{SQT} Handmade Gifts Anyone Would (Should?) Appreciate

seven quick takes friday 2

Apparently, there’s a lot of you people who want to finish all your Christmas shopping before Advent, i.e. within the next 15 days.

My Halloween decorations are still up.

But anyway, you need gifts, I provide gift guides. This month, I’ll be running a short series to help you find the perfect gift for everyone on your list before Advent starts. Today’s list is the most ambitious and I realize actually quite impossible so please don’t leave me a comment on how one year you bought someone something from this list and they died or what have you. This list is not meant to replace actual medical advice or common sense. Don’t buy the family member who’s allergic to paper a journal. (Click each picture to visit the item’s Etsy listing. Except for the awesome calendar artist, I am not in any way personally affiliated with any of these sellers. I just sincerely¬†like what they’re selling.)

Next week’s guide will feature items for sale from your favorite bloggers (some of whom contributed their talents to Link-toberfest) so you can shop and support your friends, and my Black Friday guide will include gifts for all godchildren, godparents, Confirmation sponsors, CCD teachers, and anyone you might need to buy for that doesn’t want another plastic rosary in a genuine leatherette case.

1. Art Calendar – Everyone gets tons of free calendars every January; from your parish, your school, your local government, the funeral parlor down the street, etc. Sometimes you can use them, other times, they sit languishing in a junk drawer just in case you’re hankering a new ugly calendar sometime in July. Instead, gift someone a small calendar. It’s a great way to enjoy art without spending a ton of money on originals or prints and when the year is up, it’s easy trim off the calendar and frame the art if you so choose.

Totally love this calendar by Oh Me Oh My Oh.

2. Knitted hat, scarf, gloves or mittens – Even if people already have these things, they wear out. Plus, I much prefer a high-quality hand-knitted scarf or hat over anything I could pick up at Target. People might not seek out hand-crafted winter wear on their own, so it is often warmly received. (Obviously, if the gift recipient lives in Hawaii, these suggestions might not work. Perhaps crochet swimwear would be more appropriate?)

womans knit hat
My future bad hair days are already eyeing up this hat from Ebruk.


This is a ‘man scarf’ from northernly, but I’m pretty sure you don’t need an Adam’s apple to rock it.


Warm weather peeps, Seaside Motifs has you covered…sort of.

3. A personalized blank notebook or tablet – So long as people can get over the initial fear of putting a mark on the page, notebooks and tablets are way useful. Sure, your family can rely on printer paper scraps and free promotional items that will remind them of that company’s poor customer service, or you can give them something nice to write their grocery list, to-do list or doodle on that they probably would never splurge on themselves.

Always a good reminder from Thicket and Thatch


A handmade locking diary from Diary Shop; for the friend with a checkered past.

4. A personalized pocket knife or multi-tool – Yes, even for you ladies! I carry a small Swiss Army knife with me and it’s been insanely useful. I don’t have a multi-tool yet, but given the number of impromptu wheelchair repairs and tweaks I’ve made through years, it would be a great addition to my handbag. Think of all the toys, gadgets and weird things that need repair at the most inopportune times. A pocket knife and multi-tool, even kept in the car, make total sense. Your gift recipient may look at you strange when they open the package, but the first time they’re able to fish a Lego out of a car CD slot with their gift, you’ll hear about it.

pocket knife
Engraved wooden pocket knife from Sin City Engraving. How can this not be considered a traditional mom’s present when it comes with a wine cork???

5 ¬†Tote bags – Most people rely on plastic grocery bags, or those cheap canvas bags any time they need to haul extra books, food, or kid’s stuff out of the house. Everyone loves cute tote bags, but most people just make do with the ugly ones they have on hand. Tell them to trash the dirty three-year-old bag from Whole Foods and totes enjoy a trendy tote. (No, seriously, you have to use the word ‘totes’. Otherwise, half the charm is lost.)

tote bag
If you don’t find this tote bag from Murder She Tote awesome, I don’t think we can be friends anymore.

6. Pajamas – Everybody sleeps. Even if your friends don’t wear pajamas, they need something to keep near the bed in case a fire alarm goes off in the middle of the night.

JaeJae Designs squirrel PJ pants; almost to cool to confine to the house.

7. A Mixtape – This is a handmade gift you’ll have to work on, but ohmyword is this not the coolest thing ever?!?!?? Put songs, pictures and videos on this mixtape USB drive.

If I could make a Quick Takes mixtape on this USB drive from The Wild Card Shop it would need to include ‘Fridays I’m in Love.’

What did I forget? You can see more of my suggestions on my Etsy board. Leave your favorite handmade gift suggestion in the comments below, then remember to link up your Quick Takes. Be sure to include a link back to this post so your readers can find the rest of the Seven Quick Takes!


  1. Thanks for hosting the link up. Your gift ideas are brilliant, especially the tape and the diary. I hafta say I LOLed on the pajama/fire alarm suggestion. I must add that if I do happen to be someone who doesn’t wear PJs, I’d have a ninja mask on my bedside because (1) it’s easier to put on, and (2) going incognito will save my life and reputation. So item #8 for those type of friends would be a ninja mask.

  2. I love Etsy. The problem is, I always find two things that I want for every item I think someone else would like! #nowimbroke

  3. The mixed tape is the best thing ever.
    Can you please do ‘gifts to give families’ please and thank you.
    I was just shopping around the other day and realized I haven’t started any shopping. My sibs and I still exchange with all the nieces and nephews. I want to keep that going. But man 41 people is hard to do. family gifts are my jam. but creativity is not. And so, I have no idea what I am going to be doing this year for Christmas for 41 people.

  4. So, that tote is amazing. My favorite show is Murder She wrote. I wore out my box set just in time for Netflix to have it on streaming. What’s really sad, is that I read the books too. I’m still upset about Adele and Mort divorcing in the books. #scandal

  5. There is no such thing as too many notebooks! I’d say the same for nice stationary. Bonus points, it motivates me to actually write my post-Christmas thank you notes because there’s crisp pretty new paper to write them on.

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