Christmas is almost here, we’re only ten days away (it’s ok if you start panicking now).
If you are anything like me, you’re struggling to buy the right presents. And now you’re leaving the arduous task for the last possible day. Well, you don’t need to, because I’m landing you a hand.
This year, instead of browsing the web for multiple things like last year, I chose 13 presents. For under 50 dollars (or 50 euros), you can get to your coworker, or family, the best creative Portuguese presents!
Yes, I decided to compile some of the best creative presents that my country has to offer so you can have affordable options with the best possible quality and originality. Because Portugal has a lot more to offer than the Web Summit experience.
These presents were chosen with creative people in mind. Doesn’t mean that you can’t get them to anyone, they might not appreciate them as much as someone that works in a creative field.
Before purchasing any of the following products, consider what you know about the person you’re giving the gift to, and then choose the present accordingly.
Let’s dig into this list where I will tell you why I chose these presents, and why you should do it too.
Creative Portuguese presents’ suggestions
1. Viarco’s Silkscreen Series
Viarco is 111 years old, and it’s also the only pencil factory we have in Portugal. It started in 1907 in Vila do Conde, back then a small village in the north of the country. Over time, this brand became a worldwide brand recognized by the quality of its pencils, as well as for continually trying to innovate.
Since 2007, Viarco’s main concerns are collaboration and experimentation. One of those collaborations resulted in this product; a set of 24 pencils with the ColorADD code.
This series has two different packages to chose from, and it costs around 28 dollars (25 euros) plus shipping.
2. Minho’s book by Serrote
This is a unique book for those that are obsessed with pixels (like most designers), and that want to know more about the Portuguese culture.
Nuno Neves, a Portuguese designer, illustrator, and the author of this book describes it like this: “Every page of this book was drawn pixel after pixel under the influence of the cross-stitching techniques of the Lovers’ Handkerchiefs, and as a result of various trips through the region. It is a book plentiful filled with illustrations about Minho. The region’s delicacies are depicted, as the old-fashioned motorbikes, the classic straw coats or the traditional village’s bull.”
You can find it online in several stores, and it will cost around 16 dollars (14 euros) plus shipping.
3. Red Wolf’s illustration
Red Wolf is an illustration and design brand from Porto. Created in 2016 by Filipe Duarte and Joana Campos Silva, both connect to design and creative fields, it specializes in costume illustrations.
The one I suggest it’s called Woman Color 2 and costs around 18 dollars (16 euros) plus shipping. You can also get in touch with the brand for a personalized and even more special illustration.
4. 2019 Annual calendar by beija-flor
Beija-flor was born in 2011 at Porto. It’s a “stationery brand that has a preference for patterns, illustration, and everything Portuguese.” So, of course, I needed to include it on this gift list.
All the products are beautifully and uniquely made if you ask me, so I struggled to decide on one in particular. But ultimately, I believe the annual calendar it’s a great choice because you’ll get the best of two worlds: the craft from beija-for and the content from several talented Portuguese artists. So it’s a double win situation.
It costs around 30 dollars (26 euros) plus shipping.
5. Alfamarama’s “My kind of designer bag”
“Simple gifts with a sense of humor.” This is how Pedro Vieira, the owner of Alfamarama describes it on Etsy.
Pedro was tired of his old job when he decided to start selling his own products on Etsy back in 2012.
The original idea was to sell souvenirs from the oldest neighborhood in Lisbon, Alfama. But Pedro soon realized that notebooks with ironic quotes had much higher demand than the mugs he was producing at that time. And that’s how Alfamarama became what it is today, the coolest, and funniest ironic brand I found here in Lisbon.
There’s a big list of products to choose from, but I really liked this “My kind of designer bag” tote bag. It costs around 13 dollars (12 euros) plus shipping if you’re outside Portugal.
6. Bordallo Pinheiro’s “Sardinha made by You”
This is a brand from 1884 by Raphael Bordallo Pinheiro and his brother, called Fábrica de Faianças das Caldas initially.
Bordallo Pinheiro was an impressive Portuguese in the 19th century. He strived in creative fields such as humorist drawing, caricature, and ceramics.
His son, Manuel Gustavo Bordallo Pinheiro continued the ceramic tradition and later on, the brand was acquired by Grupo Visabeira, that continues to produce pieces based on historical continuity.
