Felt wool decorations by Elliot Kruszynski, and Cari Vander Yacht via Wrap

‘Tis the season to be… stressed about shopping. Let’s face it, it’s not always easy to get the right presents, especially in this time of collapsing supply chains and global shortages.

But every problem is an opportunity in disguise. And the fact that ordering stuff online has become a lottery shouldn’t fill you with horror. Instead, treat it as a fresh chance to support smaller local firms, and independent artists, designers and makers; all of whom have had difficult times over the last couple of years.

Not to mention that buying something original, lovingly crafted and totally unique will endear you far more to your loved ones than just opting for the same safe, generic products from big brands.

In this article, we’ve pulled together some inspirational suggestions for Christmas gifts, whether you’re buying for family, friends, or fellow creatives. And if you need more, check out this Twitter thread too.

Stocking Fillers

Let’s Get Kooky by Jean Jullien

This new card game by Jean Jullien challenges you to collect over 50 quirky and close-knit cats. It’s a bit like Happy Families meets Go Fish, but where all the fish have been eaten by cats, and instead of being happy, the families are all a bit bonkers.

Let’s Get Kooky by Jean Jullien

Socks by Yinka Ilori

You might not expect it, but Yinka Ilori’s unmistakable designs look great on your feet. This trio of woven socks, each covered with Yinka’s signature patterns, would make a great gift for anyone with their own distinctive and quirky sense of style.

Socks by Yinka Ilori

Haring-isms by Larry Warsh

An excellent stocking filler from Counterprint, Haring-isms features a brilliantly curated selection of quotations from renowned artist and pop icon Keith Haring. Taken together, this selection reflects Haring’s distinctive voice and reminds us why his work continues to resonate with fans around the globe.

Haring-isms by Larry Warsh (via Counterprint)

Body Language Decoder by Martin Brooks

People give away more by their body language than what they actually say, and learning to decode it can really help you improve your communication skills. Created by Martin Brooks, this set of cards will help you unlock the secrets of what people are thinking, by learning to read their unconscious body language. Anyone who has a client they find difficult to read will love this gift!

Body Language Decoder by Martin Brooks

Pencil Chocolate by Ocelot

Made in Scotland by Ocelot, this new chocolate is inspired by pencils. Dark milk chocolate infused with cedar and pine, two types of wood most commonly used to make pencils. The bar is scattered with roasted nibs. A good choice for creative nerds.

Pencil Chocolate by Ocelot

My Papercut Forest by Silvina De Vita

This kit by paper artist Silvina De Vita contains all the elements needed to create a beautiful papercut model of your own. When you finish, you can put your creation in a dome and give it as a gift; or depending on who the recipient is, you might just want to give them the kit and let them make it themselves.

My Papercut Forest by Silvina

Dorothy Decks: Music Edition – Playing Cards by Dorothy

Check out this unique deck of 54 playing cards designed by Liverpool studio Dorothy for music fans. Each of the four suits represents a genre of music (alternative, electronic, hip-hop and rock) and each of the 54 cards depicts an iconic song representing its face value, for example, The Ace of Spades is Motörhead while The Queen is Dead is The Smiths.

Dorothy Decks: Music – Playing Cards

Wabi-Sabi Pot by Clae Josie Swift

A cute Wabi-Sabi pot by ceramicist Clae Josie Swift, made from warm biscuity clay with a white glazed inner. Hand-built and purposely irregular in shape and glaze. The perfect size for holding incense cones, or use as a ring dish. Made in small batches, and fired in Josie’s studio in Folkstone.

Wabi-Sabi Pot by Clae Josie Swift

Wooden Trees by Forge Creative

These handmade wooden trees by Forge Creative are individually hand-turned on a lathe and made from a wide variety of wood, so each one has its own uniqueness and character. Sold Individually via the independent shop, Form, they make the perfect little stocking filler for someone you love.

