Handmade products Surprises

Handmade silver square studs surprise

These gorgeous handmade sterling silver square studs (say that 10 times fast!) were mailed out to our October surprise subscriptions, and came from the wondrous jewelry artist Candice Vostrejs.

Silver square stud earrings - handmade jewelry present

We really adored their miniature size, which made them perfect as everyday-wear earrings.  Yet they didn’t feel fragile at all, so we know they’ll stand the test of time (plus they are sterling silver, so they are very strong!).

Silver square stud earrings - handmade jewelry present

Silver square stud earrings - handmade jewelry present

Not only did we love the earrings themselves, but we thought the gift wrapping for these silver square studs was too cute.  Very simple, yet feminine with a touch of fun:

Cute little present box

As with all our handmade artists, Candice included a unique artist information card with the handmade silver square studs. We ask the artists to include these so that our customers get a feel for the real person behind each product they receive.  They learn about their background, inspiration, and sometimes even about some of their unrelated hobbies!

Candice Vostrejs writes: Candice Vostrejs is a jewelry artist based on Colorado. She graduated with a BFA in Metalsmithing in 2009. Using traditional Metalsmithing techniques each pieces is individually made from scratch allowing each piece to be unique. Each piece starts out as wire and sheet metal and is cut, formed, textured, soldered and finished by hand. Inspiration for her pieces is a combination of minimalist and modern combined with the beautiful and decorative style of art nouveau.  Her pieces are designed to be beautiful and feminine but simple enough for everyday use.

Artist's card for fairivy.com

We hope you liked these lovely earrings as much as we did! To purchase a pair (if you aren’t already a surprise subscriber!) head on over to Candice’s etsy store by clicking here.

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Do you want to receive a gift box every  month?  Or even two or three?  Every surprise gift is handmade and comes hand-wrapped, along with an informational note card straight from the artist, to let you know about their process, business and background.  It’s fun, luxurious, and you will be supporting US artists at the same time!

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Handmade products Surprises

Vintage French Chic Purse surprise

This October, our surprise artists really outdid themselves.  This gorgeous vintage french chic purse was custom created for Fair Ivy by Dulcinas (her shop on Etsy where you’ll find lovely purses is called Mi Bazaar Latino).  It is hands-down one of the nicest Etsy purses we have come across, and hope that the artist soon offers it in her store for those interested in nabbing one (that is, if you aren’t already a Fair Ivy surprise package subscriber).

Vintage french chic handmade purse - handmade gift

We absolutely adore the fabric on both the inside and outside of this purse.  The outside is gorgeous linen that came in a variety of styles (see the difference between the above and below photos?), all of which were lovely.

Vintage french chic purse - handmade gift

While this purse technically could be used day to day, to me it calls for special occasions.  One, because it is cream (i.e. dirt is bad), and two because it is just so darn chic.  A prim and proper outing to a tea house with the girls is an fun event idea to take this purse to.  Where would you take it?

Handmade vintage french chic purse

When thinking about how to describe this, shabby chic purse definitely came to mind—and one customer suggested it was “very Rachel Ashwell ” shabby chic couture. Admittedly, we had to go look up what that meant, but now that we’ve done our research, we agree!

Vintage chic purse - handmade gift

The inside lining even came in a variety of lovely vintage chic fabrics—it was a surprise even to us which one you received!  Here are two of the possible lovely floral lining styles:

Linen lining of vintage chic purse

The artists information card was decorated in a similar floral pattern and reads:

“A collection of jewelry and accessories designed and handmade in California since 2007 by Claudia Anaya selling online and craft shows.  Inspired by the post infused with a vintage chic vibe using repurposed jewelry, vintage baubles and findings, fabrics, etc…”

Vintage chic handmade purse - handmade gift

Plus!  The purse came in a lovely re-usable fabric baggie, which also came in a variety of fabric styles.  The one below is polka dot, and we know the lovely folks over at SubscriptionTherapy received a floral one.

French couture purse

What other gorgeous designs did handmaker Dulcinas create this month?  Perhaps we’ll never know (if you got a different style, post it in the comments)!

