Prepping for the Holidays & Commissions

I know, I know, Christmas still seems like miles away. Never too early to start preparing for seasonal products when you hand make them, though! (Honestly, I feel like I’m pretty late on this)

This year will be my first Christmas season with an Etsy Shop and open commissions. I already wish I had started planning this sooner but, live and learn, ya know? I’m really excited and I have tons of ideas of things I want to make and add to my shop, but we’ll see how time and resources work out for that.

As of late, I’ve actually been pretty busy with commissions, which is great! I’ve been having a lot of fun working on them. They’re my priority right now, so they do push back my holiday prep-work. I’m learning that I’m going to have to develop a whole new strategy for time management around the holidays. (Especially when I’m already exhausted from working in retail this time of year)

Here are a few recently completed commissions:

If you’d like to give a custom portrait, nursery art, or a pet portrait to someone (or yourself!) as a gift, just let me know! You can email me at and we can work it out 🙂


Shop Update Goals

mini pet portraits.jpg

I’d like to add some more options to my custom commissions. One idea is mini portraits that could be sent in an envelope and used for those cute little ornaments you normally use for photos. It’d be a fun and different way to use those ornaments. Plus, they’d be really affordable little personalized gifts. Another idea I had is to add an option for custom nursery wall art.

Aside from Custom work, there’s a few products I’d like to make as well. I was thinking of a set of greeting cards or stickers featuring colorful animals in winter gear or with things that comfort us in the winter (like hot cocoa!). It may be a little late for that now, and upon doing some research, the overhead cost of printing that is a little beyond my budget at the moment. I’ll probably hang on to that one for next year though. Maybe instead of postcards, I can just make a mini print set.


Little handmade charms and magnets would be fun too, but I think I may be a little too late for that. I guess I’m getting a little ambitious here.

I’ve got more gifts planned, but those are secrets I don’t want to be spoiled 😉

Maybe I’m really just a huge procrastinator, but I guess this year I’ll mostly just be learning where I went wrong and what I should have started earlier. I’m keeping track of things I’ve learned though. Maybe after the holidays or when I get a good size list going (whichever comes first) I’ll make a ‘Holiday Tips’ post 🙂

Here are my holiday prep tips so far:

  • Start thinking about what you want to make by July at the latest. (seriously, you’ll probably change the list 100 times before October)
  • If you’re making a lot of stuff, make a list. Make many lists. What gifts or shop items are you making? How many of each do you plan to make? If gifts, who are all the people you’re giving them to? What are the materials you will need and what is your budget for these projects going to be?
  • Make a general schedule/calendar of when you want to have them done by. Finish one item every week or two per month? When do you want to be totally done by? ( I should have done this last year, because I tried making candy and gift boxes and personalized tags last year all on 2 nights before Christmas for like, 20 people. It. was. rough.)
  • Make test runs/samples/etc now and start making final products asap

If you hand-make gifts for the holidays, do you have any advice for how to get it all done in time?

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