Tag: handmade

The perfect little affordable best friend gifts. Or really, anyone gifts.

I’m on the lookout for some cute small gifts to give out to some of the people I love, or even for my girls to give to their own BFFs. And then I came across the collection of awesome eco-friendly, recycled brown kraft paper journals from Journaling Jane on Etsy and I was like, yup. That’s what I need. I love the artist’s mission to get people back to handwriting — as you can tell from journals with sayings like Write Your Thoughts Here and Not on Facebook — and she has hundreds of ways to do that. You can...

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Mrs. Jones’ Soapbox: Natural cleaning products that, well, actually clean

I like to buy natural cleaning products and supplies as much as I can. In fact, I follow my mom’s mantra and use vinegar and water only on my hardwood floors. It’s partly because I get headaches when I walk in the door and my house smells like a hospital ward, and partly because I know that breathing in a lot of harsh chemicals just isn’t good for us, so I’m always glad to discover a new company that makes eco-friendly cleaning products that actually work. Mrs. Jones’ Soapbox is one of those, and it’s a great find. Related: 2 fabulous new natural laundry products that actually work I admit I...

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The best Black Friday deals: Shop right from your couch!

If you’re looking for some of the best Black Friday shopping deals and discounts around the web, we’ve rounded them up for you right here, along with the best Black Friday tech deals over on Cool Mom Tech.We’ll continue to update the post all day long with sales all day (and weekend) long, so be sure to check back, and follow us on Twitter where we’ll be tweeting them. And don’t forget to check out our 2015 Holiday Guide for even more gift ideas featuring indie designers and small businesses. APPAMAN (above) 40% off site-wide with the code: FRIDAY40 DYLBUG: 20%...

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Holding out for a custom handmade superhero doll.

I’ve been searching for the perfect gift for my niece this Christmas. You know, the one that will make me the favorite aunt. (Kidding. Well, kind of.) As I was scouring Etsy, I found these adorable handmade superhero dolls at La Loba Studio, and I think they would make an amazing heirloom gift at a great price. Emese, the Hungarian artist who creates these dolls, has such a fun eye for color and personality. I love that so many of these dolls celebrate adventure and strength with their superhero capes and masks on. And yet they are sweet and cuddly and excellent bedtime companions,...

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It’s here! Our 2015 Cool Mom Picks holiday gift guide! Whoo!

We are so, so excited to present our 2015 holiday gift guide, which we have to say is our biggest and our best yet. And we’ve been doing this a while, so that’s saying something! Click over and you’ll find more than 325 truly fabulous holiday gifts ideas for every single person on your list, in every price range. And of course, so many are from the small brands and indie makers we love to support all year long, but especially now.   Whether you’ve got a tight budget or sky’s the limit, we’ve scoured the far reaches of the internet to find the coolest holiday gifts...

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The perfect modern keepsake baby gift for photo-happy new parents. Hi, that’s all of us, right?

In this photo-obsessed world we’re living in, we’ve seen all kinds of ways to document and share a baby’s first year in pictures — some of which are sweet, some of which are wow, you really had time to do all that? Striking the perfect balance in the middle: The new My First Year baby photo frame from our friend, mom, and talented artist Kerri Lee-Sensiba, of Tree by Kerri Lee. Related: One-stop shopping for the cutest baby gifts from small designers. I think the lovely, fresh handpainted wooden designs (choose from a cute elephant or a more hipster camera...

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Pop culture peg dolls, for fans of The Penguin, Harry Potter, pirates, princesses, or Percy Jackson.

Though there are sure to be many awesome high-tech toys out there this holiday season, our latest obsession is the adorably low-tech wooden peg dolls by Wooly Llama on Etsy. I mean, what could be better than hearing your kids playing their own imaginary game of Star Wars while making their best beep-beep-boop noises for the wee little R2D2 peg? Or doing their own version of Harry Potter complete with a rolly-polly Hagrid? Beyond those two huge franchises, Wooly Llama has even more incredibly cute wooden peg dolls, with sets paying homage to the casts of Lord of the Rings, and Percy Jackson so you can pick one that appeals...

