Secret Santa – £15 and under
Pop Up Christmas Cards – £6.99
Me&McQ’s 3D Christmas cards are the perfect way to give a thoughtful gift and decrease waste at the same time. Brits send around an estimated one billion Christmas cards each year, with only one in four of them going on to be recycled, but Me&McQ believe that greeting cards should be a keepsake that family members and friends keep for years to come. This year’s Christmas collection features 45 designs, all inspired by British countryside scenes, festive themes, magical fairy tales and the founder’s Chocolate Labrador Fable.
Each card is crafted by a small team of paper engineers and illustrators. The cards are laser cut, designed and made in the UK, and never use glue. They are available to buy on the Me&McQ website as well as Fortnum & Mason’s and Harrods.
Hard Lines Christmas Blend Coffee – from £13
Can your designer friend only function after a coffee? Put a festive spring in their step with Hard Lines’ Christmas Coffee Blend, Nadolig Llawen. Hard Lines likens this blend from El Salvador and Colombia to “a delicious, sticky kiss under the mistletoe” – a nod to its sticky toffee pudding flavours – and says it is perfect for both espresso and filter drinkers. You can buy a 250-gram bag on the Hard Lines website.
Sketch Book Challenge Notebook – £13.60
This is a great gift for a creative person who loves to draw and sketch. The sketchbook contains 52 drawing prompts, one for every week of the year, with a final page that includes reflective questions for when the sketchbook challenge is complete. It comes as a professionally printed A5 wire bound book, with thick uncoated pages and can be bought on Etsy.
Courses and experiences
The Design Trust Diary Planner and Online training – from £55
The Design Trust’s diary planners for 2024 have been written specifically for creative business owners. Each planner contains a Business Handbook, which comprises 50+ pages of tips, questions and exercises to work on, covering everything from planning and marketing to ideal clients and finance. It also includes quarterly and monthly planning tools for goal setting, prompts for getting into action and charts for keeping on track as well as monthly tips for what to focus on. The price of the diary planners includes six hours of business planning, marketing planning and financial planning training, which involves two live workshops in January 2024 with The Design Trust director Patricia van den Akker. You can buy the course and diary on The Design Trust website.
BBC Maestro – from £79
Whether it’s lessons on levelling up your Christmas dinner with cookery skills from Michelin-starred chef Marco Pierre White or adding comedy flair to Christmas crackers with the help of Sir Billy Connolly, there’s a BBC Maestro course that a creative friend might enjoy. The BBC Maestro platform features a series of extended, in-depth lessons filmed in 4K with experts in different fields. It offers individual courses, which can be purchased for £79, and annual subscriptions for £120, available to buy on the BBC Maestro website.
SketchUp course – £426
3D design software company SketchUp offers a six-module course perfect for beginners in interior design who want to learn how to use its software. It includes access to a private student Facebook group, one-to-one email support, a 89-page workbook and other resources. The one-off payment will also give your giftee lifetime access to the course, so they can do it at their own pace and revisit it if needed. The course can be purchased on SketchUp’s website.
Gadgets and stationary
Smart Notebook – from £32.99
Is your designer friend the type that wants to be sustainable but likes a classic pen to paper experience over typing? Rocketbook’s Smart notebook could make a great gift for them. Rocketbook Core has two sizes – A5and A4 – with two-page layout choices, lined or dotted. The price includes a Pilot FriXion pen and a microfibre towel to wipe pages when they’ve been uploaded. There’s also five different colours to choose from. Check it out on Rocketbook’s website.
Logitech MX Master 2S Wireless Mouse – from £39.90
The mouse is a must for designers who spend a lot of hours at their computer. The mouse only takes three minutes to charge enough for a whole day of use and has a scroll wheel that automatically switches between precise and hyper-fast scrolling to make getting through long documents and web pages easier. Its shape was designed to keep hands and wrists in a comfortable and natural position. Right now it’s on Amazon for £39.90 with 60% off its RRP for Black Friday.
Riedel Tasting Set – £125
If a designer friend is into wine tasting, they might like this Tasting Set of four glasses from Riedel’s Veloce series. Each glass differs in shape and is suited to a particular wine, including Cabernet, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. The glasses have a lighter and finer profile and feature an inscription of each recommended grape variety on the base. The Tasting Set is available for purchase on the Riedel website.
Jumbo Footed Ceramic Bowl by Ceramias do Moinho – £225
Ceramicas do Moinho’s Jumbo Footed Ceramic Bowls are moulded by hand and, while the base design is the same, each piece is subtly unique. The bowls are made in Carvalhal in Portugal and would be the perfect centre piece for any designer’s home. It could also serve as a fruit bowl or serving bowl. The makers ensured that it has a slightly speckled finish to give it an organic feel. The bowls are available to buy on the Studio Atkinson website.
