Handmade for the Holidays Blog Hop

I’m so excited to be kicking off my very first Handmade for the Holidays Blog Hop!

Today I’m going to be sharing some DIY tutorials you can use to make handmade holiday gifts this year. And for those you feeling not-so-crafty, I’m going to share with you some of my favorite handmade businesses (and local events that support them) with some ready-made gifts for those on your list.

hh blog hop image2

Remember to follow my fellow participants who will be sharing more gift ideas on their blogs this week – read all about each of them in last week’s introduction post!

DIY Gift Ideas & Tutorials

1. Upcycled Sweater Pillow Covers {tutorial}

sweater pillows

A few months ago a friend-of-a-friend asked me if I could make some pillows for her. Her brother had passed away and she had an argyle sweater vest of his [right] and a cashmere sweater that he had gifted to her [left] that she wanted made into pillows. We ultimately decided on pillow covers so she could remove them to dry clean – if you look close you can see silver ribbon tying the cover shut at the bottom of the pillow. The tutorial I followed had some great tips for sewing with sweaters – not for the faint of heart (only because sweater material can be tough to sew on your machine), but worth it in the end if you’re looking for a functional, sentimental gift for someone you love.

I did some pretty extensive research before making these pillows so I’ve got quite a collection of other pillow tutorials on my Pillow Talk Board on Pinterest if you’re interested in browsing. 

2. DIY Lace Necklace {tutorial}

lace necklace1

You’ll be shocked at how easy this is! If you’ve ever framed a picture, you have the skills to make this necklace. I made two of these for my sister’s 1st wedding anniversary [and kept one 🙂 ] using lace from the train of her wedding dress. You could use any lace or scrap material [even paper!] you have on hand that you think your recipient would like. You could even cut out additional inserts so she could change them up depending on her mood or outfit.

Looking for more DIY jewelry ideas? Check out this board on my Pinterest page.

3. Fabric Statement Necklace {tutorial}

Pink teething 1c

This is one of the first projects I made with my sewing machine. It’s actually a tutorial for a teething necklace, but I really liked the style so in my book it’s a statement necklace 😉 I made it using material from a sleep shirt I never wore, but loved the fabric too much to toss.

After making my statement necklace and loving how bohemian the frayed edges of the braided loop looked, I was informed that the stray strings could be a choking hazard to babies – so please be cautious if you decide to make this an actual teething necklace!

4. Infinity Scarf {tutorial}

scarves

I recently saw a scarf where someone had used furry material for the inside which I thought was just brilliant! With all the cold weather we’ve been having in South Carolina recently, our scarves are going to have to be more than just fashionable this year 😉

I had some bright green minky fabric left over from a baby blanket I made recently so I decided to pair it with some knit and cotton prints I had.

If you want to use minky or faux fur for the “inside” of the scarf, just split the recommended width in half plus a half inch for seam allowance. Stitch one long side of the minky to one long side of the cotton or knit (right sides facing) and follow the tutorial like normal.

Handmade Businesses I Love

For those of you feeling a little less crafty this year, I’ve gathered some of my favorite handmade businesses below with links to their shops so you can browse what’s available for the holidays.

I hope you'll join me on a mission to support handmade businesses this season!

I hope you’ll join me on a mission to support handmade businesses this season!

1. Sup-Dog Co.Collars for your furry friends

{Click the image to be taken to this collar in the shop}

{Click the image to be taken to this collar in the shop}

Don’t even think about forgetting to buy your pooch some new neck bling this year! I absolutely love Ashley’s handmade collars and so do all my pets (even Norton the cat!). Browse all her available collars in her shop on Etsy.

2. Tiny Quiltingbeautiful framed, hand-sewn mini-quilts

tiny quilt

{Check out this framed log cabin mini quilt in Audry’s shop by clicking this image.}

I’ve long been admiring my friend AJ’s (aka: Audry) amazing quilts on Instagram. Recently she opened an Etsy shop, Tiny Quilting, where she shares her beautiful, hand-sewn tiny framed quilts with you! They’re absolutely gorgeous and would make the perfect gift this season.

3. Rachel Tennybeautiful cards & custom watercolor paintings

Click the photo to find these cards in Rachel's shop!

{Click the photo to find these cards in Rachel’s shop.}

How awesome is this card? I think it’s the best way to tell someone just how much you really love them! 😉 Rachel’s shop is stocked with beautiful cards and custom watercolor paintings. Remember that family portrait my sister had painted for my birthday? Yep, that was from Rachel! She’s so talented and her custom portraits are sure to make an unforgettable gift this season.

Looking for more handmade businesses? Check out my recap of Vintage Charlotte – full of gift ideas from local artisans!

Local Events that Support Handmade Shops

1. Crafty Feast – Sunday, December 14 from 12-6pm at the Columbia Convention Center

  • Local indie craft fair [wall-to-wall handmade businesses!] just in time for the holidays!

