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dad gift experiences

Gift Ideas for Practical Dads who love to Tinker

Dad’s are hard to buy for aren’t they? But if yours is a practical soul and loves nothing better than a spot of tinkering then I have some perfect present choices for you. What’s even better is that since in this time of social distancing we have to keep our distance these gifts can be given without breaking the rules.

Pencil Spinning Tops

These beauties are a tinkerer’s dream. Dad’s can happily fiddle with them for hours chasing that elusive perfect spin. A great gift for the kid’s to give and then share with dad. If he lets them!

Eco Friendly eCard

The ideal last minute gift as you can send it instantly. Specify the exact amount and send to any email address. It’s also a wonderfully environmental gift option.

Give an Experience

If your father doesn’t need more things why not give him a memorable experience? If you’re local to Reading choose a date (sometime in the future obviously) and book either a 2 hour taster session or a whole day of beginner’s wood turning. You can even come with him and create some wonderful memories are well as wooden items.

Eco Positive Gifts

Any item bought from Love HeartWood, be it a spinning top, an e-card or a wood turning session, also plants a tree. My target is to plant a 1000 trees by March 1st 2021. If you’d like to match my donation and add a tree of your own you can. Simply add 40p into the ‘plant a tree’ box at checkout.

I hope my eco friendly gift ideas have inspired you to say a big thanks to your Dad.

However you’re celebrating it I wish you a very Happy Father’s Day!


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Care Instructions

Following these simple guidelines will help your wooden products age gracefully and provide a lifetime of use and enjoyment. Wood has been proven to be naturally antibacterial and is therefore is a healthy as well as natural material.

general guidelines

Wood is absorbent so try not to immerse in water. DO NOT put in the dishwasher. DO NOT leave to soak.

Simply wipe with a damp, lint free cloth and then dry with a clean cloth.

Love HeartWood products are finished with hemp oil or a harder wearing plant based wax/oil. This is easy to refresh by wiping over with an oil of your choice.* Use a small amount on a lint free cloth and wipe in gently. Allow it to soak in for a few hours then wipe off any excess. Buff with a soft, dry cloth to restore a natural shine.

*Hemp, olive, vegetable, walnut, sunflower and mineral oil are all acceptable. Just make sure it’s safe to eat. Be aware of allergies if using a nut oil.

guidelines for specific product types


Don’t leave food (especially the oily kind) in the bowls to keep them from getting rancid.

DO NOT leave them to soak as the wood may split.

NOT dishwasher safe.

Please wash up in the sink using a mild washing up liquid. Do not immerse for too long then wipe of excess water and leave to dry on the drainer.

Keep away from heat sources and direct sunlight to avoid burn marks and fading.

To prolong the life of your tableware and keep it looking its best
wipe over with your choice of food safe oil* using a lint free cloth. Use a small amount and wipe in gently. Allow it to soak in for an hour then wipe off any excess. Buff with a soft, dry cloth to restore a natural shine. How often you need to do this will depend on how regularly you use your woodware. If everyday I recommend every couple of months.

*Hemp, olive, vegetable, walnut, sunflower and mineral oil are all acceptable. Make sure it’s safe to eat and relatively odourless. You can use coconut oil but this isn’t odourless. Be aware of allergies if using a nut oil.

If  you’re storing the bowls inside a cupboard,  take them out and air them from time to time to make sure they don’t get mouldy.


wooden spinning tops

The spinning tops are decorated with eco inks and left natural, with no sealant or finish applied. Please be careful wiping them as you may remove some of the eco ink so reducing their brightness.

crafty cars

Crafty cars are designed for heavy duty toddler play. They’re finished with a plant based varnish. This means they can be wiped with a wet cloth to remove any stuck on play dough or paint. An antibacterial cleaner may also be used but not an abrasive one. Once clean please dry thoroughly with a tea towel or similar. Try not to allow water to run along the axles into the car’s body as this may warp them and reduce the smoothness of the wheel’s action.

cork cord

Cork only requires wiping over with a damp cloth, under
running water to remove any marks or light stains.

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Love HeartWood F.A.Q.s

how long does an order normally take?

My usual making time is 1-3 days however if it’s a large or custom order then I’ll be in touch to let you know when it’ll be ready to dispatch.

Do you offer free shipping?

YES on orders over £15. Orders are sent using Royal Mail’s standard second class service. If you’d like to upgrade to a faster tracked option please do so at checkout.

Are your products plastic free?

YES! There’s no plastic in any of my materials, finishes or packaging. To read more about my plastic free commitment read more about love heartwood’s ethics.

Do you do commissions?

YES. I love helping people bring their idea into reality especially if it’s for a special occasion like a wedding, anniversary or birth. I’m happy to adapt any of my existing designs or start from scratch on a new project. Check out the commissions page to see some examples of previously commissioned projects and read some case studies. Or complete a commission enquiry form and I’ll be in touch soon.

If you can’t find the answer to your question please get in touch.

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london design fair 2021

london design fair logo

POSTPONED FROM 2020 till 12-20 September 2021 F Block, Old Truman Brewery, Ely’s Yard, 15 Hanbury Street, E1 6QR


blue patch member

The largest collection of international exhibitions, designers, brands, country pavilions & galleries in one destination during the London Design Festival.

Located in the creative heart of East London, London Design Fair is a four-day industry event that brings together 450 exhibitors from 29 countries, including; independent designers, established brands, international country pavilions and galleries.

