Tag: handmade

Turning kids’ artwork into stuffed animals. As cuddly or scary as you (or they) want.

I’m always looking for cool ways to preserve my kids’ artwork. Sure, we’ve got plenty of it taped up in the kitchen, plus boxes of the really great stuff stored in the hall closet. But now my kids are going to be able to sleep with their favorite drawings at night as they transform into stuffed animals. I’m not sure who’s more excited, me or them. We’ve found services like this before, with companies like Art2Believe and My Pretty Monsters and now there’s one more (because there can’t be too many): Budsies. Budsies is pretty sensational. The company started because one big...

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A geeky gift shop for science gifts we can’t resist

If science truly is a jar of secrets behind the magic of our universe, this adorable shop is like a jar factory. Or, just a great way to buy handmade, beautiful objects that celebrate the wonders of science. If you’ve ever watched a murmuration of swallows or played with iron filings and a magnet, then you know how beautiful and magical science can be. Newton and the Apple is a stylish little store on Etsy that brings out the relatable, gorgeous side of science through images, jewelry, coasters, and more. It’s a shop filled with geek gifts, but you...

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Handmade bangles to adorn those beautiful wrists of yours.

I’ve never been a delicate little tennis bracelet kind of a gal; give me a fat, chunky, look-at-me bracelet any day. And right now, I have an eye on this awesome Etsy artist who’s making some very cool, affordable bangles. The collection of handmade wooden bracelets from Lynn Lunger of UnaOdd are pretty wonderful. Each one is faceted like a precious stone, then painted in a modern rustic style that would look great with a cocktail dress or a prairie skirt. (Do people still wear prairie skirts? Am I just having early 80’s flashbacks?)   The artist calls herself a nature...

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What does the fox say? Make these masks for Halloween and find out.

Even with the magic of Etsy and overnight shipping, we love knowing that with the right PDF file, anything is possible in the costume department. Whether you’re into weird Nordic videos about foxes or need a superhero costume in a pinch, here’s a great shop with unique masks that you can make by hand after a quick trip to the craft store. Does your kid change his mind about Halloween every day? I’m pretty sure my son is going to be either a flying pig, a hippo mole, or Batman. Luckily, OxeyeDaisey on Etsy offers a wide range of...

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The impressive genes of super crafters

I am so inspired looking at the finalists of the Handmade Charlotte Family Craft Challenge, mainly because I would never in a milion years come up with any of them. Or, I might, but they’d never come out this amazing.  The fun part is you can click over and vote for your favorite family craft project in the comments, and the winner will get some pretty sweet prizes from Michael’s. I’m kind of torn. I’m so taken with those felt planters, but the nature art kit and felt badges are so perfect for my kids. The stenciled map kit makes lovely...

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Woodland critters invade your child’s bedroom. No exterminator needed.

Whether you need a snuggly pal for that first camping trip or the perfect prop for colorful fall family photos, we just can’t leaf this Etsy shop alone.   We seriously want to snuggle all the critters in the Savage Seeds shop on Etsy, also home of this adorable handmade kids’ hoodie we covered a while back. Everything at the shop designed, cut, sewn, and packaged by hand in the USA, with most products handmade of wool felt, eco-felt, and bamboo Nature-Fil fiber. Plus there are no buttons or tiny parts, so your own little savages should be safe.  ...

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DIY handmade cards, just a stamp and ink pad away

I really love the idea of making my own greeting cards, but the time and skill involved have always seemed way beyond what I am capable of, especially for card designs that suit my taste and style. Not anymore, thanks to these cool, so-not-your-grandmother’s handmade stamps. The hand-drawn rubber stamps at karamelo are unlike any I’ve seen before, actually, which is probably why I love them so much. They’re funky and minimalist, which happens to be what generally catches my eye with cards.   {Star Set} {Botanical Set} While they’re a bit pricier than your typical rubber stamps, keep...

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Handmade Halloween costumes for kids who don’t really want to wear costumes

I still remember trying to coax my then 18 month-old into the carefully selected Halloween costume. Nothing. The best we could do was stick an apron on her over her diaper, put a wooden spoon in her hand and call her the Naked Chef. (It actually went over very well with the neighbors!) That’s why I love this shop that makes a ton of Halloween costumes–for kids who aren’t necessarily ready to wear a head-to-toe costume. The handmade Halloween costumes for kids at LA’s seven white rabbits are beyond adorable. Each one is actually a cape, not a full...

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Map happy? This chic handmade bracelet keeps your favorite place close by, wherever you go.

Aren’t the lines on this handmade cuff striking? If you’re from Boston, they might even be familiar. Here’s why. ShopJoyo on Etsy offers tons of pretty cuffs, each one made of laser-cut cherry wood over brushed aluminum, lined with soft ultrasuede. We’re especially smitten with the Map cuff, which can be custom made using the roadmaps from the city of your choice. The example above is Boston, but the shop owner is happy to use any address you supply. And the other bracelets are cool, too. Of course, the map idea is the one that intrigues us most since...

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Natural handmade wooden block sets for kids, ready to become the city of their dreams

We’re always on the lookout for wonderful wooden, eco-friendly kids’ toys as an alternative to the plastic stuff that seems to be eating up the toy store aisles more and more each year. Etsy is always a great place to turn, and this wonderful new shop is doing some nifty things that aren’t your average wooden building toy.    Cubiciti makes some super funky modular block sets in both natural unpolished maple, and gorgeous painted wood–all non-toxic, water-based paints, of course. The blocks have pegs that fit into on a small plastic base, allowing your kids to configure the cars...

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We’re star-struck over these hand-stitched zodiac necklaces.

