Christmas is a time of year I try and celebrate good gift buying. As if we needed the extra pressure! Last week I shared with you my Gift guide for Colour Lovers and this week I take the focus onto choosing gifts that are crafty or that little bit creative. Any of you who are avid readers of this blog know I am a major champion of our great British high street but I’m also a fan of throwing some of my spend towards smaller designer makers, artisans and entrepreneurs too. They often sell products that are that little bit more unique, can feel more heartfelt and I think it’s so important to support design and business at grass roots too.
So this little gift guide shines a torch on a few of my favourite brands and boutiques so please feel free to indulge yourself or the lucky person you are gifting this Christmas. And do read to the end of the post as I share some of my recommended courses and workshops too. For the person that has everything, I think it’s great to give a fellow design lover an opportunity to have an experience, rather than a tangible object. I’m leaving this list out where someone can see it!
1. Small batch distiller, organic grower of plants, flowers, aromatics, and maker and seller of perfumes and skincare, creams, balms, butters, lip balms, and soaps. Sussex rose aromatic water, £19.50, AS Apothecary | 2. Second generation traditional sign writer can make you a bespoke work of art using gold leaf guilding. How special is that! Bespoke reverse glass hand painted sign, from £100, Sign Hive | 3. Calligraphy is such a stylish way to express yourself- sign up to a course first or if you are a beginner, look no further than this beautifully packaged, easy to use set. Luxury Modern calligraphy starter kit, £29.99, Kirsten Burke. | 4. Huge continental cup in fabulous colours. Perfect for hot chocolate, soup, cereals and cafe au lait! Giant cups from £9, RE | 5. Artist Anna Proctor produces a diverse collection of printed home wares for pattern-lovers. Dragon floral mini pouch, £19, Jericho Design House. | 6. You’ve all seen my multi-coloured skirt, but now you can buy earrings to match! Chroma tassel earrings, £55, Kitty Joseph | 7. If you always wanted the look of a rock star neon sign without the bother of the electrics then choose a bespoke print from House of Neon. Batteries not required. Large All I Ever wanted print, inc. frame, £30, House of Neon | 8. Everyone needs some neon leopard print in their lives? Love everything this boutique seller has on offer so go shop! Neon pink leopard print leather zip purse, £19.99, Popsicle | 9. It’s not Christmas in my house without a bevvy of scented candles. My favourite pong is the Black pomegranate candle, £32, Willow & Honey |10. New brand on the block Hunt & Hope make the most amazing edgy and cool needle point home wares, for the very very special person in your life! Alhambra pink needlepoint cushion, £250, Hunt & Hope
11. Jewellery makes such a special gift and my friend Katie’s pieces are always unique and often made from re-purposed old jewellery pieces. Gold dipped feather ear threader earrings, £45, Katie Weiner | 12. I love this boutique chocolaterie’s packaging and the names they give their bars. Taste good too! Bright Eyed chocolate bar, £4, Creighton’s Chocolaterie | 13. I’m obsessed with hand made ceramics, I love the organic feel of them so never object to anyone adding to my collection. Terracotta large platter in teal, £150, Silvia K Ceramics at The New Craftsmen | 14. My love of vintage chintz knows no barriers so I’d fully embrace unwrapping this genuine vintage beauty and adding it to my collection. Cushion in vintage Sanderson blue and rust florals, £55, Phillips & Cheers | 15. Check out the 100% recycled page on Baileys website for some clear conscience yet seriously stylish shopping. Not that buying someone a huge glass lamp for Christmas is a very bright idea! Indigo recycled glass lamp from £120, Bailey’s | 16. If Christmas is a time of year we give ourselves permission to indulge, then might as well do it in style! Pink martini glasses, £38.95, set of 4, Audenza | 17. I found Ali’s designs on instagram and just fell in love with the bonkers-ness of her up-cycled dinner plates into wall art. Pure genius. The Paint splat pair of plates, £65, Ali Joe Designs | 18. Lover of graphic pattern and heart racing pattern look no further than textile designer Laura Spring. Pink arrow fabric storage pot, from £22, Laura Spring
Made & Making – sewing and crafting workshops
Sarah Brangwyn shares her passion and experience in a variety of workshops from sewing and crochet, through to calligraphy, printing, felting, paper flower making, art and more.
From £17.50. Based in Sussex
Ban the Beige Workshop Interior design colour scheming with me, Sophie Robinson
If you really really loved someone you would send them on this course! Ideal for any aspiring creative who has big ideas on their home, this is the course to get colour confident and find your own true colour palette and sense of style. An inspirational day in a stunning venue, great people, great food and knock out content.
£495. Based in Brighton and London
Elizabeth Cairns – Entrepreneur workshops and retreats
I first met Elizabeth on a retreat she hosted with The Brand Stylist last November. It was game changing and I’ve been using Elizabeth as my coach ever since as I love her unique and holistic approach to planning your business with your life so it works for you. I’ve not signed up to one of her retreats yet but if you run your own business, I’ll see you there!
From £865. Somerset and Cotswolds
Annie Sloan – Painted furniture workshops
Put your own stamp on furniture that needs a bit of a re-vamp with Annie Sloan’s infamous Chalk paint. As well as learning how to use different techniques and how to achieve a professional finish, Annie is a great advocate for colour in interior design. These courses are run by Annie Sloan stockists who are qualified to teach Annie’s easy and inspiring techniques.
Locations held throughout the UK.
Molly Mahon – Learn the art of block printing
Textile designer Molly Mahon is a fellow colour and pattern lover and I adore her creative combinations of both. Learn the creative technique of block printing on paper and fabric and make something to take home.
From £140. Sussex, Gloucestershire and Monmouthshire
Abigail Ahern – Design School
Known for her eclectic style and love of the dark side of decorating, Abigail Ahern shares her insider knowledge, unique decorating secrets and styling ideas to help you create your dream home with lashes of sass. Worth a ticket just to snoop around her instagrammable home!
From £125. London
Muck n Brass – Up-cycling workshops
Designer Zoe Pocock has taken upcycling (or Luxecycling) to a whole new level, with her reinvented funky pieces of furniture. Zoe shares her technical skills and creativity with footstool upholstery, painting using Fusion Mineral Paints and Decoupage and an advanced Skill builder workshop.
From £150. London
Sarah Raven – Gardening, cookery, floristry and more…
From her East Sussex farm and around the country, Sarah Raven runs cookery, flower arranging, growing and gardening courses which have such a great reputation they have been on my bucket list for years. I want to take my Mum!
From £50. From the South East all the way to Yorkshire!
Rachel Henderson Studio – School of Craft
Another one of my instagram crushes; fellow colour lover Rachel runs textile and design based workshops, sharing techniques including felting, knitting, crochet, macrame, free motion embroidery and printed textiles. All in her favourite rainbow shades.
From £32. Fife, Scotland.
Special thank you to Luisa Ferdenzi for helping me compile this epic feature. Merry Christmas!