Tag: handmade toys

Poof, you’re a leaf!

Regardless of temperature, I never believe it’s actually fall until the calendar reads October. Which…hello, October! Now that I’ve spotted this Autumn Oak Leaf Wand from one of our favorite Etsy artists, I realize I’m definitely in the spirit. It’s handcut from sustainable wood, hand-finished with non-toxic paints and natural finishes, and capable of performing as much magic as those mass-produced plastic star wands with lace tulle around them. Maybe even a little more. –Liz Find a nice selection of eco-friendly wooden Waldorf toys online at Imagination...

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She will be loved

One of the best things about having a baby is knowing how loved she is by so many people, even before drawing her first breath. Gifts that express that very sentiment just might be my favorite. Another thing I love: this organic baby gift set put together by two of our favorite small brands. Whether you’re having a boy, girl, or an “I’ll find out soon enough,” your baby will look sweet in the organic “Loved” lap tee from Barley + Birch, plus an adorable heart teether from Little Alouette. Best, it’s all for just $35. Sweet. –Liz Find...

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One little two little three ballerinas

As a homeschool mom, I’ve got plenty of creative ways to teach numbers and counting to my littler ones. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t more creative options out there, like this one from artist and mom CarrieSue Gustafson who I recently discovered on Etsy. I’m completely smitten with her clothespin number dolls, which she handpaints as adorable ballerinas complete with leotards, tights, and teeny pointe shoes. They’d be such a sweet addition to your daily math lessons, or just for good old pretend play, which might be just as important for the little ones. Maybe even more. -Kristen...

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Turn your kid’s doodles from art to artifact

There’s a box on top of my fridge overflowing with punk-rock ponies, witches on broomsticks, and smiley-faced dolphins, each one representing a special stage in my daughter’s artistic development. They’re amazing in two dimensions. Can you imagine how incredible they’d be in 3D? If your kid has a favorite doodle, we’ve found a way to make that dream come true. Stuff Your Doodles is a sweet little enterprise by artist LucyMoose, who uses imagination, recycled fabric, and thread to turn drawings into heirlooms. You send her your child’s favorite doodle, and she translates it into a beautiful, hand-made stuffed...

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Personalized alphabet blocks help you spell BEST BABY GIFT EVER

We’ve long been fans of the beautiful handmade wooden baby toys from family-run Little Sapling Toys, and now there’s one more item that can make you the most awesome gift-giver ever. These personalized wooden alphabet blocks are lovingly handcrafted out of walnut, cherry and maple woods, and I think it’s about the greatest baby gift. Especially considering it’s just $12.50 for 5 blocks. (Or $31 for 13.) Even cooler–you can also personalize them with recessed Braille letters too, should you need a great gift for a visually-impaired child. The first time I had heard about personalized name blocks was...

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Toddler toys to make you go gaga too

With all the round stacking toys out there, I was starting to think that there was some unwritten rule that toddler toys can only resemble inner tubes or wooden doughnuts. But I’m relieved to tell you that is not the case, thanks to this new, and very adorable pick. The wooden sunflower stacking toy is just the right kind of developmentally challenging toy for your toddler, and refreshingly outside the box with its cool shape and versatility. The same goes for the other fabulous nature-inspired stackers found in this Etsy shop including a cloud, sun, and iceberg. Stack it...

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C is for cute

We always have our eyes on artisans we’ve featured here before so we can share with you their newest, coolest goodies. So lucky me and you for this new discovery at one of our favorite mom and dad bizzes, Little Alouette. Word lover or not, the typography teething toys might just be the most awesome new baby gift, made from locally sourced maple and finished with organic flax seed – no icky chemicals, thank you very much. And each letter is made completely by hand. We loooove their suggestion of using these as a photo prop, which would be...

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Nice buns!

I can’t help loving these artist-created bunnies made with vintage fabrics from some of our favorite designers. I just want to squeeze them and love them; especially the one with the apples. The vintage bunnies and rag dolls from UK Etsian Jane Foster have faces hand printed on linen, and bodies handmade of vintage Scandinavian fabric from designers like Orla Kiely.  They stand at a rugged fifteen inches, meaning they’re a fantastic, affordable kids’ gift; or a stand-in for the glass rabbit statue in a recreation of the final scene in Jewel of the Nile. The handmade rag dolls...

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Touch Mummy’s Alice doll, and I’ll introduce you to the Jabberwocky

I’m such a huge Alice in Wonderland fan that I spent no less than five days trying to come up with just the right title to pay homage to this amazing Etsy find. And I love it so much that threatening my children with imaginary monsters was my final choice. And I stand by it. GIMME THE ALICE DOLL, AND NOBODY GETS HURT BY THE JUB-JUB BIRD. Ahem. So I really like this Alice folk doll set which is one of the many storytime character folk dolls  by Etsy’s Cart Before the Horse, a mom-and-dad business out of Portland,...

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The biggest, fuzziest balls we’ve ever seen

Writing about big, fuzzy balls makes me think of that Schweddy Balls sketch on Saturday Night Live. Except these balls aren’t salty and nutty and made by Alec Baldwin. No, they’re gorgeous and made of recycled sweaters or fleece and soft as the dickens. I especially love the giant fleece Zoo ball designed to match Alexander Henry’s popular 2D Zoo fabric– which I had in one of my nurseries, actually. At a bouncy 18″ in diameter, this ball is a striking addition to a room and a wonderful, long-lasting lovey that will take you from infanthood to preschool lounging. ...

