Gift ideas from local makers

Why not support local creativity by buying your presents from local makers this year? You’ll also have the pleasure of knowing that your gift is likely to be unique and won’t be found anywhere else on the high street! Here are a few ideas..

Jewellery and accessories

Zahara crystal earrings by Vintage Rose JewelleryZahara Crystal Earrings
These gorgeous earrings comprise two druzy crystals, electroplated in 24k gold and measure approximately 7cm in length. A druzy is made up of tiny crystals of minerals that form on the surface of a stone.

Available in blue, black and green, please note shape and size of crystals may vary.
Price £35

Available from Vintage Rose Jewellery



Zahara Long Necklace by Vintage Rose Jewellery

Zahara Long Necklace
This gorgeous long necklace comprises a druzy crystal with a ball chain.This necklace measures approximately 44cm in length. Available in pink, purple, green, blue and black. Please note shape and size of crystals may vary. Price £29
Available from Vintage Rose Jewellery

Emerald green necklace by Elena Hall

Emerald green necklace
Gorgeous emerald green hand knitted necklace in green enamelled copper and emerald embroidery thread. This statement piece adds colour to any outfit, looking great with muted shades and brights alike. It really is a one of a kind necklace
Price: £55

Available from


Printed Geometric Leather Cuff Bangle Bracelet by Foxtrot Designs


Printed geometric leather cuff
Hand printed leather bangle – inspired by geometric fabric patterns. The bangle is light to wear and being leather is strong too. Will fit most common wrist sizes – between 6.5 to 7 inches. Toggle clasp.
Price: £30

Available from

'Umbags' and (up)cycle seat covers


Umbags are created out of the fabric from discarded umbrellas. Stylish, strong, lightweight and water-resistant, they are designed to be kept with you at all times to avoid the need for a plastic bag.
Price: £10

(Up)cycle seat covers
Re-cycle seat covers are also made from discarded umbrella fabric. They are elasticated with waterproof-taped seams and will fit most bike saddles.
Price: £10

Both products can be bought from or a wider selection is available at Diverse Gifts, 390 Coldharbour Lane, Brixton SW9 8LF.

Indigo shibori scarves

Flextiles’ scarves are hand dyed with indigo using the Japanese shibori technique ( a kind of sophisticated tie dye). Because the scarves are upcycled, each one is unique and you also have the satisfaction of knowing that you are doing your bit for the environment!
Price: From £25

Available from Etsy




Home and children
Jewels / Keys Decorative Holder by dis Badeth!Jewels / Keys Decorative Holder
Wood covered in a colourful cotton fabric, with a contrasting ric rac braid at the front. Four cup hooks screwed at the bottom of the canvas offer enough space for your keys or necklaces.
Price: £22

Available from

Bedding Set for Doll Bed by dis Badeth!Bedding set for doll’s bed
This pretty soft bedding with an all-over colourful design is made of cotton, and the pillow is stuffed with foam. The perfect gift for your little sweetheart and her dolly.
Price: £22

Available from





The Sea A2 Screen Print by Kaylene Alder


The Sea A2 screen print
This is a screen print of an original illustration inspired by Byron. Of course dahhhlllinng – Byron!
Price: £40 plus postage

Available from




Cat Bowl Canoe - A4 Screen Print by Kaylene Alder



Cat Bowl Canoe – A4 screen print
This is a screen print of an original illustration from the ‘Ships in Small Water’ series.
Price: £25 plus postage

Available from



Art print 'considering mermaid' by Sarah O Sarah

Art print ‘considering mermaid’
Intellectual mermaid stops to have a think about what presents to buy her beloved. The Scoop frame is made from solid wood measuring 1.06″ wide x 1.06″ deep. Premium shatterproof acrylic protects the art print, while an acid free dust cover on the back provides a custom finish. Includes wall hanging hardware. Paper size 10″ x 8″. Printed area 7″ x 6″.
Price: £22

Available from

Art print 'moondance' by Sarah O Sarah

Art print ‘moondance’
It’s a wonderful night for a moondance 😉 Original art hand cut paper collage on black heavyweight cartridge 14.8 cm x 21cm. Unframed. Packaged inside cellophane envelope with mount board & packaged well enough to reach you in impeccable condition.
Price: £95

Available from

London neighbourhood tea towels by Ray Stanbrook

London neighbourhood tea towels
These colourful and fun illustrated tea towels celebrate London locations from the Barbican and Brixton to Tooting and Walthamstow and make the perfect affordable gift for your London based friends and family.

