Struggling to create last-minute custom, thoughtful and elegant holiday gift ideas?
If you’re like me, you’ve just glanced at the calendar and realized you have 10 days before Christmas and an overwhelming sense of panic has set in. Despite considering myself to be a very organized, planner-loving non-procrastinating person, I somehow always manage to run into a doom induced rush right before the holidays. Perhaps it’s all the parties, school events, and business related pile of things to keep track of that gift-giving always, despite my best effort, falls short.
BUT, that doesn’t mean it’s over and that you’ll be forced to buy something generic, non-personalized or repeat a gift from previous years. If you have some paper, some paints and a brush or two, I’m going to show you what you can create in the comfort of your own home and give a very touching, beautiful and styled holiday gift. Let’s get right into it.
1. Framed Art Prints
Last-minute print gifts are incredibly fast and easy to do! These are really simple and customizable gifts that you can print at home, or take to a local printer – small printer place or even staples, Costco or photo-labs that can print for you. Using a standard framing size, head to a local home décor store and find a frame. Finish off with some nice wrapping paper, a hand written note or card, and a dried floral in the bow and voila, a super thoughtful personalized gift ready for the holidays.
For some digital prints with an INSTANT download, head to my Etsy Shop.
2. A personalized Christmas tree ornament.
This year, I’ve taken to making most of our Christmas ornaments because we are living overseas and don’t have our annual collection of ornaments and décor. I also don’t want to spend too much money on decorations and then have to leave them or travel back home with them. So, I’ve used oranges that I’ve dehydrated and paired them with a nice velvet ribbon, as well as little bunches of dried florals such as eucalyptus and baby’s breath and created very soft ornaments. A great gift idea would be taking one of these and taking some watercolor paper, adding some soft watercolour paint strokes and adding a little note to it.
3. Watercolor Place Settings and Napkin Set
Lastly, and perhaps my favourite if you’re into sewing and can stitch rather quickly is going to a local fabric store, or local market selling kitchen or home goods, and finding a neutral, everyone-will-love kind of fabric and making little napkins with them. Then, cut out some rectangular shaped name tags (2x3” would be perfect) and adding some soft watercolour, create large brush strokes where the names would be. Leave them blank, though I’m showing you how they could look with names on them. Fold and tie them with some pretty ribbon or bows, and add a dried floral arrangement in the tie.
Then the giftee can use this table setting set for their next dinner party or event!
What do you need to get started?
To simplify things for you and make your gift-giving even easier, here you'll find all the things I used to create the three above-noted gifts.
1. Watercolor Paper / Cotton Paper. If you can get your hands on some nice handmade cotton paper, those will make the loveliest little cards for name settings. However, if you don't have the time or a local paper shop, watercolour paper (such as Canson, Arches or Strathmore) will do just fine!
2. Watercolor Paints: I'm using Winsor and Newton's Professional Watercolour Paint Tubes in perylene green and sepia to create my brush strokes.
3. Brushes: Princeton Neptune Round 12 to 20 Brush.
4. Ribbons: I'm using Fringe and Rose velvet ribbons, but any ribbon, twine or string would do if you're strapped for time.
6. Oranges (dehydrated in the oven for 2 hours on 175 C)
7. Dried Florals, particularly greens.
8. Raw Linen Table Napkins.
If you get to making one or all of these, please share your creations with me on Instagram, @donatadelanoart.
I'd love to feature your little works of art!