Support local businesses during the holiday shopping season by buying handmade.(Photo: egal, Getty Images/iStockphoto)
It's that time of year again. Time to break out the wish lists and do some holiday shopping. This year, 10Best teamed up with influential figures in the American makers movement to put together a different sort of gift guide. These 50 items, divided into five different categories, don't come from giant factories or huge corporations. Instead, they're items from American artists and creators, so when you gift them, you're supporting small businesses across our nation. Click on each category below to read more about these makers in the USA.Children & Families
These 10 American makers specialize in items for kids and families. (Photo: USA TODAY 10Best)
There's nothing quite like the excitement of a child on Christmas morning. Instead of gifting this year's trendy toy or some electronic gadget that will be left forgotten in a drawer by June, consider giving the children in your life a special handmade item -- and support an American maker while you're at it. These 10 creative, heirloom-quality items are geared toward sparking the imaginations of the next generation of American makers.
1. Weekend Boot from Mason Dixon - $92 - $365
Mason Dixon crafts unstructured weekend boots and fine leather accessories that they make by hand in their Philadelphia studio. These boots are unisex and are for the entire family.
2. Frolicsome Fawn Coat from Little Goodall - $170
This woodland coat from Little Goodall is about as dear as it gets! Made from 100-percent wool felt and lined with super soft faux fur, this Fawn Coat is available in a variety of sizes and is handmade with love in Texas.
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3. Original State Rattle from Bannor Toys - $18
Show your state pride with a Bannor Toys state rattle made from solid hardwood cherry. The rattle is 100-percent organic, and is crafted from responsibly harvested woods. The durable and safe finish is made from an organic combination of flaxseed oil and local beeswax.
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4. Pink Wing Set from Lovelane - $95
Let your imagination run wild and free in this cape and hat superhero set from Lovelane. Handmade from natural cotton canvas and screen printed with child-friendly inks, this set is heirloom quality for years of play.
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5. French Terry Unisex Overalls from The Magpie Co. - $54
These overalls from The Magpie Co., made from the softest French terry, are great for boys and girls. Adjustable straps let these overalls grow along with your little one, making them a good investment.
6. "Handsome Dan" Leather Football from Leather Head Sports - $130
The Handsome Dan football, the signature item and best seller from Leather Head Sports, is made from genuine uncorrected leather designed to age beautifully and improve with use – a gift that can be passed down from one generation to the next.
7. Wooden Workbench from A Summer Afternoon - $60
A nice developmental toy from A Summer Afternoon, this workbench and tools allow for age-appropriate play as your child grows. Little ones can use their hands to turn the bolts, while older toddlers use the wrenches. These motions help your child develop motor skills and coordination.
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8. Flower Fairy Wing and Hat Set from The Wishing Elephant - $68
These flower fairy sets are heirloom quality and handmade by the folks at The Wishing Elephant. The hats are made of layers of wool felt, shaped to make the cutest little flower hat.
9. Color Swatch Baby Teether & Crinkle Toy from Prim Society - $40
The Primtone teether from Prim Society is a great baby toy for lovers of color and graphic design. The softness of the swatches is perfect for a baby learning to grasp, and the wooden rings soothe tender gums.
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10. Fox Ears + Paw Set from Opposite of Far - $44 - $46
Lots of kiddos enjoy pretending to be animals, but not all are thrilled about wearing a mask over their face. With a ribbon that ties at the back of your head, these imaginative ears and paws from Opposite of Far are designed to fit both the young and the young at heart.
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Support American artists by gifting these one-of-a-kind creations. (Photo: USA TODAY 10Best)
In a world of gift cards and mass-produced trinkets, there's something undeniably special about receiving a handmade gift. These 10 items celebrate art, design and creativity.
1. Second Edition Mini Museum - $99 - $299
The Mini Museum is a portable collection of curiosities where every item is authentic, iconic and labeled. It's been carefully designed to take you on a journey of learning and exploration. The Second Edition of the Mini Museum features unique specimens such as Mammoth Meat, Medieval Chain Mail and fragments of the Asteroid Belt.
