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...Read More
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...Read More
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...Read More
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....Read More
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...Read More
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...Read More
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,...Read More
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...Read More
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...Read More
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...Read More
I’m hardly an inspirational quote junkie, but every now and then I find something that catches my eye. This time, though, it wasn’t a poster, but rather something I can wear around my neck. I’ve heard of (and adore) letterpress cards, but letterpress jewelry? Well, let’s just say I’m equally smitten. This line at Lulubug Jewelry, made from mostly reclaimed silver, is right up my alley, with all sorts of cool quotes, whether you’re looking for a gift for someone special, or need a little personal inspiration. I’m pretty sure no mom would be able to keep a...Read More
Anyone who knows me knows I love FashionABLE. And I am entirely, 100% biased. I’ve visited the factory in Ethiopia, I’ve seen firsthand how their gorgeous scarves are helping at-risk women rebuild their lives, I’m currently living in their Genet Scarf (oh man, it’s awesome), and I bought out half their store for holiday gifts last year. So of course I’m so excited to let you know that they’ve just launched a whole new line of leather goods, expanding the opportunities they can provide to women. In collaboration with the Modern Zege, a leading leather manufacturer in Addis Ababa, gorgeous...Read More
As huge supporters of the handmade movement, we’ve been fans of Etsy since about day one. And now that they’ve teamed up with the amazing charity Kiva, well, let’s just say if you share our passion, this is an effort worth getting involved with. Similar to Kiva’s existing program which helps provide loans to borrowers in need from around the world looking to start a business, the new Kiva partnership with Etsy now provides artisans with access to interest-free microloans through a program known as Kiva Zip. You can provide a loan to a slew of artisans looking...Read More
Let’s face it. Once our kids hit the age of 2 or 3, our days of choosing adorable outfits for them are pretty much over. So squeeze in all that clothing cuteness while you still can. We loved the Artoo onesies and buntings from The Wishing Elephant on Etsy, so it’s no surprise that we’ve fallen for their other cute baby clothes too. Sushi, anyone? Yup, we’ve decided we love pretty much everything in the shop at The Wishing Elephant. Onesies are made of 100% cotton and embellished by hand with 100% eco-felt. They’re available for ages newborn through 24 months. We’re...Read More
I’ve loved Shokay since I first discovered their gorgeous baby clothes and gifts, all made from a yak hair cashmere that’s unbelievably soft and gorgeous, and all made sustainably to support Tibetan artisans. Now they’ve redone the site and made the leap into a lot of great fashion-forward accessories. I love the Turkana necklace, which is all knit out of bamboo, cotton and yak hair. (And yes, I wish there were a sexier term for “yak hair,” the way we don’t call cashmere “goat hair.”) There are also some spectacular shawls and scarves, like the spring/summer-weight black and white...Read More
We’ve always loved supporting the Etsy artists making handmade birthday crowns and hats for birthday parties and special days thereafter. (Like, Tuesdays. Or Fridays.) But here’s one, in honor of all the royal baby talk this week, that just may take the candle-covered cake. At Mosey on Etsy you’ll find a remarkable array of birthday decor, including some of the most exquisite and imaginative handmade party hats and birthday crowns I’ve ever seen. Themes include space travel, woodland critters, and of course the traditional prince/princess for a day, complete with felt and ribbon adornments like butterflies, fairies and...Read More
You know how it goes. You spend an hour rocking the baby to sleep, carefully tiptoe to the crib, nail the arm-to-mattress transfer, and slip out the door. You’re home free. You’re almost downstairs to the brownies, wine, and Hannibal. And then some horrible monster comes home and closes a door, and WHAMMO. Tears–until now. The Latchy Catchy is a nifty little device that slips over your doorknobs to ensure that all closing doors are silent, happy, friendly closing doors. It’s thick enough to keep the door tightly shut and fits all door shapes and sizes–even French or lever...Read More
If the baby I’m having next month is anything like me, the kid will appreciate a really good pair of shoes. (I’ve already passed that gene onto my daughter, who clamors for any beautiful pair of heels she sees.) I find most people focus on the baby clothes, but adorable shoes really make the outfit. And in the case of this Etsy shop I discovered? That cute romper set from Grandma might go unnoticed if Baby is wearing these. Sorry, Grandma! Warning: Visiting the Ajalor shop on Etsy will either make you want to have another baby stat, or you’ll...Read More
I dream of taking the kids to Paris, strolling past little cafes, and gazing at La Tour Eiffel. On this Bastille Day those dreams are still just that–le sigh. But I’ve discovered the cutest handmade play set that will have visions of croissants and crepes dancing in my kids’ heads too. With incredible handpainted detail on both sides, this three-part French Village playset by Melbourne’s Red Loves Green would be equally at home as room decor or as a toy on the floor. Kids will love opening the “doors” to the two stores and finding a happy mother and child...Read More
If your family is anything like mine, all their famous recipes are tucked away in over-stuffed folders and recipe boxes…and only the chef knows for sure where they are. How wonderful would it be to start serving some of Grandma’s famous oatmeal squares atop a handmade pottery plate, with the recipe for those very squares right underneath in her sweet handwriting? The custom recipe plates and serving ware, from Prairie Hills Pottery are pure awesome. Truly, the gifting possibilities are endless. Scan a copy of Dad’s secret lasagna recipe, and the artisans at Prairie Hill will fire it onto...Read More
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