How To Save Money This Christmas Using Your Painting Skills

The reason people learn to paint can vary. For some it might be a way to carve out a little me time, something just for you and no one else. For others it may be a form of therapy, a way of focusing the mind and giving you space and time to just be and to get lost in something to quieten your mind.
With Christmas around the corner and with Coronavirus causing a strain on finances and making physical shopping less appealing for so many, we are finding ourselves thinking about how we can prepare for Christmas without putting ourselves and our finances at risk. One of the great things about painting is that your skills can help you create many things that cannot be found in the shops or enhance items you’ve already bought.
Here are a few ways we will be using our painting skills over the coming months to save a little money. 
Creating Our Own Cards
In all honesty, we do this every year. Creating your own cards is a bit of a no brainer for saving money. We started doing this a few years back because store bought cards can be so expensive and so impersonal. Creating our own is a great way to get mindful, get creative and get into the festive spirit, but they also mean so much more to your loved ones. Painting our own gives us the freedom to choose favourite colours, meaningful designs and even personalise them. The added bonus of giving handmade Christmas cards is that it has stopped us from writing the bear minimum and handing them out to everyone we have ever known. It has made us more aware of who we want to give them to and what we want to say to them. 
Painted silver snowflakes on a black square card  
Gift Bags and Tags 
This is another thing we have been doing for a while. As wrapping paper is not recyclable (and neither is brown paper once it has been painted on), we often choose to either wrap with brown paper and decorate with string/ribbons and a beautifully painted gift tag, or we use a gift bag that can be passed on.  
We recently saw how Rachel created her own gift bags for her mum’s handmade soap and they are so easy and cheap. Rustic craft bags and other plain bags are a fraction of the cost of decorated ones and are so fun to decorate yourself.  
Even better, we often save our gifted gift bags and add a little folk art to make it our own. 
Handpainted grey gift tag decorated with folk art angels and hand lettering
Personalising Stationary
We don’t know about you, but we are suckers for stationary. Nice pens, notebooks, art journals, lever arch files... you name it we love it and so do a lot of our friends and loved ones. The beauty of plain sketchbooks, journals and folders is that they all have surfaces begging for personalisation. To receive something that they could not get from the shops is a great gift. We love creating personalised sketchbooks to create works of art in, decorating journals, painting folders... they all make great gifts. We've even been known to personalise photo albums and fill them with special memories for them to keep.  
Kraft folder decorated and personalised with folk art designs - florals, topiary and teddies
6 minute journal decorated with Oriental blossom flowers
Fabric Painting
It may take a little practice but painting on fabric is a great way to personalise your gifts and save a little cash. Fabric blanks such as cushion covers, napkins, make up bags, etc. are all cheaper than printed ones and allow you to customise them however you wish. We have personalised cushions, napkins, oven gloves and much more using our brushstrokes and designs, but the possibilities don't stop there. If you wanted to personalise them, why not print out your loved ones name in a fancy font, transfer it to your item and paint it in their favourite colour? 
Plain white cushion cover decorated with a handpainted oriental blossom design from You Can Folk It
Other things we like to paint around this time of year is furniture and home decor items. Lockdown gave us the perfect opportunity to have a good clear out and identify anything that looked tired and needed an overhaul. Decorating items you already have is a great way to spruce a dining room or make the home a little more festive without going crazy and spending a fortune. 
Wooden candlestick holder repainted and decorated using Folk Art angels
These wooden candle sticks were unloved and rather plain so we repainted them using DecoArt chalky finish paint, sanded away the paint around the detailed areas to distress it and added a few glittery angels. Now they are perfect for a Christmas table. 
Vintage trunk decorated with designs from the You Can Folk It masterclass
We love painting vintage trunks and boxes. Whether you want to make a feature out of them in your home or give them as a gift, they can be bought cheap and made to look expensive. Our Teddy bear's are great for a toy boxes and trunks. 
If you are thinking about ways you can save money this Christmas we hope we have inspired some ideas.
We would love to hear your thoughts on this issue - do you believe it's the personal touch that counts or do you love buying extravagant gifts for loved ones? Let us know!
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