Tag: handmade

Star power: these customized constellation pendant necklaces really shine

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...

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The terrible tale of a trick-or-treater’s worst nightmare: no candy!

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...

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Game of Thrones Converse! Pledge your royal allegiance with your feet

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...

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Well, hello, dollies!

I’ve got some folks I’d like you to meet. These pretty custom dollies are hand-sewn, have hand-painted faces, and each cost less than $50. Um…Barbie who? I’m downright twitterpated over the beautiful handmade dolls at Hen and Chick on Etsy. Each doll is hand-sewn of a fetching mix of new, vintage, and repurposed fabric and sports a unique face painted by shop owner Rachel Linquist.  You can buy one of the ready-made dolls in her shop for $40, or order a custom doll for only $45–a steal for such a special gift. Create the doll of your dreams by...

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Perfect the art of gift-giving with these adorable gift tags

Nothing brings a grin to someone’s face like a gift from someone special. And nothing makes a gift-giver like me happier than finding unique gift wrap and supplies. These adorable printable gift tags from la-fabrique-a-bricole are perfect for birthdays, showers and “just because” gifts. You can choose from a variety of cute designs including birds, monsters and cars. They also have tags created especially for gifting bottles of wine.                                                               These are just the kind of thing you want to stock up on, to have on hand for last-minute gift-giving that won’t ever look like an afterthought. Even if it...

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Virtuoso! Handmade handbag masterpieces

It’s no secret that I have a handbag obsession. That’s pretty clear the second you walk into my closet.  But these handcrafted beauties I found on Etsy are on a whole other level. And if you think this violin bag is amazing, just wait until you see the other ones. Each amazing krukrustudio bag is designed by two Russian artisans and created completely by hand out of wool felt. And, wow, I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen anything like them.  While they certainly look like works of art, these beautiful felt handbags are all completely functional. Talk about a...

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Shake, rattle, and drool: handcrafted heirloom baby rattles

Let me rattle off a few words for you to chew on: heirloom, handmade, safe, affordable. Also: pretty. These Heirloom Baby Rattles from Windfall Boutique on Etsy are everything you could possibly want in a baby toy–but at half the price you might expect to pay for something so classic, sturdy and beautiful. At only $16.50, each rattle is handmade of domestic cherry, walnut, and maple, laminated with food-safe glue, filled with jasmine rice, and finished with food-grade mineral oil. That means you get a toy that’s attractive, unique, and hard to break. It also requires no batteries, has no...

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A hand-painted, multicultural mobile babies (and grownups) will love

My favorite kind of mobile isn’t my cell phone. I love hanging mobiles. What’s not to love? They’re moving pieces of art, transformed by light, wind, and perspective. And I’ve just found a real beauty that you might love as much as your baby. Why should they have all the fun? I totally adore this beautiful handmade baby mobile from Little Edie. Becky Brisco is the talented artist behind the shop. Her multicultural mobile is a fantastic way to introduce your child to the beauty of diversity. All of the faces are hand-painted so each mobile is completely unique–just like us. The...

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Forget grungy: upcycled gets downright gorgeous

Creating art, decor and furniture with upcycled materials is not just a fleeting design fad. It’s a way of living for many artists who want to create items that are sustainable and friendly to our earth. Fortunately, a lot of upcycled pieces are on the forefront of design as well. Meet Swedish Guy Design. “Swedish Guy” grew up on a farm in Minnesota with his Swedish/ Norwegian family, then became certified as a Green Builder in San Francisco. What’s really interesting is that the source of material for all of his gorgeous pieces–from a modern lamp to a magazine rack...

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Fashionable scarves. With an emphasis on -able.

At this time next week, I’ll be traveling through Ethiopia with the wonderful humanitarian organization ONE. Yes, I’m excited. Yes, I’m nervous. No, Bono won’t be there that I know of. And yes, you will be hearing more about it. But when I got my informational travel packet from the team at ONE this week, I was thrilled to find a surprise: a small, chic gift that does a whole lot of good. I thought you’d want to know about it too. The stunning scarf from fashionABLE absolutely melted me. Not just because it’s beautiful, which it is, but because...

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Beautiful braille jewelry: understatement is always in style

If you knew me in person, then you’d know by the tattoo on my inner wrist that I’m a little obsessed with braille. (It’s my kids’ initials, if you’re curious). Now, I’ve seen some cool braille jewelry before, but these gorgeous, subtle pieces definitely caught my eye. LeighLuna creates beautiful custom braille necklaces–wonderful if you’re visually impaired of course, but if not, it’s a wonderful, subtle way to keep your kids close to your heart (without emblazoning their names across your chest in Comic Sans which can be read from 6 blocks away, for instance). Each brass pendant is created...