Wooden Tree by Forge Creative (via Form)

Team Demi Office Set by Naoto Fukasawa

What stocking would be complete without this impeccable reissue of a classic, designed by Naoto Fukasawa. Brought to you via Present & Correct, this portable office set has been given a 2021 makeover. Inside the magnetically closed case, you will find a pair of scissors, a ruler, tape dispenser, knife, tape measure, glue, stapler, and Sim card pin. Each tool is magnetic, so they click into place in a satisfying way.

Team Demi Office Set by Naoto Fukasawa

Puzzles and games that creatives will love

Kinstler by Rami Metal

Kinstler is a new Brooklyn-based art world puzzle company founded by Rami Metal who wanted to do something to support new and emerging artists. His debut collection includes three jigsaw puzzles featuring the work of Simone Johnson, Andrea Joyce Heimer, and Rusudan Khizanishvili. Take your pick and help support the creative community.

Kinstler by Rami Metal

ArtNet Set by The Art of Ping Pong

The Conran Shop’s exclusive collaboration with The Art of Ping Pong allows you to transform any table into a ping pong match. Crafted from powder-coated steel, the three net pieces can be easily overlapped to create a ping pong net for your game. Complete with an oak bracket to attach to your wall, the zig-zag forms can become a unique art piece when not in use. The stylish table tennis set is accompanied by two FSC-certified rosewood bats, and four ABS plastic balls. Game on!

ArtNet Set by The Art of Ping Pong

Love is Power by Jacqueline Colley

Illustrator and pattern designer Jacqueline Colley is behind this gorgeous jigsaw, which features work from her ongoing typographic series exploring type and printmaking. The power of love is something to be inspired by this Christmas. It’s a 500 piece puzzle, includes a cotton drawstring bag for easy storage, and it’s made from recycled board. Made via Print Club London and Luckies.

Love is Power by Jacqueline Colley

Colder & Closer Puzzle by Maaike Canne

Featuring a thousand pieces, this beautifully illustrated puzzle by Maaike Canne is just one of many jigsaws via Wrap, waiting to be solved. Responsibly produced using FSC certified material, you can pre-order now ready for shipping in early November.

Colder & Closer Puzzle by Maaike Canne (via Wrap)

Nkatha Jigsaw Puzzle by Benny Bing

This captivating wood jigsaw by Puzzle Lab has approximately 300 wacky organic pieces and was crafted on Vancouver Island in Canada. It features artwork by Benny Bing, a contemporary Canadian artist of Nigerian descent who explores beauty and blackness and celebrates the power of the black female form.

Nkatha Jigsaw Puzzle by Benny Bing

Books about art and design

Palette Perfect by Sara Caldas

Palette Perfect will be loved by graphic designers and illustrators everywhere for its deep dive into colour combinations, meanings and cultural references. Written by Sara Caldas, it’s illustrated with projects by renowned creatives, and organised by colours (identified with CMYK, RGB and HEX codes) and moods associated with the time of day.

Palette Perfect by Sara Caldas

Hayao Miyazaki

Who doesn’t love the work of Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki? Now comes this sumptuous book by Counterprint, which also marks a landmark exhibition in LA. A wonderful gift for the Japan-ophile or animation fan in your life.

Hayao Miyazaki (via Counterprint)

This is Everything 1: Instagram Drawings by Bedwyr Williams

Published by Southwark Park Galleries, this artwork brings together over 100 of Bedwyr Williams’ drawings, replicating the original scale of his artworks, drawn habitually since 2018. The Welsh artist offers a touch of sardonic humour throughout his practice, often picking up on the clichés we’re all so fed up with hearing in the creative community.

This is Everything 1: Bedwyr Williams Instagram Drawings

Perambulations Box Set Walking Guides by Stefi Orazi

Perambulations is a series of guided trails, started by Stefi Orazi during the pandemic and various lockdowns. Each handy folded guide is a single walk and features a map alongside informative text about modernist buildings along the route. With illustrations by Jay Cover, what’s not to love. Grab them all in this lovely box set.

