Do you make your Christmas gifts each year? I know some do, but lots of those are making a quilt or painting something to frame, and I want to expand your thinking just a little bit this year.

With so many of my students joining sketching classes….I think we should normalize creating a custom sketchbook for our loved ones!


In my last post I asked for class reviews as entries to win a free seat in the Gratitude Junk Journal class. Something weird is going on over on the website so I’m changing the plan since not everyone’s able to leave a review – go leave whatever you would have said about a class on THIS BLOG POST. Once I fix whatever is wrong I’ll email y’all and you can copy/paste it to put it on the site 🙂

Tutorial: Holiday gifts only artists can give

Watch the video below and scroll to the end to leave comments or questions — or click HERE to watch it on YouTube and leave comments over there. I read both dutifully!

Gift ideas

What you decide to give will depend entirely on you, the time you have, and the skill level you’re at. But here’s a few starters:

  1. Create a sketchbook of the recipient’s hobby or favorite thing — roses in their garden, team mascots they support, foods they love. It can be anything that shows them you know them well and cared enough to create something just for them! It can be a “short” sketchbook (57 not needed, ha!) – so be on the lookout for small sketchbooks to use for this project.
  2. Make a piece to frame, again of their hobby or favorite thing. Give a quilter a watercolor of a beautiful quilt. Create a drawing of a sunset view from their window. Sketch their dog or cat – or even all the dogs or cats they’ve ever had!
  3. Create a themed pair of sneakers (like I did here), or paint a tshirt, a mailbox, or some other object with their hobby or fave thing. Help them show off what they love to others!


Where will all 57 birdies be?

I’ll be sharing the birds over on my Substack – it’s free if you want to sign up!


Some product may be provided by manufacturers for review and use. Compensated affiliate links are here at no cost to you. I appreciate your support of my work with your purchases! Full affiliate and product disclosure | My trusted partners in art

    1. Winsor and Newton Intro Gouache Set 10 colors: • BlickAmazon 
    2. OR Daniel Smith Gouache 
  2. PALETTE: Joybest airtight palette
  3. BRUSHES: Jack Richeson travel brush set for gouache • BlickAmazon 
  4. SKETCHBOOK: 3″x3″
    1. Dorlands Wax Medium 4oz • BlickAmazon
    2. Dorlands Wax Medium 16oz • Blick • Amazon

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1 Comment

  1. Ellen Coats

    Great gift ideas!


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