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Cool Canadian craft and design for our “collectif” consciousness

If you’re lucky enough to live in Montreal, then April 30 is going to be one really amazing day of shopping. The mama-run Collectif nënë is launching their first annual baby show and you will want to be there. Of course, most of us aren’t Montreal mamas, but that’s what online shopping is for. I started browsing their websites to write this post and, well, let’s just say I’m amazed. These artists have some of the most original and incredible creations and I kind of want one of everything. From the endearing stuffed animals and creatures by Raplapla (above)...

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Supporting New Orleans crafters for Mardi Gras

It’s been a long time since I’ve munched on a beignet or window-shopped my way down Royal Street, but I have very fond memories of my last trip to the fabulous city of New Orleans and how alive it always is with music and laughter. From my home many miles away, I can’t do much to replicate what’s going on at Mardi Gras (except maybe the noise level), but I thought it would be fun to celebrate a few of our favorite Etsians who hail from NOLA. -Christina Big fans of NOLA might sport this handcut sterling and brass...

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Open the door, get on the floor, everybody walk this dinosaur

Boom, boom, acka-lacka-lacka boom, baby. We’re proud to show you the results of humanity’s first attempt to literally Walk the Dinosaur. Bonus: This king of the terrible lizards has some sweet dance moves. The Tyrannosaurus Rex Push Toy from Arks and Animals on Etsy is one of the most unusual (and unusually cool) wooden toys we’ve found, which is saying a lot. Measuring in at just under a foot tall, this handsome dino is hand-made by an internationally known woodworker from trees on his own 50-acre family farm in New York, then finished with safe, natural dyes. When you...

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The winners of the 2011 Handmade Olympics! Gold hand-embroidered medals all around.

One of the fun things about judging the children’s category of the Handmade Olympics this past week, was discovering so many super incredible new finds for you all. It certainly balanced one of the hard things–actually having to pick among about a zillion gorgeous items. The winners are now posted and we’re proud to announce the big winner that all of you chose: the gorgeous paper doll blocks from Tiny Giraffe previously seen right here! What can we say, great minds… Congrats also to silver winner bybido for this totally awesome doll in a trunk by bibido, and mazska’s...

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Hail to the finger puppet

We’d never recommend you give our forefathers the finger (especially on President’s Day!), but in the case of these adorable knit finger puppets from Wee Knits, we’ll make an exception. Their Patriotic collection of finger puppets includes George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, along with Uncle Sam and a bald eagle to round things out. Use them for a mini history lesson, or to reenact the Washington/cherry tree story and to teach them about Honest Abe. Maybe they’ll then be more apt to tell the truth the next time you ask if they really washed their hands before dinner. -Christina Find wonderful handmade finger...

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The Handmade Olympics – Let the voting begin!

A couple of weeks ago, we invited you to nominate yourselves or your favorite handmade artisans for the Handmade Olympics, a fun, entirely unathletic competition featuring amazing handmade creations. Cool Mom Picks was invited to be the official judges of Event 2, Children’s Items, and let’s just say, our job was very hard. Crazy hard! We have a tough enough time narrowing our gift guides down to 100 or so items, but ten? Phew. There’s a lot of talent out there. But now, our job is done and it’s up to you to choose a winner.Your votes can help...

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A crocheted gift set for those who can’t really crochet

Of the many talents I wished I possessed, crocheting is at the top of the list, right along with singing in key and being able to sketch something other than stick figures. Since I don’t expect to inherit any of those talents any time soon, I look to outside sources for my fix. Which is why I was thrilled to discover a beautiful hand crocheted baby gift set. Personally, I can’t think of anything sweeter–and more classic–for a baby gift than something crocheted. Loralin Design owner Lynne Buchman designs this Booties and Hat Gift Set herself and then has...

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Lift a leaf and learn about a tree

I have a soft spot for good quality wooden toys. I like them so much I find myself decorating my daughter’s room with them, and these handmade, wood puzzles from Just Hatched are no exception. They’re much too pretty to keep in a drawer with a variety of lovely colors and themes like leaves, moon phases, hearts (for Valentine’s Day), simple shapes and more. The Wooden Leaf Puzzle won Etsy’s Earth Day Voter category and it’s also my favorite. Lift each leaf and see the name of the tree the leaf comes from. With the Moon Phases Puzzle, kids...

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Save Handmade update: C’mon, Congress. Help us out.

As you probably know by now, there’s a bill in Congress to ensure that toys and clothing are free of toxic chemicals and heavy metals. Which is good. Unfortunately, while the Consumer Protection Safety Improvement Act is well-meaning, the way it’s been implemented has impacted not only the major corporations accused of making faulty products, but also caused tremendous hardship for small businesses, individual crafters, consignment sales, and our beloved Etsy–folks who have been doing things right all along. Plenty of them have even gone out of business. Horrible, right? Here’s the update: The law is officially set to...

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Make it a handmade Christmas

Still looking for a few last minute gifts for the family? Clearly we’re crazy, mad, marry-us-in-Vegas in love with Etsy and all the wonderful artists and crafters we’ve discovered there. That’s why today, on Etsy’s The Storque blog, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite handmade holiday gifts on Etsy. Click over for lovely ideas that we’ve hand-selected for babies, kids, moms, dads, and even the cool grandparents of the world. You know how we love those cool grandparents. –Liz + Kristen What are the handmade gifts you’ve procured this year? We’d love to hear about...

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