2018 Gift Guide: Gift Ideas for Creatives

We’re kicking off our first official gift guide of the season with some gift ideas for creatives! I did things a bit differently this year and asked for input through Instagram stories – and you guys all had some really great suggestions! We’ve got a little bit of everything below, from books and art supplies to my favorite styling resources. So whether you’re searching for gift ideas for your creative friends or planning to send this gift guide to your well-meaning family and friends, hopefully you’ll find the perfect holiday gift below!

2018 Gift Guide for Creatives / Oh So Beautiful Paper

1 – 4 Styling Supplies: So many of you said you’d love to receive styling supplies and equipment as a gift! My favorite styling boards and backdrops come from One Stone West (I especially love their canvas backdrops) and Woodville Workshop. I also love using small ceramic dishes from Suite One Studio and The Object Enthusiast in photos to hold small things like cute paper clips, wax seals, and vintage postage stamps. Finally, a good telescoping tripod and light diffusers are essential pieces of equipment for taking beautiful photos. Plume Calligraphy and Angela Liguori offer some beautiful styling pieces, including vintage ink wells and glassine envelopes – you can also browse eBay for vintage ink wells! This handmade ceramic watercolor palette is both a beautiful piece of equipment and would look gorgeous in photos!

5 – A desk calendar is a wonderful gift idea! I love this simple black and white calendar from Our Heiday, but you can find even more calendars right here!

6 and 8 – Apple Pencil and Procreate Brushes: I heard from a number of calligraphers and illustrators out there with an iPad Pro and Apple Pencil on their holiday wish list! But if you’re lucky enough to already have those powerful tools in your arsenal, Isidore Augustine just released a brand new set of Procreate brushes just for calligraphers

7 – Scissors: Every creative person needs a beautiful set of scissors, and Angela Liguori makes the most beautiful scissors on the planet! These Fiskars scissors are my go-to for everyday crafting.

9 – Gift Cards! I know gift cards can seem like a lame gift idea, but they have the potential to be a really personal and thoughtful gift if done well! A few gift card ideas: an Airbnb Gift Card to help your favorite creative go on a solo weekend creative retreat, a gift certificate for a manicure at a local nail salon (especially for calligraphers and stationers), And for someone just starting out might really appreciate a gift certificate to a high-end supplier like Artisaire (wax seals) or Pressed Paper (handmade paper), or even to Blick Art Supplies or a local art supply store.

10 – Artist Supplies and Equipment: So many options! Choose from shiny crafting machines like the Minc Foil Applicator or Silhouette Cameo (I have both and LOVE them!), invest in a heavy duty paper trimmer, or keep things simple with paint, paper, and pens. It’s the perfect chance to try something new, like this Artist Pad Collection from Legion Paper with twelve 9×12 drawing and watercolor pads, this Coptic pen set, or this watercolor set from Sakura of America. Oh, and don’t forget a nice bag to carry things with! I’ve had my eye on this Madewell leather tote and this Everlane tote

11 – Books and Magazines: So many great book ideas for artists! Check out the shopping widget below for a few of my favorite suggestions, including The Designer’s Dictionary of Color and The Gift of Calligraphy. A subscription to a cool magazine like Uppercase is also a great gift idea!

12 – Classes and Workshops: Online classes and in-person workshops are a fantastic way to develop creative skills and find new inspiration. Look around for in person workshops in your area, including letterpress printing, screen printing, calligraphy, watercolor painting, paper marbling, weaving, macramé, etc. If in-person classes aren’t an option, look for online classes you can gift – or gift a Skillshare membership! I love the online weaving and natural dyeing classes from Rachel at Smile and Wave, and Simply Jessica Marie offers a range of online watercolor and brush lettering classes.

13 – This amazing Wood Drawing Board and Portable Easel would be such a lovely gift for a painter or illustrator!

14 – This adorable enamel pin by Cami Monet would be a perfect stocking stuffer for your favorite artist!

Stationery A-Z: Dessert Birthday Cards

There are a lot of fun activities associated with birthdays, but for me, the excuse to pile on the sugar tops the list. Whether you prefer birthday cake to cupcakes, donuts to pie, there are endless ways to celebrate! Have a friend with a birthday coming up? Whip up an extra delicious treat (this one sounds pretty perfect) and pair it with a corresponding dessert-inspired card design! From anthropomorphic slices of cake to a triple stacked ice cream cone, we’re rounding up some awesome dessert birthday cards. Yum! – Shauna

Dessert Birthday Cards!

From top left:

1. This smiling cake is sure to make anyone’s birthday just a little bit sweeter. From Hello!Lucky.

2. This risograph printed design doesn’t mince words (or delicious sugary images). From another San Francisco-based stationer, Yellow Owl Workshop.

