Gifts for the Hard-to-Buy-Handmade-For

This time of year I’m always perplexed about how much money is spent on holiday presents that are essentially cheap pieces of crap. The holidays have become so overtly commercialized, and most of the stuff people buy is from a big-box store and made in China. It’s just gross. Bad for the environment, bad for people, and actually makes for bad gifts. (not convinced? read this)

So I always try to buy handmade gifts, or when that fails at least “smart gifts” (will explain more below) for my friends and family. As far as my kids go (ages 7 and 8), it is getting harder every year to do this. There are a lot of handmade baby and toddler items available, but not so much for the school agers. Another group that can be hard to buy for are the teenagers/young adults. But there is hope! Here are a few cool things I found:

Mandala Wooden Puzzle by PuzzleOne

This would make a great gift for a wide age range of kids. I have something similar that my kids received as a gift when they were 3/4, and they still play with it–plus it’s still in such great shape my new little one will enjoy it too!

Socktopus by blackbirdfashion

This is another great gift for a wide age range of kids. I’m getting this for my 8 year old son for Xmas. He collects sock monkeys so this whimsical version will be perfect. They also had a punk rock sock monkey–I’ll save that for when he’s a teenager :)

I Spy Bag by aebaby

I LOVE these toys! I’ve seen these capture the attention of toddlers up to 3rd graders!

When buying handmade for your school-aged child or grandchild just isn’t enough-buy them “smart toys” instead of the plastic junk. Art supplies, science kits, musical instruments, books (the Klutz books/kits are always awesome), etc.

Another hard group to buy for are the teenagers and young adults!!!

Bunny Loves Kitty Pendant by Gingerdead

I have items by this artist at The Eclipse Gallery, and you can click the link above for her online shop. I bought one of these necklaces for my 16 year old niece for her birthday and she loved it.


Circut Board Geek Shirt by nonfictiontees

Getting clothes as a gift is definitely NOT lame when they’re like this.  There is a huge selection of handmade clothing for all ages on Etsy.


Vulture Silkscreen Moleskin Journal by The Crafty Hag.

Every teenager (and adult for that matter)  needs a journal to vent into and sketch in. I have a good selection of this artist’s journals, magnets, pillows, note cards, and more at The Eclipse Gallery–or click the link above for her online shop.

Smart gifts for teens and young adults could include books, art supplies (for example, a screen printing kit would be an awesome gift for art types), or gift cards to a cool handmade shop in your area.

If you live or are visiting Northeast Wisconsin, stop by The Eclipse Gallery for a wide variety of handmade gifts–we have something for every age–from birth to 100.  Buy Local and Buy Handmade this year!

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