I've been thinking about how I can help you, my customers and followers, with ideas for gifting this Christmas as well as championing small independent creative businesses.
This year for me Christmas is going to be about the small things, having time to bake festive treats, hand make goodies and create a beautiful cosy cottage. Out with the stress and rushing about, I've already blocked out December as time for me, my family and my home. My business will take some time out and for once I will fully enjoy the festive season.
With everything that has been going on this year it's certainly forced many of us to reassess what's important, made us slow down and made me think about what material things I actually need. Shopping on the high street is something I can't see myself returning to. I've found I don't need lots of the clothes, gadgets and just general 'stuff'. I've not been into a non essential shop since February!
The things that I do buy are small items that support another creative and bring something unique and handmade to my home or gifted to someone else. So I wanted to share with you the things that I am making to help you start to plan your gifting and also show you some of my favourite makers and independent small businesses.
I've split it into categories rather than being gender or age specific as we are all individuals and it is all about finding the perfect gift to fit the personality of your recipient and the relationship you have with them.
All of Ivy Upcycling's products are handmade out of waste wood by myself and my Dad. I hope you find something that you like for those special people in your life.
1. Watch Lovers
I wanted to come up with some new ideas this Christmas especially to help out with all those people that can be quite difficult to buy for. The watch stand is one of the items I came up with that I hope will help solve that problem! These gift sets are handmade out of a waste oak work top and table leg. There are just 4 of the watch stands each with an individual clock decoration on the face of the upright. They make the perfect gift for anyone who loves their watch and wants to keep it safe and unscratched when not being worn. The matching shallow oak trays are perfect for jewellery or small change to keep them safe as you slumber.
2. Absent Friends
These are always super popular with my customers and a favourite item to gift. These popular string hearts are made from waste wood hand painted, varnished and decorated using copper coated pins and shimmering crochet string. Perfect for those who we cannot currently see and show how they are always in our hearts and thoughts.
3. Home Makers
I have quite a range of home decor for all those home makers which made it quite difficult to highlight just one item! In the end I chose something that is a personal favourite. These star tea lights make a lovey addition to your home at any time of the year creating a lovely homely focal point with a twinkling soy tealight. Each one is hand made from waste wood by my Dad then passed to me for painting and finishing. They are a lovely combination of paint on the top and natural wood on the sides and bottom of the star. You may have seen the making of these featured on one of my reels on Instagram!
4. Nature lovers
For anyone who loves a connection to nature in their homes and to help create all those cosy hygge vibes this lovely gift set is just the ticket. These Gift sets are as unique as the trees they came from and consequently I only have a limited number available, just 2 sets are currently left and this is then sadly the last of the Birch wood we have available. Each set comprises of a 3 tealight holder with 3 soy wax tealights and 4 bark coasters.
5. Garden Lovers
We have all loved our gardens over the last year and discovered new found skills for growing flowers and vegetables so what better present for those garden lovers old and new. These sturdy handcrafted boxes are made from waste wood, painted and decorated and then filled with hand made garden goodies. There is a handy wooden scoop, a wooden string holder with environmentally friendly jute string. A useful wooden dibber for measuring out when you are planting and some wooden plant labels to keep everything in order. Add a complimentary packet of seeds and the fact that it is all made from waste wood and what better present for any environment conscious gardener.
6. Animal Lovers
For anyone who is a dog lover these pretty peg hook boards are all made out of waste wood and hand painted and decorated with copper coated pins and shimmery string. Each one is intricately woven into the shape of a paw print and finished with a hand turned peg for hanging up your dog's lead or maybe your keys, all sorts of uses for these useful little pegs.
7.Festive home makers
As soon as I saw this battered plank of wood I knew exactly what I wanted to create and here they are! Each one is made from a lovely rustic piece of wood which has been sanded down leaving some of the character of it's previous life and then decorated with these lovely Christmas tree motifs in subtle shades of green and grey. Finally varnished to bring out the rich colour and character of the wood. A pretty addition to your festive home.
There are many items on my website that make the perfect stocking fillers from dibbers for gardeners, wooden snowmen, soap trays, ring stands and coasters. I had to choose one of my favourite Christmas makes though. These adorable little tree decorations flew off the tree last year so are back by popular demand! I love making them out of waste wood branches sliced up, decorated with a pretty little robin and then sealed with varnish. Finally drilled with a hole and threaded with a jute string loop. The perfect stocking filler for old and young alike.
Lastly I wanted to share some of my favourite creatives and makers that will definitely be featuring on my Christmas list!
For Christmas gift tags, cards and prints check out the beautiful illustrator Eleri Haf Designs . I love her recently added tote bags....now which one shall I get and for who.....
For amazing laptop sleeves made from waste plastic carrier bags have a look at www.madebykellyo.co.uk . She makes wonderful pencil cases, purses and washbags too and she will custom make for you out your own carrier bag souvenirs from special holidays or trips abroad. Laptop sleeve is on my list!
For beautifully designed Christmas wrap just released visit Amy Olivia Harris Designs. She also has beautiful wall hangings, calendars and prints.
If you're buying for fun graphic lovers you'll find the most gorgeous colourful prints and cards from graphic designer Ian at Folio. He also has the an amazing metal pin badge for any independent business owners who need a pat on the back for having the tenacity to keep going at the moment.
Now for anyone who loves natural fragrances and wants their home to smell amazing all year round look no further than the lovely Cole & Co, their soaps, candles, hand and body washes all smell amazing. This lovely Welsh family business is also celebrating winning not one but two awards in the recent British Entrepreneur Awards!
My final top tips for finding all those beautiful handmade creative gifts is to check out:
Folksy who are the home of British handmade crafts, you'll find lots of ideas and inspiration.
And my last but definitely not least recommendation is to take a look at Pedddle, where you will a directory of local markets and their stall holders. You'll find a host of creative independents just waiting to meet you at your local market or keep on eye out for one of Pedddle's popular online market events which create all the buzz of the market from the comfort of your own home!
I hope you have found this guide useful and you've managed to tick off some of those gift ideas on your Christmas list and maybe add one or two for yourself too!
Now it's back to the workshop to me to get ready for all those markets I have lined up. Hope to see you soon either virtually or in person!