The sardine is one of their most famous products, mostly because it became a Lisbon symbol, and also because of the annual international competition for the design of the best sardine.
For these reasons, what’s best then gifting someone a DIY sardine? It’s a great creative activity plus it stays as a real reminder of a great gift.
It’s one the most expensive gift on this list, costing around 34 dollars (30 euros) plus shipping.
7. Toyno’s Emilio lamp
Toyno was founded by Rui Quinta and Joana Brígido in 2011. They decided it was time to create products “to engage physically and emotionally with their owners.”
Even though nowadays Toyno is more focused on designing spaces than the original cardboard figures, it’s still possible to buy some of theme, such as Emilio.
I picked this product specifically because I was gifted one last year, and I love it!
Both the packaging and the assembling process were cleverly designed to make this a creative little perfect gift.
You can buy Emilio for around 14 dollars (12 euros) plus shipping.
8. It Takes 2 Notebook Set by LifestoriesLab
Two friends, Rita and Maria, joined their love for good stories and created this brand in 2008.
They consider themselves as storytellers and story hunters and as so they divided their services into three: Lab Stories, Small Stories, and Paper Stories.
In this last category, we can find excellent stationary products such as the It takes 2 Notebook Set.
I would go for the Pirate Black & Snow White because I have a soft spot for black and white combinations.
This is an exciting choice of gift because you get to keep one for yourself, give the other to someone special, and from time to time get together to share your ideas.
The set price is around 16 dollars (14 euros) plus shipping.
9. Workshop in a box by Workshoped
I’ve mentioned this project on last year’s list of presents for artsy people. The reason why I decided to include it on this year’s list again is that they keep adding new, exciting workshops to their options.
Bookbinding, initiation to calligraphy, stamp making, and felt bags. These are some of the most recent boxes.
I would probably choose something like bookbinding or calligraphy, but you can also opt for artisanal chocolates or bath bombs.
The price for each workshop varies between 19 and 23 dollars (17 and 20 euros), plus shipping.
10. Fica-Oficina Criativa’s Ceramic kit
Located at LX Factory, Fica – Oficina Criativa is a place where you go to learn, practice and do your own projects. Anything from ceramics, wood, riso printing, screen printing or bookbinding is welcome at this “gym of all trades.” Plus, you can always count on Rita and Gonçalo, the founders, to give any help you might need.
For someone that already has a soft spot for ceramics and it’s pretty difficult to please, I suggest Fica’s ceramic kit. You can get it for around 36 dollars (32 euros) plus shipping.
11. Anna Westerlund teacups
Founded in Lisbon, in 2013, Anna Westerlund is a ceramic atelier where no two pieces look alike.
Anna, the owner, believes in ecological design, and in the authenticity of the small-scale production.
Her pieces are one of a kind, just the type of present you want to give to someone that can spot beauty even in the most common places.
This set of dancing blue teacups will cost you around 18 dollars (16 euros) plus shipping, and I’m sure it will make someone smile.
12. Triciclo Editora’s Serra da Estrela game
Triciclo is a micro editor brand that publishes zines for kids. It started in Lisbon by the hands of three illustrators, Ana Braga, Inês Machado, and Tiago Guerreiro.
You can find books, games and their own magazine beside the zines.
I fell in love with this Serra da Estrela board game. It’s an incredible piece, made to be durable (because it’s wood) and printed using screen printing techniques. Someone that used to (or still) play board games would truly appreciate this gift.
Most likely the rules are written in Portuguese, but I’m sure you can find a way to translate them.
The game costs around 25 dollars (22 euros) plus shipping.
13. San Efforts tee by Três Tristes T-shirts
Três Tristes T-shirts was founded this year by Liliana Marques. It translates into “three sad t-shirts,” and according to its website, it’s a brand of quoted t-shirts with a low level of sadness. They are always presented in a collection of three, are 100% made in Portugal, and 100% cotton.
My favorite one is the San Efforts since I believe it can be a little ironic. It costs around 28 dollars (25 euros) plus shipping.
Get moving and buy your Christmas presents
So there you have it! A full list of gifts ideas of Portuguese creative presents for that creative person in your life.
Do you have any other idea? Do you think I should have included any other Portuguese brand on the list? Leave your feedback on the comment box below.
Also published on Medium.