Friday, 23 November 2012

The Christmas Gift Guide: The Many Reasons to Buy Handmade


The holiday season is almost here already! Are you looking for gift ideas, wracking your brains wondering what to buy your nearest and dearest for Christmas? Well wrack your brains no more. If you decide to buy handmade this Christmas not only will you find unique gifts to suit anybody, you will also be helping to support artists and crafts people as well as boosting the local economy. Here are some reasons why its better to buy handmade:
  • You will certainly find something unique if you buy handmade. Many artists and crafts people make one of a kind creations, so you can be sure that nobody else will have bought the same gift for your friends or relatives.
  • The person you are buying the gift for will appreciate that you have gone to the effort of buying something unique.
  • Many crafts people make items from environmentally friendly materials or they use recycled or reclaimed materials. 
  • Buying handmade supports small businesses. Many crafts people are sole traders and they will notice and be grateful for each and every purchase. Large superstores will not notice your purchase and your coins will be just a drop in the ocean!
  • Supporting local artists and crafts people helps to boost the local economy.
  • Buying handmade keeps the tradition of creating crafts alive.
  • It is a much nicer experience to buy handmade products in a craft fair or gift shop than having to wait in a long queue at a large chain store.
  • Many artists and crafts people make custom orders, so if there is something that you like that is not in the preferred size or colour, many crafts people would be willing to create the right gift especially for you.
  • Arts and crafts are made with care and attention to detail which means a much better quality gift than items which are mass produced on a factory line - or worse in a sweat shop.
So now that you have many reason to buy handmade, you just need to know where to buy handmade. Here are some ideas:
  • Local craft fairs. These are held in most towns and villages. They can be held in schools, community centers or church halls. They are often advertised in the local paper, and around the town or village e.g. on community notice boards or in shop windows. You can also check the UK Handmade local events page here: http://ukhandmade.co.uk/localnews .
  • Craft studios: Some artists and crafts people sell directly from their studios.
  • Gift shops: Many gift shops sell handmade items made by local artists and crafts people.
  • Galleries: Many galleries have a crafts section as well as their current art exhibition. Many galleries also have a Christmas show which displays the creations of many local artists and crafts people.
  • Online: Etsy.com, Folksy.com, Dawanda.com, Artfire.com are just some of the many places where you can buy unique handmade gifts. Many artists and crafts people also have their own websites or online shops. 
www.ukhandmade.co.uk - Buy Handmade 

Here are some of my favourites:

Ultimate Drifter: Unique handmade driftwood creations.

Recycled Arts: Recycled creations from two young sisters

Librastar:  Mosaics and decoupage

Bookity: Jewellery and cufflinks made from vintage books and maps as well as some unique Christmas decorations

Little Satsuma: Handmade soaps and other smelly goodies cruelty free and environmentally friendly.

And don't forget you can find unique handmade gifts on both my art site and jewellery site. In the Tiddu Shop you will find sea glass and sea pottery jewellery, broken china pendants, hand painted miniature art pendants as well as some earrings and bracelets.

On my art site you will find some miniature paintings on sea slate, rocks and pebbles as well as some larger paintings on canvas.




If you are ordering from any online craft shop this year, don't forget that the last day of postage between destinations within the UK is Thursday 20 December 2012.


To international destinations from the UK the last posting dates are:
Wednesday 5 DecemberAsia, Australia, Far East (including Japan), New Zealand
Friday 7 DecemberAfrica, Caribbean, Central America, Middle East and South America
Monday 10 DecemberCanada, Eastern Europe and USA
Wednesday 12 DecemberWestern Europe

You may also need to check with the artist's shop from who you are buying when the last date they are able to post is, as this may differ to Royal Mail's postage dates.

Wherever you decide to shop this Christmas, I hope you discover some unique creations from the many talented artists and crafts people out there. Happy Christmas shopping!!

Tiddu Shop: http://tiddushop.blogspot.com
My Art Site: http://adelewhittleart.blogspot.com
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