Perambulations walking guides by Stefi Orazi

Young, Gifted and Black by Jamia Wilson

In Jamia Wilson’s Young, Gifted and Black, we meet 52 icons of colour from the past and present through stories about changemakers to inspire and empower the next generation. The book is stylishly brought together by Andrea Pippins’ colourful and celebratory illustrations. Written in the spirit of Nina Simone’s song To Be Young, Gifted, and Black, it’s a vibrant book that offers a perfect introduction to both historic and present-day figureheads, leaders, pioneers, cultural trailblazers and athletes.

Young, Gifted and Black by Jamia Wilson, illustrated by Andrea Pippins

Books: Art, Craft & Community by London Centre for Book Arts

Books are a meeting place. A sum of their many parts and artistic approaches. Form, concept, material and craft are bound together to create something rooted in its functionality, a process that often crosses over into the messier realm of art.

In this beautiful title, Books. Art, Craft & Community, the London Centre for Book Arts presents a thriving ecosystem of papermakers, printers, bookbinders, artists, designers and publishers from around the world. All of whom draw on traditional skills, art and experimentation to make books that matter today. In twenty-six profiles, spanning traditional craftspeople to modern makers, along with contributions from experts, we are given an insight into the history and contemporary context of the processes behind the books.

Books: Art, Craft & Community by London Centre for Book Arts

Miroslav Sasek by Martin Salisbury

Czech artist Miroslav Šašek (1916–1980) was remarkable for his unique and pioneering approach to non-fiction picture books, illustrating daily life as if seen from a child’s perspective. In this book, Martin Salisbury analyses Šašek’s multifarious oeuvre, and how he became one of the twentieth century’s most beloved and significant contributors to the world of picture books.

Miroslav Sasek by Martin Salisbury (Via Counterprint)

Hey: Design & Illustration

This revised and expanded second edition of Hey: Design & Illustration contains many new projects as well as the work and collaborations carried out as part of the studio’s expansion into the world of retail. Working in a variety of mediums and fields, uniting both spheres of graphic design and illustration seamlessly, the work and accompanying text within this book covers clients such as Monocle, Paypal, Nokia and Uniqlo, as well as promotional pieces and illustrations that give an insight into how the studio’s ideas are hatched and their problems solved.

Hey: Design & Illustration (via Counterprint)

Gadgets and stationery gifts for creatives

Office Bag by Present & Correct

A gift idea that promises to change someone’s life, this Office Bag is made from thick, kraft board and faux leather handles, and it opens up into a portable desk. Sheer genius! It’ll suit those who use co-working spaces or coffee shops and want to carry their office with them. Inside you will find space for tools, paper and more, plus there are five sections that pull out for a permanent set-up. It closes with a strong magnetic seal.

Office Bag by Present & Correct

The Colour of Things Notebooks by Tom Crawshaw

We’re a little bit in love with this series of six beautifully crafted notebooks featuring foiled typographic covers. Designed by Tom Crawshaw, each one features a collection of seemingly unconnected things but they share one common element: colour.

Notebooks by Tom Crawshaw

Italian Toolbox by Present & Correct

Any stationery-obsessed creative will love you for this smart, useful toolbox from Italy. Made of steel, painted grey and dark green, it’s a substantial size and in the top tier, you find 12 removable plastic compartments, which are ideal for small tools and parts. Heaven.

Italian Toolbox via Present & Correct

OneStep camera by Polaroid

In this digital age, photos are forgotten almost the moment they’re taken. Let your loved ones make real memories instead, by gifting them a retro-style instant camera. We love the OneStep+ i-Type Camera: an analogue instant camera with a clean, contemporary design, inspired by the iconic Polaroid OneStep camera of days gone by.

