Skip the generic store-bought present and give something handmade this year. All of our favorite picks are created by female artists.

By Emily VanSchmus
Updated October 17, 2019
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

Shopping for gifts is hard enough as it is, so it can be tempting to just add something generic to your Amazon cart and have it delivered—it’s cheap, easy, and it usually comes with free shipping. But this year, we’re doing our best to support female artists and women-owned small businesses by purchasing as many of our gifts from Etsy as possible. And we’ve made it easy for you to do it, too! 

We talked to Dayna Isom Johnson, Etsy's trend expert, about the rising number of consumers who value handmade gifts over mass-produced products."In an age of social media sharing, shoppers are looking for one-of-a-kind items that can’t be found anywhere else, and are increasingly turning to handmade to find something completely unique," she says.

When you're looking for gifts made by female artists, Etsy is one of the best places to start because 87% of Etsy sellers are women. “Shoppers are also becoming more conscious of what exactly they are purchasing and who they are purchasing from, and handmade items allow them to support independent makers while finding something truly meaningful,” Isom Johnson says.

We’ve rounded up a few of our favorite personalized gift ideas made by female artists—and all of our top picks are under $40. Plus, most of them include free shipping. If you’re in the market for a last-minute gift, check with the artist you’re interested in purchasing from; many of them offer rush or expedited shipping too. There’s nothing like the feeling of watching someone unwrap a present that was made just for them!

Courtesy of Andrea Luna Reece / Etsy

1
Ceramic Planters

A ceramic planter from LunaReece is a no-brainer for anyone on your list with a green thumb. Handmade by Andrea Luna Reece in Costa Mesa, CA, the glazed pots come in six colors and are decorated with a speckled ink spot pattern that will fit any modern decor scheme. Each pot is about 4 inches tall by 3 inches wide, so they’re ideal for any kind of succulent or a small indoor house plant. Keep in mind that they don’t come with a drainage hole, but you can request one when you place your order. When your pot arrives, just add soil and a live plant—no gift wrap necessary!

Buy It: Ink Spot Pot, $25

Courtesy of Holly Fox / Etsy

2
Non-Traditional Cookie Cutters

These cookies from HollyFoxDesign are unlike anything we’ve ever seen, and her selection of more than 200 uniquely-shaped cookie cutters and decorating tools will help you curate a sweet gift. If you’re shopping for a seasoned baker, wrap up a set of cookie cutters in shapes you know they don’t already have. If you’re the one that’s handy with a piping bag, order the cutters for yourself and give decorated cookies as gifts!

Her cutters come in all sizes and are made from food-safe PLA plastic with a sharp edge to make sure you get the perfect cookie every time. In addition to being a successful entrepreneur (she’s had more than 16,000 sales in the last four years), Fox is an incredible cookie artist. Each of her listings shows the cutter shape alongside a sample of cookies she’s decorated herself. For even more inspiration, you can watch real-time videos of her decorating the cookies on her Instagram page

Buy It: Bouquet Cookie Cutter, from $4

3
Landscape Embroidery Kit

We’re all about giving experiential Christmas gifts, but things like concert tickets or season passes can quickly eat up your entire holiday budget. If you’re shopping for someone who likes to make things with their hands, consider gifting them a craft kit—like this embroidery kit made by Crystal Peralta-Martinez for SundayMorningsShop. The kit includes everything needed to complete the project, including the 6-inch embroidery hoop, needle and thread, embroidery template and a stitching guide. If you’d rather purchase a finished design to give, Peralta-Martinez also creates beautiful custom embroidery work.

Buy It: Retro Sunset Embroidery Kit, $35

Courtesy of Leah Duncan / Etsy

4
Colorful Art Print

Leah Duncan is an Austin, TX-based artist who creates prints so detailed and colorful, you’ll want one for everyone on your list—including yourself! Duncan uses bold pigment ink to create the designs on heavy artisan paper for her shop, leahduncan. The Autumn and Blue print is one of our favorites and comes in two sizes: 11 by 14 inches and 13 by 19 inches. Plus, she offers free shipping inside the United States.

