Sick of slick Santas and the same-old shineys? Well our canny crafter Emma Mitchell has been shopping for alternative handmade Christmas gifts to warm your heart and keep your wallet well-fed.
Style and fashion blogs across the world right now are awash with Christmas gift/wish lists. They’re all rather swanky, some require a month’s salary for a single item, many are colour-coordinated and, frankly, most of them are just too samey and shiny for me. As part of my Making Winter series a year ago I made some slightly more unusual recommendations for Yuletide, an alternative to scented candles that cost the same as a pair of jeans and coffee-related gadgets that were clearly built by NASA.
Here is my 2015 crop of handmade, brilliantly designed, made-in-small-batches present ideas for those who are tired of super-spendy smellies. Hold on to your individually hand-crocheted beanie hats…
Most Christmas cards are so mind-numbingly dull. Why do you think all the robins on them stare balefully into the middle distance? They’re BORED.
Excellent news, however: I stumbled on Katie Abey’s cards yesterday whilst on a voyage of festive Etsy discovery. I have such a sudden and enormous handmade crush on her designs that I may invite them out on a group date. SMILEY FESTIVE FRAZZLES ffs. I’m buying. Oh and she’s got an offer on: 10 utterly genius handprinted original designs for £15.
Rachel Basinger of OH NO RACHIO! is a renaissance woman: Etsy star (her gear is part of the Etsy pop-up in Selfridges), photography guru, maker of adorable ceramics, curator of the finest collection of baby succulents this side of the desert and doting cat mum. This card is brilliant. The end.
3D-printed biscuit cutters are my new jammy dodger. Give them as the present or make a batch of genius gingerbread and pop it in a bag. The recipient will be cock-a-hoop.
The person who will make you this embroidered sampler does not have an online shop but I found her on Twitter and this small rectangle of stitching makes me happier than I can express by typing on a keyboard. She has time to make just two of these before Christmas. Get in touch with her QUICK. Handstitched (slightly sweary) joy for £40. Email her on [email protected].
This little Lego Father Christmas kit from 1986 (at Present and Correct) is a brilliant stocking filler, an alternative to a Christmas card and creates a perfect (ever-so-slightly angular) St Nick, whilst distracting hands from the Quality Street and minds from the monstrous to-do list. Knock up FC and bring some plastic brick-ish cheer.
Clare Trowbridge of Little Conkers is a bona fide crochet genius. I mentioned her crocheted robin last Christmas and this year my favourite design of hers is a pattern for a carrot that has clearly been nibbled by a woolly Rudolf. Oh and I have a serious soft spot for this aubergine, which would look excellent on the tree (disclaimer: has nothing whatever to do with the bawdy use of vegetable emojis).
However tacky and rubbish the prize, I blurry LOVE crackers, but then Day-Glo paper hats make me very happy indeed and much of my Twitter feed contains cheesy puns. Imagine my excitement then, at finding these crackers for stationery-lovers in the Present and Correct shop. Pull the snap and a collection of miniature office supplies pops out, including a tiny 2016 calendar and a rubber stamp. Let cardboard joy be unconfined.
Finally Christmas isn’t Christmas without my beloved bottle-brush squirrel. I found one in the brilliant Smug shop (see also their utterly delicious selection of stationery).
I make things, mostly out of silver, sometimes out of wool. I’m never too far from a bottle of PVA glue.