2. Original Chalk Art Print from Lily & Val - $19
Each chalk art design from Lily & Val is first hand-drawn on a chalkboard surface, then digitally converted to be made into a home good, card or print to enjoy the charms of chalk without the smudge.
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3. “Paint Palette” Curated Gift Box from Emily Jeffords - $60
This gift box features paper goods from the "Paint Palette" collection by artist Emily Jeffords. Each piece in this collection is created on luxurious papers, featuring vibrant and inspiring abstract artwork.
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4. Hand Printed “Bear & Fox” Ornaments from Sunny Mullarkey Studio - $42
These handprinted ornaments from Sunny Mullarkey Studio feature a delicate bear and fox profile, adorned with a handspun wool tassel to add a vintage, rustic vibe to your holiday decor. They are also available individually.
Cyber Monday Deal: Free handprinted holiday greeting card with order
5. Kato - Dawn from 1767 - $160
The Dawn colorway from 1767 elicits a feeling of the seasons changing from summer to fall. Lath wood whitewashed in varying degrees creates an ombre effect around the edges, and a triangular piece of charred wood in the center is surrounded by a white design.
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6. Appalachian Botanical Print from 7 Ton Design and Letterpress Co. - $25
These 11"x14" prints from 7 Ton Design and Letterpress Co. are letterpress printed in two runs of grey, with original hand drawn illustrations of some favorite Appalachian plant life. They’re created to fit nicely in a standard frame.
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7. Large Vintage Style Marquee Letter from JunkArtGypsyz - $69
These vintage inspired lighted symbols, numbers and letters from JunkArtGypsyz are made of durable raw heavy metal. Each is uniquely distressed, making each a one-of-a-kind piece, or not distressed for a more modern look.
8. Wire Feather Ornaments from Alison Brynn Ross - $20
These five wire feather ornaments, handmade by Alison Brynn Ross, are each unique and can be hung on the Christmas tree, a wall or used as an adornment in your gift wrapping.
9. Decorative Picture Frame from Craftbelly - $36 - $48
Craftbelly picture frames were born out of the idea that our everyday items could reflect our unique personalities and style. Available in three standard sizes, you can choose from a variety of colors to create a beautiful custom frame for your favorite photos.
Cyber Monday Deal: 15% off with discount code CB-CM
10. One-of-a-Kind Robot from Doug's Refried Robots - $725 - $925
Doug of Doug's Refried Robots brings his one-of-a-kind creations to life through up-cycled items like vintage Pennzoil cans, oil spouts, wrenches, melon ballers, measuring sticks and funnels.
Cyber Monday Deal: Free shippingFood & Drink
These food and drink-centric gifts will satisfy the foodie on your holiday gift list. (Photo: USA TODAY 10Best)
Gathering with friends and family around a plate of food or a cold drink has universal appeal. In fact, many of our most cherished holiday traditions revolve around eating. This holiday season, surprise the foodie on your gift list with one of these items.
1. Vegan Jerky Sampler from The Herbivorous Butcher - $40
The Herbivorous Butcher's Vegan Jerky Sampler includes 3 flavors of plant-based jerky: Teriyaki, Sizzlin' Cajun, and Salt N' Peppa. It’s made with love by America's first vegan butcher shop.
2. Constance Decanter Bottle from Reclamation Etchworks - $29.75 - $39
This elegant glass vessel is perfect for displaying and enjoying your favorite spirit. Each bottle is reclaimed before it is scraped, sanitized and finally laser etched by Reclamation Etchworks with the spirit of your choice.
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3. Cake Pops from Sparkling Sweets Boutique - $32 - $36
Give the gift of a dozen pretty dipped cake pops decorated with pink roses, sparkling sprinkles, little golden crowns or tiny Eiffel Towers. Each cake pop, made by Sparkling Sweets Boutique, comes wrapped in a cello bag with a colorful ribbon.
