Holiday decor makes great Christmas gifts, and it’s even better when handmade. Here are a few of my favorite picks from Etsy that would work for family members, hosts, teachers, and friends. Which one is your favorite?
1. Custom Calligraphy Ornament $15+ | Caroline of Papercase Design beautifully hand paints each glass orb. Can’t you already picture a collection of your children’s names on the tree? Also, a charming take on place cards for Christmas dinner.
2. Antler Lumbar Pillow Cover $46 | Janet Slagel creates hand-printed and sewn-in-house linens with eco-friendly inks. It also comes in gray for the white and neutral holiday decorators. Join the Cotton Revival list to get $20 to shop.
3. Christmas Quilt $300 | You all know by know I’m a big fan of SewEMG, so if I’m going to write about Christmas decor to invest in, it’s going to be heirloom quality. I have gifted Erica’s handiwork and have the chance to see it up close– it’s gorgeous down to each detail.
4. Holly Tea Towel $19.34 | Emma Allard Smith sketches and paints patterns and then digitally prints them onto fabric to deliver brilliantly colored, functional artwork for your home. I’m liking the holly print, but check out the others, too!
5. Brass Tree Topper $94 | Megin Sherry of Me and She Studios makes a seriously stunning tree topper. She explains the inspiration, “originally himmeli mobiles were made from rye straw and hung over the dinner table to ensure a good harvest”. Use yours to ensure good tidings this holiday season. For 15% off use code SMALLBIZ.
6. Hanging Mistletoe $16.50 | This wool and satin appointed “kiss me” decor is completely darling. Check out the Fairyfolk shop for a number of perfectly felted, delightful ornaments.
7. Gold Glitter Garland $14 | Put it up for Christmas and then again for birthday parties. Neutral gold = all the festivities. Made by Glitter + Grain with felt and thread.
8. Personalized Cookie Cutter $15 | These genius gifts are from Jana Hayman’s Etsy shop, Home Print3D. And it comes with a little love story: Jana designs the products and her husband brings them to life with their 3D printer. Get one for the family or a few for each of the kiddos!
On the Go
The Cape Elizabeth by The ROPES Main $75 | Floral Travel Mug by Ashley Brooke Designs $24 | Cedar Street Stacy Bifold by Kate Spade $100 | The Pastoso Flat by M. Gemi $178 | Ormsby Sunnies by Warby Parker $95+ | Key Chain by Baggu $9 | Color Block Stripe Phone Case by Pencil Shavings Studio $28.50+ | Monterey Watch by Kate Spade $295
On the Desk
Pink Metal Pen by Poppin $14 | Corta Maison Candle in French Bourbon Vanille by Voluspa $25 | Personalized Note Cards by Sophie & Lili $21.50 | Personalized Tumbler by Caroline Randall Made $18 | Simplified Planner by Emily Ley $58 | Sullivan Double Frame by Kate Spade $75
I just celebrated a milestone birthday on July 16th. In celebration of turning 30 I’m welcoming this brand new decade with 30 gift ideas. Today is part one: “on the go” and “on the desk”. Tomorrow you’ll see a new post with part two: “ready to wear” and “happy home”, so make a note to check back.
For me, turning 30 really could not feel better. I have felt like a thirty something trapped in a 20 something’s body for several years now. I got married at 24, bought a home and started having kids right away which turned out to be a pretty solid recipe for making friends with a slightly older crowd (which I love).
30 brings on a new level of confidence that closely resembles becoming a parent. When I had Zoe I changed. I never felt like a “real” adult until I was a mom. That’s just me. I know people have those moments in a million different scenarios, but something about having this incredible responsibility for this sweet, tiny human made me feel more responsible in all facets of my life. It wasn’t my first job out of college, or even getting married. Maybe it should have been, but it wasn’t.
Some friends have asked if I “feel old” now. It’s a playful and curious and standard question and the answer is yeah- I do. I really do. But in a good way. Game on! Let’s do this! And while we’re at it, let’s enjoy some really beautiful things that bring big smiles to our faces. Dan and I have had a few conversations lately about quality. Stuff quality, clothing quality, furniture quality. Coming into my thirties has presented a great opportunity to edit our house, closets and offices. Dear Lord may I never fill a shopping cart at Target with absolutely no forethought.
The 30 for 30 gift guides are inspired by great quality and really honoring my aesthetics all while being mindful of blending in small businesses and companies that pay it forward. I hope you enjoy it and pick up an idea or two!
REMINDER: If you haven’t entered the GWB Vilah Bloom Giveaway head over to this post and take two minutes to get your chance! Event closes TONIGHT, so make moves!
For a friend or beau or with a new car and aspirations of retaining the glorious new car smell,
Or because you so generously share your car with your aloof teen, sticky-fingered toddler, and anyone else who needs a ride.
Buy here for $30
Note: Hang this handmade, 100% cotton twill (with optional oilcloth lining) on the gearshift and make your way into spring with a litter-free car following the longest, snowiest, saltiest winter yet! It comes in dozens of lovely patterns and colors, but I wanted to show the gray so that you can picture it in a guy’s car just as well as a lady’s. GreenGoose is comprised of a husband and wife team located in Columbia, Maryland. Stephanie and Kevin adore working together, and have proudly ensured quality and care to over 5,000 pieces sold.
It doesn’t matter if she spends the day hard at work at the office or hard at work at home, she’ll love wearing a charming pendant over a blouse or sweater any day of the week. Perfect for a holiday, but sweet as can be “just because”.
