Shop small and independent this Christmas, with hashtags to help you find designer-makers and get in the festive spirit.
If you’re planning on avoiding the big retailers this winter, hashtags can be a good way of finding independents to buy handmade gifts from.
We’ve rounded up a bumper list of the best hashtags to find the most unique presents, as well as a few festive photo challenges to get you in the mood for Santa’s arrival.
Happy mail is the best mail, and what better way to get a gift through the post than by doing a swap with another maker? Technicolour Crafters are hosting yet another of their fabulous swap shops just in time for Christmas, so dig out something creative you no longer need and see who wants to swap with you.
“The #merryandbrightswapshop is a very simple gift swap. On 1st December everyone who has something they wish to swap posts a pic using the hashtag, explaining what it is they are swapping, where they are happy to ship to, and what sort of things they might like to swap for,” explains Emily of @make.e, who helps run the challenge with @ollie.and.bella.
“This gift swap welcomes all makers and non-makers. People can comment on any post, saying they would like to swap for the item shown and offer things in return… It’s a great way for the community to come together but also to discover new sellers, designers, makers, crafters. Swaps can be big or small, so there is something for everyone. “
#campaignshopsmall is the brainchild of Holly Tucker, UK Ambassador for Creative Small Businesses, who wants us all to support independents in our local communities. Loads of local makers, artisans and independent shops will be using the hashtag this Christmas, so it’s a great way to find businesses close to you and keep the cash you spend in the local community.
“It’s time to place quality over quantity, handmade over manufactured,” says Holly. “We have the ability to change the lives of so many businesses with our actions this Christmas; from the butcher where we could buy our turkey, to the local baker who will craft the best mince pies in town. Imagine if everyone who read this did exactly that; it would be a tidal wave of glitter and good, showering those who need our support most.”
Christine Leech of Sew Yeah has put together a daily photo challenge so you can share little moments of crafty joy all the way through advent. Whether you’re a fan of crazy colours, or prefer your tones more Nordic, there’s a prompt for you.
“The tag is for anyone and everyone to showcase their Christmas preparations. Maybe it’s how you decorate your tree or where you’re buying your presents from,” explains Christine. “It could be an opportunity to show people your Christmas craft projects or what beautiful wares your small business has to offer. If you are inspired by any of the day’s prompts, tag your posts with #adventalphabet2017 and @sewyeah.”
Before you start decorating your tree, take a look at the #decorationaday photo. Charlotte of @windingthebobbinup, who created the challenge, explains, “I adore buying and making decorations for my own tree and seeing all of the magical displays around us as everyone gears up for the festivities, so I thought it would be fun to share all of my decorations in this way with the whole Insta community.”
Don’t worry if you can’t commit to the whole challenge, as you can dip in and out when you like. You can also post photos, makes or illustrations – anything goes as long as it fits the prompt!
From ceramicists to silversmiths, indie dyers to woodcarvers, the UK is packed full of artisans creating in all kinds of locations. The beautiful little hashtag #ourcreativeisle is a fantastic way of finding someone nestled away in another corner of our countries, and find out what they’re making.
With so many boutiques and artisan shops out there, you can use the hashtag #shopindependent to find the stores near you that are offering an alternative to big retailers.
#shopsmall, #shoplocal, #thinkbigshopsmall
We’ve grouped these hashtags together because they all share the same ethos – that we should all #thinkbigshopsmall this festive season. You can add the name of the place you live onto the end of #shopsmall and #shoplocal to find makers in your local area, or use the more general hashtags to find makers across the UK.
Joanne Hawker’s Insta challenge #meetthemakerweek may finish in a few days, but using the hashtag #meetthemaker can still help you find crafters making amazing products, and give you a glimpse inside their studios and creative processes. Who doesn’t love a good nose round someone’s workspace?
The Folksy hashtag #feelingfolksy comes into its own at this time of year, as a way of finding sellers without having to search the site. A great way to spot something you didn’t know you absolutely-must-have before! You can also search #folksysellers – the hashtag used by makers who sell on Folksy – to make sure you don’t miss any handmade goodness.
With Etsy Made Local fairs taking place across the UK from 1st-3rd December, use the hashtag #etsymadelocal to find a craft fair happening close to you. You can also use the year-round tags #etsysellersuk and #etsyuk for even more handmade loveliness.
You don’t need to join a march or sign a million online petitions to get onboard with this movement. Makers are using the hashtag #supportthemakers to share what they have to sell, and you can use it to hunt down some presents. Go on, make a crafter do a happy dance when you buy for them.
The lovely ladies at A Beautiful Mess love a good hashtag and their latest offering is the festive #abmholidayspirit. Use it to see how everyone else is gearing up for Christmas and to get right into the festive mood. You can share your own crafty Christmas makes, and get ideas for handmade presents and pretty things to buy. The feed is not only stunning, but packed full of creative inspiration.
This may be a tiny hashtag, but #sharinghandmadejoy is packed full of gorgeous makes to inspire your Christmas crafting. Share your own handmade joy or see what everyone else is making; either way it will definitely boost your festive spirit.
Put some hygge in your December with the cosy little hashtag #slowliving_create for people who prefer life in the slow lane, and creating as they go. While many post about their own creative journeys, there are also artisans sharing their handcrafted wares.
From hand painted baubles to personalised Santa sacks, share your festive makes, get some inspiration for things you can craft yourself and find others making their own festive fun with the hashtag #handmadechristmas.
Meet the small businesses and makers using traditional techniques to craft products, from pots to bags. With lots of natural materials, cosy settings and rustic crafts, #buyfolk, is a great hashtag if you like your makes slow and authentic.
The Just a Card campaign is picking up speed in the run up to Christmas, so get behind it by using the hashtag #justacard to find small businesses and give independent makers a much-needed – and well-deserved – boost.
Don’t forget to tag #molliemakers so we can see what you’re up to – we’re always inspired by what you post! We’d love to hear if you have any good photo challenges or hashtags coming up, or just to see what you’ve been making this month. Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram and Facebook too.