2. Soda City market – every Saturday from 9-1pm on Main Street

More Handmade Gift Ideas

Don’t forget to follow along the Blog Hop for more crafty gift ideas!

Read more about each blogger in last week’s introduction post.

Continue to support handmade businesses by following Columbia’s Etsy Market Team on Facebook where you’ll stay in the loop with upcoming events and all things crafty in Columbia.

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Vintage Charlotte

{Brace yourself for a long post chock full of love for handmade + vintage businesses and loads of holiday gift ideas – explore the links and images that will take you to the shops!}

glasses

Glasses from Dress My Room Interiors – click the image to be taken to her site.

At this point, you’re probably familiar with my love of all things vintage.

Well, this weekend I discovered Vintage Heaven!

Vintage Charlotte at The Fillmore

Vintage Charlotte at The Fillmore

Over the summer, my friend Emily of Butterfly Vintage participated in the Vintage Charlotte pop-up market. In the months leading up to the summer event, I started following Vintage Charlotte on Instagram and Facebook and actually won the giveaway via social media (but I forfeited the gift since I couldn’t make it to Charlotte that day…le sigh).

After hearing how amazing the summer show was and drooling over all the pictures, I made sure my calendar was marked for the Winter Market!

I talked my sister into taking the day trip with me early Saturday morning.

Here we are just before skipping inside - can't even hide our excitement!

Here we are just before skipping inside – can’t even hide our excitement!

We happily paid the $5 early bird fee to get in at 10am (admission is free after 11:00) – and let me tell you: that’s a definite recommendation! When we left the market around 12:30pm, the line was wrapped around the building – there had to be 200 people waiting to get in! And inside it was elbow-to-elbow.

We grabbed a Yelp tote…

yelp bag

…and a scavenger hunt worksheet (yes, we’re total nerds who can’t resist the enticing challenge of possibly winning a prize!)…

Yep, that's right: we got ALL the stickers! AND we were the first to turn it in. #TeachersPets

Yep, that’s right: we got ALL the stickers! AND we were the first to turn it in. #TeachersPets

…and off we went into #VintageHeaven!

We quickly found Emily to give her a good luck hug and check out her booth.

I'm always excited to see what Emily's mannequin is wearing because she has such great style! You can't see it here, but the behind me that mannequin is wearing a long sleeve floral print dress with a calf length fur vest - tres chic!

I’m always excited to see what Emily’s mannequin is wearing because she has such great style! You can’t see it here, but the behind me that mannequin is wearing a bright, long-sleeve floral print dress with a knee-length fur vest – tres chic!

After greeting Emily, we started our first loop. It wasn’t long before I fell in love with this bag from Sans Maps:

sans bag 3

{Photo credit: Sans Map – click the image to be taken to the shop}

As a gal who loves sewing bags, I am usually pretty good at resisting buying purses, but this bag really got me. The design is absolutely brilliant – the top flap is a fully functional (and very spacious) zipper pouch, the adjustable strap allows you to convert from a shoulder bag to a cross-body / messenger style with ease, and there’s even a clip on the inside to hook your keys so they don’t get lost in the pit!

The exterior of the bag was made from a vintage wool skirt (there’s even the hint of what used to be a pocket on the back) with remnant leather accents.

sans bag 2

{Photo credit: Sans Map – click the image to be taken to the shop}

The interior is made from vintage floral print linens and Marimekko fabric.

sans bag 1

{Photo credit: Sans Map – click the image to be taken to the shop}

The abundance of pockets and storage solutions prove this to be a very thoughtfully made bag.

One of my favorite things about going to pop-up markets is being able to meet the maker and hear their story. Corey’s husband is French and in their time together they have lived in several different countries. She named her company “Sans Map” as a nod to their life without borders. I enjoyed chatting with Corey and was so excited to support her handmade business. This bag is going to be the perfect travel companion for my trip to England – it’s big enough to fit my essentials with room to spare for souvenirs while still being comfortable (& stylish!) to tote around town.

Speaking of my upcoming trip, I found this very fitting travel journal (well, that’s what I’ll be using it as!) at Vintage Concord‘s booth:

england

You know my love for snail mail so it should be no surprise that I stocked up on cards at the market!

Sable & Gray‘s booth caught my eye with their quirky-yet-lovely prints.

sable & gray

And how perfect is this sweet postcard?! Kristin snuck 2 in my bag without me noticing – such a sweet surprise!

