Holiday Gifts Artists Can Make

Holiday Gifts Artists Can Make.jpg

Holiday season is upon us, with Christmas commercials playing on TVs and festive decorations for sale in various stores.

With the holiday season comes the stress of not knowing what to get anyone. Or if you’re an artist and you plan on using your skills for gift giving, what to make.

This blog post will provide you with 5 options, perfect for any budget and level of skill.

Collage

You will need:
  • Magazines
  • Newspapers
  • Photographs
  • Wrapping Paper
  • A Pencil
  • A Piece of Paper
  • Canvas or Cardstock
  • Scissors
  • Paintbrush
  • Modpodge

The nice thing about a collage is that any material can be used. Look around your house for things like old magazines, newspapers, and wrapping paper. Even if you think you might not use it, collect it, as you never know what will work for a collage until you start designing it.

Next, think about the person or people you’ll be gifting to. What are their interests? What does their home decor look like? What inspires them? Try to align your gift with the answers to those questions.

A lot of people like to display art in their homes, and so if you make your gift something they could display easily, the more they’ll like it!

Now that you’ve thought of what themes, colors, or composition they might like, take a piece of paper and start designing what you’ll do by outlining your ideas in pencil.

Maybe the person you’re making this for likes nature, so you could make a mountain range out of pictures of the sky. Make mountain outlines in pencil, so you’ll know how to cut the pictures and where to put them.

Once you’re finished designing, take a canvas or piece of cardstock and copy your finished pencil design onto the surface of whatever it is you are using. Cut out images, writing, or patterns from the magazines, newspapers, and wrapping papers that you have found.

Using your modpodge and your paintbrush, glue the cutouts onto the paper and let the collage dry thoroughly. Once the glue is all dry, cover the finished collage with modpodge. It will dry clear, leaving a protective coat of varnish over the piece.

Scrapbook

You will need:
  • An Empty Scrapbook
  • Photographs
  • Scissors
  • Photo-safe Glue or Tape
  • Ink Pens
  • Ribbons (optional)
  • Stickers (optional)
  • Stencils (optional)

The most important thing about scrapbooking is thinking about what you’d like to tell with the pictures that you put inside. Is there a certain theme? Would you like to convey a story? How many pictures will you include?

Once you have the answers to those questions, you can start gathering the materials needed.

When choosing a scrapbook, you could buy a scrapbooking kit, which will likely include ribbons, stickers, and stencils, or you can buy an individual scrapbook and purchase the other materials separately.

Think about the size of book needed. If you’re doing a larger project, with many photos, get a 12×12 book. For a smaller project, go with an 8×8.

Gather all of your photographs and play around with layouts. Don’t glue anything down until you are 100% sure of where everything will go. Once you are sure, attach the photos to the pages of the scrapbook.

When choosing layouts, keep in mind the emphasis you want to put on each picture. Pages with only one picture on them will create the most emphasis, pages with 3 or 4 will have the least. You can skillfully use this to highlight certain moments.

Once you have all the pictures glued in, you can decorate the blank spaces with ribbons, stickers, stencils, dates and locations, and quotes.

Portrait

Portraits are a great way to practice your human anatomy skills, and will be a gift appreciated by whomever you give it to. It doesn’t have to be realistic though. If you are a cartoonist, you could turn them into a cartoon character!

They’re also great for almost any medium. If you’re a sketcher, a comic book artist, a digital artist, a painter, a lover of charcoals, etc., you’ll have the tools needed to make a portrait.

The only tricky thing about doing a portrait as a gift is keeping it a surprise. Why? Because you’ll probably need a good reference picture or two. And if you don’t already have one, it might be difficult to get one without them wondering why.

If you do need a good reference picture, ask them to take a selfie with you. That way you can control the posing and lighting.

And portraits don’t just have to be of humans. You could also do a portrait of someone’s pet. People love their pets, and it will be a gift treasured for years.

Decorative Art

As mentioned in the collage section, if it matches their decor, the gift receiver is more likely to display it in their home. So why not make a piece that is specifically for decoration?

In order to do this, you will need to decide which room the piece will be designed for. That way you’ll have an idea, not only for color, but also for theme.

Here are some theme ideas for different rooms:

  • Living Room – Warmth, Gathering, Family, Friendship
  • Dining Room – Food, Drinks, Gathering, Nourishment
  • Bathroom – Calm, Water, Cleansing, Nature
  • Office/Study – Knowledge, Growth, Happiness, Success
  • Bedroom – Love, Warmth, Calm, Personal

Decorative art can be done in any medium, from sculpting to painting. It can also be done in any style from pop art to abstract. Because of this it offers the most freedom, and can be the most fun to do.

Personalized Item

Personalized items can be done in any way, from a picture frame meant for a specific picture, or a necklace made for a special someone. Because of this, I won’t tell you how to personalize the item, whether to take a pre-existing thing and make it unique, or to create something from nothing.

I will provide a list of ideas though.

  • Picture frame
  • Calendar
  • Vase
  • Table runner
  • Placemat
  • Mug
  • Bookmark
  • Earrings
  • Necklace
  • Bracelet
  • Birdhouse
  • Stickers
  • Pencil Case

Feel free to come up with your own ideas though, or put your own spin on things.

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