Handmade Holidays: Green Gifts for Crafters

Do you like to make things for people who like to make things or would you rather just give them things that they can use to make things? Or, are you Julie’s mom? Either way, check out these affordable eco-friendly craft supplies that would make great gifts…maybe even to yourself!

Row 1

*This destashed bead collection from oh Two Vintage not only has a lot of potential, but comes packaged in a beautiful cigar box. Bonus.

*Furochic reusable gift fabric from Jenny Wren Paperie is a great idea for hardcore DIY enthusiasts.  Tell them to wrap their own damn present!

*I own one of these amazing recycled magnet pendants by Polarity, and it comes with three interchangeable lids, but any 1-inch pin fits on the locket as well! Anyone who makes or collects buttons would love this.

Row 2

*Rainy Day Supply offers up 1/2 yard cuts of this handspun/dyed/woven hemp fabric from a fair trade collective. A stack of 5 different colors is only $8.

*Lots of crafty people like to garden too. This seed saving kit by The Sisters Studios says, “I’m going to  do my part to preserve mother nature, but I still want to play with stickers” 

*For fans of rainbows and appliques, Feltorama offers a 28 sheet bundle of Eco-felt, made from 100% recycled plastic bottles. 

Row 3

*The Moss Peppermint Pin Cushion by Ottoman combines aromatherapy with sewing. Just try to resist holding it too close to your nose while the pins are still in it.

*Create an historically significant mosaic with these sea glass pottery shards reclaimed from shipwrecks off the coast of Lake Erie. You’ll find beautiful beads and pendants as well in Lake Eerie Beach Glass‘s shop.

*Yummy- yummy fair trade banana fiber yarn kettle dyed by Blonde Chicken

Row 4

*Handmade zines are like cheesecake bites of indie culture. Ecomonster‘s first volume of their We Eat Trash Zine is a kit of sorts for making recycled envelopes. 

*The proprietor of Spindle Cat Studio spun her own wedding dress into art yarn, and that’s all kinds of awesome.

*Brown paper bags are upcycled into adorable shipping envelopes by Sunlit Orchards. Any crafter that sells online or participates in swaps would probably swoon over them.

Written by Autumn Wiggins

This 2008 interview pretty much sums it up:

1. How would you describe yourself?
An oddly situated performer of thought experiments

2. Do you have any anecdotes about your work (how you got started, frustrating moments, or funny stories)?
At this year's Maker Faire in San Mateo, I gave a presentation on how the trend of green crafting can ultimately address the problem of consumption and waste. Dale Dougherty,the publisher of Make and Craft, later had a gift delivered to me, a staple bound book of poetry: Music Like Dirt by Frank Bidart. This is the last thing one would expect to take home from an event so focused on renegade technology. To my surprise, it was an existential reflection on the human need to make things that I now find myself going back to whenever I need some inspiration to look beyond the materials and processes of crafting.

3. What kinds of things do you do for fun?
In my spare time I enjoy amateur astronomy, outdoor adventures, collecting domain names, and hanging out at coffee shops.

4. What interesting projects are you working on right now?
I'm working to organize community involvement in upcycling, and have a few top-secret website projects up my sleeves!

5. Where do you live? Kids, pets, spouse, occupation?
O'Fallon, IL, a suburb (and I mean a totally typical suburb) of St. Louis, MO. Rather than moving to the more culture friendly urban environment, I am staying put and annoying the heck out of Wal-Mart by throwing a massive indie craft show(Strange Folk) in their backyard. I have a husband, Doug, and two sons: a 7 year old mad scientist named Jack, and 6 year old Max, who we think is an aspiring tattoo artist since he's so fond of drawing all over himself with markers. To pay the bills, I do freelance writing, mural painting, and website design, sell my handmade crafts, teach art classes for kids, and work part -time at a local coffee shop.

6. What new idea (in or outside of your field) has excited you most recently?
The concept known as "Cradle-to-Cradle" is a blueprint for sustainability that states everything we manufacture should be either biodegrable, infinitely recyclable, or intended to be upcycled. This is the basis for many of my ideas of how the crafting community can be more widely involved in solving the environmental crisis.

7. What is your favorite food/color/tool?
granola/green/sewing machine!


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