4. Holiday Collection from French Broad Chocolates - $15.75 - $56.50
Cozy and celebratory, these confections draw upon the traditional aromas and flavors that fill our homes as we turn inward for the winter. The folks at French Broad Chocolates hope that they take you back to memories of baking with your family and ringing in the new year with your dearest friends.
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5. Santa Salt from Beautiful Briny Sea - $8
A combination of pure ocean salt, organic rosemary and pink peppercorn, this savory blend from Beautiful Briny Sea goes great with vegetables, potatoes, sprinkled on top of salads or added into marinades for poultry, pork etc.
6. Santa’s Six Holiday Gift Set from Caboose Spice & Company - $46.99
This holiday gift set from Caboose Spice & Company comes with all six of Caboose’s rubs and seasonings, a free $5 gift card and a holiday gift tag, all wrapped in a luxe velvet & faux fur Santa-inspired gift bag.
7. The California Pint from North Drinkware - $45
The California Pint is a 16 oz. pint glass with the actual USGS data of majestic Half Dome in Yosemite National Park molded into the base of the glass. All North Drinkware glasses are handblown one-of-a-kind products that take over 15 steps and two days.
Cyber Monday Deal: 10% off with code NORTH10
8. Colombia, Narino Coffee from Methodical Coffee - $16
This coffee comes from the Nariño department of Colombia. It’s a blend of two popular coffee varietals from Nariño, Caturra and Castillo. This coffee is lightly roasted by Methodical Coffee with tasting notes of chocolate, cherry and cranberry.
9. Custom Sugar Cookies from Holly Fox Design - $42 - $48
These two dozen made-to-order sugar cookies from Holly Fox Design come in all sorts of whimsical shapes and bright colors — a perfect gift for friends and family members with a sweet tooth.
10. Holiday Jam Trio Gift Set from The Urban Canning Company - $30
This value gift set from The Urban Canning Company includes three festive holiday jam flavors: Caramel Apple Sea Salt, Cranberry Whiskey Clove and Pear Dark Chocolate Cinnamon.Clothing & Accessories
Give the gift of style this holiday season. (Photo: USA TODAY 10Best)
These 10 clothing and accessories gift ideas are crafted by American makers who create high-quality, design-forward items ranging from knitwear and T-shirts to leather bags and jewelry. When you buy from these American makers, you're not only giving the gift of style, you're also supporting a small business. So get shopping!
1. Day Pack from Bradley Mountain - $199
The Day Pack is Bradley Mountain’s entry-level backpack. It’s affordable, lightweight and fantastic for day trips.
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2. National Park Tee from The Landmark Project - $28.50
The Landmark Project makes graphic tees for America’s favorite places. If you're an outdoor enthusiast, avid road-tripper or just suffering from a case of wanderlust, these tees are for you!
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3. Woven Necklace from Twenty Two West - $48
This necklace from Twenty Two West is stitched on a gilded stoneware pottery base after being handwoven on a miniature loom. A 35" copper or bronze chain completes each piece.
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4. William Duffle Bag from Go Forth Goods - $395
This handmade duffle bag from Go Forth Goods is versatile and stylish. Complete with a roomy interior made for a weekend away or week-long trip, it's a travel essential.
5. Mountaineering Beanie in Denim from Aporta - $65
This hand-knit beanie from Aporta is made in the USA from 100-percent Nebraska manufactured wool. Style it three ways: folded, pulled straight on or relaxed – ideal for days on the mountain or exploring the city.
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6. Animal Skull Pendant from Fire & Bone - $34 - $175
Fire & Bone makes highly detailed miniature animal skull pendants derived from real animal skulls, using cutting edge 3D scanning and 3D printing technology. With over thirty-five different animals to choose from, you’re sure to find your favorite spirit animal. Each skull includes a matching chain and all of them are available with an optional wooden display base.
