+ Gift Guide

2011 Gift Guide: Presents from Etsy


Last week, we talked about buying American-made gifts for the holidays, and how just $64 gifts spent on U.S. goods could result in 200,000 jobs at home.  In the comments of that post, many people mentioned that Etsy is a great source for goods made in the U.S.A.  So here are some great gifts found on Etsy:

Textured Ceramic Vase ($55).  Pottery and other decorative housewares make great gifts.  But why spend hundreds of dollars at a shop in the mall when you can buy a beautiful ceramics on Etsy?  I think this vase is neutral enough to match any decor, but still sophisticated and interesting.

Handwoven Scarf Necklace ($60).  This infinity scarf is really cool.  I love the wider gauge on the knit, the small details that make it a bit more special and how it looks like a necklace chain.  I also love that unlike many infinity scarves, you can wear this one multiple ways without ruining the look of the scarf.

Vintage Starglow Bread and Butter Plates ($8 for 4).  These plates are pretty and classic with just the right amount of vintage kitsch.  You can use the plates for entertaining or as decor.  They’d look great hung on a wall or in a display on some shelves.

Leaf Necklace ($32).  I love the dainty touches on this necklace.  It’s gold-fill, but the seller also offers solid gold items, so it might be a bit better quality than some of the other Etsy jewelry that I have seen.  The seller also takes requests for custom pieces.

Chalkboard Wall Map ($83).  I LOVE this gift! You can use the map to plot out your travels–map places you’ve traveled to in once color, places you want to travel to in another.  It would be a great gift for newlyweds, an office mate or a college student. I’m thinking about buying one for myself.  Ah, the spirit of giving…also known as finding too many thing you want to buy for yourself, so you give them to others *wink*.


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  1. KC says:

    I know this is a silly question, but I've never bought anything off Etsy and am not really sure 'how” to do it. Can anyone give me an Etsy primer? What IS it, really? Is it just anyone? How do you know you will get your goods? Anyone have any great experiences or advice for using/buying the best stuff? I'm looking for some art/decorations for my apartment…

    December 15, 2011/Reply
  2. amanda says:

    KC – I've been using etsy for years and love it! Its just like shopping online anywhere else, and I've always received my orders (typically quickly and usually with a lovely note or coupon for future purchases). You can always email the sellers before you order if you have questions for them.

    Highly recommend it and I feel good supporting independent artists/businesses.

    December 15, 2011/Reply
  3. Penny says:

    Yep. You just hit 'add to cart' just like anywhere online.

    December 15, 2011/Reply
  4. lisa says:

    um, the necklace scarf is made in bulgaria, not the usa.

    December 15, 2011/Reply
  5. RS says:

    Love that scarf, even if it is made in Bulgaria!

    December 15, 2011/Reply
  6. amy b.s. says:

    i love those plates!

    December 15, 2011/Reply
  7. BB says:

    Thought you should know, you were listed on Refinery29: https://www.refinery29.com/5-things-to-know-this-am-201

    December 15, 2011/Reply
  8. MM says:

    KC – I've also had nothing but good expereinces on etsy. Some sellers post stuff that is already made, and some post examples of work they do, and ask you to messege them with your specific details about what color you'd like, etc. – The item description will have all of that information. You can message the seller directly, before buying, or you can purchase the item (click “add to cart”, and the check-out is through pay-pal), and during check out there will be a box where you can type a message to the seller about color, size etc. I always check out their reviews first – etsy buyers usually post pretty thorough reviews about both their buying experience (how fast shipping was, etc.), and the quality of the item. As noted above, some of the stuff is from overseas (I got some beautiful earings from Israel, but the shipping took quite a while), but you can see in the seller profile where they are located – so if you want to buy just US made stuff, you can narrow it down that way. Your transaction with each seller is done through a separate pay-pal transaction, so you can buy more than one item from a seller and sometimes get a discount on shipping, but you won't get combined shipping if you buy items from 2 different sellers at the same time (cost of shipping each item is listed at the bottom of the item description, so it's very straightforward). Some sellers are running free shipping or dicount code deals for the holidays – these apply to just their shops, not site-wide. But, it's very simple, really, and you can find beautiful stuff – give it a try!

    December 15, 2011/Reply
  9. Amanda says:

    As an Etsy shop owner, I love the platform that Etsy has developed to bring together buyers and sellers. My experiences, with both shopping and selling, have been wonderful. I'm a designer and avid vintage collector and use Etsy to sell goods from my company, Gilly Lynn. After developing my own website, I turned to Etsy for an online shop because of the sense of community. Since I mainly sell at artist markets, Etsy has introduced me to out-of-state customers, as well as international. I love shopping online, but nothing will ever beat a boutique experience. Hopefully, I'll have a real store of my own someday, but for now I'm content with my Etsy shop. I love interacting with my customers! I enjoy receiving emails to ask questions about my products, advice on styling, or simply just to say that they loved their purchase. As with all retailers, you can have a bad experience anywhere, but so far Etsy has treated me well!


    December 16, 2011/Reply
  10. Business Card Printing says:

    Thanks for the amazing suggestions. The ceramic vase is nice! I admire your advocacy to support independent artists.

    December 23, 2011/Reply