The holidays are right around the corner and the shopping season is about to take off. Every retailer is running specials, open early, open late… doing whatever they can to get you in the store. I challenge you to think ‘handcrafted gifts’ this holiday season instead of just placing an order on Amazon or getting gift cards.
The Thoughtfulness of Handcrafted Gifts
When you put thought into ordering a personalized gift or even making it yourself, you can’t argue that is means something special to the recipient. It means you put time into the decision and had to think creatively outside-the-box. If you made the gift yourself, that’s even more meaningful! Some of us are super crafty. We can whip up gifts like an artistic genius while others of us love to watch HGTV but it just isn’t happening in our house. It doesn’t matter which group you fall into. Handcrafted gifts can be made by you or an artisan, but the love and thought put into making it is the part that matters.
Who is the lucky person?
When you start looking for handcrafted gifts, whether on Etsy, Hometalk, blogs, etc., it can be overwhelming! There are so many creative people out there but don’t give up and start buying gift cards in bulk. Take a step back and think about who you are buying a gift for. What do they like? What is their style? It’s really no different thinking about handcrafted gifts as it is for normal store bought varieties. Example would be your sister loves throw pillows. You could go to Crate & Barrel and buy her a killer pillow OR… you could go to the local fabric store, buy a pillow form and canvas cover and craft a custom design JUST FOR HER! Which would she love more?
Every other year I create custom calendars (they are a lot of work!) but every year I bake cookies. I love to bake family recipes at the holidays and always think of crafty ways to package them up. One year I had custom cookie jars made with family members names on them. They were a hit! This year, I’m making custom wooden boxes to hold the treats! I’m so excited to start designing. Make sure you’re signed up for The nluv Memos so you can see how they turn out!
Handcrafted Ideas for this Holiday Shopping Season
You might not realize it, but you may already have all the gift ideas you need in your head! We’ve done so many fun projects this year, we wanted to share a few with you again as they would make great handcrafted gifts this holiday season. Here’s a few ideas & inspiration to kick-start your handcrafted holiday shopping.
Idea #1: Pictures anyone?
Everyone loves pictures… social media is a testament to that fact! While it’s great to have thousands of photos on our phones, isn’t it nice to actually have them physically in your space somewhere to see and enjoy all the time? I think so! Custom picture frames are a great idea for anyone special, family or friend. There are so many creative ways to display photos. Consider a photo mounting board so pictures can be switched out throughout the year. It is a fun and creative way to liven up a wall and keep the decor changing as the photos are rotated.
On the other hand, do you have a special photo that deserves a permanently place of glory? Design a custom frame, personal for that special person and mount the picture in the frame. You can buy all the pieces for mounting the picture such as a mat, glass and backing. All you have to do is build the frame and decorate it for the ultimate personal touch!
Idea #2: Refinish a unique piece
Did you ever consider refinishing a piece someone already has? It’s actually a great idea. We all have boring, store bough decor that is okay but could be better if someone creative took it over. Or what about a family heirloom in sad disrepair that deserves to be beautiful again? Don’t discount an already existing item and what your creativity could do for it. I have done this for several friends by taking a piece of furniture they have and giving it a new life, making it personal just for them.
Do you want the gift to really be a surprise though? Estate sales and antique shops are great places to find unique, special items that deserve a new lease on life. Find a special piece that would be useful and go great in someone’s space & refinish it just for them! You will have a one-of-a-kind gift, with a long past and a new future thanks to you.
Idea #3: Don’t forget about our furry friends
Our furry family members are just as important as the human kind. Let’s not forget about them this holiday season. Converting old furniture into pet houses is all the rage and you can find numerous blog posts and projects on how to do it. Create something fun and personal for a furry friend this year and see what an impact it will make!
Pet parents are serious about their ‘furry kids’ so put a little effort into making something special for them too. When Gus became part of the nluv Studio family, we had to make him a special little house to welcome him home. You can buy fancy, expensive pet beds online or you can make one from recycled materials around the house. I guarantee they will love them both equally, except the one you make will be better simply because you made it!
Idea #4: Organization with pizzazz
Everyone can be a little more organized… there’s always room for improvement (even if we don’t want to admit it). Create a special wood sign, bin label or wall hanging for someone special that is the perfect compliment in their space.
Do we remember everything in a closet, cabinet or bin? No way! Hang a custom sign on it and never forget again what you stashed there. Some homes have so many closets which is great but that means more stuff tucked away. Design an artistic sign for the door to help remind the recipient what’s stuffed away in there. Even a shelving system with prefect bins and everything in its place doesn’t mean they’ll remember what’s in every bin… unless it has a label on it. Custom bin labels are fun to make, personal to each individual and a great way to express yourself.
Idea #5: Creative Notetakers
Do you know that special someone who LOVES to write lists and has them all over the place (and probably loses them often)? Not only do I know these people, I am one of these people! Custom chalkboards are an awesome, personal gift that not only hangs as wall art, but is useful to keep the house or office running. For a chalkboard to be considered a custom handcrafted gift, it’s all about the frame! The frame is where all the heart & soul lives to make the piece unique and special for that one person. No two chalkboards should be alike and they should incorporate those things most important and loved by the recipient. We like to call this style design that we ‘wrapit nluv’ with all your treasured moments.
Custom chalkboards can be any size, shape, color… you name it and it can be a chalkboard. With the wonderful chalkboard paints available today, you can make any item into a chalkboard. Consider furniture, cabinets, doors, walls, whatever would be most useful for that someone special.
Idea #6: Encourage the budding artist
Do you know a budding artist? Every artist needs an easel so why not build a custom easel for them? Age doesn’t matter… kids love easels but so do crafty adults!
Sturdy artist easels are expensive and never seem to be the exact size or height you want. Do you want it to stand on its own or perhaps sit on a table? Don’t let that complicate your search… build your own so it’s perfect, personal and one-of-a-kind! You can use any left over material so it’s a great project for that remnant wood pile. Check out the easel I built for my studio. Modify the dimensions and design to fit your needs and have fun designing.
Enjoy the gift crafting season
Enjoy the approaching holidays and don’t let gift giving stress you out. A few thoughtful gifts, made just for that special someone, means more than a pile of store bought impersonal items. Let your creative spirit fly and make something special this year. Or, support small businesses and local artisans and let them craft a special gift just for you. Share what you make and any ideas you have. Happy holiday crafting!