12 adorable and unique baby gifts, all crafted right here in the good ol’ RVA.
By the end of 2013, more than 20 of my friends will have given birth.
Yes, go ahead and take a moment, because it blows my mind on a daily basis.
As you can imagine, what with my exceptionally fertile flock of friends, I go to a lot of baby showers1–so many lately that I’ve hit a major baby gift rut. Gone are the days of crafting sweet, homemade taggy blankets and hand-embroidering clever onesies for my dear friends and their bundles of joy. Now they’re lucky if I remember to take the price tag off the package of plain white burp cloths before I shove it into a (probably re-used) gift bag.
Guys, this will not do. Just because this ain’t my first rodeo doesn’t mean the mothers-to-be in my life don’t deserve at least a little excitement over this life-changing event. So in an effort to boost my gift-giving…uh…efforts, I looked to Etsy (that treasure trove of wonders) for inspiration. And because we like to keep things local around these parts, I zeroed in on some Richmond-area artists/designers/damn-near-arts-and-crafts-wizards. Check out my 12 favorite finds below.
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Letter and produce recognition? What more could the modern parent want?
This 12×12 (mat included) digital print of an original collage is a nice departure from “typical” nursery art and could easily stay on the kid’s walls even when she’s well out of diapers. That is if Mom and Dad don’t steal it for themselves first. If giraffes aren’t the parents-to-be’s thing, Zou Zou’s has prints featuring zebras, bunnies, bugs, lambs, elephants, birds, even porcupines. Take a look; you’re sure to find something to suit their fancy.
- Janet’s Store
This machine washable quilt includes a whole-cloth front featuring Ms. Shortcake herself, a soft white minky dot backing, and a fun yellow binding. And also embodies everything that was sweet and good about my childhood. I can’t imagine a lovelier gift for a baby girl.
- The Posh Tots
- $16.50 for three
Do you know what babies love to do? Spit out pacifiers so they fall on the floor and get all gross, and then the babies cry because OMG WHERE DID THAT PLEASANT RUBBERY THING GO. This set of pacifier clips will save your expectant friends from this horrible fate once their little bundle arrives. I mean, the kid will still spit the damn pacifier out, but it will save the parents from having to pretend to care that it’s covered in dog hair.
5. Newsboy Cap
A twee hat with a twee elephant. I die from the cute.
6. Tiny Octopus
- Phil Barbato
Guaranteed to inspire a robust chorus of “Awwwwwwwww!” at the baby shower. And you can even pick the colors!
If you know Mom and/or Dad will make use of the gym daycare or church nursery, help the fam keep track of their stuff with custom luggage tags. Lollipops & Unicorns (really the name of the shop, no joke) will custom design and laminate a set of two tags, each featuring a plastic loop so parents have the option of switching the tags from bag to bag as needed.
- Me and My 3 Boys
A baby ain’t a baby unless it’s wearing a bib with a goofy saying. Except this one is actually pretty funny.
- Ole Timey Letterpress Studio
- $32 for 15
One of the most thoughtful gestures orchestrated by the hostess of my baby shower was to gift me with a set of thank you cards, complete with envelopes already addressed by the guests (and gift-givers) themselves. I still don’t know if she realizes how much that meant to me; saving someone time and effort is an amazing gift. Do the same for your mom-to-be pal with this set of letterpress note cards which are just bright enough to suit the baby occasion but also grown-up enough to remind her that she’s an awesome person who still likes cool stuff.
When our son was an infant, I wanted to do those cute monthly pictures that people do now to document how their babies are growing and changing, but I could never find a shtick I liked enough to really stick with. This set of onesies (one for each month up to six months) will make it easy for the parents-to-be to jump on (and stay on) this adorable bandwagon.
11. Brass Bracelet
- Maslo Jewelry
Typically when a woman breastfeeds, she needs to keep track of which side (that is, which breast) the baby started on at the last feeding. When I nursed I kept track of this by switching a hair tie from wrist to wrist, but I beseech you to treat your friend to something a little more special, a little more glamorous, a little more reminiscent of what a grown ass woman would choose to wear all day, every day for months on end. This thin brass cuff is great choice not only because of its subtle beauty but also because it doesn’t have a clasp. Clasps require coordination, focus, and two free hands to close–none of which an exhausted new mother has on most days.
- Custom Embroidered Burp Cloths
- $33 for three
Southerners like monograms. We just do. To keep this tradition alive we must introduce it to our children early–specifically by monogramming their be-diapered bums as soon as possible.
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(Like what you see? Afraid you’re going to forget about it the second you close out this tab? Fear not: I put all of the items featured here on this Pinterest board, right where you can find them. PUT A PIN ON IT!)
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- And they all tend to happen this time of year in preparation for a slew of fall babies. If you do the math, it’s pretty easy to figure out how people are spending those cold, winter months. ↩
- OK, technically this store ships out of Madison County, but that’s fairly close to Richmond and she offers a really great selection. Forgive me, if you can. ↩
Photo courtesy of: philbarbato