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Valentine's Day Gift Ideas

Custom illustration cartoon couple portrait

I’ve put together some Valentine’s Day gift ideas to make the 14th February extra special, because right now we all really need something to look forward to! Whether you’re looking for something fun to do with your bae, something to spice things up a bit, something sweet and romantic or even something for your gal pals, read on…

Valentine’s Day gifts ideas for couples

It seems unlikely we’ll be getting out on Valentine’s Day, so this Date Night in a Box is the perfect alternative. And much nicer than eating from an overpriced set menu anyway…

Valentine's Day Gift Ideas - Date night in a box gift idea
Date Night in a Box

Or if you’d like some inspiration that lasts the whole year, this Box of Date Night Cards might be just the thing.

Valentine's Day Gift Ideas - A Year of Dates in a Box
A Year of Dates

This sexy little coupon book will give them a whole lot of treats to look forward to well beyond Valentine’s Day. Or you can make your own diy coupons!

Valentine's Day Gift Ideas - Sexy little coupon book
Sexy little coupon book

If they’re into baking or cooking then this personalised metal spatula is both practical and romantic 😍 You can find lots of personalised gift ideas for other interests too.

Valentine's Day Gift Ideas - Personalised metal spatula
Personalised metal spatula

Or everyone wears socks, so why not get them a personalised pair to remind them you’re ‘sole’ mates every time they wear them?! 😁

Valentine's Day Gift Ideas - Personalised Sole Mates Photo Socks
Personalised Sole Mates Photo Socks

Galentine gift ideas

Of course buddies are just as important as baes, and these days February celebrations aren’t just for couples anymore. Etsy has a great range of cute ideas to let your bestie know how special she is this Galentine’s Day (usually celebrated on 13th February).
How about a Galentine’s wish bracelet? You can even customise the colour 😃

Galentine's Day Gift Idea - Customisable Galentine's Wish Bracelet
Customisable Galentine’s Wish Bracelet

Got quite a few Galentine’s gifts to send out? You can customise mini bottles of Prosecco or Champagne for your gal pals with these ‘Bubbles for my Babes’ labels. Too cute!

Galentine's Day Bubbles for my Babes Labels
Galentine’s Day Bubbles for my Babes Labels

I also create custom cartoon portraits which work equally well for best friends or couples – but get your order in quickly as I can only create a finite number of these in time for Valentine’s Day!

Valentine's Day Gift Ideas - Couple cartoon portrait
Couple cartoon portrait

I hope these Valentine’s Day gift ideas help make your February as special as possible. Love will keep us going through all the crap that life has to offer, so it’s worth celebrating!

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Homemade Gift Voucher Ideas

homemade gift voucher

Creating a homemade gift voucher or DIY coupon booklet can be a great gift solution. They’re original, can be low cost and you don’t need to wait for delivery. Need some inspiration? Read on, I’ve got  you covered…

homemade gift voucher

Reasons to give a DIY gift voucher

Giving a homemade gift voucher or coupons solves a lot of different problems. Whether you:

  • can’t get to the shops;
  • left it too late to get a gift delivered;
  • are a bit strapped for cash;
  • can’t think of anything the recipient needs;
  • want to give a gift (like an experience) that can’t be wrapped;
  • want to offer flexibility to the recipient; or
  • want to give a gift that is a bit different and much more personal

making your own gift vouchers ticks all the boxes!

Ideas for homemade gift vouchers

You can either give a voucher for something that will cost money later on, or offer coupons for a gift that makes use of your time, effort and/or talents!
Here are some ideas:

  • Breakfast in bed
  • Trip to theatre or cinema to see the show of their choice
  • A romantic dinner for two
  • A back rub or massage
  • Wash the dishes for a week
  • Car wash and valet
  • A tank full of petrol
  • A night of babysitting
  • A new outfit
  • Sexy treats (for your other half only!)
  • A ‘taxi service’ to and from a destination of their choice (great for teenagers)
  • Mow their lawn
  • A home cooked meal delivered to their door
  • Daily dog walking for a week or a month
  • A bubble bath with candles, champagne/hot chocolate and no interruptions!

Hopefully these will inspire you to come up with some of your own ideas too. You can come up with homemade gift voucher ideas for pretty much anybody, from children to grandparents and everyone in between. As long as it’s something they actually want, you can’t really go wrong!

Presentation

There are several different ways to present your voucher or coupons. You could use a greeting card with the gift written inside, print out a gift voucher or certificate or create a booklet of coupons. If you’re not very crafty or don’t much like making or designing things there are plenty of gift voucher templates online you can use. You could also just buy a small notebook and write a variety of different coupon ideas on each page inside. With homemade gift vouchers it’s very much the thought that counts, so don’t worry too much if your presentation is a bit lacking 😁
If you come up with any great ideas and post them on Instagram or Facebook, tag me (@loulongworth) so I can be inspired too!

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Handcrafted Christmas Gift Ideas

Handcrafted Christmas Gift Ideas

These handcrafted Christmas gift ideas will get you mega brownie points this year (and of course show your favourite people how terrific you think they are!) As well as supporting small businesses, buying handcrafted or artisan gifts shows you’ve put a bit of thought into what you get someone, and they’re unlikely to get the same prezzy from anyone else. Continue reading Handcrafted Christmas Gift Ideas

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Printable Christmas Gift Tags

printable christmas gift tags

Fancy some printable Christmas gift tags? This week I wanted to give you something to say thank you for visiting my blog and all the other support you’ve shown me.