3. Treat yourself to this fun scratch off donut birthday greeting card courtesy of Inklings Paperie.

4. This Idlewild Co. design looks almost too delicious to send. I wish I knew what real life pastries these were based on!

5. Isn’t the entire point of baking for friends so that you can partake too? Mr. Boddington definitely agrees.

6. This Shannon Kristen painted birthday design would make a delectable side dish to a real life matching one.

7. Say it with ice cream, or don’t say it all all. Especially a triple decker number from Anne & Kate.

8. Don’t let gluten hold you back! Embrace the gluten-free diet with this hand-lettered design from Smudge Ink.

9. Richie Design offers two items with universal appeal: cupcakes and letterpress printed greeting cards.

10. Loving this clever play on everyone’s favorite 50 cent birthday number. By the clever cats over at Ladyfingers Letterpress.

11. This sweet illustrated monkey offers up just as sweet a birthday treat. From JooJoo Paper.

12. More puns and more cake from Grove Street Press. What could be wrong?!

DIY Googly Eye Classroom Valentines

Okay, so this officially qualifies as last minute – but hey, as a busy mom, pretty much EVERYTHING I do is last minute. Luckily there’s a printable in this post and these Valentines take all of 10 minutes from start to finish, which makes them the perfect solution for busy moms everywhere. I made these DIY googly eye classroom Valentines with my 3 year-old in mind. She can’t yet read the words and she definitely doesn’t understand puns yet, but googly eyes? Every toddler can get behind googly eyes! We’ll be pairing our Valentines with cute temporary tattoos (another toddler favorite), but you could easily staple these to a gift bag full of Valentine’s Day candy or punch a hole in the top and use them as oversized gift tags!

DIY Googly Eye Classroom Valentines / Oh So Beautiful Paper

So here’s the thing about preschoolers: even though they’re only just now learning how to write and read, they LOVE writing letters to each other. At my daughter’s preschool, each child has their own little mailbox where they can leave each other notes, and I’m constantly delivering envelopes to the teachers because the kids “write” so many letters to each other. It’s just the cutest thing ever. Our school is having a Valentine’s Day social tomorrow morning and I can’t wait to see these tiny humans all exchange Valentine’s Day cards with each other!

DIY Googly Eye Classroom Valentines / Oh So Beautiful Paper

To make the googly eye classroom Valentines:

Step 1. Download the free printable here and print onto any color card stock. I can’t resist an opportunity to use my Heidi Swapp Minc foil applicator, so I turned mine into gold foil Valentines – but they also look super cute in black and white! Trim the cards down to size using scissors or a paper cutter.

Step 2. Apply a small dot of school glue to the back of a pair of googly eyes (mine are from Michaels) and place them on the card – or let your toddler do it! Allow to dry. If you don’t have googly eyes on hand, try drawing a pair of eyeballs instead! Write the name of each recipient at the bottom, along with your child’s name, then adhere to a Valentine’s Day treat of your choice.

DIY Googly Eye Classroom Valentines / Oh So Beautiful Paper

DIY Googly Eye Classroom Valentines / Oh So Beautiful Paper

I’m also planning to print a bunch of these for my 1 year-old’s daycare class. Googly eyes! The perfect solution for tiny humans of all ages. Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

DIY Googly Eye Classroom Valentines / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Download the printable template right here!

Photo Credits: Nole Garey for Oh So Beautiful Paper

All artwork is created for personal use only and may not be altered, reproduced, or sold in any way without prior written consent.

Best of 2015: DIY

Oh So Beautiful Paper: The Best of 2015 / Calligraphy by Cast Calligraphy

Image by Cast Calligraphy

We had SO many fun DIY projects on OSBP this year! Lots of really pretty printables, from tropical envelope liners to calligraphy Halloween favor bags, and some fun DIY foil projects where I tried (and failed) to resist the urge to put hologram foil on everything in sight. There were DIY rubber stamp wedding invitations and save the dates, and way more DIY party and entertaining ideas than in previous years. Also, paper flowers! I’ve been loving Rachael’s crepe paper flower posts and Mandy made some amazing gold paper air plants before heading off on maternity leave last year. We ended the year on a DIY high note with one of my all time favorite projects: DIY gold and copper leaf gift tags! And I’ve got lots of new DIY ideas and projects up my sleeves for 2016 that I can’t wait to share with all of you! But in the meantime, here are a few of my absolute favorite DIY projects from 2015!

DIY Balloon Cocktail Shaker Engagement Party Invitations / A Fabulous Fete for Oh So Beautiful Paper

DIY Balloon Engagement Party Invitation in a Cocktail Shaker

DIY Gold Paper Air Plants / Craftcourse Nashville for Oh So Beautiful Paper

DIY Gold Paper Air Plants!

