heidi burton

Etsy Christmas/Holiday Gift Guide 2018 - A DIY Christmas

Gingerbread House Kit    by Pinkcocoashop

Gingerbread House Kit by Pinkcocoashop

Spending time with family and friends makes the holiday season so special. This year I’ve selected Etsy items from UK sellers that you can create yourself and get the family involved with!

These DIY kits make unique gifts too (the gift of creativity!) and you’ll find projects to choose from for all ages, skill levels, and tastes.

Click through the images to see the listings on Etsy.

There is another great way to give the gift of creativity and a new skill! A voucher for one of the fantastic courses or workshops offered on Etsy.

To see my 2017 Nordic Etsy Christmas gift guide inspired by my Finnish family traditions, lookie here!

Wishing you all a happy, healthy, creative Christmas!

A wee note: while my post does contain affiliate links, this does not affect which items I choose. It simply means if you purchase something via one of my links I receive a small commission to top up my tea jar!

How to use Pinterest trend predictions to grow your business

Pinterest publishes an annual categorised list of data-backed emerging trends, and last December they shared their list of 100 trends to know for 2018.

The Pinterest list of 100 trend predictions for 2018

To begin with, have a read of Pinterest's blog post list: 100 trend predictions for 2018.
You can also download a PDF of the complete report with additional insights and metrics here.

You may be wondering how to use these trend predictions for the benefit of your small business. It's all very well to look at the list and think 'ooh, statement ceilings are gonna be big this year, how interesting!' but as businesses, we can actually use the data as actionable insights and make this information worthwhile to our brands. What can we do with essentially a free guide to what will be searched for and salivated over in the near future?

The Pinterest trends list is a vault of unlocked ideas. From a creative perspective you could use some of these to inspire what you make, how you market your business/products, and even aspects such as what to post on social media. You may not see any obvious connections with your own products/services, but some of the trends are transferable and linked in un-obvious ways!

Using Pinterest data to inspire and adapt what you make

Example: you're a bookbinder, and Pinterest predicts that 'unique keepsake guestbooks' are on the up. You could think about creating your own version of keepsake guestbooks. People are specifically searching for unique keepsake guestbooks, so be sure to design something original, perhaps even combining this with another trend, e.g. 'boho baby showers'!

A post shared by Stacy Koo (@doraecyscraps) on

Using Pinterest data to inspire your marketing

Example: you make scented candles and are planning a photoshoot. Pinterest predicts that the colour 'sage green' and 'patterned plants' are gaining momentum. These could be used as a theme for your photograph backgrounds and props to keep them fresh and on-trend. You could even incorporate these elements as a theme for social media cover images, branding, etc, and tailor towards your target audience.

A post shared by vtwonen (@vtwonen) on

Using Pinterest data to inspire your social media posts

Example: you're a leather worker, working from your garage. Pinterest predicts that 'garage workshop' is a rising trend, with a specifically targetable interest of 'craft storage'. Now imagine you organise that workspace a bit and take gorgeous pictures of it. Include some close ups of details, images of you working in your 'garage workshop', photos of your 'craft storage', videos of you speaking about your work, etc, and then release these as a series of posts on Instagram and Pinterest, along with explanations and your story, and blog about it too, why not! Further the reach of your posts by researching hashtags relevant to workspaces, home studios, work in progress, maker portraits, etc to target your ideal audience, and bingo! 

Other examples of incorporating trends:

  • Use popular themes for your packaging, e.g. street art, patterned plants, herringbone tile patterns on gift wrap and tags.
  • Start Pinterest boards with your own curated collections of the trending items and ideas.
  • Write a DIY tutorial blog post with instructions on how to make something related to a trending style.
  • Write a blog post featuring your favourite trend. (Then pin that to Pinterest!)
  • Start a project of documenting one of the trends e.g. 'colourful doors' and post a series on your blog and social media.

Bear in mind that the insights are from Pinterest, so we shouldn't make the assumption that these will be trends across all platforms and audiences. The data these trends are based on is analysed from search and save patterns of Pinterest users/shoppers so may not representatively reflect what a Facebook user is interested in, for example.

Are you thinking of incorporating future trends into your business strategy? Or is this something you already do? How is it working out for you? We'd love to know!

Defining Your Brand's Visual Identity Using Colour

Your brand colours count towards a cohesive visual identity

Brands in-the-know will create their own set of brand guidelines. This usually includes tone of voice (think social media, advertising, etc), and visual style when utilising typefaces, images and colour palettes. It's all about having a recognisable, cohesive brand. See some examples here. This post is about one element of your brand's visual identity: defining your brand colours.

Experts talk about the psychology of colour, how it will make your customer feel, how you must research colours and they must resonate with your audience etc, but I prefer a more organic approach - if you are selling to people like you, pick colours you like!

There are plenty of websites offering colour palette pickers, and I like using Color Palette FX. Upload an image and it will display the colours from it. This works well if you have a photo that defines your brand e.g. has many different bright colours or has muted pastel hues, etc.

branding your small business using colour palette

Click on each colour you like to find the hex code (the number/code used in computer applications to represent colours). Make a note of the hex codes as you can then use the exact same colours for all your branding elements.

hex colours for online branding

See how nicely some of these colours go together? I warn you, it's pretty addictive! So here, Mountbatten Pink has the hex number: #997788. Pick a few colours that work well together, and then set about creating your images & web presence with them.

If you already have a website, upload a screenshot instead of an image to Color Palette FX.

In many cases when creating images online, you'll have the opportunity to enter your hex codes where there is a colour picker. Here is one of the places you can find the hex code in Photoshop:

Appoint specific colours to particular elements e.g. pale purple for text headings, dark purple for borders, mid blue for links, etc.

Further reading:

If you already have your branding fine-tuned, please do share how you came about picking your colours in the comments below.

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