OneStep+ i-Type Camera by Polaroid

Type Planner 2022 by Marjolein Delhaas

Back for another year via Present & Correct, this wonderful type planner for 2022 comes in a fresh set of colours. With flat lay tomes exposing Coptic binding, it has a year overview inside and then week to view pages. It’s a paperback with painted edges. And at the back is a blank notes section, always useful. Designed by Marjolein Delhaas in Rotterdam.

Type Planner 2022 by Marjolein Delhaas

Gifts for creative fashionistas

Laptop Tote Bags by MAMIMU

Keeping with its Japanese roots, MAMIMU’s Laptop Tote Collection was developed with the spirit of Omotenashi – the Japanese word for ‘wholehearted hospitality’. Its features include secure double-compartments to hold a laptop and A4 documents (no one knows you are carrying a laptop), as well as handy pockets for all your daily essentials. Durable, lightweight and travel friendly. The screen-printed designs are of the artist MAMIMU’s manhole collection from Tokyo, London and New York.

MAMIMU Laptop Tote Collection

Scarf by Hilary Grant

This St Ives design by Orkney-based textile design studio, Hilary Grant, comes in a gorgeous ‘sea pink and oxide green’ and is knitted and hand-finished in Scotland from 100% superfine Lambswool. Other designs are available but this is our favourite.

Scarf by Hilary Grant

Ceramic jewellery by Beth Lamont

Beth Lamont jewellery collections bring striking simplicity to an outfit, with little splashes of colour added through rope or glazing. Inspired by the clean form and feel of ceramics, she makes unique pieces that stand out and make a statement about the wearer and their individual style.

Ceramic jewellery by Beth Lamont

Happy-sad puffer bag by Lazy Oaf

Celebrating their 20th anniversary soon, Lazy Oaf is one of the good guys, and do regular collaborations with the creative community. This happy-sad puffer bag is a great way to celebrate the fact that life has its ups and downs, but we all just keep on going.

Puffer bag by Lazy Oaf

Zebra Necklace by Materia Rice & Miriam Frank

This Zebra Necklace from Materia Rica is bold and playful, created in collaboration with tattoo artist Miriam Frank and brought to life in the Materia Rica workshop in Barcelona. It’s inspired by the artist’s love of nature. Laser-cut and carefully hand-painted, it has a gorgeous handmade finish.

Zebra Necklace by Materia Rice

Cloudy fleecey scarf by King Owusu

Another treat from Lazy Oaf, isn’t this fleecy scarf just amazing? It’s one of those great designs that’s brilliantly simple, and yet utterly entrancing. Consider us fans, and we’d be overjoyed to get one of these for Christmas.

Scarf by Lazy Oaf

Gifts for the creative home

QT-30 Flip Clock in Yellow by TWEMCO

Crafted by TWEMCO, this yellow QT-30 Flip Clock has been expertly crafted in Hong Kong using the finest quality materials and is fitted with exquisite German movement for a precise time. Developed with style and personality, it’s a vintage flip-clock that’s a contemporary take on an industrial staple.

QT-30 Flip Clock in Yellow by TWEMCO

The Party Sculpture by Aman Khanna

Created in observation of “the common man and his dilemmas”, the Party Sculpture is designed by ceramicist Aman Khanna and handcrafted using unglazed white stoneware clay. It’s inspired by the notion that we’re all “negotiating life, one by one by one” and Khanna’s hope is that the figures will challenge you to think. As every The Party Sculpture is handcrafted, each piece leaving Khanna’s workshop carries its own uniquely charming expression.

The Party Sculpture by Aman Khanna

Scatter Cushion by Yinka Ilori

London-based multi-disciplinary artist Yinka Ilori draws upon his own British Nigerian heritage to create stories through his work. Here he uses the jacquard weaving technique to weave the intricate patterns of the designs directly into the cotton. The result is a soft and luxurious feel, whilst also being very hard-wearing.

Scatter cushion by Yinka Ilori

12″ Vinyl Record Chopping Board by Pikkii

Prepare and serve your greatest hits on this 12-inch vinyl record inspired chopping and serving board by Pikkii. Produced from premium sustainable bamboo, the LP cutting board has two sides; Side A for chopping and cutting, and side B, with its laser-engraved grooves, for serving and impressing your guests. A must-have kitchen accessory for music lovers and DJs alike.

