I am positively dazzled by all of the incredible handmade items out there right now. It’s a beautiful and magical time for the handmade revolution. But, sometimes, the glorious and spectacular handmade universe gets scattered all over the place and it’s hard to remember how to get back to all the incredible places it takes you. I know I often stumble to remember when people ask me what I want! So, I pulled together this gift guide of some my favorite things in a bunch of categories. It’s a gift guide for crafters, makers and dreamers…just in case you have one of those in your life (or are one yourself. *wink*) .
I have to start with DIY Kits because they are little boxes of creative potential and energy and making, just sitting there waiting for you. Obviously, I love a kit.
From top to bottom, right to left:
1. The Punch Box – Monstera Kit from Myra and Jean
2. Make Your Own Concrete Tea Lights! Enough said.
3. Indigo and Shibori Dye Kit from Anna Joyce This is the trend with ancient roots that never gets old.
4. Paper Lamp! Yes, make your own amazing paper elephant family lamp from OWL paper lamps.
5. Get your weaving on with the lovely loom and the beautiful Weaving Within Reach book from Ann Weil.
6. Challenge the sewer in your life with Madalynne’s incredible, sexy bra sewing kit.
7. Celebrate the Solstice Cozy Blue-style with the quiet and stunning lunar blossom DIY Embroidery Kit
8.Get started needle punching (perhaps by the fire ) with this adorable sloth
9. Splurge on the most fabulous shoe kit in my shop (not that I play favorites)…the neon pink evil eye wedge shoes! (psst…there are SIX more day to get $7 off with the code SUPPORTSMALLNOW)
Today’s craft books have really elevated from gathering dust in a studio to prominent display on a coffee table and these are some of my favorites. I am a bit of a craft book fiend so I own all of these, except Hand Dyed (because it hasn’t come out yet but I did get it on pre-order) and Breaking the Pattern (have to leave something for my in-laws to get!).
From top to bottom and left to right:
1. Merchant and Mills Workbook
2. Weaving Within Reach by Anne Weil
3. Make and Mend by Jessica Marquez
4. Pre-Order this gorgeous book, Hand Dyed by Anna Joyce
5. Living with Pattern by Rebecca Atwood (this book wasn’t released in 2018 but it’s positively stunning and lush and full of gorgeous textiles)
6. Mending Matters by Katrina Rodabaugh
7. Technically not a book but it’s really just as beautiful, Making Magazine subscription
8. Print, Pattern and Sew by Jen Hewett
9. Breaking the Pattern from the folks at Named Clothing.
By the way, I try to link directly to the authors as they see more of the profits that way. When I wasn’t able to, however, the links go to an Amazon affiliate link. I appreciate your support if you purchase through Amazon but encourage you to search out an indie bookseller if you have one near you!
Of course, there are times you just want to purchase something imbedded with the magic and joy of someone else’s loving fingers. Here is a selection of my most coveted handmade items:
- Keep your chakras aligned with these essential Chakra Stones from Shop Lavender Crush.
- Beautiful hanging planters mean more plants in more places!
- Ethereal and beautiful and absolutely a gift..Jess Brown dolls are not just for kids.
- The same can be said for anything in Skippy Cotton’s shop of circus-themed, imaginative delights but this stitched elephant is pure perfection. Her handmade items decorate my studio.
- A gorgeous fringe necklace from CA Native designer Jenice.
- Every grownup needs a Bookhou bag. They marry classic practicality with beautiful craftsmanship.
- Keep a rose quartz heart stone near your heart with this stunning necklace from Shop Rare Bird.
- Silvercocoon is the art of my high school friend Tia and these ochre earrings are my favorite.
- Cheery rainbow with pom-poms is next level home decor.
Supplies and Tools are sometimes boring and sometimes they are extra. The right tool is like a studio room angel that descends from the heavens to make everything better. This “top nine” is a mix of tools that I use and love as well as the ones I see other people use and wish I had in my arsenal. FYI, They are entirely garment sewing oriented, which is why they are the ones on my list:
- Wool Pressing Cloth for hard to reach ironing and those times you don’t want to bother getting the whole iron out.
- A Classy Dress Form! Iron on it, pin into it…this dress form looks amazing.
- An expanding sewing gauge for perfect buttonhole measurements.
- Duckbill scissors help grade seam allowances and look so professional! I want! I want!
- Sliding Gauge measuring tool..this look helpful for measuring on so many different things.
- Buttonhole cutting kit. I love this tool so much. It makes a buttonhole cut look clean and crisp instead of gnawed on by rats, as my buttonholes looked before I got this.
- Pressing sleeve. Again, this is a tool I use all the time. It’s essential for ironing arm sleeves but so much more.
- The dream seam ripper. I lived for too long with the puny seam ripper that came with my sewing machine so receiving this seam ripper was a revelation. It not only removes seams well but the rubber tip ‘erases’ the holes left behind!
- Pressing Ham! The best name for any supply and the one everybody saw in their grandmother’s sewing stash, right? This is the perfect tool for seamlessly pressing darts. There is no substitute.
Ok, one last (albeit it different) category. I am a voracious reader of fiction books. I have to read before I go to bed or I will sleep horribly but, on top of that, my life just feels empty without a good book. So I’m sneaking in my book recommendations. You deserve a little time in front of a fire with a good book this month, don’t you! These are my top nine favorite books I read this year. They are in no particular order and not necessarily published this year. I just liked them and learned from them and they made my life richer:
- Sing Unburied Sing by Jesmyn Ward
- White Tears by Hari Kunzru
- The Book of Phoenix by Nnedi Okorafor
- Queen Sugar by Natalie Baszile
- The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin
- Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
- We’re Going To Need More Wine by Gabrielle Union
- The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
- Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann
If you want to see more of my book recommendations (including craft books) pop over to my Amazon Influencer page for ideas and then spend your money locally. :). This post does include affiliate links, however, and if you are already spending money on Amazon (I’m guilty of it far more than I want to admit) I will benefit. I appreciate your support tons (as will a local quilt shop or local bookseller)!
So, there you have it. Phew, this took longer to pull together than I expected but I’m really excited to have this all in one place. Please let me know if I messed up any of the links! There are a lot.
Basically, I fell head over heels for all of the incredible (much of it woman-owned or authored) businesses offering handmade goodness this year and I hope it helps you too. Giving handmade is it’s own kind of gift. One of solid support for families who feel and benefit from every sale. It’s support for the continuation of art making and deep dives into the pleasure of crafting. Enjoy!