Price: £8
Available from

Little Angel 1 by Aneta Sroden Little Angel 1 and Little Angel 2

Acrylic on canvas painting size:25x30cm.

Price: £85

Contact Aneta via email on or send a message through for more information or to buy a painting.

Little Angel 2 by Aneta Srodon

Introducing Rock, Paper, Scissors

Outside of Rock, Paper, Scissors shop at L'Arche LondonA little less than two months ago we advertised an opportunity for our makers to be involved in a community-oriented pop-up shop in West Norwood over the Christmas period. This post describing the shop is by one of the makers involved, Annahita Mansoori, who creates luxury printed stationery under the name of CL.AM Correspondence.




Rock Paper Scissors is a new pop-up retail space, shared by a collective of local creatives looking to showcase their wares, and be a part of the blossoming West Norwood art and design community. The pop-up is a collaborative partnership between Makerhood and West Norwood’s sustainable community project The Openworks, and is kindly hosted by learning disability charity L’arche at No. 9-13 West Norwood High Street.

The pop-up retail space enables local crafters through to new start-ups, to experienced entrepreneurs a chance to sell to the public in a shop environment, gaining invaluable skills and feedback, while feeling supported as part of a collective. From designer/makers, to photographers, to stationery and craft-there is a host of beautiful handmade wares on offer from over 20 local makers. We are also delighted to now be selling West Norwood Feast merchandise, alongside handmade cards and candles by the L’arche community.

Handmade goods for sale at Rock, Paper, ScissorsThere will be creative workshops run from L’arche with ‘The Stitch’ already well underway for all budding sewers. Run by local sewing enthusiast Tara every Saturday 11am-1pm, this is a chance to sew, knit, tailor, upholster or craft at any ability, while having a gossip with fellow stitch fans!


Candles by L'Arche LondonWith Christmas now under a month away, the shop will be open from 10am-4pm Thursday-Sunday and is the perfect stop-off for unique and original handmade gifts. So this year please support your local community, boycott corporate retail, and #shoplocal for your nearest and dearest!


Handmade fox in Rock, Paper, ScissorsWe’ll be taking part in Small Business Saturday on 6/7 December and we’re hosting a launch party from 18.30 – 20.30 on Wednesday 3 December so there are plenty of chances for you to pop in, meet some of the makers and do your Christmas shopping – hope you can join us!


For upcoming Xmas events and news follow us on Twitter @RPS_SE27 or on Facebook 

All photos ©RunnyCustard

Makerhood at Diverse Gifts, Brixton

Anita Thorpe of Diverse Gifts, Brixton, has certainly had a stressful few weeks.

Why? Well, she’s been working with Makerhood on the second annual Christmas promotion of local makers – but of course, that has all gone very smoothly. 😉

No – the main reason is because she’s moved shop. It may be just around the corner (from Atlantic Road to 390 Coldharbour Lane), but late-running building work caused several delays. And even now there’s still work to be done – Anita says she may have to come in over the holidays to oversee a new parquet floor being laid.


Despite this, the shop is looking good – larger, lighter and brighter than the old one, and with a tempting range of work by local makers, including Makerhood.

In fact, Makerhoodies have their own special section of the shop, with lovely work for sale including:

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So if you’re looking for locally made Christmas presents, pop along to Diverse Gifts, 390 Coldharbour Lane, Brixton SW9 8LF. The shop is open Mon-Sat 10am-7pm, Sun 11am-5pm.


The London Beer Lab

BeerSaskia spoke to Bruno and Karl from the London Beer Lab about the opening of their micro-brewery later this month, and about exciting local beer plans with Brixton Buzz.

Why open a brewery in Brixton?

Bruno: When I moved to London I could not really find a wide variety of beer and I started to home brew. Back in my home town, in Lyon, it is possible to do home brewing courses. I was surprised to find that there were no brewing workshops in London, and I thought to myself “we should do this in London”. This is how it started. I use to work in finance, this is a bit of a transition for me. The first home brewing workshop took place in my flat last year. My entire flat got taken over by brewing equipment, so we decided to look for a place to open a micro-brewery.

Karl: We looked at possible sites across London, Brixton was the best location we could find. We are close to the Brixton high street,…

Bruno: …other businesses, and the community. The other possible sites were hidden in industrial parks. We are close to Brixton Market and the Tube, making it easy for people to find us.

