5 Custom Gift Ideas
I LOVE giving handmade and DIY gifts, but I’m not always on the ball when it comes to coming up with ideas ahead of time and then I end up Amazon Priming everything the week before Christmas. My favorite client commissions are always custom gifts, because they put so much love and thought into what they want me to make for their favorite people. I’ve gathered together my personal favorite sentimental handmade gift ideas that I personally create and offer in my shop if you need a hand (but you are welcome to go DIY these yourself too!) so that you can really blow some socks off with thoughtfulness this year!
1. Watercolor Portraits
Why I love them: They are a great way to turn any photo into a unique keepsake, and I think they’re totally unexpected and special to unwrap and display. Photos of course are wonderful on their own, but something about a painting makes you look a little longer and remember all the little stories that went with that moment.
2. Illustrated House Paintings
Why I love them: Same reasons as above, but why houses?? So many reasons!!! Houses hold memories, I bet if you close your eyes and picture your childhood home you pretty much instantly go back in time and remember all sorts of things. These also make a great gift to new homeowners, people who have just retired and downsized but had to move on from the family home they built and raised kids in, military families who move a lot but have lived different seasons in so many memorable homes. You get the idea. I LOVE these paintings!
3. Hand Lettered Wedding Vows
Why I love them: I’m a calligrapher, so I may be biased, but handwritten words are special. They are a labor of love, they hold character and timelessness, and there’s just something exciting about knowing that someone took the time to write each letter. Wedding vows are some of the most important words you will speak to another person in your life, so why not make them into art and display them in your home? This could apply to other words too, special letters from loved ones, song lyrics, poems, you name it. I also love overlaying these vows onto wedding photos for a really beautiful keepsake. Great for the newlyweds or spouses on your list!
4. Art Prints
Why I love them: Now, I don’t have tons of these in my own shop just yet, but I know just about every artist out there has some prints floating around for sale on the interwebs and there is some amazing work out there! If you follow an awesome artist on Instagram or if someone you know in real life sells prints, support your favorite creatives and gift some art this year! I mean, you could go get a print at Target (no judgement, I love them too) but don’t be afraid to do a little digging through the small shops and independent artist sites. A lot of them even offer ones you can print right at home and frame yourself, which is great if you are a procrastinator!
5. Keepsake Illustrations
Why I love them: I’m a recovering clutterbug, borderline sentimental hoarder. I hate throwing away things that people have given me, made for me, or things that were special at one point or another. It kind of feels disrespectful somehow (as if burying it in the bottom of a box isn’t....emotional logic right?). In reality, as I’ve learned, it’s really not wrong to throw away or give away things that are not being used even if they have sentimental value, BUT I totally get the struggle and I still love to hold on to sentimental things. I mean, I had a vase of old dead dry dusty flowers from every single bouquet I ever got growing up, from my dad, my boyfriend-now-husband, prom corsages, you name it. I’m rambling, but the point is I get it. It’s nice to hold onto those special memories. Ironically I didn’t really have too much trouble getting rid of my wedding bouquet once it died, but I think it was because I had so many beautiful pictures of it (and yes I saved and pressed some petals). SO this is why I love these illustrations. It’s a great way to hold onto stuff without actually hoarding a dead bunch of flowers or an entire storage bin of random keepsakes. Paint them, frame them, and have them forever where you can see and enjoy them.