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The closest you’ll get to making time with rock stars

If you happen to have a cool grand or more to spend on a very special, one-of-a-kind gift for a rock fan in your life who you love a lot, we’ve just discovered maybe the coolest ever gift that will connect them to some of the biggest rock icons of our time. And also to help them keep get to places on time; something musicians are not always known for. The brand new Nixon Rock LTD Watch Collection, goes on sale in mid-November, and fuses music and fashion in such an amazingly cool way; they’re taking donated leather from some of the some major rock legends’ personal items and...

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The Originals: Freshly Picked baby moccasins by Susan Petersen

Next up in our series The Originals, in which we honor makers whose original designs are so wonderful that we start seeing knock-offs everywhere, features a longtime favorite of ours, mom and designer Susan Petersen of Freshly Picked. We fell in love with her adorable, handmade leather baby mocs about four years ago, before she hit it big with Shark Tank, before she had a zillion different colors and styles, before she was making larger sizes and a few coordinating accessories, and certainly before she was making trompe l’oeil pepperoni pizza moccasins or kitten face moccasins. (Really.) Top photo:  Jessica Shyba...

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Unicorn horn headbands for Halloween or everyday. Because being a magical, mythological creature never goes out of style.

When these adorable unicorn horn headbands landed in my inbox over the weekend, I immediately forwarded it to Liz and said “Cool, right?!” which is why you’re seeing them right now. If you’ve got an indecisive little one in your house, or hey, want a little quick and easy Halloween something for yourself, hurry up and order one of these. The handmade unicorn horns from BrooklynOwl.com are actually something my kids would wear all year long because really, winter, spring, summer, or fall, they’re all-season creatures. Ha.   Related: 9 really creative, last-minute Halloween costumes for kids you can DIY They...

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The ultimate source for hip, hand-knit hats and accessories. Whether you are the one hand-knitting them or no freaking way.

First, you have to laugh at a shop called Wool and the Gang. (Take a sec…okay, there you go.) But when you look at their amazing selection of hand-knit accessories, and the knitting patterns you can buy, it turns out it’s a massive resource for hip, cheeky accessories that can update your wardrobe for winter. While they have all kinds of scarves, sweaters, and other goodies for men, women, and kids, I’ve mainly got my eye on the funky hand-knit hats to help me beat the winter chill with a smile. The thing that’s exceptionally cool about this company is that...

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The Originals: KnotNot knot pillows by Umemi

I’ve seen all these DIY tutorials around the web lately for handmade knot pillows and if you have as well, these images may look familiar. Only after a whole lot of searching and secret sourcing, turns out the original photos are not from loads of brilliant crafters who all remarkably had the exact same idea (and photography styling), but from a wonderful little shop called Umemi from Icelandic product designer Ragnheidur Osp Sigurdardottir. Thus begins a new series we’re launching called The Originals, in which we attempt to track down the original makers who have invented products so wonderful, they quickly become copied and passed off...

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17 cool DIY Star Wars costumes for kids that you can make, from Han and Leia, to baby Ewoks, to the droids you’re looking for.

If your kids are begging to be a Star Wars character this Halloween–or if you are just dying to turn your baby into Yoda for their first trick-or-treating–we’ve rounded up an entire galaxy of DIY Star Wars costumes that cover a variety of characters and ages. From the not-too-difficult, to the Whoa, you made that?, I think your young Padawan, Leia, or Droid will be thrilled with any of these out-of-this-world Star Wars costumes that you can totally pull together yourself, thanks to some incredibly crafty — and dedicated — parents. Related: More than 40 of the coolest Star Wars party ideas for...

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Everything you need to know about Handmade at Amazon: Is it the Etsy competitor everyone says it is?

