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Our Guide to Getting it Right With Personalised Gifts

Posted on November 08 2019

Bookshell Bindery Leather Personalised journals 

A thoughtful, personalised gift is irresistible. Through the simple act of gifting, we have the magical ability to transform an everyday object into a keepsake that may be treasured forever. Creating something unique can evoke strong emotions: it is a powerful way to show someone how much you care, and in-turn, how much they mean to you.

So, where exactly do you begin and how do you know what to write? Oh, the pressure! Don’t fret, just follow our nine helpful prompts below to get your creative juices flowing ...


Bookshell bindery Guide to Personalised gifts

1. Passions and interests

Spend a bit of time thinking about what the person is passionate about. It might not be your cup of tea but this is a great place to start. Do they have an unusual pastime or fascination? What do they spend their spare time doing? Do they love long-distance running, are they obsessed with vintage Japanese cars, or do they simply have an affinity with cardigans? These little nuggets of information are a great starting point for a personalised gift. 


Bookshell Bindery Guide to Personalised Gifts with a personalised notebook, personalised keyring, personalised pencils and personalised journal

2. What are they good/bad at?

Broadly speaking, do they have any unusual skills or talents? Or rather, is there something they are notoriously bad at? Do they cook a ridiculously spicy curry, do they do the best/worst Dad dancing’? Sometimes it’s the bad as well as the good that can give you the inspiration needed for a good bespoke present! 


Bookshell Bindery Guide to Personalised Gifts

3. Game changing life events

Rights of passage are also a good source for personalisation ideas. Think about if the person’s life is about to change in some way, are they about to have a baby, finish school, or start a new job? Are they about to embark on a life changing adventure. Are they going travelling or taking a gap year?


Bookshell Bindery Guide to Personalised Gifts with a personalised coordinates keyring 4. Get numerical

Using significant dates or the coordinates of a special place is always a winner. Think: anniversaries, birthdays, milestones. You could even work out exactly how long ago a memorable day was, for example a 3rd wedding anniversary could become a leather personalised keyring embossed with the words, ‘1095 days/26,280 hours’. Top tip – Enter a ‘place name + coordinates’ into Google search and they will display the unique coordinates for that place.


Bookshell Bindery Guide to Personalised Gifts

5. Do they have a favourite?

Favourite books and films are also a great source of inspiration. Could you create a play on words from a famous book title, e.g. ‘The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn’ could become ‘The Adventures of Samuel Davidson’. Or ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ could become, ‘Isabella’s Adventures in Wonderland’. Famous film quotes also work well, such as, “May the Force be with you.” Star Wars; “The stuff that dreams are made of.” The Maltese Falcon; “Carpe diem. Seize the day.” Dead Poets Society.


Bookshell Bindery Guide to Personalised Gifts

6. Get personal

Do you have any in-jokes or soppy pet names for each other? If so, now’s the time to use them. Over the years we’ve had some truly unusual personalisation requests (you know who you are!). The good news is that we don’t judge!! And as long as it fits, we’re happy to emboss whatever your heart desires ;0)


Bookshell Bindery Guide to Personalised Gifts

7. Humour

Who doesn’t like a good joke? And if you’re lucky enough to be blessed with a funny bone then use it now. Sometimes we find humour works well when combined with an over-the-top or unexpected expletive, such as one of our all time favourites, ‘I fucking love you’, As mentioned before, we won’t judge, and we don’t mind type-setting the profane! 


Bookshell Bindery Guide to Personalised Gifts with a personalised leather phone case with she sells seashells embossed in gold foil

8. Alliteration

It doesn’t have to rhyme, but an alliterative title can deliver pizazz. ‘Suzie’s Drawings’ could become, ‘Susie’s Special Sketches’ or a cookery journal could become, ‘Rachael’s Ravishing Recipes’.


Bookshell Bindery Personalised monogrammed gifts

9. Keep it simple

If all else fails, opt for a simple monogram. Both classy and minimalist, this approach is a sure-fire crowd pleaser.


Our final words of wisdom

Getting it right with personalised gifts can take a bit of time, not just to come up with the perfect phrase or message, but also to have it custom made. Although we aim to dispatch all our items within 3 business days, personalised items can take a little longer, so allow up to 5 working days, plus your preferred shipping method. And finally, double check an item’s character limits for personalisation, as punctuation, symbols and spaces all count towards the maximum number.

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