by Joanna Varney
Buying gifts for a jeweller or designer/maker can be daunting and expensive, so this year I have decided to scour this website for fabulous items that won’t cost the earth. In fact I have given myself a limit of £5 in an attempt to satisfy even the tightest of budgets, so here goes! On your marks, get set, SHOP!!!!
1. ‘20 to make Bracelets’ by Amanda Walker
Available in the Beading and Stringing section, this book contains 20 bracelet projects using beads and findings and would make a great gift for anyone considering taking up jewellery as a hobby. If your budget allows throw in some beads and findings so the lucky recipient can get started straight away.
2. ‘Glass Bead Pendant Kit in Red and White’
These great value kits come in a range of colours and contain all you need to complete a variety of jewellery projects. Great as stocking filler or to entertain little hands over the festive period. I was impressed with the price of these kits, they look like they should cost much more!
3. ‘Beadsmith Organiser Box’
Every bead enthusiast needs storage and normally lots of it, so a gift such as this sturdy box from Beadsmith will always be well received. This particular example has 15 removable dividers to create up to 20 different compartments of your choosing so it is suitable for both tools and materials of any type. Being flat, they stack well and store easily. They are also wipe clean and waterproof so what’s not to like! You could always fill it with sweets or chocolate coins if you want it to be a little more festive.
4. ‘Set of 2 Reverse Action Tweezers with insulated Grips’
These tweezers are brilliant and are a must for most, if not all jewellers. The sprung mechanism creates a strong grip which is great for holding pieces in position whilst soldering making them a toolbox essential. These will not disappoint!
5/6. ‘Standard Steel Scriber’ and ‘6” Steel Ruler’
I realise that a scriber and ruler are perhaps not everyone’s idea of an exciting Christmas gift! However I think that most craftsmen who work in metal, will appreciate a well thought out, practical present which these most definitely are. I promise you that they will get used and will never end up at the back of the cupboard unloved and unwanted! (Bought together they are just over budget but separately they are well under, but they do make perfect partners if finances allow).
7. ‘Fimo Kits for Kids’ – Knight, Marsy and Mars
I make no secret of the fact that I love Fimo and these superb kits would make a lovely starter set for any younger members of the family. They contain 4 x 25g blocks of Soft Fimo which is the most malleable in the range making it perfect for little hands to mould. The packaging is bright and colourful, making them ideal for kick starting creativity in youngsters.
8. ‘Swarovski Crystal Heart Pendant’ with ‘Tuff Cord in Black’
Both of these items together come in under budget and can be simply knotted together to make a great gift which would cost substantially more if purchased as a complete item. (Thread the cord through the hole and double knot to secure in place ensuring the pendant will be front facing). This particular cord is supplied in a 33 yard length thus giving you ample to make up a good number of necklaces which will bring the cost down even further.
9. ‘Silver Knot Stud Earrings’
These sterling silver studs are a classic and subtle design that will never look out of place. Presented in a nice gift box (see below), your recipient would never guess they cost under a fiver!
10. ‘Mint Green Leatherette Earring Box’
Finally the finishing touch that will elevate your gift into something truly memorable. These elegant leatherette boxes are very reminiscent of a certain famous London jewellery house and they ooze quality making them perfect for gifting. For the purposes of this article I couldn’t quite manage to add a pair of studs and keep them under budget but rest assured for just a few pence more, you can add a classic pair of earrings and have yourself a great gift for a fraction of the perceived cost.
So you see Christmas needn’t be an expensive headache if you know where to look. I was actually quite surprised and inspired by what could be purchased for just a few pounds and I hope you will be too.
Happy Shopping and Happy Christmas!