Karl: We moved in February this year, in June we held our first brewing workshop here. The workshops have been great. People have been returning to bottle their beer and have been very happy. A couple brewed wheat beer especially for their wedding.


What type of beer will you be making?

Bruno: We just brewed some Bavarian wheat beer, and some amber ale. The brewing workshops we do every week will determine what we brew next. It can really be any type of beer, we will see what requests we are getting. In the fermentation room we have some Belgium styles, some altbier and pilsner. We want to experiment, that’s one of the guiding principles of the London Beer Lab. That’s why I wanted to open a brewery really, to brew different beers.

Karl: For the moment we will be focusing on bottled beer. We are also doing a collaboration with Brixton Buzz, they will crowd source the recipe for a beer from local internet forum Urban75. It is great how they get people involved. It looks like people are going for a medium strength pale ale, with something that gives it a bit of a buzz. Brixton Buzz will probably be available in local pubs from mid August. More will be revealed soon.

Will you cater mainly to the South London craft beer connoisseurs, or are you planning to win over a new audience?


Bruno: In fact we are planning for world domination.

Karl: It is not like we have different opinions… We both feel that people should not be drinking bad beer. We also don’t think that craft beer should be the preserve of the beard and sandals brigade or yuppies, it should be accessible to people and hopefully we can contribute to that locally.

Bruno: We will definitely cater for the beer connoisseurs, but also introduce beer to a new audience through our workshops. There are now in the region of 50 micro-breweries in London and we are planning to stock beer from other micro-breweries, for people to buy. Alongside that we will be selling our own beer. If we get a feel for the local taste, we may get local pubs interested.

Are you currently working with other local businesses?

Bruno: We are very much focused on getting up and running, and ready for our official opening later in August. We need to get some shelves, and cardboard boxes for the bottles. We are currently looking for a local bakery to work with. The spent grain we have left over from brewing can be made into bread. Do you know a local bakery?

Saskia: Sure.

To be continued. The London Beer Lab micro-brewery can be visited at Arch 41 Nursery Road (row of arches across the street from bar SW9). More information about the London Beer Lab brewing workshops can be found at



Makers in the Hood

MITH CollageThis Christmas, Brixton giftshop Diverse is showcasing Brixton creative talent through its “Makers in the Hood” event.

There are 16 makers taking part, offering a wide range of hand-made products, such as artwork, toys, natural products, jewellery, accessories and more. The event runs until the end of the year.

Many of the makers taking part are members of Makerhood; in fact, the idea for Makers in the Hood came about because there are so many local makers wanting to sell their products through local shops.

Diverse’s owner, Anita Thorpe, says: “This is a ‘win-win situation’ for everyone, as many of my customers are looking for something unique and prefer to buy local if they can.”

In addition to having products for sale, each day one maker will have a special offer and be profiled in the Diverse blog.

You can read more about Makers in the Hood and see participants’ profiles by visiting Diverse’s website and blog.

Curation by Stella Duffy

We’re delighted to announce that acclaimed local author and playwright  Stella Duffy is our latest curator, choosing her five favourite items from the Makerhood website.

For almost 15 years Stella has lived in Loughborough Junction, where her Orange-prize longlisted novel The Room of Lost Things is set. She has written 13 novels, 10 plays, many short stories, and also performs and directs theatre, most recently TaniwhaThames, also local, at Oval House.

Her favourite Brixton shop is Italian gelateria Lab G (even in winter), closely followed by Etta’s Seafood Kitchen, though not usually in that order. Stella also hosts the Up the Junction literary-and-short-film salons at Whirled Cinema, and is a member of the SGI Buddhist organisation, practising in her local district in Brixton. She is hugely looking forward to Brockwell Lido re-opening for 2012.

So what did Stella pick? Here are her choices:

“Marbled chocolate caramel on the Picakes page (actually, most things on the Picakes page).”

Roast red pepper ketchup from Cornercopia – I like spicy and yummy things, and this would appear to be both.”

Trip Stylist’s guided walks of London – because I like walking and I love London”

“The gorgeous Bettie Brazen bunting – because if we must celebrate the Diamond Jubilee, we could at least do it with style. ”

Cornercopia hamper – yay, they’ve already packed it!”

Online shopping can help revitalise the high street

Mary Portas’s review of the future of our high streets highlights that online shopping has contributed to the demise of town centres.

But the work we have done with Makerhood shows that online sites can also help revitalise interest in buying locally.

