The holidays are so close I can practically taste the Tofurkey! That also means there are gifts to give. This year, instead of shelling out the bucks at a big box store, why not use your holiday dollars to support local, independent artists or your crafty skill to fashion unique gifts for the lucky folks on your list?
Whether you're looking to make by hand or buy handmade, here are some resources to get you going!
Craft markets used to be full of cornflower blue wooden duckies and tons of raffia, but no more! Sure, there are more traditional craft shows out there, but as the indie craft movement has gained steam, more and more shows featuring modern handmade goods are popping up!
If you're not sure what shows are going on in your area, Indie Craft Shows is an excellent resource. You can search their events to find shows all over the U.S. and some in other countries, as well.
Pop Up Shops
Pop up shops are nothing new, but indie pop up shops seem to be gaining steam this year. Unlike a store that's open year-round, pop up shops open seasonally for a few weeks to a month or more. I don't know of any online resources for finding pop up shops in your area (though some are listed on the Indie Craft Shows database). Here are three that are happening this season in different parts of the U.S.:
- Crafty Wonderland Pop Up Shop in Portland, Oregon opened recently.
- The Indie Craft Experience's pop up shop is open here in Atlanta from November 26th through December 30th. (Full disclosure: I'm selling some of my wares in their shop!)
- Craftland has been doing a pop up shop in Providence for 9 years now! What started as a seasonal event morphed into a full time store. They're still doing the pop up shop thing, though, from November 26th through December 31st.
Do you guys know of any other indie pop up shops that I missed? I love that this concept is catching on on more places!
Can't find a market or pop up shop in your area? Looking for something specific that you haven't been able to find at local markets? There are a ton of great online resources for handmade holiday shopping! Etsy, of course, is probably the most popular, but there are a slough of other online, handmade marketplaces worth checking out:
- Cosa Verde - While this is more of a showcase than a marketplace, you can find all sorts of handmade vendors here, and they all focus on eco-friendly products!
- Artfire - You'll find quite a few Etsy sellers on here, as well as handmade artists using this as their primary shop. Artfire is getting very popular!
- Lov.li focuses on the uber cute.
- Supermarket - This is a more exclusive handmade marketplace. It's heavily curated.
- Indie Fixx Galleria - This is almost like an online, juried craft show. Indie Fixx chooses the best applicants and showcases their shops.
Did I miss your favorite online handmade shop? Share away in the comments!
Make it Yourself
Of course, if you have a very specific idea, your best bet might be to try making it yourself! If you're looking for ideas, our DIY category here is chock full of eco-friendly projects from the simple to the complex.
Do you guys have any handmade gifts in the works? I'm thinking about making some hand-mixed spice blends in pretty packaging for some of the folks on my list this year (Shh! Don't tell them!) Let's share more ideas in the comments!
Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by bahkubean