As the destination of the annual London Design Festival over 25,000 influential; retailer buyers, architects, interior designers, press, designers and design-savvy public attend to see and specify the very latest; furniture, lighting, textiles, materials and conceptual installations from around the world.

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Wood Festival 2020

WOOD fest

POSTPONED from May till 18th – 20th September 2020 Braziers Park, Oxfordshire, Wallingford, OX10 6AN

I have so wanted to go to this festival and now that my youngest (4) is vaguely trustworthy we’re finally going! I’ll be hanging out on the stall playing music with my friend Sarah (Dolly & the Clothespegs). I really hope you can join us for this awesome, sustainable, small festival.

To get tickets click here

WOOD is an award-winning festival of music and nature held in the beautiful Chiltern hills at Braziers Park. The animal of focus for 2020 will be the Newt.

As well as music, there is a full programme of free workshops for all ages, kids tent activities, and delicious locally-sourced food and drink. 3 nights camping included with your ticket.

Kids under 2 go free. There’s a nominal charge of £10 for children aged 2-12 to cover basic costs.

“Wood is a great escape of imagination” – Festivals for All

“Wood is a truly beautiful festival” – Festival Kidz

For info & the latest announcements like and follow their Facebook page

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plant a tree gift

treesisters banner

plant a tree gift with every purchase

Every time you buy a handmade, wooden gift from Love HeartWood you’re also giving the gift of a tree. Thereby helping to reforest our planet.

I’ve been looking for a way to create more positive change through my business for a while. So when I discovered treesisters it was the perfect fit. I ‘m delighted that Love HeartWood is now fundraising in aid of treesisters. To find out why and how it works read on.

treesisters’ vision

Imagine if it was normal for all of us to give money for trees every month. To consciously balance both our taking and our warming….we could reforest our planet in no time.

TreeSisters is about building a huge engine of change in the form of a global network of women working together to re-robe the planet as fast as possible.

why reforestation in the tropics?

Atmospheric carbon levels now point beyond two degrees of warming. Carbon Sequestration through Global Reforestation (to slow warming) is a global imperative.

Fast growing tropical trees sequester carbon three times as fast as temperate region trees. The tropical forest belt is crucial to the hydrological cycle (rain creation and transport), planetary cooling, (transpiration), and harmonisation and balancing of our weather patterns.

The tropics are also where some of the poorest people live. They face the greatest climate extremes of drought and flood – the negative effects of which are significantly reduced by increased forest cover.

together we’re growing a forest!

In response to this global climate emergency, Love HeartWood has partnered with treesisters in their trees for transactions programme. This means I’m embedding restoration into the heart of my business by donating a tree for every product purchased.

Every item you buy funds the planting of a tree.

My goal is to plant 1,000 trees by May 1st 2021!

plant a tree gift

Match my donation by either adding the donate a tree item to your basket or by ticking the “plant an extra tree on me” box checkout.

To spread the word Like, follow and share treesisters on your preferred social media channel.

Treesisters is about encouraging every person to balance up what they take from the earth by giving back. So why not plant your own forest?

“restoring our planet with TreeSisters”

tree sisters

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keepsake urns for ashes

acorn shaped keepsake urns commission

the initial enquiry for a wooden urn

This pair of acorn shaped keepsake urns were commissioned by Belinda to store her father’s ashes. We initially got talking at the Caversham Artisan & Farmers Market in July 2019. She was intrigued by a small, acorn shaped box I had on display and asked if I’d ever made a bigger version as she was looking for an acorn container for some of her Dad’s ashes. I admitted that I hadn’t but that I’d be happy to make one for her.


In October Belinda emailed me asking if we could discuss her idea in more detail. So through a series of emails we decided on her specific requirements. The majority of her father’s ashes had been scattered so she wanted two smallish keepsake urns, in the shape of acorns, for her and her mum.

acorn urn design ideas

design sketches for handmade wooden acorn urns

Once I had an idea of what Belinda wanted I created lots of quick sketches of different urn ideas. Belinda and her mum had a look at them and picked their favourites.

Belinda liked the idea of an urn that laid flat while her mum preferred one that had a stand.

Next, we finalised details like the size of the urns, the type of wood, the and the estimated timescale and price. I estimated it would take at least 2 months. This was because the wood needed to be rough shaped and left to settle and dry fully for most of that time, before being turned again to finish the shaping.

turning the urns

I drew up precise, scale drawings and used them to create both urns and the stand. The bodies of the urns were of Box wood. The lids were Oak with Box wood inserts. Belinda wanted the lids to be very secure and screw on. The best wood to achieve this is Box as it’s very hard. Fine threads can be cut into it without it crumbling. The Oak was chosen to go with the acorn design and because it contrasts nicely with the Box.

The making of a bespoke
pair of acorn keepsake urns

When making urns the wood has to be completely dry because the fit is so precise. If the wood continues to dry after its been turned then, after a while, the lid and body will no longer fit together. That’s why it took till the end of February 2020 to complete them.

I finished both urns with a plant based wax/oil to protect and nourish the wood. It gave them a beautifully soft, natural shine.

completion and delivery

Belinda ‘s a local client, so I delivered the urns personally. It was lovely to see her reaction to them in person. I also emailed her this PDF which shows the stages each log went through to become a finished wooden urn.

the story of a pair of wooden funeral urns
The story of the making of Belinda’s pair of acorn urns.

“They are beautiful and the pdf is wonderful to see”


If you’d like to commission a bespoke urn

click the button below