People who know me personally will know that I’m not a fan of buying gifts purely for the sake of the season. There’s so much emphasis on buying lavishly for our nearest and dearest, that often the true message of an occasion is lost amongst the wrappings.
As a writer and blogger, the message a gift represents is far more important to me than how much it costs. If there’s no purpose, no thought behind it, it’s a meaningless object that will be fast forgotten.
I prefer to go down the route of usefulness. If something is going to be used regularly, it will be a lasting reminder of where it came from, who bought or made it and the message that was intended. With this in mind I’ve put together a little list of items I’d personally give to a fellow creative.
1. Owl Tape from Mustard
This charming owl-shaped tape dispenser from justmustard.com is a thoughtful twist on what is usually a dull piece of stationery. Available in pink or white, it featured a faint geometric pattern on the back, with two rolls of tape. The jagged teeth on either side are ideal for tearing strips off, without fiddling with scissors or getting it stuck to your lips.
I have one of these on my bookshelf – the white version – and it’s far more useful than I first thought it would be. A few people have actually thought it was a quirky ornament, something I’ve had to correct but I can see where they got the idea from. Sat on a desk it’s a fun piece that’s both modern and functional.
The owl tape dispenser can be refilled with 19mm x 33mm tape and costs only £10.
2. Photomug from Mustard
Instagram and photography enthusiasts will love a cuppa in this ceramic mug. Fashioned after a classic Polaroid camera, the Photomug is an unusual square shape with a camera print design. This is actually a pretty heavy mug. Having tested it out, so far it’s withstood being thrown around by three children and I’ve had many a hot beverage in it.
At only £10 this mug is a lovely way to say thank you to that special someone.
Putting a terrifying spin on the classic eraser, these gruesome zombie erasers will scare away all of your mistakes. The more you use them, the more they will begin to disappear. I suppose you could compare it to the way the living dead slowly decay but that would be a bit gross.
You get six zombies in a pack for £5. Therefore if you have a writer in the family, these will be an inexpensive way to get their creative juices flowing.
4. Design Letters & Friends Arne Jacobson Stationery
Design Letters & Friends began their business by making wooden letters as wall art before uncovering Jacobsen’s long lost font in Copenhagen’s Royal Library. It was created by him back in 1937 and initially used as internal signage for one of his iconic buildings.
The stylish selection of homeware, bed linen and stationery will go down well with fans of minimalism and simplicity. The bold typography in black or white creates a stark contrast when featured on notebooks, tea-towels and stationery, while a dash of color here and there is a fun, modern touch. I particularly love the desk set with its range of notebooks, to-do pads and typographic pencils. This particular range can be found from this stockist, along with other quirky items.
Caroline Gardner is a designer with a love of creating ever evolving modern classics, set apart by a distinctive colour palette and a quirky sense of placement. Her designs extend from modern homewares to stationery and personalised greetings cards.
The geometric notebook is a sophisticated piece, featuring a geometric black and white cover. The inside is lined with mustard and white stripes, while an elastic closure ensures your contents won’t start spilling out of book.
I adore the simplicity of this notebook. With ruled paper it can be used for multiple purposes. You could even include a personal message inside to give to your loved one – someone they can read and re-read each time they write in it. Costing £9.50, you can find Caroline’s items on her website where you can potentially find the perfect gift.
I had the pleasure of reviewing some of Mulk’s items on my personal blog a few weeks ago. Their designs blend fun, geometric patterns with recycled materials for a range of fun and vibrant products that are kind to the environment.
The geometric writing set is a fantastic selection of 12 double sided recycled writing papers, eight recycled envelopes and eight envelope stickers. All of which are displayed in a beautiful box. Priced at £13 this would be a beautiful gift for anyone with an eye for design, plus Mulk offer a free gift-wrapping service, saving you a little bit of time in the process.
The Moleskine Large Sketchbook is bound in cardboard, with a ‘moleskine’ cover having rounded corners and an elastic enclosure. The 100 top-quality acid-free pages are thread bound, and the notebook includes an expandable inner note holder made of cardboard and cloth. Each Moleskine journal has a ribbon placeholder and removable card with the history of Moleskines.
Priced at £11.99 it’s not too expensive, making this a wonderful gift for artists and doodlers to collect their thoughts and inspiration.
Filofax has partnered with the UK children’s literacy charity Springboard for Children, to offer this bright, stylish personal organiser. The Filofax Pocket Springboard in fuchsia contains a bespoke fill and unique magenta ruler and tabs. It is full of inspiring ideas to make reading, writing, spelling and language development fun and rewarding.
For each organiser sold, Filofax will donate £1.50, which goes directly to Springboard’s life-changing work with children who need their support. This makes this gift particularly special as not only is it a wonderful item you can use on a daily basis, the message behind it is one of giving and selflessness.
9. Domain Name & Hosting with TSOHost
It might be an unusual choice of gift, however I believe giving someone the opportunity to create their own space online, is one of the most freeing experiences. I remember when bought my first hosting package and domain name. It was scary, exhilarating and confusing to begin with. However without it, I would never have made it to where I am now.
TSO Host is the host I chose all those years ago, and I’m still with them. They’re always prompt with support tickets and can be reached even quicker on Twitter, therefore I’m more than happy to recommend them as a reputable option to go for.
If you’re considering givng the gift of a domain name and hosting, you can use my special discount code, unique to this site only. It gives you 10% off your hosting package, saving you some money too. Just enter SCorrin10 upon checkout to claim.
Spreadshirt is one of my favourite places for sourcing or creating fun T-shirt designs. The Spreadshirt Collection stands for best-possible print results on top-quality products. A huge range of sizes makes sure that their gear fits everyone, big and small alike.
The Hello World T-shirt caught my eye, particularly for the WordPress bloggers and programmers and developers amongst us. I’m sure you haven’t forgotten your first ever blog post – that default ‘hello world’ text, announcing your foray into this vast and colourful community. I certainly haven’t. This shirt is an ideal reminder of why we began pouring our words out there for everyone to read, as well as a badge of honour for making it this far.
The NoteShel is a Post-it Note holder and pen designed specifically for busy writers and professionals seeking stylish stationery or gadgets to make their working life more organised and maximise their productivity. It’s a sleek, colourful, rubber Post-Note note holder complete with a quality refillable pen, perfect for taking notes on the go – at home, work, events and in meetings.
Thanks to the NoteShel team, I had a chance to try out this bold, brightly coloured productivity powerhouse. It’s now my main notepad and I use it regularly throughout the day to keep track of my to-do-list. The pen is magnetised and as such stays in place when you’re on the go. The holder fits most regular post-notes and is small enough to fit in your back pocket. What I really like about NoteShel is the ability to use it over and over again. This isn’t a throw-away item like most gifts, instead it can refilled and used again both in terms of the pen and the post-notes.
NoteShel comes in 5 different colours: Dusky Purple, Flame Orange, Fresh Green (my favourite), Fuchsia Pink and Pale Blue. It retails for £15 and can be found via the NoteShel store here.
I had a discussion with a group of blogging friends a few days ago. We were talking about the benefits of giving less, but saying more with what we give and I couldn’t agree with them more. It’s easy to fall into the consumerism trap – it’s entrenched into the fibre of our society. I say for once, just try a little to do things differently. It will mean a whole lot more in the long-run.