Makerhood market stall
Photo by Andy Broomfield

Launched in July 2011, helps shoppers in Brixton and nearby areas of south London find local makers and producers.

Our website currently lists more than 540 items from local makers, ranging from biscuits and greetings cards to T-shirts, prints and bedside cabinets. Prices start at 80p for a Brixton postcard and go up to £1,400 for a piece of wall art.

But Makerhood is about more than selling online. We worked with the Brixton Market Traders Federation (BMTF) to help set up the monthly Brixton Makers’ Market on the second Saturday of every month. The success of this has encouraged the BMTF to launch themed markets on other Saturdays.

And Makerhood has collaborated with other venues in Brixton too, including:

  • an exhibition of Makerhood artists at the Lounge
  • a sell-out local makers’ forum at the Living Bar, offering business advice from experts in markets and small design businesses to help their makers establish sustainable business practices
  • pop-up stalls in Brixton Village in the run-up to Christmas.
Makerhood makers forum
Photo by Andy Broomfield

These events all contribute to the revitalisation of Brixton town centre and its reputation as a creative hub of south London.

Kristina Glushkova of Makerhood says: “Small creative businesses often can’t afford a high-street shop, especially when they’re just starting up. As well as offering them an opportunity to sell online, we’ve helped set up the monthly Makers’ Market and pop-up stalls in Brixton Village.

Photo by Andy Broomfield

“There’s a real creative buzz around Brixton at the moment and we’re proud that we’ve done our bit to help put it on the map.”

Creative collaboration in Brixton

Photo by Owen Llewellyn

Makerhood member Eight B Design has collaborated with another Brixton business, Giant Sparrows, to produce a novel range of mobile phone cases featuring street art by international artists, including Banksy.  The designs were once found in the Waterloo area but have now been painted over by other artists, reflecting the temporary nature of street art.

Chris Patton, who runs Eight B Design, says, “Each piece of street art tells someone’s story and we may never find out more about them.  I found that thought very moving, and by photographing this artwork and turning it into designs for everyday objects such as mobile phones, it is valued and preserved.”

Chris was already using his photographs to create original greetings cards, gift tags and notebooks, which he sells through Makerhood and at local markets.  He met Christa Demetriou from Giant Sparrows at his stall at Brixton Makers’ Market one Saturday morning.

Giant Sparrows is a new Brixton-based company that allows people to personalise their mobile phone case with their own images or inspiring art and design from a growing roster of artists.

Christa says, “We’d been looking for great images of street art since we launched in September, so I was really excited to come across Chris’s designs right on our doorstep. We have an eclectic mix of artworks from Van Gogh and Hokusai to contemporary artists and film makers, so Chris’s work fits right in with our motto Find Art, Make Art, Share Art.

“The cases are made of high-quality, shatterproof polycarbonate with the image embedded deep into the cover so it won’t scratch, fade or peel off. This means that, as well as having ‘a little art history in your pocket’, your phone is well protected.”

We’re delighted that by working with Brixton Market Traders Federation and Brixton Village, Makerhood is helping to create opportunities for local artists, designers and manufacturers to get together, share ideas and create new products. This latest venture is further evidence that Brixton is becoming the creative hub of south London.

October Brixton Makers’ Market

Lots of new and familiar faces turned  up yesterday for the second Makers’ Market at Brixton. Coinciding with the We Love Brixton event in Windrush Square, it meant that there was a fair number of people around.

As well as the Makerhood stall, there were lots of individual Makerhood makers, including delicious cakes from Picakes and Wolfe, fascinators from Bright Side, Dark Side, chilli jam from Red Ant Hot Chilli Jam, art and felt from Aiste’s Art, cards from Eight B Design, and lots of yummy goodies from Brixton Cornercopia.

Other Makerhood makers dropped by to say hello, including Galavant and Laura Ward, who also posted some lovely photos on her own blog.

The next Makers’ Market is on 12 November (second Saturday of every month).  Other new markets include a food market every Friday, a flea market on the first Saturday of the month, and a retro and vintage market on the third Saturday of the month. For more information, contact Lisa Watson on

Win £15 to spend on Makerhood!

As an extra incentive to support local makers as they start off online, we’re offering a weekly prize of £15 to spend on Makerhood.

Every week from 18 July to 4 September, we will pick one name at random from everyone who has bought something from the Makerhood website that week. The lucky winner will get £15 to spend on any item they like on the site.

So visit Makerhood Brixton, support local makers and start spending now to be in with a chance!