Tag: handmade

The puzzles that give other puzzles puzzle envy (is there such a thing?)

One of my favorite pastimes with my kids has always been puzzles. I love the combination of relaxing and challenging. My son usually only lasts a quarter of the way through, but my daughter patiently works until the very last piece is placed. (I try to quit but she just won’t let me.) So I am thrilled to find these gorgeous, handmade wooden puzzles that I think so many parents will love. The wooden magnetic geography puzzles by Steven Mattern Design are cool to look at and so educational–what a great way to make geography more interactive than a...

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Give old books new life while giving yourself more storage

Fabric bins are fine for the kids, but this gorgeous storage solution is just for you. If you love books, you’ll be glad to know you’re giving a new home to abandoned tomes, all while enlivening your bookshelf with the prettiest box on the block. And, yes, they’ll fit perfectly on that Expedit shelf from Ikea. The Original Modern Library Storage Bin from Able and Baker on Etsy is an elegant new solution for maximizing storage space on your bookshelves. Each 12″ by 12″ by 8″ box is handmade in Southern California of furniture quality 9-ply maple and completed...

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The best handmade American Girl Doll clothes on Etsy: Should you succumb?

I caved. After years of avoiding the store and hiding the catalog, I finally gave in and bought two American Girl Dolls for my daughters for Christmas. But in doing so, I swore that I’d support Etsy artists and crafters by buying as much handmade clothing for American Girl Dolls as possible. With help in part from Grammy (thanks Grammy!) who helped find so many of these great designs, here are a few shops to keep your eye on should you be looking to style Kit or Kaya or McKenna in something a little off the beaten path. And...

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Merci pour les cadeaux

No sooner are the holidays over that I need to get on that thank-you note writing for all those generous gifts. And when I saw this stamp, I thought, ooh…that could help. A merci hand lettered rubber stamp would not only add elegance to the outside of your envelope, it can honestly turn any notecard into a thank-you note. Just stamp the outside of that floral card, plain stationery, or even a photo of the kids, and voila…instant gratitude in lovely paper form. You’re welcome. –LizFind thank you rubber stamps and more hand-lettered beautiful stationery supplies online at Etsy’s...

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Add some mad, merry scientists to your Christmas tree

My kids are finally at the age where I can outsource most of the tree decorating duties to them and still be pretty darn pleased with the results. It’s true: I haven’t tweaked a single strand of lights or rearranged the glass balls. But I just discovered that my tree is missing something: these super cool scientist ornaments. Brooklyn-based Eavesmade creates laser cut wood ornaments featuring scientists whose specialties range from astronomy and ecology to chemistry and engineering. I was thrilled to see old school greats like Galileo, Copernicus, and Tesla on the list, along with accomplished female scientists...

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Modern Nativity scenes you won’t mind the children touching

When you consider that most nativity sets include a couple of sheep, some people, an angel, and a stable, is it any wonder that most kids can’t wait to get their hands on them? But after my three were finished playing with the set I had growing up, I understood why my mom had kept it on the high shelf, away from our hands. Most Nativity sets are definitely for looking, not touching. But not these three sets I tracked down which would make great gifts for new parents, or for young children on Christmas. They are all made...

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11 awesome handmade gifts you don’t need a design degree to create

After spending a few minutes on Pinterest at this time of the year, I start to feel seriously inadequate in the crafting arena. I don’t mind stretching a little bit to make something awesome, but I’d rather not lose my mind in the process.  If you too get the itch to go handmade for the holidays, but aren’t sure you have the time or energy to tackle something too over-the-top, we’ve got a bunch of ideas from which to choose. No design degree required. –Christina Christmas Olliblocks make an adorable toy to either toss in the stockings or wrap...

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Way cool modern Christmas cards. For real.

It’s that time of the year: choosing the annual Christmas card. If you are late in the game, like me, you may be skipping the photo cards. However if you’re also like me, you want something unique, simple and festively awesome. I am a big fan of finding special cards on Etsy–and what do you know? I found a wonderful shop for all of us. Jersey’s Freshest has the best variety of modern, minimalist cards that will surely impress your friends and family. Each card is hand cut out of heavy card stock. All cards include envelopes and are packaged...

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This ornament from A Christmas Story is better than shooting your eye out

Sorry, kid. You can’t have a Red Rider BB gun for Christmas, but we hear your Aunt Clara sent you something extra special and handmade to hang on the tree. You guys love A Christmas Story as much as we do, right? This A Christmas Story ornament from made by gwen on Etsy is entirely made by hand and lovingly titled The Pink Nightmare. Ralphie’s a little short at only 5.5″ tall, but all his details are hand-painted and embroidered, including tiny bunny faces on each foot and a fuzzy tail on back.  Oh, and as it’s an ornament,...

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Christmas gifts that kids can make themselves (really!)

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...

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BRIKA is more than another flash sale site. It’s less–in a good way.

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...

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8 of the coolest (and easiest) holiday crafts for kids

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...

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A first Christmas gift for baby that you’ll want to snuggle as much as she does

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...

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9 DIY handmade Christmas ornaments that you really can make

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...

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FashionABLE scarves get more fashionable, if that was possible

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...

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Christmas stockings go handmade, and not a sequinned snowman to be found

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...

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Geek up the tree with ninjas, vampires, superheroes, and Jedi

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...

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Because the coolest superpower is always giving back

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...

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A sweet wooden wonderland for your wunderkind

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...

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Custom Christmas ornaments that you will swoon over

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...

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