:: 1. Crystal Tassel Charm Necklace by JCrew $68 :: 2. Crystal Quartz Necklace by Dolce Ave. $29.48 :: 3. Blushing Deco Tassel Necklace by Pink Peonies Collection $110 ::
Note: Dolce Ave. is a side business for Megan, but you’d never guess it. She works full-time, but dreams up necklaces (alongside partner in crime/young daughter, Sofia) that are so sweet they’re nearly edible. Her designs are simple and sophisticated and made to suit your needs– for example, upgrade the necklace featured on Gifts with Bows to gold-filled for just $12. See what’s up next on the Dolce Ave. Facebook Page.
Pink Peonies Collection is so adored that the necklace featured above is on backorder until mid-April. But it is endlessly lovely and graceful, so don’t let a short wait keep you from the online checkout. Lifestyle blogger Rach Parcell is the dreamer and designer behind this company that blushes and sparkles with feminine beauty. Give her blog a look and step into her exceptionally well-styled life.
For Her :: Monogram Earrings by Michellerie’s Boutique $8 :: Monogrammed Envelope Clutch by Embroidery by Melissa $22 ::
For the Kids :: Luck Tucker by Leslie McGuirk on Amazon (PRIME) $3.15 ::
For the Baby :: Croo-ak Clutching Toy by HABA on Amazon (PRIME) $16.14 ::
For Him :: Mens Skinny Tie by April Look $69 ::
Note: Michellerie’s Boutique is located in Miami, Florida and run by former-accountant turned stay at home mom of four. After several thousand sales through her Etsy shop, it’s clear that the change in her career path was meant to be.
St. Mary’s, GA is home to Embroidery by Melissa, an Etsy shop that specializes in personalized, monogrammed gifts. Melissa is a single mother of 3 boys who happily supports her family by sewing, a skill taught to her by her late mother who passed away from cancer but remains her major inspiration. Follow along with Melissa on Facebook.
Known for her quirky characters and style, Leslie McGuirk has sold over 2 million of her books across the globe. She has been recognized by both the Chicago Tribune and The New York Daily News for best children’s book of the year. Enter the comic world of McGuirk and enjoy a laugh while reading to the kids.
HABA is a fantastically thoughtful company that actively takes the worry out of toy selection for the children you love most. Valuing quality and safety above all, they explain, “when we want to bring colors into play we only use solvent-free, water-based stains. This means that toys are totally safe to pass from hand-to-mouth”. Babies, this is your cue to chew!
April Look was born in 2011 to Vaida and Agne of Lithuania. They say, “we feel that handmade has a lasting value that mass production can’t match. April Look believes in the beauty of simplicity.” Natural fibers are the base of each item– the tie featured above is made with linen and cotton.
Now that you have his basket ready– let’s fill it!
:: 1. Dotty Chicken Organic Tee by Silk Oak $18 :: 2. Plaid Bow Tie in Raspberry by Peppercorn Kids $15 :: 3. Hoppy Easter Pjs on SALE at Gymboree
$22.95 $16.07 :: 4. Tortoise Ombre Retro Sunglasses by GapKids $9.95 :: 5. Swedish Slipper Moccasins in Heather Grey Multi by Hanna Andersson $25 :: 6. 12″ Bashful Grey Bunny By Jellycat on Amazon (Prime) $22.50 :: 7. Buy gift card for a Kiwi Crate $19.95 :: 8. Room Sign by Minted $16 :: 9. Pete the Cat: Big Easter Adventure on Amazon (Prime) $9.70 ::
Note: The silk screened tee (#1) is handmade by Silk Oak, a Jan Rhodes Norman production out of Ithaca, NY going strong since 1977. I first learned about Silk Oak when I received pieces from her line for Zoe a couple of years ago. Since then I occasionally see her pop-up booth at craft shows and simply cannot resist a purchase. Jan explains, “we believe it’s possible for business to help create healthier, more vibrant communities. We print on U.S. grown cotton, sweatshop free garments and choose organic when possible!” Follow along on Silk Oak’s Facebook Page.
Peppercorn Kids makes the most darling bow ties (#2) imaginable. Each has an adjustable strap with hook and slide closure to make an easy fit for your little man. Keep an eye out for more on this LA-based company in the near future on Gifts with Bows (hint: Zoe photo shoot in the not too distant future).
If you aren’t familiar with Kiwi Crate (#7), give it a look. Each crate has a theme (ex. Fairy Fun or Let’s Bake) and is “filled with all of the materials and inspiration for hands-on projects”. Pick out one you think she’ll adore or give a gift card for a subscription or one-time crate.
The Room Sign (#8) is designed by Jennifer Wick for Minted. Jennifer is a hand lettering and illustration specialist. She’s a graphic design challenge winner by day, and a soccer mom of three by night. Her art prints are endlessly heart-melting– learn more about her and her process here.
The book (#9) is part of a non-chronological kids series about Pete the Cat. Collaborators James Dean and Eric Litwin write and illustrate incredible stories with pertinent lessons for young children and adults alike. Zoe is a huge Pete fan after receiving multiple books from the series from her Grandpa.
For her first day on the job to hold coffee or pens
Or say cheers to your sweet coworker on Administrative Professionals’ Day or Boss’s Day
Or for any one of your girlfriends who love gold, gold and more gold!
Buy here for $15.50
Note: With 130 perfect reviews on Etsy (5 stars!), you can bet on a perfect circle monogram from The Joyful Peach. Brooke Maltempi will ship her charming inventory from Chester, VA with a turnaround time of 2-3 weeks– but let her know if you’re short on time and she might be able to adorn your doorstep sooner.