It’s that time of year again, when we wonder how to surprise the canal enthusiasts in our lives. You can easily pick up the usual coal scuttles, kettles and Buckby cans painted with roses and castles for those who love traditional folk art, but around the roving traders canal markets this year I have noticed many more unusual gift ideas, made by boaters who live aboard. Here are five floating businesses who offer some creative ideas for Christmas presents.

1. Wood Craft

Louise and Alison have been crafting for many years making everything from cards and prints to garden furniture. At Da Vinci Crafts they offer wooden craft blanks, embellishments, engraved wooden boxes, unique handmade gifts or original works of art. They can also make bespoke items to your requirements, be this a special design you need cutting out, or a personalised gift to give.

2. Fine Art

Jan Vallance’s Facebook page usually shows whatever she is painting at the moment: Often sheep, sometimes dogs, usually animals...but not exclusively! Small paintings and mini woodblocks are available at her Etsy shop The Art Boat.

3. Clay Babies

Marie Owker creates one of a kind handmade clay creations. Her earthlings, angels, fairies, elves, pixies, aliens and monkeys are all chip proof and shatter proof. PurpleHaze Forest Fairy Clay Creations.

4. Interactive Fantasy Art Book

Hilary Rhodes is a narrowboater who has published an unusual book called Exploration Without Boundaries: Virtual Voyages into Virtual Landscapes. It has a video DVD and an interactive work and invites you on a journey of reflection and fantasy through 48 digital landscapes - dreamlike yet reminiscent of familiar places.

5. Jewellery, Soap and Crafts

Jackie Warren’s narrowboat 'Half a Shilling' is home to Jays 4 Jewellery Soap and Crafts, which is both an online shop, and an on-board shop. She sells handmade jewellery, dream catchers, wind chimes, soap, bath bombs and bath cupcakes.

Free Gift!

Without a doubt you should find some one-of-a-kind Christmas gifts among this list of waterways traders. If you’d like to trade in your old boat for something bigger and better in 2016 contact us now! And grab yourself this free e-book How to Sell a Boat: The Ultimate Guide as an early Christmas present from us!


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