Linen lining of vintage chic purse

Want to check out the shop where you can find lovely purses such as this, along with jewelry and more?  Visit Mi Bazaar Latino on Etsy. Ps. Dulcinas created another surprise item for Fair Ivy back in February 2013.  Check it out here. [banner_simple link_url=”http://www.fairivy.com/product/fair-ivy-subscription/” title=”Sign up for handmade surprise packages” subtitle=”Click here for more info!” h_padding=”20px” v_padding=”20px” sep_padding=”5px” border_color=”#fff” bg_color=”#aee8e8″ title_color=”#fff” subtitle_color=”#fff” with_bullet=”no”]
Handmade products Surprises

Pumpkin Spice soap surprise

Move over summer, autumn is here at last!  We thought that there was no better way to welcome in the fall than to have one of our October surprise gifts be this deliciously-scented handmade pumpkin spice soap from Fabled Soap Co.  It smelled so great that it was a bit tough not to just put it into a pie dish and bake it for Thanksgiving!

Handmade pumpkin spice latte scented soap

The packaging was extremely cute yet had a modern appeal, like something you’d find in an upscale home decor store.  Along with the little soap came a lovely card describing the handmaker Mickey’s goals and efforts to produce the best bath products for your skin and hair.

Pumpkin spice latte soap

Artist's card from fair ivy The text on her artist info card reads: Hello, my name is Mickey and I am the creator of Fabled Soap Co.  I’ve always loved beauty products and a few years back I unsuccessfully tried to find the best available/  During this period, I also learned that almost all commercially available products contain harmful ingredients!  For example, shampoos and what we know of as “soap” don’t actually contain any real soap but detergents that are harsh and drying on skin and hair.   When I learned I could make my own bath and beauty products, I immediately jumped onboard.  Now my goal is to make the very best soap, lip balm, bath soak, etc myself, using simple, high quality ingredients.  I have a great variety of handmade home bath and body products available on my online shop www.Fabled SoapCo.etsy.com.  There’s something for everyone and I regularly add new items, so check back often.   Fabled Soap Co is all about simple but luxurious products that are effective, fun and accessible.  And perhaps best of all, it is about that handmade tough that makes everything extra special.

Pumpkin spice latte soap

We love every piece of this wonderful product, and hope you did too (here’s one rave review we just stumbled across!). We included some of her other fantastic items in a recent blog post called Homemade Beauty Products.

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Handmade products

A selection of lovely handmade gift ideas

I can’t always feature every lovely handmade item I come across as a monthly surprise gift, but I love so many of them nonetheless and know they would all make lovely handmade gift ideas! Here are just a few of the wonderful handmade items I’ve come across via my craft festival explorations, online handmade searches, face to face artist interactions, and in emails I’ve received from potential artists.  I know they would all make wonderful surprise birthday gifts, so check out all these shops!

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Handmade soap: Lovely handmade gift ideas from Fair Ivy

I love fancy soap and bath products, but also like it to be a little bit on the fun side sometimes, too.  So these Birthday Cake Bubbling Bath Bombs by ReveilleReveille really topped the cake. Here’s a blurb from their Etsy item page: “Fill your senses with the delightfully sweet scent of white birthday cake with confetti frosting! Our Birthday Bash bubbling bath bomb is the perfect way to celebrate for no reason at all! Just drop one bath bomb into running bath water and watch the bubbles grow. We only use SLSA to create our bubbles, which is gentle on skin.” How delightful!

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Handmade letterpress card: Lovely handmade gift ideas from Fair Ivy

I love puns and all things wordsy and silly, so couldn’t resist the a-peel of this cute letter-pressed card (see what I did there?) from One Canoe Two.  It’s a great little handmade card to include alongside a romantic gift for a cooking enthusiast, or you could even frame it and put it on the wall in your cozy kitchen.  I love the style of this artist in general—definitely check out their shop for other cards, journals, calendars, and even adorable recipe cards!

