Handcrafted With Love

So, are you an aesthete? Aesthete is a word in the American English dictionary which means a person who loves and appreciates works of art and beautiful things – anything handcrafted! Are you someone going out of their way to look for handmade artefacts and curios? Do you travel to see art and craft festivals in other cities? If you say yes to all the questions above, you are an art and craft enthusiast or an aesthete.

It is the gifting season and that time of the year when cities in India start wearing a festive look. Streets adorned with colourful streamers and artists displaying handcrafted products are the highlights of the winter months in almost every state. From December-February (and sometimes even March), nearly every city hosts art and craft festivals or a week dedicated to local artists. 

Apart from festivals, online too, stores are selling exclusively handcrafted and customized gifts like stationery, clocks, embroidery, Papier-mâché products, pieces of furniture, metal craft work, cloth puppets, pottery, clay pots, glass products, block print fabrics, ceramics, different types of paintings – glass, oil, pastel, wood, and materials. Antiques form a big part of every house now – wooden/ stone/clay/glass. Aficionados have unique corners reserved in their homes for the same. Thanks to this, a lot of gifting has now become handcrafted, encouraging local artisans to come forward. More people are becoming interested in learning how to make things and gifts. 

Many artists and artisans are conducting online and offline workshops during art fairs, festivals, and on market days. Seeing many DIY (Do It Yourself) kits to make your artefacts in stores is also enjoyable. In addition, children are becoming more interested in making their gifts. Isn’t it a thrill to see a smile and a look of surprise on your loved ones’ faces when they open your gift?

Handmade gifts have always retained their charm over the years. It is still special to receive a handmade card or a gift from loved ones vis-a-vis a readymade gift. I know a gift is a gift, and what matters is the giver’s heart and intentions. Still, there is something magical about opening the strings of a box to discover a handmade piece of jewellery or stationery. To date, I cherish handwritten cards and handmade gifts from my loved ones. 

I encourage my son to make gifts for his friends rather than buy from the shop. The biggest reason is we all will remember these gifts years later and even the person who gifted us. It is the most beautiful moment to open that treasure box years later to discover scribbles in old books, diaries, small origami boats, planes, and artwork given to us by our childhood friends. I still have handwritten letters from my childhood buddy. We both reminisce about those letters and postcards to date and joyously share them with our children now. Letters are gifts in themselves too. Stones wrapped in toffee wrappers, marbles in small cardboard boxes, cardboard, and paper coins, greeting cards (almost obsolete now!), colourful scrapbooks tied with strings, diaries with old pics pasted in them, old sketches of crushes, phone numbers, zodiac signs hurriedly scribbled in books – make you feel so good!

10 Reasons Why handmade Is Thoughtful

1. Personal touch

It is always a different feeling to be treated exclusively where you have the maker’s signature or print on the gift. The maker is your loved one putting extra effort into making you feel special!

2. Souvenirs for life!

Corporations these days love personalising the gifting to their employees. For example, some online retail stores have tie-up with local artists who make small curios or something that symbolizes the company. These remain lifelong with the company logo embossed in them.

3. Memory building

Each handmade gift will have a memory attached to it. For instance, the facility will always remind you of the occasion, date, and year of gifting. But, of course, you can create a memory box too. Then, years later, you will jog in your memory lane when you open it. 

4. Encouraging local artists

If you cannot make something of your own to gift your loved one because of the time crunch, you still have the choice to get a handcrafted gift. Look around your neighbourhood for local artisans and get them to make a customized gift for your loved one.

5. Eco-friendly

Raw materials for handcrafted items are from nature. Hence, they are environment-friendly and safe even for children. For instance, Assam is famous for all its bamboo products like dolls, baskets, toys, mats, shopping bags, and fans. These can be beautiful gifts for anyone.

6. Activates creative juices

It stimulates our brain cells to think out of the box to make different things. It challenges us to do things we usually don’t do.

7. Encourages socializing

Gifting makes sure you meet people and have human contact. Even the most reserved person would find motivation in meeting and gifting their loved ones.

8. Beats blues

Making something with your hands keeps you busy in your mind and helps drive away unwanted and depressive thoughts. It is a good distraction!

9. Children love it

A constructive activity for children to feel good about what they made. Also encouraging minimalism as well as creativity in children. Handmade is always good vis a vis the expensive gifts we buy for birthday parties.

10. Elders cherish it

Older generations have always cherished handmade gifts and even food we cook in the kitchen. Watching them beam with joy and pride if we make something of our own and gift them is a pleasure.

How many of you make gifts for your friends or loved ones? If yes, do share stories behind making gifts. Every handmade gift has a story to tell. Each moment counts, and it adds to all our memories.  So, happy gifting ‘coz we all have an artisan in us !


She is a quirky writer/photographer/closet poet and singer who has traversed a non-conventional path. As a former entertainment journalist who has worked in print and online media for a decade, Priya loves talking to people and writing their unspoken stories. She is a single parent of a 7-year-old son settled in Tamil Nadu and a Content Consultant/ Communications-PR Manager. She is also an informal mentor to parents in her local parenting network. She dreams of being an author of a book and maybe the scriptwriter of a film someday!

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