Sunday, December 16, 2012

Handmade Holiday

Like many holiday seasons in recent years, we don't have a lot to spare. Gift giving had become a luxury, so I've focused my efforts on making gifts. It was great for anyone who like hair accessories, but impractical for most recipients.
I was happy to find a large trading community within Etsy this year. As a member of both Yay for Trades & Trade-a-holics, I was able to trade hair accessories with several shops to get gifts for my friends & family. Gifts that I wouldn't otherwise be able to purchase. The connections I've made with several shops has been great. Not only have I been able to get holiday gifts, but I have made a few friends & business contacts. As a thank-you to those shops, I'd like to present this handmade holiday list.
This lovely little skirt came from the talented hands at YarnBaby, who has so many cute & unique items in her shop.

The trade for this cute little stuffed elephant made by Spiffy Dolls, came through a trade event in the Facebook group The Mad Crafters Support Group. I love the bold fabric on this one.

I am so excited about the TARDIS soap made by Frozen Water Designs. It is the perfect gift for my friend (you can choose the scent & color). I traded for several other geekery soaps that I couldn't photograph cause my husband was home. Not that he couldn't see them all here.

I love all of the cloud theme items I've seen lately. I picked up these black rain cloud earrings by Mizuho Design.

One of the best contacts I made was with Grace of Insanitek Gifts. In fact, we've made 3 separate trades since the fall because I have thought of new items I wanted. She makes several things that she doesn't have listed in her shop, so feel free to ask her. At one point, I told her some facts about a person on my list, and she came up with the super soft scarflette shown below. Her customer service & communication are great. I highly recommend her!
You can fit a little candy, note, or surprise inside.
"Love Notes" pocket hearts

soft & fun scarflette
I plan on tucking some candy inside the love notes for my husband & daughter's stocking. Afterward, I am going to use them as ornaments. The following series of food items are for my niece & daughter. Both are enjoying their play kitchens lately, and what is more fun than a crochet donut or cupcake? By far, my favorite is the egg that you open up and has a baby chick inside. Ok, so maybe that's not a food toy, but it is cute!

Last is the awesome dinosaur, a plesiosaur, for my dino-loving nephew. I plan to add a plesiosaur fact sheet to the box, just for fun.

Royal Honey Designs Candles are a nice quality with very strong long lasting scent. I also appreciate how carefully they were packaged and shipped to me.

The following is a list of shops that I traded with, but didn't have time (or the gift recipient was lurking nearby) to photograph the items.

Pretty Socks makes adorable decorative socks. I love that I told her to surprise me, and what I received will be perfect for my daughter & niece.
ZoeyKate makes cute "Owl-cicles" heat/cold packs. The fabric is bright & fun, and she has a wide range of items in her shop.
MidnightMaille handmade chain mail made an attractive bracelet for my husband. Their chainmail is good quality.
More Than A Ribbon bracelets of ribbon & beads. Even shipped from Greece, I received them pretty fast. They are beautiful too.

I am so thankful that I was able to trade with all of these wonderful shops so that I can provide my loved ones with gifts. By sending a few messages, I was able to get 90% of my holiday gift needs completed. The other 10% will be hair accessories, homemade ornaments, & food that I will make myself. The most important thing I've learned in trading is to answer all requests. Even if you decline, it is nice to respond. Also, be kind in your reply.
I've approached a few shops that didn't know trading was a possibility through Etsy. So, even if a shop doesn't state "trade friendly" anywhere, it never hurts to contact someone to inquire about a trade. You can take a look at the rules & guidelines regarding trades for more info.

Do you have a shop that is trade-friendly? Comment below with your link(s), I'd love to take a look!


  1. Nice list! I was looking for a place with candles to trade with. =)

  2. Thanks for sharing this. I love etsy, but don't have a shop. I've also decided to make many of my gifts this year. I found some great ideas on Pinterest.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog!

    1. Pinterest always has great ideas, the hard part is deciding which to try first! Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Wow, you got a lot of great trades! The plesiosaur is especially adorable and I'm sure everyone will love the handmade items. I traded a few times earlier in the year and got some great things, but now I'm focusing on building inventory and can't spare the products.

    1. We're done with trades now and will soon start building inventory for a fair in March. Thanks for visiting my blog!

  4. Thanks to this post, I am giving someone an awesome gift!

  5. Hi I found you through the blog hop. Please stop by and say hi when you get a chance. Have a great week.


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