The gift tags designs are based on some of the illustrations I’ve done for my Christmas card collection so you can also buy a card to match too if you like.

To get your gift tags, just sign up as a VIP subscriber below. Next week, when I send out my monthly newsletter, you’ll get your printable Christmas gift tags as well! If you’re already a VIP then you don’t need to do anything, they’ll arrive in your inbox next week anyway!

become a vip now

My subscribers are really important to me, so I do my best to treat them well (they are VIPs after all!)

Why you’ll love being a VIP!

When you subscribe you’ll get access to a couple of other freebies immediately. Every so often I also send out an additional treat in the monthly newsletter. You’ll also get a 15% discount off anything in my online greeting card shop (or 10% off in my Etsy store) – every time you shop!

When I release a new collection you will get other special offers too. Sometimes it will be a bigger discount, sometimes a free gift, sometimes another offer like BOGOF or similar. So it really is worth your while to sign up if you like my cards 😊

I only ever send out a newsletter once a month so you don’t have to worry about getting inundated like the cat on the right! The only exception is when you first sign up. You’ll get a few introductory emails within the first couple of weeks. This is just so we can get to know each other a bit better. After that it’s just once a month. Because I’m all about the drawing, not the writing…

My newsletter will also update you on any new blog posts that I’ve added, as well as new products in my shop. And obviously you’ll be the first to hear when I release a new collection!
Of course you can always unsubscribe if you decide you’re no longer interested. Even if you just want to get your hands on the gift tags next week, you could unsubscribe as soon as you get them. But you’d be missing out 😉

So sign up now and enjoy your freebies. And I’ll see you in your inbox next week with your printable Christmas gift tags – I can’t wait!

become a vip now

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Support Small Businesses

Support Small Businesses

There are so many great reasons to support small businesses. Even more so during these challenging times of the coronavirus and lockdowns! During the first lockdown earlier this year, I was so impressed with the ingenuity of local small businesses. So many of them came up with unique ways to keep going despite having to close their doors to the public. Some shops started websites for the first time, some restaurants started pop up outdoor takeaways and most seemed to offer some kind of discount or benefit to the stars working in our NHS.

That’s one of the great things about small businesses, they can pivot more easily and be quicker to adapt to a changing environment. But that doesn’t mean they don’t suffer at times like these, and they will need our support to keep going.

We often associated shopping small with local brick and mortar stores. But even during these times of mostly online shopping you can still support small businesses. Here are some reasons why supporting small businesses is a great idea, as well as plenty of ideas on exactly how you can do this.

Reasons to shop small

Even from a purely selfish point of view, shopping small has a lot of benefits!

  • Small businesses are run by actual people rather than boards and shareholders who are removed from the customers. This usually means that they understand and care more about their customers and that profit isn’t the only consideration.
  • Customer service is usually better and more personal – an algorithm can only do so much in terms of helping you find the right product for your needs.
  • Small businesses generally offer more diversity and supply more unique products or services than big companies.
  • Independent businesses can be more adaptable and so can respond to situations and customer needs more easily. A big chain store can’t customise any of their offerings for you, but small businesses are usually happy to.
  • Shopping small is also usually better for the environment, especially if you shop local too. Small businesses are more likely to source their materials locally. They also create on a small scale, rather than mass producing via factories or sweat shops.
  • Supporting small businesses encourages the generation of more innovative ideas and unique products.
  • Small businesses generally have more character than large ones and a more interesting back story.
  • The profits made by small businesses are more likely to go back to their local communities, as the owners spend their money locally, rather than being invested off shore or supporting fat cats’ lifestyles.

How to support small businesses

Supporting the small business movement is good for everyone and there are plenty of different ways you can do this.

  • When you have the choice, choose to spend your money at small independent shops rather than chains or giant stores. It’s not always possible to do this all the time, and you don’t necessarily need to (it’s not inherently wrong to shop with a big company!) But make the effort to think more about where you’re spending your money.
  • During lockdown try not to automatically go straight to the giants of online shopping. Check whether your local shops that are closed have websites you could shop from, or shop for gifts at online marketplaces like Etsy or Folksy that are made up of small businesses and solopreneurs.

And spending isn’t the only way to support small businesses…

  • Spread the word on social media (use the hashtag #shopsmall). Tell others about terrific small businesses you’ve found, show yourself shopping with independent retailers or post pics of the fabulous products you’ve bought from a small business.
  • Small Business Saturday 5th December 2020When small businesses you follow post on social media you can help too. Share their post, like it, tag a friend or comment on it.
  • Write reviews for small businesses when you’ve shopped with them – on Google, Trustpilot, Etsy, Folksy or wherever you can.
  • Support Small Business Saturday – this is taking place on 5th December 2020 in the UK. It’s a grassroots, non-commercial campaign which aims to showcase small business success and encourage everyone to shop local and support small businesses in their area. They also have a search facility to find small businesses in your area.

Looking forward to hearing how you support small businesses and seeing your hashtags on social media!