Believe it or not, it’s already December, which can only mean one thing: it’s gift guide time.
I’ve always wanted to curate my own gift guide, so this is very exciting for me. I have a million and one gift ideas inside my own head at any given moment. I scroll mindlessly through the sponsored Buzzfeed and Bustle lists of gadgets and trinkets at 2am when I can’t sleep. (Disclaimer: I don’t buy anything, I just find great comfort in looking at stuff and reading reviews.) I scroll Etsy addictively, ooh-ing and aah-ing at everyone’s creativity, favoriting every other seller and clicking “add to cart” with reckless abandon. I stop in every gift shop I pass by and scan the aisles, ready to discover my new obsession - will it be an artist’s hand-drawn stationery? A very special pen? Handmade coasters? What can I say? I love stuff, especially cute stuff.
Through all the collective turmoil we’ve experienced this year, some people have found creative outlets to bring them peace. I am very happy for those people, and we should all buy their stuff so that they can quit their day jobs! Others have been busy at work before the pandemic started and could use our continued support in their endeavors. Everything on this list is very fairly priced, especially considering they aren’t mass produced items, and I’ve already shopped with many of these sellers myself.
I’m sure you’ll be able to find something for a loved one or yourself here. If you aren’t shopping anytime soon, maybe give some of them a follow on Instagram to stay on top of their work and future releases.
Without further ado…
Shops linked in the names, Instagrams linked in descriptions when applicable.
Plushes, stickers, postcards and more from @PhoLuv on Etsy
For the pho, bao, and coffee lovers in your life, Pho Luv has the cutest illustrated cards, postcards, stickers and plushes. There’s even a Baby Yoda card! I recently ordered from them and was so touched by the shop owner’s care and kindness.
Mini video game + movie keychains on Etsy (UK-based) ($7-$13)
Honestly, what makes a cuter stocking stuffer than a mini video-game replica keychain? There are minis of games from all years and systems, plus movie and TV show DVD replica minis. Bonus: some Switch minis can actually hold the games! This shop is based in the UK, so order now to get your stuff in time for Christmas!
Hand-cut paper art prints, stickers and more from @HeyyKristen on Etsy ($7-$75, many in $20-$25 range)
Sometimes I feel like Kristen’s shop was made for me. The carefully curated hand-cut paper art selections of symbols from movies like Call Me By Your Name, To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, and Lady Bird, and her cut-paper book covers are all extremely my brand. But their shop offers so much more, including custom orders of hand-cut paper art, which can be such a beautiful and thoughtful gift.
Cute spooky stickers, cards, journals + more from @LittleSpookyStudio on Etsy ($3-$24)
For your Halloween loving friends: stickers, totes, journals, prints, enamel pins, home decor… Little Spooky Studio is your one stop shop for all things cute and spooky!
Adorable customizable glass and wooden ornaments, night lights, pins and more from PB Corner on Etsy ($10-$30)
All of the hand-crafted items in PB Corner’s shop are so adorable and make for perfect gifts for your friend who simply loves cute things, your friend with a dog, or your friend with a baby! They also offer postcard calendars that are perfect for plant lovers!
Handmade clay earrings, hair clips, and ornaments from @SassyFloClay ($5-$40)
I’m obsessed with all the earrings Flo makes and her winter collections have been cuter than ever! You can get packs of studs or individuals, dangling earrings, as well as hair clips and ornaments! She also takes custom orders and is local to Long Island. Order with her via her Instagram, linked above.
Gorgeous art prints, totes, tees, phone cases and more from illustrator Rashida Chavis on her website: ($7-$35, many in $20-$25 range)
Rashida Chavis’ one of a kind art explores an intersection between Black women, culture, and nature. Her use of textures is masterful, bringing her illustrations to life. A print of hers would make a perfect addition to any room, especially if you long to be surrounded by coziness and plants.
Candles in all kinds of scents from @FreeEthos on their website ($21-$40, currently 40% off with code HOLIDAYS)
Minimalist design, gorgeous scents that fill a room when they aren’t even lit, and a very pure blend of oils making for a clean burn. I was so pleased with my last order from Free Ethos, and the packaging was done with so much care.
Hand-crafted knit hats for adults and kids by @LKKnits on Etsy ($16-$35)
A friend recommended this shop and the hats are so gorgeous, the designs are so intricate, and the color choices are perfect for your winter wardrobe. Some designs are more customizable, like the “Little Cables Everywhere” linked above - you can choose your pom color in addition to your hat color. Place your orders quick, because these hats are selling quickly.
Penpal kits, stickers, stationery and more from NotesNStars on Etsy ($1-$6)
If you’re like me and have formed the habit of sending cute snail mail during lockdown, this shop will be an instant favorite for very affordable and very adorable stationery! Nothing is cozier than settling down with a cup of tea to write a letter to your penpal. Gift this to your penpal or send to a friend you want to start writing to!
Other local + small businesses to support:
Resin art (trays, ashtrays, coasters + more) from Resin by E on Instagram
Fun sticker packs from TV shows like Schitt’s Creek, PEN15 + more from @EartherealDesign on Etsy
Witchy pins, mugs and more from Lady Moon Co. on Etsy
Custom arrangements of sweet treats from @LIGoodies on Instagram (local only)
Custom ornaments, assorted cups, tees, stickers, pillows + more from Mary Jean Creations on Instagram
I hope you find something you love! If you have any other kind of gifts you’re searching for that you didn’t find here, feel free to ask me for suggestions for shops! I’m sure I know one or two that will fit the bill. Even if you don’t find anything here, I encourage you to support the small businesses in your area. Buy a gift card to your local coffee shop to send to a friend via email or snail mail. Have your local florist deliver an arrangement to your mom. Shop small, and have a happy holiday season!