DIY gifts, with help from your friends

3rd December 2009 by Denise

Recent years have seen the rise of ‘handmade’ on the internet. Stores like Etsy, Dwanda, Glimpse Online, Folksy and more, all sell work from talented crafters, while crafting communities like Ravelry are full of people quite literally doin’ it for themselves. The current economy means there’s less money to spend on gifts this year too, and now more than ever people feel the need to give gifts that really count.

It’s not easy being a crafter though – especially at this time of year. Long lists of gifts to make can be daunting, and the creation of a flawless item takes time that isn’t always available. Buying handmade is a great substitute of course, but there are still some quick and easy projects around that are both fun to make AND easy to do. Create them as a ‘main gift’, or make a little something to add personal touch to a present you’ve bought else where…

These cute gift-tags were made by MOO favourite Fashion Fucsia. A talented illustrator, she’s found a variety of ways to make MOO work for her, and she sells her wares – including these tags – in her shop.

If you have illustrations of your own, you could take a leaf out of her book and make your own gift tags this year with MiniCards. No illustration skills? No problem! Make them with your own photos – imagine how cute it would be to receive a gift with a personalised photo on the tag!

If you’re giving gifts to clients or customers and you’re looking for more business-like gift tags, then Robyn, over at Paperie Boutique can help you out.

She’s made this template available for download as a PSD, so you can change the colours, or the text and make it your own. It’s the right size for a MiniCard, so simply save your own version as a high resolution JPEG and upload it to MOO. Robyn has also made this design available too:

(And if you’re in need of packaging tips for your clients, we’d recommend a read of the rest of her blog too!)

While we’re on the subject of MiniCards here’s a few more nice ideas:

Colourful banners
This is a birthday banner, but would work equally well adapted for Christmas and the holidays. Simply upload your own illustrations or photography, or choose some great designs from MOO’s own designers.

Beautiful bookmarks
These bookmarks were made by photographer Emmalynne. To make your own, just punch a hole in your Minicards and add a colour co-ordinated ribbon.

Memory scrapbook
Feeling the need to get stuck in with some glue? We love this scrap-book style calendar decorated with MiniCards. Add your own photos from the year and this makes a fun project for children to make for grandparents. Need something easier for little fingers? Personalised Stickers available from the MOO UK store work well too.

You’ve been framed

As you’ll know by now, we’ve recently launched a new and improved Mosaic Frame. Available in black or white, each frame holds 20 different MiniCards – in any arrangement you like! You can hang it portrait or landscape, and packed full of your own photography it makes a wonderful memory-filled gift.

This shot by Miha Rekar shows his new black frame full of his own colourful gig photography:

Looking for a cheaper stocking filler? It’s easy to make token gifts by looking out for smaller frames available in high-street shops. These MiniCards by Lomogirl look amazing as a simple set of three:

With 100 cards in every MiniCard pack, if you find small frames at the right price, it’s a bumper set of gifts without breaking the bank.

Postcards – year round fun!

Postcards aren’t just for sending to friends back home, when you’re off on your holidays. They can be used for thank-you cards, speedy notes, pictures to put on your fridge, invitations and works of art.

They can even be educational. We loved these cards made by Jonathan Howells last year:

Personalised flash cards, they were made as a gift for family far away, and feature family photos to illustrate the alphabet. It’s a sweet, easy-to-make-with-MOO gift, simple to pack and post, and cost effective too!

Are you an illustrator, fine artist or photographer? Print a pack of 20 Postcards, like Kathleen below, and tie sets of 4 or 5 with pretty ribbon. Add gold or silver envelopes for an extra touch, and you have a gift more special than any boxed set of notecards from your local stationer.

Don’t box me in!

Once you’ve got your MiniCards delivered and your gifts at the ready, there’s one last bit of fun to be had: join in our MiniCard box-decorating competition! Wrap the box as a gift or a piece of festive packaging, take a photo and add it to our Flickr Pool. Tag it with the words ‘MOOGiftBox’ and you’re all done. We’ve spotted some cute entries so far, including this, by creative crafter Wiccked

Have fun – you’ve got until the 28th December!

PS: Don’t forget the Holiday shipping deadlines!

Comments (3)

  1. Rhonda Layman:

    I love Paperie Boutique’s ideas from Robyn!! So creative, unusual and FUN!!

  2. Liz Dellar:

    What a kind and thoughtful way to send your secret santa gift, Melanie!

  3. Alex@ Send Gifts to Bangladesh:

    I am really surprised with your really a nice blog of awesome gifts.

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