Main Line Makers Guide: The Art and Craft of Handmade Gifts
Handmade gifts always feel extra special. Discover these local artisans and their one-of-a-kind handcrafted wares that are ready to give—or keep!
Did your grandmother knit you sweaters as a kid that you still treasure? Or maybe your mom built you a set of bookshelves that’s now brimming with your own child’s books? If you have an appreciation for handmade wares, you recognize the time, intention, and artistry of the maker within in each piece. That personal attention translates from the crafter to the creation, making handmade gifts all the more special. What’s more, shopping local supports our community, our neighbors, and the people around us.
Our local Makers Guide can help you find unique wares to buy or gift, from handmade jewelry and botanical art to textiles, confections, and more. And better yet, you can shop local from the comfort of your home, because all these makers have online shops!
Based in Chester County, PA, lifelong maker, Sarah Bourne Rafferty creates nature-inspired pieces. From original botanical art to prints, pillows, cards, and more, Atwater Designs make beautiful handmade gifts, and eye-catching additions to your home decor.
Homemade regular and vegan cakes, cupcakes, and cookies are on the menu here, and all are available for custom order. For the holidays, you can find the oh-so-popular hot chocolate bombs to give as gifts. In addition to Original Chocolate, choose from these outstanding flavors: Candy Cane, Andes Mint, Snickerdoodle, White Cocoa, Sea Salt Caramel, and S’Mores.
Suburban Philly fiber artist, Holly Guertin is the brains and hands behind this fun, quirky handmade gift shop online. Wall hangings, holiday stockings, clothing, and paintings add texture and uniqueness to any gift-giving occasion.
Gigi is a mom-at-home artist and business maven in West Chester. Her handmade clay jewelry is colorful, textural, earthy, and sophisticated. Shop her Etsy store for necklaces, earrings, bracelets, rings, and even hairpins that make memorable gifts with a handmade touch.
Hailing from Wynnewood, PA, Anna Welsh officially launched her company at age 12, with a fun, funky, and functional zippered clutch and a two-part mission: to be sustainable, and to contribute to childhood literacy. She’s since branched out with attention-grabbing totes, cross-body bags, and sunglasses cases and more. What’s more, each handmade bag delivers on sustainability in the form of rescued material, which would be otherwise destined for a landfill. And for every bag purchased, 15% is donated to Philadelphia’s “Traveling Tree House” in support of childhood literacy. So when you gift a “littlebag” you’re giving not just once, but three times!
A Mon’s Momtique candle is a gift that says “slow down and savor the moment.” Broomall mom and maker, Monica DePaolo pours her luxury coconut wax candles in small batches using premium ingredients including a sustainably sourced vegan coconut wax. In her shop you’ll also find garden flags, customizable throw pillows, and other handmade gift items.
Nelle began making bags in 2001 in Denver. Her unique collection of handbags, bridal, and cosmetic bags quickly grew! Nelle is now offering a selection of her unique items for sale on Etsy, as well as at local craft events like Clover Market. All pieces are designed and made in her home studio outside of Philadelphia. We LOVE her corduroy clutch bags!
This Paoli-based business was started by a mother-daughter duo on a mission to make memories lasting and tangible through the creation of handmade keepsakes. Using your sentimental items like baby clothes, wedding dresses, and favorite t-shirts, the team produces meaningful quilts, pillows, blankets, and more.
PhillyDIY is a husband and wife team who run a small business in Ardmore creating personalized gifts. They specialize in gifts that have sentimental value, such as a cutting board engraved with Nana’s favorite handwritten recipe. Other faves are funny coasters to make you smile, pencils engraved with motivational messages, cake toppers for all occasions, holiday ornaments, customized mugs, 3D printed objects and more. Armed with creativity and technical expertise, this team enjoys making the customer happy!
Narberth’s Lindsay Gradel uses bold prints to bring color and fun to her handmade children’s clothing line. The bubble skirt is her signature piece. Fabrics cover all the bases, from sports teams to your children’s most-loved film characters to florals and so much more. You’ll also find other great gift-able pieces like blankets and gift cards.
With Stacey Fay Designs, you’ll find locally handmade and up-cycled jewelry that makes a statement, memorializes a moment, or works as a remembrance. Made in Narberth and Philadelphia, SFD makers use traditional methods like engraving, enameling, and filigree to enhance their artistry.
Yum! Located in Narberth and online, these handcrafted chocolates are never far away. Delicious gifts to buy or send for any occasion, The Sweet Trading Company offers baskets, custom treats, and chocolate-covered strawberries.
Phoenixville metalsmith Leslie Clearwater creates jewelry that aims to be talismanic: vivid, wearable emblems of the nature of a woman’s spirit. Each piece is alive with color and intention, and created with traditional metal-smithing techniques and an embrace of the philosophy of “slow fashion.” Browse her artisanal collection of earrings, necklaces, rings, and bracelets and prepare to start a gift list—for yourself! And for truly timeless gift, Ten Air Studios offers permanent bracelets of 14k gold or argentium silver chain that can be customized with a simple hoop closure, an infinity link, or add any of a number of delicate charms. The bracelet is then fitted to the wearer and micro-welded to permanently link the chain to itself for effortless, everyday wear.
Lead photo courtesy of Ten Air Studios. Beth Gilbert-Crowell and Pamela Badalato contributed to this article.