Fancytatcrafts – upcycling gift ideas

Claire and Janet, at Fancytatcrafts specialise in upcycling gift ideas. They create new and beautiful gifts and homewares by upcycling pre-loved or neglected stuff. Learn more about this inspirational Kent based mother and daughter team of creative crafters, their growing small business and their sustainable approach to design.    

Find Fancytatcrafts on Instagram to see all of their beautiful upcycled designs.

Making in the design studio, Fancytatcrafts

Tell us a little bit about your company? What do you offer?

Our philosophy at Fancytatcrafts is to reuse wherever possible. We make desk tidies from floppy disks, phone stands from vinyl records and bracelets from left over bits of coloured pencils.

Upcycled pencils bracelet, Fancytatcrafts

Our products are lovingly handmade by us from unwanted or salvaged objects and are often unique or limited edition due to the availability of materials.

Vinyl phone stand, Fancytatcrafts

How did you get into creating upcycling gift ideas?

As lifelong hoarders of useful knickknacks which ‘might come in handy one day’ we thoroughly enjoy finding new uses for so many interesting bits and pieces. Reusing what we already have also prevents us from needing to invest in more things.

In February 2013 we joined forces to breathe new life into our extensive collection of objet-d’art and inspire our friends and neighbours to upcycle and reuse. We both have a strong desire to be considerate of our environmental impact and to not be wasteful.

‘Fancy Tat’ became our way of showcasing and sharing the upcycled loveliness of our ever expanding collection. 

Vintage paper chains, upcycling gift ideas, Fancytatcrafts

Why do you think it’s important to support small businesses?

The nature of small businesses varies enormously. The local ‘bricks and mortar’ establishments such as the grocery shop, bakery, butcher and beautician add colour to the identity of each community and convenience to local shoppers.

Small online businesses run from a home office or studio, such as our own, produce a uniquely creative variety of products. New ideas created by unique individuals will always impact on the future of society as well as enable buyers to find tailor made gifts for their friends and family.

Interior design is trending toward the creation of distinctive character homes with conscious consideration of the environment. Many small businesses are perfectly placed to enable this bespoke approach to design.

What do you think makes a great gift?

Something that perfectly suits the unique character and interests of the recipient.

What are your top tips for finding the right gift for someone?

Find out what interests and inspires the person you are buying the gift for.

Search online for a small business designer-maker able to provide or produce the perfect gift for you. Many inspired makers are more than willing to discuss bespoke commissions.

What are your recommendations for favourite places to buy gifts?

So many. Here’s some:

  • Etsy
  • Amazon Handmade UK
  • Local Craft Shops
  • Charity Shops
  • Craft Fairs
  • Fellow makers

What is the best gift you have ever received?

Janet: A handmade bespoke silver necklace made by a small business designer-maker. The two silver hearts attached to the chain are imprinted with the fingerprints of my husband and daughter. A truly unique and bespoke handmade gift.

Claire: My husband spent several years searching for a particular toy fish (from Finding Nemo) that was no longer on the market. He eventually found a second hand one! Totally made my Christmas that year.

It’s clear that Claire and Janet have such a passion and commitment to upcycled design. You can see this so clearly from how they describe their business, their choice of favourite gifts and of course browsing through their Etsy shop, take a look! Some of my favourites here have to be their upcycled CD tea tight and decorative pansy sets, so beautiful. I also have my eye on the vintage sheet music series. It’s all so unique and individual and that, in my mind, is something that makes supporting small businesses so perfect, it means that you can gift and decorate your house with special objects that speak to you. Knowing that they support the environment, is just another added bonus.

Upcycled tea light holder, Fancytatcrafts

Want to learn about other small businesses that have a sustainable ethos? See my interview with Jungle Culture. 

Looking for more eco friendly gift inspiration? Check out my curated Etsy list of vegan sellers for more ideas.