Printable Watercolor Wedding Stationery Details / Bright Room Studio for Oh So Beautiful Paper

Printable Hand Lettered Watercolor Wedding Stationery Details

Printable Tropical Envelope Liners / Swiss Cottage Designs for Oh So Beautiful Paper

Printable Tropical Envelope Liners

DIY Hologram Foil Ice Cream Wrappers / Oh So Beautiful Paper

DIY Hologram Foil Ice Cream Cone Wrappers

DIY Crepe Paper Poppy Escort Cards / Appetite Paper for Oh So Beautiful Paper

DIY Crepe Paper Poppy Escort Cards

Printable Calligraphy Halloween Favor Bags / A Fabulous Fete for Oh So Beautiful Paper

Printable Calligraphy Halloween Favor Bags

DIY Pink and Gold Foil Advent Calendar / Oh So Beautiful Paper

DIY Pink and Gold Foil Paper Flower Advent Calendar

DIY Gold and Copper Leaf Hexagon Gift Tags / Oh So Beautiful Paper

DIY Gold and Copper Leaf Hexagon Gift Tags

Looking for even more DIY ideas and inspiration? Check out all of our past projects in the DIY archives!

DIY Paper Flower Advent Calendar

You guys! I’m SO excited to share today’s DIY post! I’ve been wanting to make an advent calendar for years, but I never really found something that felt quite like “me.” Well, along came my favorite Heidi Swapp Minc foil applicator and all of a sudden it just clicked! I shared a couple of DIY projects over the summer involving the Minc, but if you want to create your own DIY projects with the Minc you need access to a laser printer or copier since it works with toner ink. Well, for those of us that might not have regular access to a laser printer or copier, Heidi Swapp offers a few ready made DIY kits – including these amazing 3D flowers! I decided to pair the 3D flowers with some gold hexagon favor boxes from the Oh Happy Day party shop to create a DIY paper flower advent calendar of my dreams!

DIY Paper Flower Advent Calendar / Oh So Beautiful Paper

DIY Paper Flower Advent Calendar / Oh So Beautiful Paper

DIY Paper Flower Advent Calendar / Oh So Beautiful Paper

The Minc has easily become my favorite DIY tool in the last few months. You can find the Minc at Michael’s and craft stores, or pick one up right here. This was my first time experimenting with one of the readymade kits and I’m now completely obsessed with these 3D flowers. They come flat in sheets with pre-printed toner ink, so you just run them through the Minc to apply the foil – then pop them out and assemble the layers into beautiful flowers! I kind of want to do an entire backdrop using these gorgeous metallic flowers! But I’m getting ahead of myself. The holidays are just around the corner: advent calendars first!

DIY Paper Flower Advent Calendar / Oh So Beautiful Paper

DIY Paper Flower Advent Calendar / Oh So Beautiful Paper

DIY Paper Flower Advent Calendar / Oh So Beautiful Paper

To make the DIY paper flower advent calendar:

Step 1. Cut sheets of foil just big enough to fit over each flower sheet. We chose light pink, hot pink, gold, and silver hologram foil, and we were able to fit three sheets of flowers at a time in the Minc folder. Run the flowers through the Minc foil applicator on high heat (at least the “4” setting).

Step 2. Pop the foiled flowers out of each sheet and assemble flowers according to package instructions. You’ll want a total of twenty-five flowers with a nice mix of large, medium, and small flowers for the advent calendar.

Step 3. Print the advent calendar number template on text weight paper and cut out each number. Place a number under each flower, then adhere to the gold hexagon boxes using double-sided tape or removable mounting squares.

Step 4. Fill each box with candy or small trinkets! You can use removable mounting squares to mount the boxes to the wall, or just set them out on a side table to open and enjoy!

DIY Paper Flower Advent Calendar / Oh So Beautiful Paper

DIY Paper Flower Advent Calendar / Oh So Beautiful Paper

DIY Paper Flower Advent Calendar / Oh So Beautiful Paper

DIY Paper Flower Advent Calendar / Oh So Beautiful Paper

DIY Paper Flower Advent Calendar / Oh So Beautiful Paper

DIY Paper Flower Advent Calendar / Oh So Beautiful Paper

I can’t wait to start the advent calendar tradition with Sophie – she already spotted the flowers on my desk and she’s so excited to open all the little boxes! Are any of you planning to do an advent calendar this year?

This post was created in partnership with American Crafts. All content and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that make Oh So Beautiful Paper possible!

Photos by Nole Garey for Oh So Beautiful Paper