2019’s Most Uniqued Commissioned Items

I love making the perfect custom gift for someone — working with you to get it exactly right is one of my favorite things. I would be thrilled to set you up with the print, sticker, or blanket of your dreams, but I want you to know that the world is your oyster with regards to custom gifts. I’m going to share some unique suggestions that you can give your person — and you can shoot me an email at b@bridgetmakesstuff.com when you’re ready to get started!

If they…

…have a new baby, let’s make them a changing pad cover — you can put a smile on their face exactly when they need it.

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2019 Holiday Gift Guide

Stumped by a loved one? Walk with me through the metaphorical forest of perfect gifts for your loved one. Items here are from Fuckin’ Yikes, the Holigays, Sects Sell, Meet the Curator x bridgetmakesstuff, AND a limited-edition selection of best-selling gifts.

Okay, here we go! If you…

… can’t wait to tell this person about the annoying thing that happened today, because they have such a satisfying eye-roll

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BEHIND-THE-SCENES: 2019 in Review

decorative: logo

This year isn’t 100% over, but it’s getting there and I’m starting my 2020 planning, so I wanted to share some milestones and talk about my goals for 2020.

1. I started (and will complete) a certificate in User Experience Design

This degree has really helped me think about how to get my personal website in order and how to better serve clients. It’s my hope that the clout behind the program I completed will make me a more attractive candidate to customers seeking web design and re-design.

2020 Goal: Book three clients for entirely new web design work or full rebrands.

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HOW-TO: employing plain language as a UX professional AND as a small business owner

I read a great piece on Medium by Rachael Renk called Using Plain Language in UX Writing. In it, she makes a pitch for using plain English in UX work and making strong writing skills a priority for UX designers.

The primary example she gives is microcopy on a website you’re building — and that’s hugely important; it can make or break whether someone interact with the content. But it also got me thinking about all of the other ways that I apply that same spirit of saying exactly what I mean across my business — from those UX components to correspondence with design clients to selling retail products.

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BEHIND THE SCENES: Activist Commission for Pride

Quick content warning: this post touches on homophobia and includes images of some homophobic slurs.

Scott Whalen and I went to college together, so when he asked me – over cocktails and Ru Paul’s Drag Race – about an idea he had for some shirts, I was totally game.

The idea was to reclaim slurs that had been used against him and other queer folks in a series of t-shirts. He told me that, as a cis white dude, he felt he had the privilege to make the more provocative statements and, thus, a responsibility.

During our initial concept conversation, we discussed a simple sans serif block letter, but I couldn’t stop thinking about how we might better convey the idea that these were being employed by someone at Scott, not just employed by Scott. He asked for something that was bold and aggressive, and something active vs passive.

I came back to him with a few ideas: including a westboro baptist sign feel, a scrawl on a locker, or a social media platform. I wanted it to be clear that the words had been employed at Scott, not by Scott.

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HOW-TO: Brainstorm the Perfect Custom Gift

Something I’ve really loved working on for the last few months is custom gifts. I’ve done a couple for other folks to give, but I’ve also made quite a few super different gifts that I got to give myself! When your options aren’t limited to stuff someone’s already manufactured, thinking up gifts is kind of fun. So I wanted to share my process with you. My questions and tips will help, whether you’re making something yourself, commissioning an artist, or just coming up with some new google terms to search.

The secret to giving a good gift is to ask yourself a few questions about your giftee — and then extrapolate. The first thing I think of is always relevant but boring, but a creative pivot will take you from a serviceable gift to a really thoughtful one.

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TOOLS: Creative Market brushes

I’m a Creative Market Affiliate. I buy nearly all of my procreate brushes from them and they’re a central part of my process. I wanted to share a couple of my faves with you this week!

Full disclosure: my affiliation earns me a small commission at no extra cost to you, but I will never share a product here that I don’t genuinely love.

I use the Gouache brushes very, very often — they’re the central element of the Sects Sell series’ retro vibe and a really nice option for a fade effect. The neon brushes are really fun and easy to employ to really beautiful effect. The sparkle and glitter textures are the same way — a good quick addition to a mock-up. Finally, the paint brush set is a simple, workhorse set, that does exactly what it says it does. Check them out below!

Powered by Creative Market

What brushes did I miss out on? What kinds of effects do you need help making? What other kinds of tools would you like to see in this series? Let me know in the comments!