12″ Vinyl Record Chopping Board by Pikkii

Len Felted Wool Decoration by Cari Vander Yacht

There are a whole heap of gorgeous hanging decorations via Wrap this season, made of felted wool by various artists. It was so difficult to choose just one but we just love this pooping pup by Cari Vander Yacht. Even better, it’s handcrafted in Nepal, as part of a project that provides employment and opportunities to Nepalese women living in poverty.

Len Felted Wool Decoration by Cari Vander Yacht

PC Portable Table Light by Hay

Pierre Charpin’s PC Portable Lamp is a refined and portable freestanding lamp for indoor and outdoor use. Constructed in robust plastic and featuring a matte scratch- and water-resistant finish, its battery-powered design gives the freedom and flexibility to move it anywhere.

PC Portable Table Light by Hay

Nappula Plant Pot by Iittala

Designer Matti Klenell took inspiration for this elegant plant pot from a peculiarly shaped table with ‘swollen’ feet at the Iittala Glass Museum. A fun play on the signature silhouette with its flowing curved design, this pot invites you to bring a slice of nature inside.

Nappula plant pots in beige and white by Matti Klenell for Iittala

Abstract Shapes Towel by Donna Wilson

Who buys anyone towels for Christmas, I hear you say! And we’d agree, usually. But we couldn’t resist adding these colourfully clashing abstract towels to our gift list. Designed by Donna Wilson, they’re super-soft and made from absorbent cotton, perfect for the bathroom, gym or beach.

Abstract Shape Towels by Donna Wilson

Mugs by Maz Leyden

Maz Leyden is an illustrator and textile designer working from his studio near the Malvern Hills in Worcestershire. He loves making images of the natural world using bright colours and squiggly curves and wants people to feel happy and positive when they see them. We certainly do, and we reckon they’d make great gifts to put a smile on your loved ones’ faces.

Mugs by Maz Leyden

Rainbow Coasters by Pikkii

Colour is everything for us creatives. It’s why this unique set of five cork-backed wooden drink mats will warm the hearts of any artist and designer. Designed by Pikkii, a London-based studio that creates fun, sustainable and thoughtful gifts, games and lifestyle items guaranteed to make you smile and feel happy inside.

Rainbow Coasters by Pikkii

Art Trays by various artists via Wrap

If your pal can’t get enough art in their home or have run out of space on their walls, then these Art Trays by Wrap will definitely raise a smile. Available in different shapes and prints from various collaborating artists including Cari Vander Yacht, Alejandra Garcia Y Gutierrez, Isabelle Feliu, and many more.

Art Trays by various artists via Wrap

LEGO Wooden Home Accessories by Room Copenhagen

Let’s face it, who isn’t mad about LEGO? Now, for the very first time, you can get something pretty special for your friend’s home that pays tribute to the popular toy, as LEGO launches its first-ever wooden home accessories collection this December. Brought to the market via Room Copenhagen, the new range includes picture frames, wall hangers, book racks and desk drawers – so there’s something for everyone. It’ll be sold online via various retailers such as John Lewis, Nordic Nest and Moodings.

LEGO wooden home accessories by Room Copenhagen

Figurative Bowl by Karen Atherley Ceramics

Can we all just take a moment to admire this large figurative bowl by Karen Atherley? Decorated with colourful slips and a transparent glaze plus the addition of ceramic decals, this will suit the design maximalist in your life.

Figurative Bowl by Karen Atherley Ceramics

Prints and posters for creative walls

Stamp Books: Modern by Dorothy

For the literature-loving graphic designers in your life, this brand new print by Dorothy features 42 books reimagined as collectable postage stamps and make up an oversized sheet, as you might find if buying stamps in bulk at the Post Office. It’s part of a new series called Stamp Books with two options available: Classics and Modern Classics. We’re opting for the more recent titles, as who could resist seeing Orwell’s 1984 in stamp form?