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7. Franklin Tote Bag from J. Stark - $140
These totes from J. Stark, made from heavyweight brushed twill and available in three colors, feature antique brass hardware, wax canvas seam binding and Wickett & Craig handles.
8. The Landon Shirt from Sharpe Suiting - $119
The unisex Landon shirt from Sharpe Suiting is a comfortable short sleeve shirt suitable for day or night. This distinctly-printed shirt is made of lightweight cotton with 3% spandex to provide a slim and comfortable fit.
9. Leather Mini Bucket from Very Fine South - $325 - $365
Handmade in one of six shades of soft leather or four shades of supple metallic leather, this compact bucket bag from Very Fine South features an adjustable strap and fully lined interior with enough space to carry even the largest smartphone.
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10. Lace Necklace from Copper & Torch - $48
Antique lace is encased in microscope glass and soldered to create a modern wearable heirloom from Copper & Torch.
Cyber Monday Deal: 20% off with coupon code 10bestHome & Garden
Check out these American-made gift ideas for the home and garden. (Photo: USA TODAY 10Best)
"Home" means many things to many different people. These 10 items made by creative small businesses across the U.S. enhance the spaces that are most important to us, whether a rented studio apartment or a centuries-old family estate.
1. Breakfast Tray from If You Give a Girl a Saw - $95
This stunning wooden piece from If You Give a Girl a Saw functions as either a breakfast tray, wall hanging or table top. Each product is independently handmade with love in San Luis Obispo, Calif.
2. Indigo Tea Towel from Garner Blue - $15
This natural flour sack tea towel was created using a resist method using a custom stencil and rice paste to achieve the beautiful pattern. Garner Blue also makes lovely woven cotton scarves.
3. Bulb Bud Vase from Paper & Clay - $34
This ceramic vase from Paper & Clay is the perfect size to hold a single stem. You might even consider gifting a trio of vases.
4. Natural Linen Pillow from Erin Flett - $125
Erin Flett’s line of natural linen pillows are constructed from high-quality materials and handprinted to order each week.
Cyber Monday Deal: 25% off with coupon code USATODAY
5. Cedar + Rosemary Smudge Wand from fig + moss - $16
Just in time for the new year, you can give the gift of new beginnings. The herbal smoke of foraged rosemary, lavender, cedar sprigs and rosebuds can be wafted throughout the home with a smudge wand from fig + moss. This Celtic practice is believed to drive away negative energy.
6. Hanging Crystal Planter from Bean and Bailey - $27
This faceted planter from Bean and Bailey is a beautiful way to display air plants, succulents or flowers, gracefully suspended with natural colored cord.
Cyber Monday Deal: 10% with coupon code CHATROOM
7. Handpainted Porcelain Dipping Plates from RedRaven Studios – $56
This set of four porcelain dipping plates from RedRaven Studios have been slip cast in English porcelain using a hand-sculpted mold and painting in colors inspired by America's national parks -- Zion, Denali, Bryce and Glacier. They also make great ring bowls.
8. Succulent & Air Plant Terrarium from The ZEN Succulent - $27 - $75
These modern tabletop or hanging air plant terrariums from The ZEN Succulent feature live green air plants (known as Tillandsia) or North Carolina-grown succulents, as well as other additions like exotic sea fans, harvested shells and preserved reindeer moss.
9. Cedrus Room Spray from The Contents Co. - $18
Made from 100-percent natural botanics, including cedarwood, palo santo and myrrh essential oils, this room spray brings to mind a cozy mountain cabin -- perfect for clarifying the air and the mind. The Contents Co. also makes room sprays in three other scents.
Cyber Monday Deal: Free shipping on all orders
10. Concrete Planter from IN.SEK Design - $30 - $50
These modern concrete planters from IN.SEK Design are ideal for highlighting your favorite plants and are suitable for both indoor or outdoor use.