Category Archives: Personalised gifts

Wedding album

In the dark old days when cameras had to be loaded with strange canisters filled with long rolls of chemically coated plastic, I dabbled in developing and printing photographs.

Those were the days when photography had an air of skill needed in order to get the frame right first time.

Those were the days when you never knew if the photograph was going to be any good until days after the event when the moment had gone and could never be recaptured.

Those were the days when something like wedding photography was truly an art and the photographer really had to know what he or she was doing. Of course, no-one could stop them taking as many pictures as they wanted back then but each click of the shutter came at a cost. The film wasn’t cheap and neither was the processing compared to today – and there was no Photoshop to fall back on.

Skip forward to the onslaught of the digital world and the wedding photographer now has the freedom to take thousands of photos at virtually no cost with instant confirmation to set their mind at ease.

So, a few years ago, when a friend asked, “Will you take the photographs for our special day.”

I said, with ease, “I will.”

The day went off without a hitch (apart from the one that joined the Bride and Groom together) and actually turned out to be one of those extra special celebrations everyone loves to be part of.

The photograph tally stretched into 4 figures so there was no problem finding enough to fill the album. The trouble was there were too many shortlisted so a bit of creative filtering was needed.

To make the occasion a little more unique I decided to make the wedding album myself. This way we were not limited to the number of photographs or to any specific size.

The album cover was made of glass and aluminium. The glass started life as a 12 inch square mirror tile. I covered the back of the mirror with sticky plastic backing before cutting a design based on the happy couple’s initials and peeling the remainder away. I then sandblasted the exposed mirror coating to leave the letters ‘A&B’ as the only reflective surface and to give the desired, unique finish.

The edge of the cover was made from a strip of aluminium with the married name and date cut into it. Each page was made from three layers of textured white card with a heart design cut into the edge to frame the photograph. Each page was separated by a film of tissue paper embossed with the married name.

A total of 40 pictures were included in the album with a few collages of more informal shots added towards the end of the album.

In the photographs of the album I have removed the full name and date from the album for privacy. (Photoshop is a wonderful thing).


Coffee duster

Click on image to enlarge.

A notable birthday required a special gift for a coffee lover who is affectionately known as Barista Bob.

Bob loves to pamper his guests with the coffee of their choice and particularly likes to prepare a rich cappuccino complete with a delicate dusting of chocolate. With this in mind his sister-in-law asked me to make a personalised duster for his big day.

I cut two dusters from a sheet of smoke grey Perspex and made a stand from a thicker acrylic block. The base was made from a 100mm mirror disc with the ‘Barista Bob’ design included. A set of mirrored ‘Barista Bob’ discs were also made for matching coasters. Whilst the two dusters were the same size, the designs cut out of each were different sizes to accommodate different size mugs.

Simply place the mug on the base and slot the duster into the appropriate slot to fit above the mug and dust away.


In addition to the duster I made a stand for his coffee pods that also incorporated a rest for the duster at the top.

Mirror mirror on the wall,

Click on image to enlarge.

In early 2016 the postman delivered a wonderful surprise in the form of a wedding invitation for two of our very close friends. Being fans of art deco – in particular the designs of Charles Rennie Mackintosh – the wedding was to take place at the House for an Art Lover in Glasgow which was designed by Mackintosh himself.

I thought such a wonderful location for the long awaited wedding should be accompanied by a personalised gift created in the Charles Rennie Mackintosh style. The result was this oak framed mirror.

The mirror itself was a plain, off the shelf mirror with an inset bevelled margin along each side. I sandblasted the mirror backing off to leave the shape of the lettering and roses which were then painted to give the solid glass finish of the text and roses.

When glass is sandblasted it leaves a frosted surface which provides an excellent base for painting but unfortunately removes all transparency from the glass. To combat this on the rectangular area containing the picture I coated the newly frosted surface with a thin layer of clear resin to ‘fill’ the frost and polished it flat to return the glass to a transparent state.

I then arranged for the closest circle of friends to sign a personal message on a clear acetate sheet and set this into a block of clear resin to give depth to the ‘window’ and make it appear the messages are floating between the front and rear of the frame. The interchangeable image at the rear is an outline of the wonderful piano from the music room of the wedding venue.

The frame is of polished oak with the carved lettering of the poem filled in black to make it stand out. All text on the mirror and frame is produced in the Hill House font which too was designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

The wedding provided a memorable few days in September which was enhanced by the service, staff and the wonderful food provided by the venue.

At the end of the evening, all guests were presented with this print of the music room as a memento of the day.

Music room print.png