I don’t know about you, but I rediscovered my creative side during all the lockdowns! From teaching myself brush lettering to embroidery, painting to origami, I gave a lot of activities a go! For me, creativity is a real mindful activity. We look at screens all day every day, so these gift ideas are a great way to encourage someone to disconnect and do something with their hands. Heck, it’s an even better gift idea if you’re going to join them for a workshop too! There’s a great range of creative ideas in this guide to suit whatever you are interested in.
My independent Milton Keynes Christmas Gift Guide features independent businesses from Milton Keynes and the surrounding areas to inspire you to shop small this Christmas. There are 12 guides in total for you to peruse, so grab a cuppa, a notebook and start shopping local!
Creative gift ideas from independent businesses in Milton Keynes
- The Flower Boutique
- Lettered By Annie
- MK Arts Centre
- Needle & Stem
- Social Pottery
- Something Less Boring
The Flower Boutique
The Flower Boutique is a local artisan florist based in Woburn Sands creating beautiful blooms for all occasions that specialise in fresh and dried floral arrangements and kits. They offer luxury, everlasting, unique dried floral designs at super affordable prices, but I’m here to showcase their amazing DIY wreath kits (from £40) that give you the opportunity to practice and develop your floristry skills in the comfort of your own home.
With the help of an online tutorial, you can create your very own Christmas wreath from scratch. Choose from six gorgeous designs and prepare to get your creative juices flowing.
Looking for a special gift for a stationery addict and notebook lover? Got2Jot is a local fashion stationery brand that has curated a range of gorgeous gifts for Christmas. With luxury gift boxes and letterbox gifts that come beautifully hand gift-wrapped and with the option of a card and personal message, they take all the hassle out of Christmas shopping for you.
The Stationery Lover Gift Box (£35) is packed full of goodies to keep you organised in style and surrounded by positivity. Shop by heading to Got2Jot’s website.
Lettered by Annie
During the first lockdown, I taught myself brush lettering using Annie’s amazing home calligraphy kit and workbook! I also managed to create my own Christmas crackers (which had to wait until Easter to be used once Boris had cancelled Christmas…)
It’s a lovely activity to do and once you’ve mastered it, you can create so many fun projects for yourself. I made all my own labels last year for Christmas and I still use my skills now. The kits are a great gift to give as you get a workbook and pen or you could purchase a voucher for one of the in-person workshops which are back up and running again.
MK Arts Centre
Milton Keynes Arts Centre is situated in the heart of the 18th century Great Linford Manor Park and presents a programme of artists’ projects, events and educational activities inspired by its unique location. They provide access to specialist ceramic, silversmithing and woodshop resources, and the space to explore new ideas and directions in the development of craft, design and the visual arts.
They host a fantastic range of workshops from various artists. I’ve done a pottery workshop by Andrew Macdermott which was just fantastic. As a registered charity and a key part of the community, they are well worth supporting. MKAC has a variety of short seasonal workshops and popular creative learning courses covering drawing, painting, printing, ceramics, calligraphy and more! Available to book now.
You can find out more about their courses and purchase gift vouchers on their website: miltonkeynesartscentre.org.
Needle & Stem
Needle & Stem is run by Heather who is an actor and started her businesses during the pandemic after falling in love with embroidery. She combines her love for house plants, succulents, herbs, self-empowerment and funny quotes to create Needle & Stem. These embroidery kits are modern and fun, with everything you need to create cute designs. I’ve done a Needle & Stem project myself and although my sewing skills were a little rusty, it’s a great way to block out the rest of the world!
For Christmas, Needle & Stem have some VERY cute bauble kits! There are two styles of kit: The classic Christmas which has a ‘ho ho ho’, ‘silent night’ and Holly design, or the plant Christmas style with a Santa Cacti, ‘Pucker Up’ Mistletoe & Plant in stocking design. The kits are ideal for anyone at any level, so whether you are a beginner or more advanced, there’s something for everyone and you get access to the exclusive YouTube channel which has handy tutorials for each design and various stitches.
Origami Est is run by paper enthusiast Esther Thorpe. Est has a knack for making beautiful paper items for your home, be it striking lampshades, clocks or sweet paper peonies. She’s equally passionate about sharing her love for paper folding and runs amazing online and in-person courses where you too can fold your own fairy lights, clock or even lampshade. If you don’t have time for a dedicated class no worries because Est also has her own book as well as kits for mini-projects. All are ideal Christmas gifts for a creative Christmas.
Social Pottery is a new addition to Woburn Sands’ high street. The friendly team are passionate about the relaxing powers of pottery painting and welcome absolutely everyone – no age restrictions and no experience required! Pottery painting experiences last between 1 and 2 hours and offer a chilled-out atmosphere to catch up and get creative. It’s also a great space for children to get their hands dirty (which is very much encouraged!) Things get a little more lively in their extended evening sessions when you’re welcome to bring your own booze – perfect for get-togethers, team building and celebrations.
I recently visited Social Pottery and had an amazing evening creating a lovely vase! I’d definitely recommend it as something fun to do with friends and family.
Gift vouchers start at £15. Brand new Social Pottery kits are now available too. From £38, these bespoke kits have all you need to create and paint pottery using high-quality air dry clay and acrylic.
Visit www.socialpottery.com to find out more.
QUOTE SOPHIE ETC WHEN YOU BOOK (PHONE OR EMAIL) AND GET £5 OFF EVENING SESSIONS ON TUESDAYS, THURSDAYS AND FRIDAYS.
Something Less Boring
SLB Gift Vouchers are the perfect gift for the creative person in your life. Valid for the whole range of activities from the popular, relaxed sip and paint sessions at venues such as The White Hart in Sherington, Out of Office Coffee Houses, Saxby’s Cider Farm in Farndish, The Star & Garter in Silsoe and The Quirk Space in Olney.
Open to all abilities, Something Less Boring supplies all the materials and usually a drink too! They are also expanding their range of workshops too in 2022 to include drawing courses at Chester House Estate near Wellingborough, Life Drawing and Printing in Emberton. 2022 also sees the return of Silver Jewellery Workshops with Beccy Gillatt (I’ve done one of these, and it’s great fun!)
If you fancy a night in, the online workshops are easily accessible via Zoom with a regular schedule of at least five different sessions a week. My Mum and I thoroughly enjoyed doing some of these!
I hope that this Christmas gift guide inspires you to get creative this festive season and helps you find some gift ideas for those creative and crafty folk in your life. I’d love to know what businesses you support this year – Make sure you let them know who sent them your way!
Happy shopping! Which creative gifts and experiences will you purchase this year?
BROWSE my other Christmas gift guides:
- Independent Milton Keynes Christmas Gift Guide: Eco-Friendly Gifts
- Independent Milton Keynes Christmas Gift Guide: Wellbeing & Mindful Gift Ideas
- Independent Milton Keynes Christmas Gift Guide: Foodie Gifts & Experiences
- Independent Milton Keynes Christmas Gift Guide: Boozy Christmas Gifts & Festive Tipples
- Independent Milton Keynes Christmas Gift Guide: Edible Gifts & Stocking Fillers