Making gifts and buying hand-made.

In our ongoing quest for a simpler life we are constantly looking for new ideas on how to re-use, re-purpose and recycle. But that doesn’t mean we avoid shopping altogether. We both have careers where looking professional is an expectation, we also enjoy socialising and going out for dinner.

So to try and keep things simple we use everything until it runs out, breaks beyond repair or can be re-fashioned into something else. We only have one car, we maximise appliances and, if possible, we buy second-hand goods. If we ever do get that shopping urge we visit our local op shops or buy hand-made goods from fairs and markets. Choosing to buy handmade is just like choosing to buy local produce. Mass produced products cannot compare to the creativity, quality, superior workmanship, and attention to detail of a handcrafted or artisan created product. A hand-made item is made with a spirit that is missing from the mass produced; they are one of a kind and personal. Buying hand-made also helps small business and therefore the economy. A hand-made item is something to be treasured and enjoyed. Here are 101 more reasons to buy handmade.


Last year I bought this gorgeous hand-made quilt from a tiny craft shop in Wirrabara and a hand-made dress from an Australian seller on Etsy for Ruby’s second birthday. Etsy has a wealth of handmade artisan items from all over the globe. The site is easily searchable for items only in Australia, or even just from your local area.

3_f62fad2aac3340e6886bb687dd83c778Fox Rattle Aqua Chevron Love From Annie  3_e188420abe1346239762c6c14dc1cb26Giraffe Tag Toy Aqua Chevron Love From Annie

Madeit is a great place to find Australian handmade items. The new grandbaby will be getting these gorgeous rattles, as well as other hand-made goodies, when she arrives in March. These are from Love from Annie.

005 (2)I have also been making gifts for friends and family for birthdays and Christmas. Handmade gifts are extra special because every gift you make includes a little piece of yourself. And as the holiday season is on its way I thought it was the perfect time to post some of the gifts I have created over the past few years.


Last year I taught myself how to crochet using books and you-tube videos. As a house-warming gift I crocheted 8 dish cloths for my sister-in-law.  I used this pattern in a variegated cotton in her favourite colours.


I have made a number of terrariums for family and friends this year. These are a little less frugal given the individual parts need to be purchased; however, they are all still unique and one of a kind.



I liked them so much I even made one for my classroom (a rarity as I rarely make anything for myself).


A recycled olive oil tin makes a quick and easy gift. Use a good tin opener to neatly remove the top. Drill a couple of drainage holes in the bottom, add a few handfuls of gravel, top it up with compost or potting soil and plant a herb. This one has a lovely lemon thyme.


I also occasionally hand-sew art dolls; this is Neisha made for a special friend’s daughter.

If I had more time I would make all my own gifts. My pinterest is brimming with loads of ideas of things I want to make…one day.



About A Kailyard in Adelaide

A Kailyard in Adelaide! We are working hard to be domestically sustainable in the foothills of Adelaide. As we both work fulltime this is not an easy task, but we do our best growing much of our own produce in our yard and in our community garden plots. We reduce, recycle and reuse as much as possible and try hard to not consume mindlessly. We have 5000 l of rainwater, a 5 kw solar system, and use a green energy provider for all our excess needs. Rachel: Mother, partner, teacher, writer, reader, crafter, cook, gardener, artist. Jamie: Father, partner, lecturer, therapist, would-be-politician, gardener, photographer, music lover.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Making gifts and buying hand-made.

  1. Pingback: Ruby’s blanket! | A Kailyard in Adelaide!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s