Create Memories, Not Waste.

We’ve all had those Christmas’ and birthdays where we have opened a gift and given the well-rehearsed reaction of just been given the most amazing gift ever. A reply of “OMG, thank you sooooo much, this is sooooo cool” knowing full well it will never get used or end up in a charity shop.


At face value, it seems like we are the only people who are affected by this but in reality, we’re not. There is a more serious effect of gift giving and we can make more conscious decisions when it comes to buying someone a gift. I have seen a lot of stories about this, particularly over the Christmas period and it has urged me to speak up too, especially now when we are at the start of a New Year, a year of making more conscious decisions.


We have all been alerted to how our mindless choices impact the environment from using plastic bags to hold our fruit and vegetables to dropping a plastic straw into our cold drinks to avoid hurting our sensitive teeth. I, along with many other businesses, big and small, have been making choices about how we package our products, you can read mine here. Even since writing that blog post I have made more changes by not wrapping the boxes in brown paper anymore. These decisions can be extended to our gift giving too.


Did you know that most wrapping papers are not recyclable? Did you know that from Thanks Giving to New Year Americans throw away 25 million extra tonnes of garbage extra year? Nope, me neither.


For Valentine’s day, me and my boyfriend don’t buy each other gifts, we put the money we would’ve spent towards a holiday or towards an experience day. It’s so difficult to think of something new to buy your partner every year and in all honesty how much would you have to spend to equate to how much you love them? In all honesty, I’m sure the majority of us couldn’t spend the amount of money we would like to spend on our other halves. With buying experiences and holidays, instead of buying unnecessary gifts with packaging that ruins the environment, you’re also creating memories that you will be able to treasure that are more precious than any gift you could be given.


With this in mind, I have asked fellow small businesses for workshops/experience days they run or have been to. A place where you can spend a few hours learning a new skill and you’ll also end up with a piece that you’ve made yourself. Take your partner or a friend for a ‘Galentines’ date and spend some quality time together, making precious memories.


  1. FICH ceramics – Pottery Experiences (I know, I know, a bit of shameless self-promo) – Abingdon, Oxfordshire


Come along with your partner or friend for a throwing session with me, Fi Chappelle. You’ll sit down with a cup of tea or coffee and biscuits while you watch me give you a demonstration, then it will be your turn to jump on the wheel! I can assure you there will be lots of laughs along the way and you’ll be able to take your pot home once it is fully finished. You also have the choice to come back and turn (carve excess clay off of the base) and glaze your pot afterwards too.


£140 for 2 people 3 hours

FICH ceramics’ Pottery Experiences


  1. Flat 102 – Screen printing workshop – All over UK


Join a group of like-minded individuals to create your own screen-printed tote bags and tea towels. Steph will guide you through the whole process to create something colourful that you can wear with pride! Steph does her workshops in various different venues so there may be one near you.

Prices vary depending on which workshop you’d like to do. You can find out more information by clicking here.


  1. Origami Est – All over UK


Est runs origami workshops in London and all across the UK. You can make your own geometric plant pots, lampshades and more out of paper depending on which workshop you’d like to go to!


Prices vary depending on which workshop you’d like to do. You can find out more information by clicking here.


  1. inSilver – Jewellery making workshop – Sheepy Magna, Leicestershire.


Enjoy making a piece of jewellery with Aimi’s tuition. You can be a total beginner so there is no experience necessary to be able to make something beautiful and unique. The workshop experiences can just be for a couple, or a group of 3. You can choose to make a ring, bangle or pendant, depending on the type of jewellery you’d usually wear.


Prices vary depending on which workshop you’d like to do. You can find out more information by clicking here.


  1. Merrie and Bright Calligraphy workshop – Oxford.


Learn the art of hand-lettering with Merrie from Merrie and Bright. You will learn about how you can use pressure to create different thicknesses, how to do upper and lower-case letters and joining words together. There is also the opportunity to come back for an improvers workshop where you can develop on your skills and create own style. The workshops are for like-minded individuals, but there is also the option to do a private calligraphy workshop.


Prices vary depending on which workshop you’d like to do. You can find out more information by clicking here.


  1. Tanya Robinson, Wet felting workshop – Abingdon, Oxfordshire.


Wet felting is an ancient way of making fabric. Learn how to mix the colours, create texture and change the thickness of the merino wool so create your own unique piece of fabric which you can then use to make different pieces depending on which workshop you choose to do.


Prices vary depending on which workshop you’d like to do. You can find out more information by clicking here.


  1. Charlotte Berry – Jewellery making workshop – Oxfordshire


Just got engaged and want to gift your other half something meaningful this Valentine’s day? Share a special moment together where you can hand-craft each other’s wedding bands. Creating something truly unique that holds memories. Or are you after a ‘Galentines’ workshop? Charlotte also holds a taster day workshop where you can make a stone set silver ring. This is for 4-5 students, making this ideal for a small group of you.


Prices vary depending on which workshop you’d like to do. You can find out more information by clicking here.


I hope you can see a workshop that would interest you and I’ve pointed you in the right direction. If you run a workshop or an experience day or can recommend one, then please feel free to add your links in the comments!


Thank you for reading,

Speak soon,

Fi x

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