Five great personalised gifts to buy now
There was a time when I was downright obsessed with having all kinds of everything personalised. I had friendship bracelets with my name embroidered into the weave; I had a necklace with a grain of rice inside a capsule, with 'Rosemary' painstakingly etched on to it (I'm sure those Turkish street traders were cursing my name); my living room was covered in caricatures of me, prints of my dog, er, a felted plush doll in my image (don't ask)...
But now? Now, I like to think I'm more discerning, and while I still think that personalisation is cute and, at times, thoughtful, it can also be super kitsch and result in you owning way too many mugs with your names on them, none of which you actually like. And it's really tough to have a Pinterest-worthy home when you own too many mismatched mugs.
I thought I'd have a little online hunt to see what personalised gifts are out there that are: meaningful, beautiful and Pinterest-worthy. And it wasn't easy – because there are any infinite number of personalised gifts that are complete and utter tat. So consider this me doing the hard work, so you don't have to. (You're welcome.)
Doggy portrait cushions
Mia Loves Jay is an Irish brand (shop them on Etsy Ireland) that will put a portrait of your furry friend, in Liberty print, on a cushion, for €220 a pop. For those on a budget, Mia will also render your doggy on a card (I had Christmas cards of Coileán made one year, which was adorable), for special occasions.
I bought two of these cushions as a wedding present for my sister and her husband, of their dog (sadly, late of this world) – and they are so, so beautiful. Plus, we all know someone who loves their dog that little bit too much; what could be better than personalised gifts of their mutt, immortalised in floral fabric?!
Customisable slogan sequin sweaters <3
I obviously mean jumpers, but damn, those Americans be cray. Ellen Kavanagh of Waxperts' fame rocks one of these Bow and Drape jumpers like no other, and ever since I saw her one I have been seriously coveting a sequinned wonder of my own! But the best bit of all is that you can personalise it. As gifts go, this is a doozy if you ask me; it's a cute jumper, you can buy in a colour you know your giftee will like and wear, and you can choose a hilarious / fitting slogan that suits their personality or your relationship. (Plus, not to run away with the dog theme, but you can also buy the canine counterpart... swoon!)
Bespoke felted characters
This is kind of a random one, because, really, who needs felted characters – of themselves or of anyone else – to clutter up their houses? But I've gone to Guadalupe Creations twice for wedding gifts – she'll make bespoke felted characters wearing the exact same wedding outfits as your bride and groom, framed, for €145. The results are incredibly cute, really personal and look gorgeous on the wall, without being too "look at us at our wedding!" Y'know, in case some couples aren't into that.
3D printed textlace
Love and Robots is another Irish company going down the route of personalised gifts – even if this is the kind of thing you'd probably gift yourself. Starting at €45, you can customise your own textlace – necklace with text, duh – in a font, colour and text of your choosing, including hashtags (so 2016). I'm slightly obsessed with 3D printing, so I'll admit that there is a novelty factor to this gift that may not exactly constitute a "classic", Pinterest-worthy gift, but c'mon, they're deadly! I'd happily wear one that says "Robots", actually, it's slick. Two very enthusiastic thumbs up.
Louis Vuitton monogrammed, er, anything
Full disclosure: I don't own anything by Louis Vuitton, unless you count a rather bizarre and hard-to-play board game I was given as a press gift. And even though my friend Ella, who owns Siopaella, a designer consignment shop in Dublin city, says that monogramming your items seriously reduces their resale value, I would totally get my LV monogrammed. Look how gorgeous Ciara's looks! If you buy something in Louis Vuitton, they will hot-stamp it with no extra charge, but expect to wait 3-5 days for the privilege – and whatever you buy, you'll pay well for it; the agenda costs €255. So, as personalised gifts go, this is a slightly spendy one. But for someone you love? Price is no object, right?
*The personalised Lindt bunny was sent to me as a complimentary press gift. You can buy your own Lindt gold bunny (€6 for a 200g bun-bun) on Level 3 at Brown Thomas Dublin, from now until Easter.