There are many approaches to stocking-stuffing: the practical stationary/toiletries/socks; the kid-at-heart silly games and toys; the chocolate/cheese/other-delectables. Every slant has its merits (and they certainly don’t have to be mutually exclusive!), but there’s no denying that stocking-stuffing is a fine art that involves juggling price-tags with object size/shape/weight to create the perfect assortment of goodies.
Crafting is absolutely favorite type of gift-giving, but I don’t possibly have the time to craft my way through an entire Christmas worth of stocking-stuffers (nor is my repertoire diverse enough…). In addition to trying to make a few things myself, I love going to craft fairs, because they let me buy directly from real people, and see how talented local folks are! If craft fairs don’t have what you’re looking for, or if you’d rather shop from your couch than in a crowded auditorium, Etsy comes to the rescue! I love Etsy because you are still buying from real artists and crafters, but, with so many virtual shops, if you can dream it up, chances are, someone has already created it and put it up for sale.
Here’s a round-up of some fantastic budget-friendly and stocking-sized items I found on Etsy–with a birdy theme, of course!
Coasters: yes, they’re simple, but they’re so useful! I mean, who wants to search for one when you need to set down a drink? It’s much nicer to just have them scattered around the house to begin with. And, if they’re going to be around, they might as well be attractive, too! I love this laser-cut design because it reminds me of the salt marsh. Or, if glass is more your style, this puffin is just too cute!
Tea wallet: A friend of mine gave me one of these, and it’s so handy for bringing a tea selection on the go. I’m mostly a loose-leaf girl, but tea bags are much easier while traveling, and having a cute way to keep them organized is a fantastic bonus! Here’s one with a fun birdy print.
Tea cozy: ok, once I’m on the tea theme, I have trouble getting off! Tea cozies are another practical-yet-frivolous item that help make life a little homier. There are a lot of basic fabric ones out there, but I can’t help but love this adorable fuzzy owl–cute and cozy!
Mug sleeve: teapots aren’t the only thing that can benefit from an extra layer of coziness. Cup sleeves are great for providing re-usable insulation for to-go cups, or giving a soft layer to travel mugs. This felted wool sleeve is pretty and functional. –an aside– this one isn’t birdy, but these bat-shaped cup sleeves are too adorable not to share!
Book sleeve: similar in design to a tea cozy or a mug sleeve but with a different purpose, book sleeves help protect books for those of us who enjoy reading on the go. I mean, what’s more disappointing than reaching for your book, only to discover that the pages–or worse, the cover–got bent in your bag? Book sleeves save the day! And there are fabrics to suit every taste, from over the top birdy, to more subtle.
Light switch cover: Why stick with boring when you could have more birds in your life? Switch plate covers, like these lovely bluebirds, are a great way of bringing unexpected art into a room.
Keychains: I’ll admit that my regular bundle of car keys is one key and three key-chains…but keychains are just one of those things that put a smile on my face. They make my keys easier to find in my purse, make it easier to distinguish which bundle of keys is which, and add personality to something that is otherwise mundane. I’m definitely a fan of this simple bluejay, and this little bird (laser-printed with an image from pressed ferns and flowers! This shop has seriously beautiful stuff!) is beyond charming.
Magnets: like keychains, they are both fun and functional, and I can’t seem to get enough! This shop sells six-packs of small round magnets in fun sets like birds of prey, and waterbirds. The Mincing Mockingbird has magnets from its Troubled Birds series. They are not for the easily-offended, but they are so. good.
Headbands: keeping hair under control during hiking, exercising, or washing your face can also be an excuse to add birdy adorableness to your outfit! This minty green twist headband has birds on branches, and this ribbon headband has colorful feathers.
Of course, I’d be remiss if I didn’t include any jewelry, but narrowing it down is a challenge because there is simply SO MUCH out there! Here are a few of my favorite Etsy discoveries:
Elegant birds on a branch earrings
Lovely earrings, necklaces, and brooches–made from shrinkie dinks! Amazing!
Classy origami post earrings
Sporty silhouette earrings made from recycled bike tubes
This vintage-inspired hummingbird spoon ring (a little pricey for a stocking, but I just love it!)
And, because I do think stockings aren’t complete without a few just-for-fun items, here’s a smattering of wonderful birdy randomness:
Paper owl puppets–this is a digital download DIY: you print, and assemble with popsicle sticks and paper fasteners, but the end result is precious!
These stunning sculptures are both puzzles and works of art–I have no idea which is my favorite, but the hummingbird, penguin, and macaw are all quite fantastic (there are so many other animals too!).
This amazing wooden puzzle wouldn’t fit in a stocking (and it’s a bit pricier than my standard stocking-stuffer), but it’s too beautiful not to share!
In my mind, no stocking is complete without an ornament or two. The great thing about a lot of bird ornaments, such as these Frida-Kahlo inspired ceramic birds, these bird portraits painted on wood slices (this shop also has mini magnets and they are so cute!), and these delicate paper quilling birds, is that they would look equally great at Christmas or throughout the year.
Finally, THESE, because what couch wouldn’t look better with a little fleece pillow shaped like a bird?!