Here are a few cards I picked out from Sable and Gray:

s&g thank you

{Click the image to be taken to Sable & Gray’s shop to buy this card for yourself!}

happy bday

{Click the image to be taken to Sable & Gray’s shop to buy this card for yourself!}

Looking for a birthday card for the ladies? Check out this pretty one – I bought one of those too 🙂

And my personal favorite:

cool card

{Click the image to be taken to Sable & Gray’s shop to buy this card for yourself!}

While completing the VTG CLT scavenger hunt, I stopped at Shannon Newlin‘s booth for a sticker and spotted this gorgeous scarf:

s.newlin scarf

No, I didn’t buy it, but I almost did! Isn’t it lovely? I wish you could feel how soft it was. The print is just gorgeous.

While at Shannon’s booth taking in all of her beautiful paintings, I spotted a holiday card set I just had to have:

cards

I mean, how cute are these penguins?!

penguins

You know I couldn’t stop at just one booth for cards! So if anyone is looking for a pen pal, I’m in the market for one! 😉

One thing I always buy at craft markets is soap. Long ago my Mom got us hooked on handmade soap. That was always the souvenir she’d bring us when she had to go out of town for work. It felt like such a luxury! I’m so happy that more and more soap artisans are popping up so getting my hands on a little slice of sudsy luxury isn’t so hard anymore!

There were 2 shops whose soap collections we liked so my sister and I split the bulk sale at each – a compromise while still getting a deal: win-win!

The first soap shop was Kitsch and Fancy.

I WISH there was a scratch-n-sniff option for WordPress because these gals nailed the Pumpkin Spice scent in this soap! If you love fall, you need to order some and hold onto to this little slice of fall for as long as you can 🙂

kitsch p.spice

{Click the image to be taken to this soap in Kitsch and Fancy’s shop}

My second choice from Kitsch and Fancy: Peppermint of course!

kitsch peppermint

{Click the image to be taken to Kitsch and Fancy’s Etsy shop}

Since there’s no scratch-n-sniff options, here’s a list of other scents from Kitsch and Fancy that I recommend: Fresh Linen, Lavender Basil, Maple Pecan Streusal, and Holiday Berries.

The second soap artisan we loved: Whispering Willow.

From Columbia’s Crafty Feast to Asheville’s Bele Chere festival, I see Whispering Willow everywhere! And I don’t hate it. Not one bit. In fact, I swear by their mint lip balm – it’s amazing.

I couldn’t decide whose peppermint soap smelled the best (peppermint is probably my favorite scent) – so I came home with another peppermint soap! 🙂 I can’t wait to end my day with a long shower filled with the scent of the Goat Milk Lavender soap – such a sweet, soothing scent!

whispering willow

{Click the image to be taken to the Whispering Willow’s shop}

While stalking perusing the feed from the summer market, I discovered Ferris Wheel Vintage on Instagram and fell in love with her style. I knew I would find something great at her booth, and I did!

I found this great navy knit dress – a perfect winter work outfit – at her booth for only $15! What a steal.

{Click the image to be taken to the Ferris Wheel Vintage shop on Etsy}

{Click the image to be taken to the Ferris Wheel Vintage shop on Etsy}

Even the tag for this dress was adorable!

fw tag

{Click the image to be taken to the Ferris Wheel Vintage shop on Etsy}

Katherine’s tagline for Ferris Wheel Vintage is “beautiful, affordable, hand-picked vintage gems for all styles and sizes” – I couldn’t agree more! Her Instagram feed is drool-worthy and I definitely recommend giving her a follow.

ferris wheel

{Click the image to be taken to the Ferris Wheel Vintage shop on Etsy}

One thing that I do at every craft fair / pop-up market that I go to is collect business cards from all of the vendors selling goods that I like. While I’d love to buy from all of them, my budget just won’t allow it.

biz cards

My collection of “favorite booth” business cards from Vintage Charlotte.

Once I’m back at home, I sort through the business cards and look up the shops on social media.

Tips:

  • If you have an account on Etsy, add the shop to your favorites so that your followers will also see the shop – this helps share the love with some free marketing for your new favorite shop while also saving the shop so you can easily find them later.
  • Build a secret “Gift Ideas” board on Pinterest to collect links to items you think would make a great gift for so-and-so. As you are browsing the shops (on Etsy or otherwise), “pin” the items so you can refer back as holidays/birthdays approach.
  • If you have an Instagram account (let’s be friends!), search for the shop and give them a follow. Lots of handmade businesses are starting to do exclusive flash sales and promotions on Instagram so this is a great avenue to keep up with your shops (and score a great deal on something you wanted to buy anyway!).
  • Remember to support handmade businesses this holiday season! By purchasing from a small, creative business you are fueling the artists fire and keeping them inspired – they rely on your support! As a handmade business owner, I know how special these sales can be – and I never regret supporting another artist. [I can’t say the same for big box purchases..]

Vintage Charlotte is one of the best craft fair / holiday market / vintage-anything I have ever been to! I absolutely cannot wait until the next VTG CLT!

What are some of your favorite handmade businesses? I’d love for you to leave a link in the comments so I can check them out for the holidays!