you can have this angel bag! ($39.99) - Carol Pinchefsky 

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    Here's a most impressive kitchen countertop essential by Etsy artist TealPoodle that will impress all budding Star Wars chefs. Each one is handmade of tempered glass and is available in a range of custom colors. These stylish, Sith-approved cutting boards come in two sizes, 8" X 11.5" and 11.5" X 15.5". For more info and ordering, visit their product site. ($36, $42) - Jeff Spry

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    Now you can aim to misbehave in magnetic fashion! Though magnet poetry has been gracing our refrigerator doors since the 1990s, where you can arrange and rearrange simple words to create sentences like, "I dream of you in the color red." But only with the Firefly-inspired edition can you create sentences like, "I can kill you with my brain." Other words include "Tightpants," "Mudder," and "Shiny." Etsy seller RefrigeratorProse also creates magnets for fans of Marvel, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and The Princess Bride. Mix and match to come up with "As you wish / lies Rogue / to Spike." ($12) - Carol Pinchefsky

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    While everyone is running around in the same ol’ boring and ugly holiday sweaters, take your festive wardrobe to the next level -- as in the paranormal level. Middle of Beyond and Mondo Tees have a pretty epic collection of geek-approved knits that are guaranteed to make you the best-dressed nerd in the room, like this Bigfoot pullover. If Squatchie isn’t your thing try Gremlins on for size, the Alien nativity scene, or a colorful Cthulhu sweater ($39.99-$79.99) - Cher Martinetti

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    One of the difficulties of holiday shopping for a Harry Potter superfan is that they seem to already own every piece of official merchandise imaginable, but the good news is that fandom has spawned quite a vibrant community of crafters happy to sell you their wares. If you're on the hunt for a stocking stuffer, check out these bookmarks, each decorated with a different Potterverse potion. These are charming enough to even put a smile on Potions professor Severus Snape's face. OK, maybe not. Still, give a little liquid luck ("Felix Felicis") or a little Amortentia (the strongest love potion ever made) to a Potterhead this year. ($12) - Matthew Jackson

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    Infinity refers to something that is neverending, and a ring has no beginning and no end. An infinity scarf made with a map of Middle Earth from Lord of the Rings-based fabric? That's some damned clever crafting. The soft cotton knit is about 34" long and 6.5" wide, so when you're going there and back again, you can go in style. Etsy designer NerdAlertCreations also makes scarves inspired by Harry Potter, Shakespeare, and Captain America. ($40) - Carol Pinchefsky

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