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Handmade soap: Lovely handmade gift ideas from Fair Ivy

I heart this gorgeous vintage-looking Chai and Vanilla Handmade Owl Soap by Seventh Tree Soaps.  Even the box it comes in is timeless, and would make as great a gift for an older woman as it would for a younger woman! Below find a little blurb from their Etsy page: “A gorgeously fragrant soap with an arresting blend of cinnamon, cardamom, star anise and clove, sweetened with vanilla. A fantastic soap for unapologetic tea lovers.” Although I do worry that I’d have trouble not plopping it into a mug and trying to steep and drink it—I bet it smells like a cozy cafe on a chilly Autumn day!

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I hope you liked my hand made gift picks.  Be sure to sign up for the newsletter (on the left) to keep updated with handmade, cute gift packaging, surprises and other fair ivy news.

Shopping for someone specific and need a few lovely handmade gift ideas?  Drop me a line and I can suggest some of my favorites that will suit your recipient to a tee!  (Or of course you could sign them up for a Fair Ivy surprise gift subscription by clicking here!)

Gift Packaging Tips for Small Businesses

Cute packaging tips – Washi tape: Washi tape

A month ago, the marketing representative at Whole Foods in Santa Monica asked me if I’d do a cute packaging tips presentation for the holidays…of course I said yes! I sat down and started to plan what sort of packaging I’d present and teach the class, and came up with three categories of cute packaging that were easy to do and looked fantastic:  Organic packaging, feminine packaging, and creative packaging.  However, I decided that no cute packaging presentation was complete without a quick mention of washi tape!

Cute packaging tips - Washi tape

…so I purchased some.  Ok, I purchased a lot.  32 mini rolls to be exact!  StickerStop on Etsy has a wonderful collection and allows you to get little sample sizes of a ton of types of washi tape, and lets you pick each and every design you want included.

Cute packaging tips - Washi tape

Even though I saw the photos on Etsy beforehand, I still squealed with delight when I saw these little rolls, all wrapped around tiny little wooden spools.

Cute packaging tips - Washi tape

Washi tape is a wonderful easy go-to for turning a plain wrapping job into a really cute packaging gift!  Use kraft paper, wrapping paper, or even newspaper, and then simply use washi tape instead of regular tape.  Many of Fair Ivy’s surprise gift boxes have incorporated washi tape in their adorable packaging designs—it has a really cute, handmade vibe to it.  Check out StickerStop on Etsy for some awesome washi tape designs! Here are a few great examples of the many ways you can incorporate washi tape as cute packaging tips, or even use them as a a branding style for your handmade business!

Cute packaging tips: Washi tape in action:

Cute packaging tips - Washi tape






Want more fun washi tape ideas (not just packaging ones)?  Check out washitapemania.com! I bet you’ll have as much trouble as I did tearing yourself away!

More Gift Packaging

Handmade products

Rain jewelry and other handmade weather jewelry

Rain jewelry and other handmade weather jewelry

Handmade silver jewelry and handmade gold jewelry are our top favorites when it comes to handmade products.  You can tell because not only do we feature them in our Fair Ivy Original Subscription surprise gift boxes, but we also created a specific subscription just for handmade jewelry, which sends a single gift box every month that contains a unique jewelry piece. Back in the day, Fair Ivy used to feature artists from all over the world.  We’ve since focussed on US artists, both so  we can decrease shipping costs for our customers, as well as being a bit more environmentally-friendly (less exhaust produced from international shipping flights).  However, we did lose access to some of our absolute favorite artists in the process, one of which is the lovely UK-based Huiyi Tan. She creates the most amazing silver and gold jewelry pieces, but we especially love her rain jewelry….well, really her entire weather jewelry collection. Check them out:Handmade rain jewelry | Monthly surprise boxes from Fair Ivy Handmade rain jewelry | Monthly surprise boxes from Fair Ivy Handmade rain jewelry | Monthly surprise boxes from Fair Ivy Handmade weather jewelry | Monthly surprise boxes from Fair Ivy Handmade rain jewelry | Monthly surprise boxes from Fair Ivy Handmade rain jewelry | Monthly surprise boxes from Fair Ivy Handmade weather jewelry | Monthly surprise boxes from Fair Ivy I know what I’m asking for this Christmas!  To view Huiyi Tan’s shop with these and other lovely handmade jewelry pieces, click here.  She ships all over the world! Wanting to get in on some monthly surprise packages fun? subscribe-button2