These days the zodiac is where it’s at in the gift-giving department. We’ve seen this astral trend pop up in a variety of gifts and baubles…and we totally get the appeal. Sun sign swag is personal, fun and perfect for so many occasions. In fact, my usually indecisive Libran self didn’t even need to think twice about falling for this hand-stitched astro sign necklace.     Come on, admit it: don’t we all love the little doses of daily therapy our astrological horoscopes give us? I love the idea of wearing my Libra pride in a way that’s not...

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This custom baby gift is very high profile. Emphasis on profile.

Want to blow away everyone at the baby shower and give the parents a handmade keepsake as unique as their baby will be? We’ve never seen a rattle like this before. The Custom Cameo Wooden Baby Rattle from Uncommon Goods is handmade by artisans in New York based on profile images provided by the parents. You order it, and they send you a beautifully engraved wooden block that comes with instructions and a prepaid shipping envelope. Mail the block to the artists and supply them with silhouettes. In four to six weeks, the new parents will receive a beautifully...

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Fantastic felt party props for great photo booth opps.

There you are, planning a nice simple kid’s birthday party, and bam! Suddenly your best laid plans to keep everything simple go haywire and you’ve reached wedding planning levels of crazy. Gearing up for my 4-year-old’s birthday party this year, I was determined to keep things as handmade and low(ish) budget as possible. After a bit of Internet hunting I found a fun party helper that will definitely add to the festivities–and the photos–with a minimum of fuss.  We settled on a Scooby Doo theme–my kid’s major obsession. While searching Etsy for Scooby artifacts, I discovered these cool handmade felt...

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Buy less, buy well. Madesmith makes it beautifully easy

If you love handmade items by local artisans, we’ve found a collective that showcases the best of the best every week. So, basically, it’s like the cream of the Etsy crop, curated just for you. Even better: these makers are thoughtful and sustainable, and you can read their stories as you ogle their wares.     Madesmith is based in Brooklyn and LA and focuses on showcasing designers and makers who produce goods the old-fashioned way–our kind of stuff. Whether you’re into jewelry, skateboards, handmade shoes, or stationery, you can read about the designer’s background, process, studio, and training....

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Embroidery hoop art for your kids’ walls to inspire. Both of you.

Back when we started this site in 2006 (and we have the archives to prove it), messages for kids were all about irony, irreverence and sass. Over the years, it’s been thrilling to see the trend turn towards positivity, encouragement and smarts. And not even in a cheesy, “Hang in there, it’s almost Friday!” kitten poster kind of way.   I love the embroidery hoop art from Athena and Eugenia on Etsy, and while there are a few wonderful pieces for various places and spaces, these in particular would be so great in a child’s room.   The truth is, it’s nice...

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Cool school clothes for kids: Back to School Guide 2013

For our 2013 Back to School Guide, we looked at four of the hottest style trends for cool school clothes for kids and (a little painfully) pared them down to some of our very favorite pieces. Remember with back to school shopping, you don’t need to buy “outfits.” Sometimes all you need is one special new piece to pair with existing items, sale clothes or hand-me-downs to make an outfit feel totally fresh and fun.   BLACK AND WHITE Shades of the 80’s, black and white is back and it’s big! From stripes to plaids to houndstooth and everything...

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The only thing cooler than Hoth is this Star Wars book shelf

You can’t buy your kid a life-sized AT-AT or landspeeder. But you can give them the coolest Star Wars-themed book shelf we’ve ever seen. This AT-AT Imperial Bookcase from WhittledinWood on Etsy is a masterpiece of engineering. Handmade of birch plywood, it’s made to order in Vidor, Texas and arrives raw and unpainted.  The cool thing is that the company can make a bookcase out of almost anything your heart desires–the website currently shows this AT-AT, a Millennium Falcon, an unbelievable tree, and the Incredible Hulk. The prices aren’t as insane as they could be for bespoke geek furniture,...

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Mr. Sharky says lights out: switchplate covers with big personality

Light switches are boring. Mostly. But thanks to our clever friends at Graphic Spaces, we’ve now got these fun switchplate covers in shapes like owls, octopi, and a rocket ship. So it’s a little more fun to turn off the lights for bed. “Mr. Shark says it’s bedtime…or else!” also has a nice ring to it. You know how much we love it when a company we’re keen on surprises us with something new. Right now we’re digging the way Graphic Spaces’ knack for unique designs and heirloom quality wood translates into switchplate covers.  Each switchplate cover is handmade of...

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A girl’s first purse? Make it cute and uh, make it strong. Trust us.

My girls have hit the age where they like to have their own purses. Well, we’ll use that term loosely, considering what they put in them. While I’ve given them my share of hand-me-down handbags, I know they’d adore the sweet handmade little purses and change purses from Octopurse on Etsy. Find them in little sizes that are great for change (or rocks, if you’re my six-year-old), or medium sizes that feel just a wee bit more practical–change and rocks? And LEGO minifigs and lip balm? You know, all the essentials when you’re a tween on the go. Some...

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Booties that will warm your baby’s toes (and your heart)

We’re always excited to find global nonprofits that empower women and their families rise to above poverty. Now we’re especially happy to find one that supports that mission in the form of adorable baby gifts that we’d buy even if they weren’t doing so much good. (But they are.)   So here’s a story we love: Kohl Crecelius was an avid snowboarder and surfer dude. But when his brother taught him an unlikely hobby–crocheting–Kohl was instantly hooked (heh). He immediately taught two of his buddies, who were also hooked. Now we’re hooked. Because when Kohl traveled to Uganda in college, he discovered unimaginable...

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