Stamp Books: Modern print by Dorothy

Music Icon Print by Tiny Riot

Tiny Riot is a three-person collective that sprung to life during the first lockdown. Together, they create playful, unique, beautifully crafted art prints. Craft is the key with even the logo focusing on the edgy but fun personality of their brand. The prints range from iconic rock and pop royalty to camo infused pop art. A must for fans of Freddie, Amy, David, George and Prince. We’ll have them all.

Music Icon Print by Tiny Riot

Waveform print by Alex Szabo-Haslam

For those who love electronic music, Alex Szabo-Haslam’s latest series of metallic and holographic artwork prints will make an excellent gift. Called Waveform, the silkscreen-printed pieces visualise the soundwaves generated by dance, rave and synth albums of British musicians including everyone from 808 State and Chemical Brothers to Aphex Twin and Massive Attack. It’s the third series of its kind to be released by the Sheffield-based designer over the last decade.

Waveform by Alex Szabo-Haslam

Grace Jones print by Stanley Chow

We love the work of illustrator Stanley Chow, and this interpretation of the iconic 1980s singer Grace Jones just blows our mind. This high-quality Giclée print is signed and stamped by the artist and comes on 300gsm archival fine art paper, which combines rich colours, deep blacks and a subtly textured finish.

Grace Jones print by Stanley Chow (Image courtesy of Egoiste Gallery)

Print by Martyna Makes

Illustrator and graphic designer Martyna Makes has a fab range of quirky prints and cards in her online shop. Each print is packed with care, with greyboard backing and cello wrap to protect it. Plus each card comes with an envelope, which is held securely via a satisfying peel-able sticker. We love this A4 print that reminds us it’s ok to have a wobble sometimes.

Print by Martyna Makes

Colourful Zodiacs by Jessica Smith

Originally painted in gouache, these gorgeous artworks by illustrator Jessica Smith are available in every sign of the Zodiac. A graduate of Falmouth University, Jessica loves to feature nature, plants, flowers, animals and people in her work while also playing around with fun colours and patterns. Choose your loved ones’ star sign for their walls.

Colourful Zodiacs by Jessica Smith

Gifts for creative foodies

Festive Foodie Hamper by That Counts

How about supporting a female-founded impactful gifting company based in South East London that believes in giving gifts that make a difference and specialise in thoughtfully curated, beautifully designed gift boxes filled with carefully selected products to support people and causes? Sounds ideal, right? That Counts is where to go if you’re looking for a hamper with a difference.

That Counts Gift Boxes

The Chocolate Library by Ocelot

Handcrafted, designed and packed in an Edinburgh-based chocolate factory, The Chocolate Library from Ocelot Chocolate is a rich and indulgent experience, exclusively available at The Conran Shop. Featuring the complete Ocelot chocolate collection, the bars are presented in plastic-free packaging printed on sustainable card, with a compostable inner film. The packaging is beautifully designed, too, making it pleasing to the eye and one to make any graphic designer happy this Christmas.

The Chocolate Library by Ocelot Chocolate

Cupping Box by Climpson & Sons

For anyone series about getting more involved in speciality coffee, this cupping box by east London’s Climpson & Sons is a great choice. If you didn’t know, cupping is the industry-wide term for tasting coffee and the method used to evaluate the characteristics of coffee.

The Ultimate Climpson’s Taster Box

Rainbow Extra Virgin Olive Oil by Frantoio Muraglia

Carrying one of the finest extra virgin olive oils in the world, this bottle from Frantoio Maglia is hand-painted with bold and colourful stripes, crafted by a small family atelier in Apulia. It contains oil with rich flavours favoured by Michelin Star chefs worldwide. And you can only get it from The Conran Shop.

Rainbow Extra Virgin Olive Oil by Frantoio Muraglia

Creative Boom

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