The handmade Christmas cheat-sheet

So you feel Christmas has become an over-commercialised grab-fest that creates unnecessary stress and expectation? You want to create a celebration that is more meaningful and creative but really,  you’re just not the artistic type? Don’t despair! There are ways to avoid the mall, the stress, and still arrive on Christmas Day with gorgeous gifts that were made with love and creativity, and didn’t cost the earth.

In 2005 a US company called iospace launched Etsy.  Etsy.com has become the go-to site for all things handmade, crafted and artisan. It is an endless makers market and -be warned – once you enter, you may never find the exit. The creation of Etsy has inspired many other handmade markets to pop up all over the ether. So if you are lacking in time, skill, and/or inspiration – head on over to any of these sites to find the perfect gift for everyone in your life – pretty well guaranteed to be unique, lovingly made and within budget!

Felt,
Felt is a New Zealand site that – like most design that emerges from the land of the long white cloud – is well crafted, stylish and unheeding of any global trends. We’re not sure if it’s the isolation, the landscape or it’s strong personality, but New Zealand seems to produce highly individual artists, designers and craftsmen. Felt is a fine example of this rich seam of creativity. Allow extra shipping time if you are not local.

Aftcra
This is an American version of Felt. Again, filled with creative craftyness and artisan works, you can get everything from laser cut wooden cufflins in the shape of Texas, to crocheted Santa socks. Again, make allowance for shipping times.

Folksy,
Modern British Craft – this site is well organised and well stocked. Search by price, material or colour! Clocks, cat collars, and cake stands – there is something for everyone and their pet.

Blue Caravan
And in Australia we have this lovely site – an ethical design market that has a superb selection of well made items from dishes to decalsbags to booties for big and little people.

A hand made Christmas has never been easier – and just because they weren’t your hands that made the gift, doesn’t mean it was made with less love!

Craftyness abounds:

3 uses for your children’s paintings
Get your craft back on!
Inspiring craft sites

Books are handcrafted as well – an unbeatable Christams gift – The Wilderness Years – a parents’ survival guide is out now via Amazon (Kindle and paperback) and iTunes (eBook).

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