Lizzie Scarlett Towndrow X Atelier 100 Mantle Vase – £50
Ceramic artist Lizzie Scarlett Towndrow took inspiration from floral designer Constance Spry’s 1930s mantle vase for this piece. Each vase has been hand-built from stoneware clay and painted to create a unique silhouette, making each vase one of a kind. This orange and white patterned vase has been exclusively created for Atelier100 and is available to purchase on its website.
Beautiful Thinking Home Fragrance, by 4160 Tuesday’s Sarah McCartney and Free the Birds – £29.99
This functional home fragrance has been designed to work on a mental and olfactory level, having a positive influence on brain function and creativity while also bringing a sense of peace and calm to a space. Ingredients include peppermint for mental function, cedar for cerebral function, Virginian Cedar and Cashmeran Velvet, which are woody smells, and rhubarb and upcycled Rose Absolute. The scent was blended by 4160 Tuesday’s Sarah McCartney and all profits will be donated to CREATE, a charity that empowers vulnerable people via the creative arts. Beautiful Thinking has its own dedicated website where you can buy the product.
Fenwick Luxury Vegan Hamper – £65
Want to treat your sweet-toothed vegan friend to some tasty treats? Then Fenwick’s Luxury Vegan Hamper is the perfect gift. It includes all kinds of sweet treats, from sticky popcorn and gold leaf truffles to delicious cookies and nutty spreads. You can purchase this gift on the Fenwick website.
Cellar by Mud Australia – from £55
For the bakers in among your friends and family, Mud Australia’s Cellar would be an aesthetic and thoughtful gift. All of Mud Australia’s products are handmade in its Sydney studio and there are slight irregularities in size, glaze and texture, which reflect the artisan nature of the product. The Cellar comes with a lid and can be used to store a variety of things, from salt, spice and condiments or even jewellery. It comes in a 19 colours, is oven and microwave safe and available on the Mud Australia website.
Accessories and clothes
The Rosy Robin Company Stockholm Scarf – £32
Arctic Fox & Co’s UK-made scarves use 50% deadstock acrylic and 50% deadstock polyester, materials that would otherwise go to landfill. The soft, fluffy and warm Stockholm scarf is sure to keep your designer friend warm. It is inspired by Swedish design, which is where it gets its name, Stockholm. The four colourways are autumnal falls, forest fern, ocean teal and arctic and it can be bought on Arctic Fox & Co’s website.
Missoma Lucy William Square Malachite Necklace – £98
If your designer friend has a spiritual side, this semi-precious stone necklace could be the gift for them. It features a vivid green malachite stone, which is said to draw out negative energy and pollutants from the body. Each Missoma piece is handcrafted by teams in India and Thailand, whose factories are regularly audited by the Responsible Jewellery Council and the company also uses recycled sterling and gold. This necklace is available on the Missoma website.
Wool and the Gang Blank Space Tank Easy Knitting Kit – from £68
Get your creative friend or family member a gift that will keep them busy with Wool and the Gang’s Blank Space Tank Easy Knitting Kit. It’s made with five to seven balls of fluffy Feeling Good Yarn – sustainably produced in Peru – in a twisted rib and should take around 20 hours to complete. There is the option to include the knitting and sewing needles, but if your giftee is an avid knitter they might already have these. There are also 22 colour choices. You can purchase the kit on Wool and the Gang’s website.
Scrounging: A Cook Book – £30
This cookbook is sure to impress any film buff with its collection of late-night, last-ditch recipes and back-of-the-pantry meals taken straight from movies. It includes everything from beverages, breakfasts, snacks and sandwiches from 54 films, like The Breakfast Club’s Pixy Stix sandwich, The Apartment’s tennis racket spaghetti, The Martian’s baked potato with Vicodin, and Home Alone’s 12-scoop ice cream sundae. Available to buy on A24’s website.
Fake Love Letters, Forged Telegrams, and Prison Escape Maps: Designing Graphic Props for Filmmaking – £29.95
Dublin-based designer Annie Atkins delves into the creative process behind her intricately designed, and visually stunning graphic props used in filmmaking, from invitations, letters, tickets to packaging that is rarely noticed a cinema audience. There are also 200 illustrations inside the book, which can be bought on Phaidon’s website.
The Pottery Kit by Sculpd – £39
This pottery kit can be used to create multiple designs, including drinks coasters, wall hangings and treasure pots. There are two options for the kit: one for 4-6-years-olds and one for 7–9-year-olds. Each kit includes two bags of air-drying clay, a 20-piece step by step beginner pottery guide, ten coloured paints, 26 letter stamps and one sculpting tool. It also provides five clay cutters, a rolling pin, paintbrushes and a sponge for smoothing. You can buy the kit on the Sculpd website.
Magnetic Toy Fidget Pen – £16.99
For older kids, this magnetic pen/finger fidget toy that can be made into a variety of shapes would be a great stocking filler. It has two stylus heads and can be used as a gel pen or touch screen pen. Since this includes 14 magnetic rings and 30 steel balls, its recommended for children aged 12+. Its available to buy on Amazon.
Banner image credit: Ardea-studio on Shutterstock