It’s a tradition around our house that my kids give handmade gifts (made by their hands!) to their siblings and grandparents. But coming up with new ideas–especially ones that don’t require me to be the one doing all the work–can be a challenge. If you love giving handmade gifts as much as we do–or want to start a tradition like our family’s–then here’s a plethora of cool and crafty gifts that your kids really can make themselves. Pinky swear. For those of you with little artists, just imagine the possibilities with these DIY modern art plates. Perfect for young scribblers...Read More
While overall, I admit I’m growing a little weary of all the membership-only shopping sites (and the subsequent eight million “OUR SALE IS STARTING!” alerts in my inbox each day), there is a new one I’m excited about. I love its focus on artistry, creativity and the kind of talented designers that we always get excited about when we discover them on Etsy. The new site BRIKA seems to me a bit like a cross between Fab, Uncovet and Joyus. It’s a rather minimalist site–all about beautiful items from artists and small brands you get to learn a little...Read More
If you score not-so-high on the Official Scale of Craftiness (which, I swear, should be a real thing), fear not. You and your kids will have a blast making these eight super-easy, super-cute holiday crafts we’ve rounded up just for you. This Christmas tree craft by LooLeDo is so very cool and colorful–and, best of all, it’s made entirely with things you have lying around the house anyway, like paper clips, a paper towel tube, tape, construction paper, a paper plate. The prettiest solution in the kajillion holiday catalogs clogging up your mailbox? Gorgeous DIY paper snowflakes...Read More
One of my favorite categories on our Holiday Gift Guide this year is first Christmas gifts for babies that are all handmade. Recently we shared an entire selection of great first holiday gifts for baby (lots of handmade goodness there too!) but I also happen to adore this blanket that’s featured on our guide this year. Especially once I realized who made it. Turns out the stunning craftsmanship and design comes from none other than Seven Smooches, makers of gorgeous handmade accessories and clothing all from upcycled fabrics. I discovered them about three years ago when they launched and I love to...Read More
DIY handmade ornaments make some of the most lovely Christmas gifts. Our own Christmas tree is filled with handmade holiday ornaments, some from flea markets and craft shops on our travels, and some DIY ornaments from crafty friends. (Save for those few Redskins ornaments that I can’t get the SigOth to part with, sigh.) Here, a few DIY ornament tutorials for you crafty folks who want to rock more of a handmade, cozy style on your tree–or add a thoughtful “I made this just for you” appeal to your gifts this year. Or hey, make a few to tie...Read More
I feel a personal commitment to the amazing company fashionABLE, since having visited their operation in Ethiopia and meeting so many of the women who actually made the scarves. It’s even one of my very favorite picks this year in our Holiday Gift Guide, under the category of chic gifts that give back. Now, there’s two more styles that I’m extremely excited about, in part because they support an organization I love; and in part because I (along with some other amazing bloggers) helped make them. Really! When we visited at fashionABLE, as part of our Ethiopian trip...Read More
More and more people are craving a handmade holiday season, from stockings to gifts. I understand the feeling of wanting to be surrounded by one-of-a-kind pieces that are unique and beautiful. When I was a young child, my aunt made my whole family handmade Christmas stockings with individual designs on each. I remember feeling so special when I saw my stocking. I want to do the same for my kids. One problem with that. I don’t sew. Well, yay for me! These handmade holiday stockings on Etsy are the perfect solution. These beautiful blue and green handmade Christmas stockings...Read More
On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: three sneaky ninjas. Also: ten caped crusaders, nine Star Wars figures, two vampires, and a well-muscled werewolf in a fir tree. The husband and wife team of Itty Bitty Wood Shoppe on Etsy is best known for highly detailed wooden wedding cake toppers, but for the holidays, they’re turning their brushes and Sculpy to holiday ornaments fit to pique any geek. The ninjas stand two inches tall and come in a pack of three, ready to hang on the tree for an extra Silent Night. Because you...Read More
We bet you know a pint-sized superhero or two. You might even have one battling baddies in your living room at this very moment. So maybe it’s time for some new superhero threads for your fave good guys (and good girls). One of our favorite indie imaginative play companies, Pip and Bean, has been turning out handmade kid capes on Etsy since 2009. This holiday season, this mom-and-pop shop are offering an awesome promotion that will not only have your little superheroes rockin’ their very own capes, but will also help them put smiles on the faces of other kids...Read More
Silent night? Yeah, only if your holiday toy choices don’t include batteries, drum sticks, or bells. We’ve found a beautiful selection of handmade, heirloom quality toys that can help your child create a peaceful, quiet winter wonderland under the tree. Much like the quiet of a snow-blanketed forest, these handmade wooden toys from Etsy shop mielasiela in Lithuania are a breath of fresh air. Each piece is hand-cut and sanded, formed of natural, untreated black alder wood. We love that the designs are original, clearly hand drawn and so delightfully unexpected. Besides the boy in the forest, there’s also...Read More