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Ding, dong, the witch is read: nifty 3D bookmarks

Book lovers, we’ve come across some major cuteness for you. We think you and your Munchkins are going to go (winged) ape for these adorable 3D bookmarks. And if you’re not into The Wizard of Oz, they come in several other shapes, including pirates, zombies, and Louboutins…oh my! From the Wicked Witch’s stripey socks to Dorothy’s demurely folded socks and famous ruby slippers, MyBOOKmark on Etsy offers dozens of unique and clever three-dimensional bookmarks for bibliophiles with a sense of humor. Each pair of legs pokes two inches or so out of your book. They’re hand-crafted of polymer clay, painted,...

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DIY Crafts meets toys meets awesome

One of my son’s favorite activities is creating DIY roads and parking garages for his collection of Matchbox cars. So when I saw this super easy tutorial, I thought it would be a cool way to take his imaginative play to the next level. These DIY chalkboard city blocks from hellobee are brilliant, imaginative fun. Requiring only a few supplies (and crafty genes are NOT on the list of must-haves), you and your favorite car-lover can whip up an entire neighborhood in a couple of minutes. Vroom-vroom!   All you’ll need is chalkboard paint, sandpaper, and a bunch of old blocks...

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Can you help your favorite crafter or small business owner win $10,000?

Recently we introduced you to the wonderful Martha Stewart American Made Awards which is offering crafters and other small business owners a chance to win $10,000 to support their dreams. Well, we are just thrilled to find out that some of our very own readers and featured shops are among the finalists in the Audience Choice Awards! Ashley McCally of Lilly and Gus makes beautiful plush products made from upcycled fabrics from denim to wool. We’re so glad to hear she found out about the contest from Cool Mom Picks! Becky App of eCreamery has created a great business selling...

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Gorgeous quilts that look great beyond the nursery

One of my most favorite items is a quilt made by my great-grandmother, handed down to me by my grandmother. There is something so special and meaningful about a handmade quilt, although quilting for most people seems like a talent reserved for other people. I feel like every nursery should have a pretty quilt on hand. Barbara Perrino of BPerrino Quilts creates modern baby quilts at a price worth celebrating. All of her lovely quilts and quilted pillow covers are designed, cut and pieced one at a time. You can use these quilts as extra bedding or to just...

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Sachets that smell like fall

While we love tracking down hostess gifts for all those summer weekend invitations, it probably doesn’t end with Labor Day. Especially with the holidays (eep!) coming up. So I love this fabulous, affordable gift that feels a little more fall than summer. The balsam and silk sachets from Sewn Natural are the perfect little gift. I especially love the Night Sky design shown here with the pretty silver star sewn on, but there are fabrics for any style. They’re filled with balsam fir tips, which smell amazing (and less feminine than lavender) and they last a super long time;...

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If Wonder Woman opened an Etsy store

Judging by the awesomely geeky baby goods in this chic boutique, I would wager that Wonder Woman’s sewing machine isn’t as invisible as her jet. Whether you need to burp, wipe, snuggle, or celebrate your little Loki, this is the source of some super baby gear for fans of comic books, video games, and, of course, Star Wars. The Spry Sprout shop on Etsy bills itself as “a unique geek kid boutique”, and that just about covers it. Baltimore mom Miranda makes each piece by hand using some of the coolest geeky fabrics we’ve ever seen.  Star Wars, Avengers,...

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Sparkle on: these rings rock however you roll

I admit it. Finding unique accessories that stand out from what I see on the wrists and fingers of the other women in my neighborhood gives me a little caffeine shot of joy. I love it when someone asks, “Where did you get that?”  Sometimes I want to keep my fun finds all to myself. But here’s a shop I’ll share with you, because these rings just plain rock. (Not to mention they are handcrafted from rock–how nifty is that?) Rablabs creates lovely, shimmery, hand-crafted rings from solid pieces of natural agate druze. They’re just the right balance of...

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Affordable bangles for fall that you can start wearing now

August is a bit of a weird jewelry-buying time. I want things that will feel all light and happy with my sleeveless dresses, but I’ve also got an eye towards fall. Which his why these affordable skinny bangles are the perfect thing to take me from one season to the next. The Adele Skinny Bangles by Voz Clothing and Art are stained walnut, which means they’re not as summer-like as say, embroidery or light beading; but they’re hand-painted with colors that can suit any season. I happen to love this combo of black, peach and gold, but the Karen O set (named for the...

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Grow baby, grow.

Despite having found so many cool kids’ growth charts here on Cool Mom Picks, I confess I still use a pencil on the side of our kitchen wall. It’s not that I haven’t loved every single one of them, but they’re either too pretty or too big or just too…something for us. But that all ended with this Etsy find from Studio 1am. Sure, at a quick glance it looks like a gigantic yard stick, but upon closer examination the Measure Me Stick is a little bit of genius. Handmade in Chicago from solid wood that’s certified by the Forest Stewardship...

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