Buy It: Autumn and Blue 11x14 Print, from $38

Courtesy of Jill Foreman / Etsy

5
Personalized Ornaments

Several of our editors buy personalized Christmas ornaments for family members each year, and this year we’re obsessing over the intricate designs of Louisiana-based artist Jill Foreman. Her wood ornaments measure just over 3 inches tall and are laser cut into letters of the alphabet before they’re hand-painted with vibrant colors and detailed patterns. Foreman’s shop JillMakes has over 3,000 5-star reviews, so you can confidently purchase one for everyone on your nice list—or use ornaments as personalized Christmas gift tags this year!

Buy It: Personalized Initial Ornament, $25

Courtesy of Katie Bryant / Etsy

6
Custom Pet Portraits

New research shows that some pet owners actually prefer their furry friends over their children, so it’s a safe bet that a pet-themed gift will knock it out of the park this year. Katie Bryant, the Georgia-based artist behind KTsCanvases, creates custom pet portraits that any dog or cat owner will cherish. Request a design with up to three pets, and choose Bryant’s dog and cat images that most closely resemble your recipient’s pets. Then, request customization like specific eye color and distinct markings—you can even give the animals a flower crown! Once Bryant digitally creates your custom portrait, she prints and mails a physical print (choose from 5 by 7 inches, 8 by 10 inches, or 11 by 14 inches) that you can frame and gift.

Buy It: Choose Your Pet Art Print, from $25

Courtesy of Grace Miller / Etsy

7
Handcrafted Clay Earrings

We believe anyone can rock a pair of bold earrings, which means they’re one of our favorite gifts to give. Artist Grace Miller creates handmade clay earrings for graceandgood, based in Portland, OR. The lightweight earrings are made from speckled white ploymer clay and use brass and gold fixtures to give every pair a bright metallic element. Miller has dozens of 5-star reviews, most of them raving about how lightweight and comfortable the earrings are. The $16 price tag includes free shipping inside the US, so grab a pair of these for the girlfriend who loves to make a statement.

Buy It: The Chloe, $16

Courtesy of Ashley Spierer / Etsy

8
Travel-Friendly Shampoo Bar

This year, we’re trying to be more conscious about how our gifts are made and where the products are sourced from—and Ashley Spierer of Daughteroftheland is making that process much easier for us. Her shampoo and body bar is a no-brainer for anyone who loves to travel, and her packaging is so pretty you won’t even need to wrap it. If you’re not familiar with a shampoo bar, it’s similar to a bar of soap: You get it wet in the shower and use your hands to create a lather. It’s great for travel because you don’t have to worry about liquid constraints or spills, and it cuts down on single-use plastic waste—always a win! 

Spierer’s bars are made from organic, fair trade ingredients that include fresh goat milk sourced from a certified-humane farm in Ohio. The combination of coconut oil, cocoa butter, and notes of rose and fresh herbs gives it a heavenly smell while hydrating your hair and body. Plus, it ships free anywhere in the U.S.!

Buy It: Organic Shampoo Bar, $19

Courtesy of Kristen Drozdowski / Etsy

9
Screen-Printed Card Set

Stationery is our go-to gift anytime we’re not looking to give something that’s not super personal, but still beautiful and fun. This screen-printed card set made by Kristen Drozdowski for WorthwhilePaper is our top choice for co-workers and casual friends. The cards are screen-printed in Ypsilanti, MI, and are made from water-based ink and 100% recycled kraft paper. The boxed set contains 8 cards with four different designs, like the classic ‘Thinking of You’ and a celebratory ‘Yay!’ design. The set also comes with eight blank envelopes, so you’ll be sending snail mail again in no time.

Buy It: Everyday Card Assortment, $24

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