Local craft gift ideas for that friend who’s impossible to shop for

So you’ve already settled the gifts for your friends who are into beauty and booze; but what about those who poo-poo big expensive presents? If you’re scouting around for something meaningful and unique, have a browse through the handcrafted works of our homegrown brands—it’s the perfect time to discover entrepreneurs who’ve turned their passions into their careers.


, Local craft gift ideas for that friend who’s impossible to shop for

You know them for their ang ku kueh cushion, but area65 (formerly Meykrs and Red Republic) has a whole range of local nostalgia-inspired trinkets that will bring an appreciative smirk to anyone’s face. They may be a commercially successful brand today, but there’s no denying the sweat that went into building it up from the ground. From their latest collection, grab a Peranakan Trinket Dish ($13.90) that can hold everything from loose change to nail polish to cigarette ash.

Available online and in-store at Marina Square, Plaza Singapura and Suntec City

Ethos Books

, Local craft gift ideas for that friend who’s impossible to shop for

It’s a 21st Century tragedy that we don’t read as much as we used to. If time is your primary gripe, independent local publisher Ethos Books has released a brand new series that could tackle just that. This Christmas, give the gift of reading with orbit, a series of short works giving voice to lesser-known narratives from around the world—easy to cart around, quick to devour, and wickedly affordable ($10). The first three titles of the series launched on Dec 1, and include a tiny space, a collection of poetry by a non-verbal 9-year-old on the autism spectrum and his family; Notes After Terawih, which compiles one woman’s observations after attending Muslim Terawih prayers for the first time; and Giving Alms, an anthology of short stories from Burmese locals.

Available online

Gallery & Co.

, Local craft gift ideas for that friend who’s impossible to shop for

While the ongoing Minimalism exhibition in town continues to wow, a corresponding retail collection by museum store Gallery & Co. has its own minimalist works of art you can actually buy. Launched in tandem with the art show, the collection takes visual cues (read: colour) from the exhibited artworks and feature collaboration with homegrown designers Super Attic and In Good Company, as well as Lasalle students. There’s everything from glass straws to namecard holders in a range of vibrant colours, but we’ve got our eye on the PVC Tote Bag ($29.90) that instantly brings to mind Olafur Eliasson’s mind-blowing Room for one colour.

Available at Gallery & Co.

Hush Candle

, Local craft gift ideas for that friend who’s impossible to shop for

Candles will remain now and forever a fail-safe option for Christmas gifting. But instead of getting yet another Bath & Body Works candle, invest your money in local sustainable candle brand Hush Candle. The two-woman team behind the brand specialise in hand-poured soy candles that use natural essential oils for an authentic, quality scent. They’ve since expanded into calming room sprays and handy roll-on perfumes as well. Pick up a limited-edition gift set ($50), which comes with a candle, spray and perfume, beautifully packaged and available in four scents: Peppermint Orange, Lavender, Rose and Lemongrass. The only thing more thoughtful than aromatherapy is handmade aromatherapy.

Available online and in-store at Tangs Orchard, Bloom Room Singapore, Stamping Ground Coffee and Therapy Market

Janice Wong

, Local craft gift ideas for that friend who’s impossible to shop for

Janice Wong may by now be the poster girl for Singapore-made chocolates, but that doesn’t mean her sweets are any less lovingly handcrafted. For that friend in your life who appreciates well-made, tasty confections, three new holiday hampers include the dessert maestro’s bestsellers as well as new and exclusive releases. The Small Box Set ($150) comes packed with a newly released Chocolate Paint Jar Set—a DIY edible art kit of chocolate paint, paint brushes and an acrylic board; the Crayon Box, or chocolate crayons in a rainbow of flavours; as well as cookies, nougats, and Janice Wong’s signature tea.

Available online and in-store