Holigay Gift Guide: Artsy and Handcrafted Items Made by Women and Queer People

HOLIGAYS 2017 / Autostraddle

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It’s that time of the year again, my friends when I put my obsessive Etsy habit to good use by making it into a gift guide! Gifts for the artists and the artsy among you, so you can show off your good taste and style. These are all gifts made by women and queer people, each one personally hand-crafted or designed, that you can gift to the discerning artist types in your life.

Adorn them: Jewelry, Accessories, and Perfumes

There is so much good jewelry on Etsy, y’all! Floti has all of these colorful, simple necklaces that make a great statement piece on. I also love these amazing hair sticks made of ivory, made to look like two writhing snakes—so witchy and so chic! It makes me wish I had long hair again. Those vegan perfumes are lovely and well-sourced, so one can both smell good and do good at the same time. Also, do not sleep on these pink combs that say BAD GIRL, GOOD HAIR. A really good compliment to the witchy hair snakes, in my opinion.

Adorn their Jacket: Pins and Patches and Patches and Pins

I really cannot get enough of pins, patches, and things to stick on denim. So much so, that these are basically the only things Etsy recommends to me anymore. I tried to pick things that either obviously or subtly hint at queerness: whiskey, hugging ladies, cute death?? (art history enthusiasts will perhaps appreciate the nod to memento mori), the moon! I don’t know, I mostly went on feeling here. But I want to particularly shout out Baobap — her pins are slightly more expensive than your average because she hand-embroiders each one in these gorgeous little patterns! They’re truly lovely little mini works of art.

Adorn their Living Room: Cushions, blankets, and plant accessories

One of my favorite things to do when decorating my home is to have small moments of whimsy and joy, especially with planters! I was so charmed by this sweet pug and the planter with feet! It’s a small detail that really sparks a moment of joy. Speaking of, this wooden moon puzzle is a children’s toy, but I love the idea of having a beautiful object for you or your guests to fiddle with on your coffee table for when you’re hosting an Autostraddle meet-up, say, or reading someone’s tarot, and want to provide something to fidget with!

Adorn their Bedroom: Wall art, blankets, and rugs

[1] Hogwarts House art prints ($35) from Brettisagirl (also available individually) [2] Indigo shibori throw blanket ($55+) from MarramDesigns [3] Rainbow Cat Print ($20) by ilikeCATSshop [4] Toldo rug from RUGbyGUR ($145) [5] Plant Life cotton wall hanging ($41) by AimeeMacIllustration [6] Boobs pillow cover ($30+) from ColasHome

Okay, first of all, HOGWARTS PRINTS HOGWARTS PRINTS. I love them so much that even though I’m a Ravenclaw, I want all four. I’ve had to hold myself back from going full Hogwarts in decorating my spaces, and these art prints are a perfect compromise. I kept going with the “moments of delight and whimsy” idea here, with these strange, colorful art rugs (that are fairly reasonably priced, for rugs) from RUGbyGUR, who sources different artists for these idiosyncratic designs, and these lovely prints from ilikeCATSshop (if you or someone you love likes cats, boy, is this the shop for you)!

Adorn their Kitchen: Tea towels, tumblers, and cutting boards

It can be hard to have the dream kitchen we all want, especially as renters and small kitchen-havers. I’ve counteracted that by trying to have small, nice things that can make me smile. This adorably happy pour-over stand is the perfect way to give a coffee-lover a really cute morning ritual, and a fun tea towel like this one with a “Strange Days” illustration, goes a long way. I want to shout out my fellow queermo and good friend Lauren Green, who moved to Taos to start a woodworking practice and can make you gorgeous custom cutting boards — a relatively inexpensive way to make cooking feel luxurious, in my experience!

Adorn their Desk: Planners, calendars, and pencils

Make yourself and the people you give gifts to the coolest people in the office. Gone are the days of the boring memo pad and depressing Swinglines: I love these fancy, metallic office accessories: copper stapler! Golden lego that holds your pens! Queer as fuck pencils! (Maybe this one is for the home office.) A traveling watercolor set, and/or a coloring book is a really thoughtful way to encourage moments of creative flow during a busy day or a way to do some relaxing crafts on your lunch break. Plus, this one supports GLSEN, an awesome organization supporting queer and trans youth.

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Raquel is a Brazilian-American designer and writer. She's from Austin, TX but she lives in Washington, D.C., and she's mostly ok with that. She’s fluent in emoji, gets emotional about fonts, and is always down to photoshop something weird. Find her at basically all hours on twitter @raqueldesigns and occasionally around the rest of the internet.

Raquel has written 23 articles for us.


  1. I love this guide! I’m gonna point everyone to the Adorn their Desk section especially when they ask what I want, and so many of the Adorn them and Adorn their Bedroom are great for a lot of people I know. Thank you, Raquel!

  2. Raquel, this made me so happy!

    I just ticked a few other folks off of my Christmas list, but I wanted to also tell you that I love how you named the section headers with the “Adorn” theme…. just… heart eyes!!!

  3. I am a queer woman and I screen print a clitoris on totes. Does that count as artsy?


  4. you guys really need to stop doing these guides because I just end up wanting to get stuff for me and I can’t do that as I have to buy presents for others

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