But when the holiday season rolls around, cranking out 20 handmade gifts might be out of the question. The next best option? Buying handmade. Here are some of our favorite items from local and regional artisans.
Geeky wrapping paper
The artist: Lauren Castor, aka merrypranxter, of Anniston.
What it is: Standard-size roll of gift wrap, 6 feet long, emblazoned with all sorts of geeky images, from Vulcan salutes to Doctor Who to Pac Man to Star Wars. For non-geeks, there are prints with snowflakes, roses and bubbles. Backgrounds, dimensions and finishes are customizable.
Price: $22 a roll.
Buy it: www.etsy.com/shop/merrypranxter
The artist: Rose Abbott of Ohatchee.
What it is: Kiln-fired glass pendants, bracelets and earrings.
Price: $10 for earrings, $12.50 for pendants, $15 for bracelets.
Buy it: Marshall County Craft Club (Boaz Outlet Center, Highway 168, Boaz), as well as local craft fairs. For more information, contact Abbott at 256-239-9292.
The artist: Rachel Hunnicutt, aka Cornflower Blue Studio, of Tuscaloosa.
What it is: Hand-knitted, crocheted, sewed and embroidered accessories and decorations. Price: $5-$60, most items in the $5-$30 range. Buy it: www.etsy.com/shop/cornflowerbluestudio
Wood sculpture art
The artists: John W. LeGrand and Janet Gonzales, aka PaintSquare, of Hillsboro.
What it is: Framed sculptures made from locally acquired, kiln-dried wood scraps. Most designs are 11x11, but custom sizes are available. Paintings can be customized with names, as well. The store also offers modern-styled, brushed aluminum jewelry pendants.
Price: $75-$145 for sculptures,
$42 for necklace and pendant.
Buy it: www.etsy.com/shop/paintsquare
Handmade capes and hats
What it is: A variety of hand-knitted items including gloves, hats, socks, capes, shawls, purses and teddy bears. Some are made from locally harvested alpaca fleece, as well as different kinds of wool and fibers.
Some items are made locally, and some are
handmade in Peru (one of the biggest exporters
of alpaca wool).
Price: $10-$150, with most items in the $10-$50 range.
Buy it: Yarns by HomePlace Farm, 402 Pelham Road N., Jacksonville, 256-283-9537 or 256-452-5206
Hand-stamped metal jewelry
The Artists: Jennifer Tucker and Toni Christopher, aka Mini Lee’s Custom Creations, of Oxford
What it is: Necklaces, pendants, earrings, bracelets and rings hand-stamped with messages. Items can be customized.
Price: $10-$60, with the most popular items ranging from $35-$45
Buy it: http://www.etsy.com/shop/minilees
The artist: Emily Ivey, aka Yarn Miracle
What it is: Hand-knitted, eco-friendly animals made from natural, sustainable, humanely grown fibers and fillings. Custom animals can be created. For every Companion and Itty Bitty playset sold, Ivey donates $5 to the Baldwin County Humane Society.
Price: $14-$15 for Itty Bitty animals,
$46 for Companion animals of organic cotton,
$130 for 14-inch cashmere teddy bear.
Buy it: www.etsy.com/shop/yarnmiracle
Personalized Christmas cards
The artist: Jenifer Parris, aka The Digital Pigeon, of Jacksonville.
What it is: Customizable high-resolution Christmas cards, ready to print at home or from a photo developer. Personal photos and greetings included.
Price: $12 for pre-made design, $16 for custom design.
Buy it: www.etsy.com/shop/DigitalPigeon
The artist: Patty Massey
What it is: Candles, oil and aroma wax available in almost every color and scent imaginable, including Alabama-themed Talladega Nights and Chilton County Peaches. The cinnamon-scented minis are addictive.
Price: 99 cents for minis (minimum burn time of eight hours), $8.99 for a 12-ounce jar, $7.99 for tall pillar, $4.99 for short pillar.
Buy it: Bright Ideas, 502 Main St., Oxford