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11 totally awesome Christmas gift ideas for 2021

Buying presents is one of my favourite things about Christmas. That doesn’t mean that I enjoy going to big department stores, because I don’t. But I do love the satisfaction of finding the perfect gift for someone and seeing their face when they open it.

For me, Christmas shopping is made extra special by shopping small and buying from independent makers where I can. I like to think of it as buying two presents in one – you get a really lovely gift for your loved one and you get to support someone’s small business dream.

Festive gift inspiration from lovely small businesses for all budgets

With that in mind, I’ve pulled together a list of gift ideas to suit all budgets and to help you tick off everyone on your Christmas shopping list.

Each category includes items from the Jem Loves to Draw range of illustrated goodies, as well as an extra gift idea from another small business that I love buying from.

Someone super special: £50+

Let’s kick things off with the biggest budget and the VIPs at the very top of your shopping list – parents, partners and best mates.

One-of-a-kind watercolour paintings

Giving the gift of original artwork is a really lovely way to give a present that is totally unique and one-of-a-kind. An original painting is the ideal gift for someone super special in your life. And it’s often cheaper than you’d think.

My original watercolour paintings are hand-painted by me in my Bristol studio. You can find a range of sizes and designs on my Etsy shop – from cute ghosts to dancing puffins, and houseplants to poison dart frogs.

Prices start from £45 each from my Etsy shop, including a quality glass frame and UK delivery.

Gorgeous glass suncatchers by Sol Glass Studio

Whimsical whale glass suncatcher. Image © Sol Glass Studio

Glass suncatchers are a lovely way to brighten up a window on a dull day. Marta founded Sol Glass Studio in 2020 while working at a glass shop in Bristol. Looking at beautiful sheets of glass everyday inspired her to turn it into something more than a hobby. Marta’s pieces are inspired by nature, animals, bright colours and wilderness. I treated myself to one of her mountain suncatchers last year and it’s absolutely gorgeous.

If you’re looking for an eye-catching glass suncatcher for someone special, check out the Sol Glass Studio online shop.

Friends and family: up to £30

This group accounts for most of my Christmas shopping list – we’re talking siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, niblings and friends.

Animal-themed art prints for pretty much everyone

Art prints are a great gift idea. All you need to do is choose a design related to their interests, pop it in a nice frame and hey presto. They’re also an easy gift to pop in the post, minus the frame.

My awesome animal art prints are printed from my original watercolour paintings. You can find prints of all kinds of animals in my Etsy shop. With more than 40 different animals to choose from, I’ve got most bases covered – from your shark-obsessed nephew to your sister that just loves pandas, from your bird-watching gran to your best mate that went diving with sea turtles.

Prices range from £7.50 to £25 each from my Etsy shop, including standard UK delivery.

Awesome animal mugs, already in a printed gift box

Mugs make great gifts – especially when they’re teamed up with some fancy hot chocolate, posh tea bags or artisan coffee.

My range of awesome animal mugs are perfect for people who love animals and appreciate a good cuppa. These white ceramic mugs are a decent size with plenty of capacity for a morning coffee, afternoon cuppa, bedtime cocoa and everything in between.

Choose from a range of animal designs, available from my Etsy shop. Each mug comes packaged in a printed gift box, which means they’re nice and easy to wrap.

£12 each from my Etsy shop, including standard UK delivery.

Nature-inspired organic cotton t-shirts by Poison Oak Apparel

Tread carefully unisex tee. Image © Poison Oak Apparel

Poison Oak Apparel make ethically-conscious clothing, printed in Bristol with original designs that are inspired by nature. Their organic cotton clothing is super-soft and comfy, as well as being kinder to the planet. Much like mugs and socks, you can’t go wrong with a good quality t-shirt. I bought one of their unisex printed tees for my Dad last year and he wears it all the time.

If you’re looking for unique and eco-conscious clothing this Christmas, check out the Poison Oak Apparel online shop.

Secret Santa: £10 and under

I do love a Secret Santa, but it can be tough to find a good gift for £10 or less that isn’t a single-use novelty. If you’re looking for a gift that will last past January, these options are perfect for you.

Beautifully illustrated 2022 wall calendars

A calendar or planner is a great gift idea for Secret Santa that will last the whole year.

My 2022 wall calendar includes 12 different awesome animal illustrations. Each month features a full-page illustration and interesting facts about the animal, with plenty of space below to write in important dates. And at £10, it’s bang on budget for Secret Santa.

Nature-inspired and budget-friendly mini art prints

Little art prints or postcards are budget-friendly gifts that will be treasured for years to come.

My small but perfectly formed mini art prints are are a great way to brighten up a small space. These A5, 6″ square and 6×8″ prints are super easy and cheap to frame. They would look right at home on a desk, nestled on a shelf or hung on a noticeboard with a bulldog clip.

£7.50 each from my Etsy shop, including standard UK delivery.

Cute enamel pin badges by Rachel Hall Illustration

Astronaut enamel pin badge. Image © Rachel Hall Illustration

Rachel Hall creates illustrations inspired by her passions for pop culture, nature and mental wellbeing. She produces awesome art prints, but my favourite products from her shop are her enamel pin badges. Pin badges look great on a badge or jacket – plus they make great gifts and are super easy to send in the post. This astronaut design is one of my favourites from my own pin badge collection.

If you’re looking for cute enamel pins check out Rachel Hall Illustration on Etsy.

Little somethings: £5 and under

Sometimes you just want to give people a little something. That might be a small present for a colleague, a physical present to go alongside a gift voucher or a little gift for your kid’s teacher. These gift ideas are perfect for all of that, or for filling up space in a stocking.

Adventure-themed pocket notebooks

Notebooks are a practical gift idea for almost everyone – but especially people who love lists.

My A6 adventure-themed notebooks can be used as a travel diary, to plan adventures, to jot down ideas for a novel or to write the weekly shopping list. Each notebook contains 48 pages of recycled lined paper, with three different nature-inspired cover designs to choose from.

£3.50 each from my Etsy shop, including standard UK delivery.

Practical and long-lasting cotton tote bags

Tote bags are another practical gift, but they also make a nice reusable alternative to Christmas gift bags.

Made from natural cotton with a screen-printed wave design, my Blue Planet tote bag is a super handy size and strong enough to cart around a packed lunch, library books or grocery shopping. It’s also a great long-lasting way to cut down on single-use plastics.

£5 each from my Etsy shop, including standard UK delivery.

Blue Planet cotton tote bag by Jem Loves to Draw, available from Etsy

Colourful collage coasters by Fiona Clabon

Retro radio coaster. Image © Fiona Clabon Illustration

Fiona creates colourful collages using hand-textured, cut paper. She makes bright, bold and cheerful products, designed to add a little joy to the home. I absolutely love Fiona’s coasters, especially her retro range. I’ve bought a couple of them for presents and they’ve always been very gratefully received.

If you’re looking for colourful collage coasters, check out Fiona Clabon Illustration on Etsy.

Be cool, shop small

If you’ve made it this far, hopefully you’ve ticked a few people off your Christmas shopping list.

If you’re in need of more festive gift inspiration and you’re based in Bristol, why not check out one of my upcoming market events. And if you’re not based in Bristol, Etsy is a brilliant place to find gifts from makers all over the world.

From me and my fellow makers, I’d like to say a big thank you for choosing to shop small this Christmas. It really does mean the world to small businesses like mine and the others featured in this blog.