With Christmas just around the river bend (how very Pocahontas of me), the search for festive ornaments is underway. I like to hunt for ornaments, especially handmade ones, in unpredictable places, and my first visit is always Etsy. It’s my one-stop shop for unique and creative custom ornaments that won’t be seen on every other tree in my neighborhood. When I saw these pretty ornaments from Eleni Creative, I right away envisioned a rustic tree full of these beauties. Each one of these ornaments is handmade and takes her up to three hours to make–meaning it would take me twice...Read More
Looking for holiday styles with true vintage pop? If you’re shopping for a one-of-a-kind kid-seeking style that transcends the stuff on the rack–you’re going to squeal over this gorgeous line of reworked retro treasures. Homespun Vintage hearkens back to a time when children’s clothes were hand-sewn with care and built to last. This Mini Military Jacket is beautifully old-school in style, created using vintage military barracks bags. Each one features slight differences and irregularities that add to the charm. Some of the designs by Homespun Vintage are reproductions of vintage pieces they’ve found and cherished. Others are upcycled reworkings of old materials,...Read More
They say every snowflake is unique, but snowflakes featuring Star Wars Stormtroopers and Clone Troopers may just take the cake. If you’re into Star Wars, you won’t want to miss this collection of 19 DIY snowflakes featuring your favorite characters. After all, it’s beginning to look a lot like Hoth! Matters of Grey is a geek collective specializing in social media and nerd-excellent DIY, and they’ve improved on last year’s collection of snowflakes with even more free Star Wars templates. Whether you’re into spaceships like Boba Fett’s Slave 1 and the Millenium Falcon, or you want a room glittering...Read More
Here’s a sweet phone for your little one that doesn’t require a contract, an upgrade, or even a fancy power cord. And it even rings! You know, like phones used to do? The ring ring! phone available from our pals at ROMP is the apex of heirloom toys for kids 3 and up. Handmade in Germany of cherry wood and finished only with vegetable-safe oil, it’s good for the environment and for little hands. The dial spins, the bell rings, and you never know who’s going to be on the other end of the line when you pick up. (Knowing most...Read More
My first thought after seeing these handmade plush cameos and pillows was, “So cute that it hurts.” I mean, look at these faces! And shapes! I have a list of children that I want to make happy with these adorable creatures. Three Bad Seeds have created this collection of quirky and modern pillows. Each one is made from reclaimed, upcycled and repurposed linen and wool clothing. They cut every piece by hand and design its color combination according to the materials that they find locally. So cool! Look...Read More
I realize it’s not even November yet, but since I’m a fan of DIY holiday gifts–especially for my family from my kids–I try to start early. And in my search for easy, affordable crafts that my daughter and I can make, I found these lovely little needlepoint kits from Red Gate Stitchery. I snatched up a bunch of these affordable DIY embroidery kits that include everything you or your kiddo needs to make a pretty holiday gift. These are so small and easy that your child can finish one in only a sitting or two, like the pretty DIY bamboo pendant...Read More
Striped or polka-dotted, these lovable handmade dolls have us mesmerized. Each adorable polkadottydoll is entirely unique, handcrafted in cotton without a pattern in black and white according to Alberta artist Lynda Black’s imagination. They’re nicely sized, bottom-weighted to sit on a shelf, and…sweetly mesmerizing. I mean, check out those eyes. The listings don’t mention it, but judging by the buttons and threads, these little dudes probably aren’t for ages 3 and under. Still, we know that black and white are colors most interesting to babies, so maybe just put one on the shelf for later? Like, maybe your shelf?...Read More
I’ve said before that I love Braille jewelry as a more subtle option for mom jewelry than traditional printed text. I’m feeling the same way about these handmade pendants. Do they look just like dots to you? Look again… In fact, these are hand-drilled constellation pendant necklaces, which I think are a cooler way to wear your baby’s birth sign without some cheesy illustration or a typical astrological symbol. Shown here is Scorpio, but there are 11 more to choose from, of course. They’re all made in Brooklyn by artist Julie Nolan, who bases her designs on a Swiss calendar...Read More
Of all the scary things my kids might face on Halloween night, one thing looms most terrifying in their minds: the prospect of trick-or-treating at homes with no candy left to give. (Yes, First World Problems, I know.) Which is why this little Halloween tale is a true horror story to their young minds. The Trick or Freaks is a clever, independently printed little rhyming story with a mystery built into it: Who has taken all the Halloween candy? No, it’s not exactly Hitchcock, but hey, it’s just about as dark a story as I dare to read to...Read More
Calling all Game of Thrones addicts: Whether you took the Facebook quiz or already had a favorite character, chances are you feel an affinity for one of the seven Great Houses. Personally, I’m Team Khal. For those of you with official mottos and coats of arms, you’re going to be on these kicks like Jaimie Lannister on…ew. Never mind. Tannim on Etsy created these custom Game of Thrones Converse All-Stars in tones to suit even the most finicky royal. There’s no design to rub off or painting to crack–Converse actually embroiders the house name and builds the shoe, and...Read More
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