We started Cool Mom Picks shortly after Etsy launched, and we’ve been big fans ever since, discovering and happily sharing some of the coolest indie artisans and their handmade goods here on our site for nearly ten years now. So as huge supporters of the handmade movement and indie artist in general, it’s probably no surprise that our interest was piqued when Handmade at Amazon launched last week. So, we took a closer look to understand what it’s all about, and whether we think it’s something you’ll want to have on your radar, as a consumer, and for those...

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4 seriously stylish new baby carriers we love in honor of National Babywearing Week

Today is the last day of International Babywearing Week, so we thought we’d put together some of our favorite new stylish baby carriers carriers for you all. But it’s not like we need a pseudo-holiday to remind us what a lifesaver a baby carrier can be, whatever the reason you use it — attachment, convenience, going hands-free, carefully concealing that postpartum gut. (Ha.) Plus you can get more of that delicious new baby smell, on demand. Personally, I love using a carrier for naps on-the-go and having a hands-free option while I get meals ready, and even as a way to go the bathroom without having to having...

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cuddle + kind: The new handknit dolls good at snuggling, playing, and feeding kids in need

We love companies that help us do a little extra good when we purchase their products, like TOMS shoes and Bears for Humanity and Mitscoots Socks which each have “buy one, give one” business models. And now we’ve discovered a line of adorable new handknit dolls called cuddle + kind that not only will make our kids squeal from the cuteness, but also help combat child hunger in the US and around the world by providing meals to children in need. Based on the incredible amount of support they’ve received just a week into their Indiegogo campaign, clearly we’re not the only ones who...

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Swanky metallic cosmetics cases: Coveted accessory? Or organizational essential.

Buying a new cosmetics case isn’t a bad annual tradition, at least if yours gets as beat up as mine do, with spills and smudges and that glittery who-knows-what embedded in there. It’s more affordable than buying a whole new handbag, and a great way to stay organized if you tend to carry bigger bags and totes all day like we New Yawkahs do. If you’re in the market, I am loving these handmade metallic leather cosmetics cases from Etsy’s Gift Shop Brooklyn.  Artist Annie Olean Bukhman claims they can work on their own as small clutches when you’re running quickly out the...

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Little Balena handmade baby blankets. Preppy is back!

Any parent knows the importance of a go-to baby blanket, because a baby blanket is never just a blanket; it’s a play mat, a changing pad, a lovie, a spot for tummy time and sometimes yes, a perfect cover for snuggling up and keeping warm. That’s a lot to live up to, but the mom who created handmade baby blankets called Little Balena Play Quilts has done just that. While there are of course plenty of awesome blankets already out there, what I love about these is the combo of the materials coupled with a traditional preppy design. As in a whale motif, from...

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Adorable handmade baby crib mobiles let your baby fall asleep dreaming of Cinderella. Or ninjas.

I was never a musical crib mobile kind of parent. And now that there are so many options for piping in lovely music into a child’s room — as in, lovelier music than that tinny awfulness in most crib mobiles — I love the idea of just a simple, pretty crib mobile that you can hang above a crib or changing table to dazzle a baby and lull her to sleep the old fashioned way. I just discovered an Etsy artist called Wonderfeltland who is doing the cutest things with handmade felt baby mobiles. Check out the selection from...

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Cool handmade Halloween costumes for kids that can be worn long after Halloween. Like everyday if you’re our kids.

We’ve been huge fans of designer Courtney Chu of Courtney Courtney since she launched her fabulous dresses maaaaany years ago, but these handmade Halloween costumes for kids might just take the cake.   Courtney brilliantly upcycles t-shirts into dresses our own girls have loved and worn for a very long time. They’re stylish, comfortable, and wow, do they last. And now just in time for Halloween, she’s got these fantastic Halloween-inspired dresses, along with ideas on how to make them actual costumes. So smart! It’s hard to pick a favorite but I’m partial to Animal from The Muppets, which ironically is exactly what...

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