This December, we'd love to encourage you to "Shop Small" for as many of your Christmas presents as you can. There are so many incredible independent businesses who are pouring their hearts and souls into what they do, and every. single. sale. makes a massive difference to their day-to-day lives. It's something we're incredibly passionate about as a community, and we want to make it as easy as possible for you to access all of these amazing designers and makers.
Cheerfully Given was set up to provide an outlet for design-led, unique Christian gifts, but also to support artists, designers, and makers as they use their creative gifts to share their faith. But we all love and support lots of other creative businesses around the UK, so we decided to do a series of Christmas gift guides that feature a mix of people from the Cheerfully Given community and further afield -- some gifts that are specifically Christian in theme, and others that are more generic.
We've included an image, a website link, and a product link for each of the 18 small businesses we're featuring -- visit their websites, click around, explore all the lovely things that people are making, and remember that when you buy from any of these businesses this December, someone will do a happy dance in honour of you. (In between the manic, crazy life of a creative in December!)
So without further ado, we present to you The Cheerfully Given Gift Guide: Gifts for Children Edition. (Maybe we should clarify it by saying it's for 2017 and we'll probably do another one next year, but the name is already pretty long...)
Becky is part of the Cheerfully Given seller community and runs a beautiful lettering business. Alongside some of her more classic modern calligraphy (we're talking flourishes, loop-de-loops, and general lettering loveliness), Becky has created these contemporary prints that have a more minimalist finish, but in a bright array of beautiful colours. This is one of five designs in the series, and they've been really popular so far this year.
Maggie and Courtney are always thinking up creative new ways of getting people to read their Bibles. These two passionate, talented women have recently created this Bible Study Notes for Kids set, which comes with a notepad that helps children think about the Bible passage they've just read, a reading plan, a postcard, a couple of bookmarks, ten stickers, and two pencils.
Naomi creates amazing wooden products from wooden kites with beaded tails, to wooden cameras, rockets, and even a contented little moon. Our favourite at the moment is possibly this fabulous unicorn pear design -- there's something so special about the floral crown and the golden horn, but really it's impossible to choose because everything is gorgeous. Naomi hand-paints all of these beauties, and they look fabulous styling your shelves or watching over those sleeping tots from a mantelpiece.
George from Ooh I Like That Design (another one of our lovely Cheerfully Given community) created this incredible Bible alphabet print to encourage children to explore the stories of the Bible from a young age. Each colourful letter has an illustration inspired from the Bible verse that is noted underneath it. This print is ideal for many different ages, as the colours and pictures will draw in younger children while you read the stories to them, and older children can look up the passages themselves and get excited about everything the Bible has to tell us.
This stunning website is a celebration of all things colourful. Full of ethical, organic childrenswear, Toby Tiger has a wide range of colourful clothing for children from newborn up to the age of 6. They have an amazing shop in Brighton, which is where Menekse first came across the brand, but they also sell online (with super quick delivery) for the rest of the UK.
Katherine is the designer/maker behind CasaMia Designs and has been part of the Cheerfully Given seller community since we very first launched last year. She has a sweet range of fabric hanging hearts inspired by the Bible, including these lovely designs that are perfect for hanging on your nursery door handles.
Gem is a colour queen! She hand-paints all of her products freehand, and her products are created using reclaimed wood. Oh Hello Beau was started with a heart to bring life and hope through colour and words -- Gem has some incredible pieces in her Etsy store (she also sells on Not on the High Street) including pieces inspired by the Bible, but we're particularly loving this personalised wooden Christmas Eve box for the children in your life.
This personalised Bible verse print features the wording "I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go..." from Genesis 28:15. Created from an original watercolour painting by Alice Pirrie, the artwork has been digitised and Alice personalises each print with your choice of name. Alice is a treasured member of the Cheerfully Given seller community!
Ann from Wonderful Prints creates absolutely gorgeous canvases featuring popular Bible verses. She has a range of personalised Bible verse canvas designs, but we are loving this one as it would make a beautiful first Christmas gift! It can be personalised with the baby or child's full name and date of birth, and would also be a brilliant dedication or baptism gift. The top part of the design features Jeremiah 1:5 - "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart."
Molly Meg is an independent children's shop in London, which started online in 2009. Their store is absolutely beautiful, and well-worth a visit if you're based in the Big Smoke! Focusing on design-led children's items, the owner, Molly Price, curates a selection of furniture, home decoration, toys, gifts, and party supplies from some of the loveliest independent brands.
Another one of our Cheerfully Given sellers now, and this Colouring Cushion by Judy B Design is always a joy-bringer for children. With plenty of detail including birds, flowers, and leaves as well as "Jesus Loves You" lettering, this will keep avid colouring fans busy for quite some time. The design has been digitally printed onto a high quality canvas-style fabric and you can choose to buy the cover on its own, or along with a pack of 8 premium fabric pens.
These fun aprons are a great way to keep messy hands away from clean clothes! Inspired by Scandinavian design trends, Buddy and Bear is on a mission to make mealtimes more colourful, and has a gorgeous range of children's tablewear. These aprons are made from premium cotton fabric, with each one being individually screen-printed in one of four designs. This one is for the pop-artists, but there are other designs perfect for tiny scientists and petite pastry chefs, too. Plus, you get 10% off if you're a new customer (just sign up to the mailing list using the pop-up box on the website).
If you're a stationery addict, then Cath's Bible alphabet never looked so good. These beautiful kraft notebooks are available with a letter of the alphabet alongside a corresponding Bible verse. They're a little bit of a side-step in the gifts for children list, because they're not necessarily a classic kids' gift, but they're perfect for encouraging artistic exploration in a digital age, and can be used as a sketchbook or a travel journal for young explorers.
Studio NL is an amazing brand based in the Midlands, near Leicester (their HQ is in the middle of nowhere at The Manor at Tur Langton!). Rox and Scott run the business, and have thoughtfully curated a range of Scandinavian brands, including stationery, homeware, and books that will expand your horizons and make you think. Think and Make Like an Artist is an intelligent art activity book that encourages sophisticated thinking and gives budding artists a chance to develop their imaginations in a whimsical, colourful, and fun way. It includes a variety of projects that have been inspired by the work of eight contemporary artists, working in media as diverse as painting, sculpture, collage, illustration, costume design, collaborative works, and architecture.
Another creative activity book, and this time it's lovely little colouring book created by Ali Marriott Stationery -- one of our Cheerfully Given sellers. This A5 colouring book is inspired by the Bible, and is perfect for keeping small hands occupied during church or while you're out for dinner. Encourage them to learn a verse as they colour, and talk to them about creation and the world around us!
That wraps up our Christmas Gift Guide: Gifts for Children Edition for this year, but we'd love to hear your recommendations if you have any favourite brands or gift ideas for children.
Menekse and the Cheerfully Given Team
[Edited for Christmas 2020 to make sure all links and prices are up-to-date]