Tag: handmade

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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Beautiful jewelry for tweens – buy them or make them yourself

My 8-year old is just starting to accessorize her outfits, which is probably no surprise considering I have a little addiction to accessories myself. If you’ve got a tween that’s ready for something better than play jewelry but not Tiffany, we’ve found the perfect, handmade option. This isn’t the first time we’ve featured the adorable children’s jewelry from Bloesem but since then, they’ve added a slew of limited edition kids’ necklaces that I’m actually coveting myself, each handmade with threads and beads to make a lovely gift for your tween girl.  Plus if you (or your tween) are crafty,...

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Quilts go cosmopolitan

Ever look down from an airplane at the panorama below and consider how very much the ground looks like a crazy quilt? Us, too. That’s just one reason we’re smitten with how these stylish quilts that gorgeous capture the cities and places we love. Haptic Lab designs handmade luxury quilts that represent someone’s unique place in the world through the sense of touch. Each quilt is made of handstitched 100% natural cotton in a cooperative effort between designers in Brooklyn and certified fair trade labor partners in India. White quilts like the one above are so subtle–at first they look...

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Fresh flowers for every outfit

It happens again and again: one dress-up lap around the living room and the creepy faux-metallic paint on your daughter’s “jewelry” is already flaking off and the molded plastic clasp has begun to warp. It’s not always easy to find dress-up accessories that don’t look (and act) like you bought them from a gumball machine. And then someone showed me the fantastic, hand-crafted, textile dress up delights offered by artisan momma Rebekah Desloge.    The Crocheted Flower Necklace is a sweet addition to the dress-up madness in your home, and would make such a great gift, as well. The leaves and...

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Plush and pillows with the perfect sense of humor

As a professional decorator, one of my favorite spaces to take on is a kid’s room. You can go as creative and whimsical as you want; where else could I use every color in the rainbow and indulge in prints that are easily deemed “funny?” Now there’s an Etsy shop I’m so happy to have discovered for those very reasons. When I first saw these pillows from Coucou Salut, I immediately thought of several places that I would use them in my own home.  Everything  at the shop is 100% illustrated, designed, printed and sewn by one talented pair...

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The full body baby bib, for full contact baby feeding

There were moments in my children’s earlier years that all I wanted to do was cover them in a full body raincoat.  It seemed like meal times turned into “let’s get as covered with food as we possibly can” times.  Thankfully, a brilliant mother out there has created a great solution with a full-sleeved, laminated baby bib from Baby Graybee. These bibs for babies 6-18 months keep even the most spirited eaters clean at meal time. The front of the bib is made of BPA-free laminated cotton, providing waterproof coverage for spills. The sleeves are a comfy soft jersey...

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5 of our favorite Pinterest pins this week

Obsessed with Pinterest like we are? Here are 5 cool pins we loved this week. 1. A gorgeous camera bag that looks nothing like a camera bag. 2. Spectacular handmade bangle bracelets in yummy colors, all one of a kind. Want! 3. 9 S’mores recipes with photos so yummy it’s kind of cruel. Sorry. 4. Probably the most hilarious outlet covers we’ve seen. (Can an outlet cover be hilarious?) 5. The perfect affordable baby shower gift, because books are always...

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A taste of summer, indoors

Sometimes art just speaks to you, and that’s how I felt gazing at the beautiful original artwork from artist Rachel Austin. I was poking around the Poppytalk Marketplace and discovered Rachel’s wonderful mixed media map paintings. Clearly bitten by the travel bug, her work evokes lovely images across the country, from a lakeside campground to midwestern birds on a wire in Long Island City, all created over original maps. Some are mounted on a boxy, appropriately unfussy wooden frame, and then there’s also a series of archival prints you can have framed yourself.                           I can imagine that...

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Girls headbands as casual and dreamy as summer

An insane number of crafters on Etsy are making all manners of barrettes, hair bands and baby bows, some with adornments larger nearly as large the actual baby. (I never got that, I have to say.) Searching for something tasteful can be an exercise–a long exercise–in futility. Allow me to narrow the field down a bit. Heather Funk is the designer behind Natty Bratty, a shop we discovered a while back. It’s been pretty cool seeing the evolution of her designs over the years, and now she’s introduced what might be my favorite: a line of soft braided fabric...

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The coolest birthday dresses, now 100% for charity

This October, my youngest daughters will be turning 4 and 2 and as part of our family tradition, they will be wearing hand-me-down Courtney Courtney kids’ dresses. We first featured them in 2008 on Cool Mom Picks, and designer Courtney Chu has since remained one of our all time favorite indie designers, period. Well now, she’s decided to use her now hugely popular birthday dresses to raise money for charity. And we’re in love all over again. If you’re not familiar with her work, Courtney whips recycled t-shirts and fabrics and turns them into the most amazing dresses unlike...

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Turning any table into the best playhouse ever

Its been a while since we first discovered Imaginative PlayToys, and the gorgeous handmade felt table covers she makes to turn your card table into oh…say, a pirate ship. Checking back again after awhile I discovered a new shop name and a ton of inspired new designs. In fact, while writing this post my kids saw the photo below and started shrieking WE WANT THAT! WE WANT THAT! CAN WE GET THAT? like nothing I’ve ever seen. Can you blame them? Red Double Delight Playhouse (at top) Under the Ocean Playhouse Paper Doll Boutique Playhouse   Outer space playhouse Animal sanctuary...

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Hey Girl, You should totally buy this Ryan Gosling tea towel

I make it no secret that I have a huge crush on the Canadian Ryans: Ryan Reynolds and Ryan Gosling. But since I’m not 15 anymore, I’m pretty sure the glossy posters on my ceiling or calendars on my wall are out of the question. But a tea towel? Oh that’s more than fair game. You better hurry and snatch up the Hey Girl I’d Rather Be Doing Dishes tea towel before I buy it. Artist Colleen Pugh has translated the hugely popular Ryan Gosling “Hey Girl” Internet meme into a must-have kitchen accessory for R-Go fan. (I just made that...

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Serious rad upcycled childrens clothes for seriously special occasions

[updated with corrected info] There is something so special about children’s clothes with history. Hand-me-downs aren’t just a frugal choice: there’s often meaning in seeing your child in his grandpa’s favorite college sweatshirt. And now there’s a talented artist who’s preserving those memories–and clothing–in a truly special way. Kindred Cloth (even the name is divine) is a family owned business that runs on love and extraordinary talent. They’re applying remarkable talent to creating special outfits for children, by transforming a parent’s old shirt or other garment into something gorgeous and new. You can choose from their own ready-made designs...

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