As Christmas rapidly approaches I feel inspired to include a post that is both Christmas and journaling themed. So here it is: my five inexpensive or homemade Christmas gift ideas that allow you to spread some journaling joy!
My partner and I are in the process of saving money to build our tiny house so we don’t have a lot to spend on Christmas gifts. I know we aren’t the only ones who will be coming up with creative gift ideas this year!
If you’ve got the money and the energy to face the shopping malls, then by all means do that. But if you’re a bit strapped for cash, or you want to give something a bit more unique, then these ideas might help.
You might be thinking, I can’t possibly give something home-made for Christmas. Why not? Would you be thinking differently if this was you receiving a scarf someone had carefully knitted, or a box of home-made cookies baked by a close friend? How would you feel to receive something lovingly made just for you from someone else?
People love handmade gifts because they show you have put thought, care, and time into making them. They receive something totally unique that they wouldn’t be able to buy for themselves.
And besides, a gift that encourages more journaling will be rewarding in many ways!
As a side note: Obviously, these types of gifts won’t be suitable for everyone – for example, I don’t see my dad jumping with joy if he was to receive a jar of journaling prompts from me, or my partner getting excited about homemade stamps.
But, I do have friends and other relatives who would love to receive something that is unique and creative. For example, my mum would love to receive art work from me, my bestie would love to receive homemade stickers and stamps, and my sister would enjoy journal prompts or a personalised journal. I have another friend who wants to do more journaling but isn’t sure how to start, so a combination of a few of these things might be good for her.
1. Personalise a journal: buy a basic Moleskine journal or a less expensive notebook or spiral-bound visual journal and cover it with images. You could choose photographs of you and your gift recipient, or just inspirational/beautiful images. Create a collage from magazine images or print out pictures from online. Include some inspiring words and washi tape in bright colours. Finish the cover with Mod Podge or an acrylic binding medium to seal it. Write a small heartfelt message on the inside cover.
2. Carve your own stamps: I use so many stamps in my journals! Buy a few basic pink erasers (I’m told these are the best for carving) and using either a hobby knife or a basic carving set, carve some unique stamp designs. It’s actually quite straight-forward to carve basic designs (think interesting shapes like clouds, trees, stars or arrows). They don’t have to be perfect and they make interesting tools for journaling and art journaling that can’t be bought anywhere! Wrap them in a gorgeous gift box and tissue paper. For an easy-to-follow tutorial, watch this video.
3. Journal prompts: create a jar or box of journal prompts written on tags or plain journal cards. I’ve used plain Project Life journaling cards with a simple watercolour border and stamp on one side, and then more detail for the prompt on the other side. Look online for journal prompts, or use some from our archives.
4. Take your art journaling off the page: take a favourite art journal spread of yours and either tear it out or copy it (scan it or reproduce it) and frame it as a gift for someone. Or, if you feel your art journal is a bit too personal to share you could browse Pinterest or Instagram for art journal inspiration and create something new as a gift.
5. Make your own stickers: I love using stickers in my journals. They brighten up the pages and can add inspirational messages. Buy sheets of printable sticky paper from your local stationery store. Then, go online and find images that inspire you, including lovely inspirational messages. Or, scan some of your own work into the computer. Print these out onto the sticky sheets and cut out each sticker. Place into a little gift box tied up with string.
It’s all in the wrapping
Creating gorgeous wrapping can make a gift feel even more luxurious and extravagant. Here are some ideas to make your lovely journal-themed gift even more beautiful:
- Create or buy a beautiful gift box to hold your treasures.
- Nestle your gift in beautiful tissue paper.
- Create your own gift wrap with a roll of kraft paper and some Christmas themed stamps.
- Secure with a big gold bow.
- Create your own labels/gift tags using stamps and washi tape.
- Choose a simple, plain gift wrap but use washi tape instead of clear tape to wrap.
- Add a bit of gold glitter or confetti inside your wrapping.
- Wrap your present the old-fashioned way: brown kraft paper and brown string – add a handmade label and a little shape cut out of felt or card to embellish (e.g. a heart, tree, star, etc).
Hopefully this has given you a few ideas for how you can share your love of journaling with others this Christmas. And if not, at least put aside some time with just you, a cup of tea and your journal in the midst of all the Christmas chaos.