Lolo is the creator of VeganYumYum.com, and she’s been a member of Etsy since 2005. She loves all things handmade, so Etsy is a very dangerous website for her to visit. Despite great peril on her part, she’s collected some of her favorite things to share with you. On her blog she only focuses on handmade food, so she’s excited to break out and feature some original, hand-crafted goods that will not only fill your life with a little bit more sunshine, but also support artists who make a living using their hands.
Sometimes I spend so much time thinking about the food I’m going to put on the table for the holidays, I forget about decoration. (You know, the non-edible stuff.) I usually end up running around my house grabbing things I can pass off for holiday flair, which always ends up being the votives I made for my wedding two and a half years ago. I dust them off as best as I can, hoping no one will notice, but since the people I have over are usually people who went to my wedding, I often hear, “Oh, I remember those candles!” With that in mind, here are some pretty handmade things we can use to, uh, update our tables.
There are other things I’ve included in here that I love, but don’t necessarily have to do with the holidays, or your table. I hope you like them anyway! I certainly do.
Botanicraft finds natural things (leaves, flowers, branches, seeds) and makes the most gorgeous pottery out of them. These tube vases would be a perfect fall or winter or [insert favorite season] table decoration. Check out her entire inventory, there’s even a pretty brown vase in there for only $6!
I’m a sucker for cutting boards: they’re just so gosh darn useful. You can cut on them, use them as a hot plate, and if you find a pretty one, they look great on the table for serving as well. I feature cutting boards in about 99% of the photos on my website for these very reasons (also because I’m lazy). TheWoodenKnot has a range of gorgeous cutting boards made from the most beautifully colored woods you can imagine. No one will think you are lazy because they will be distracted by your beautiful cutting board.
If you’re like me and love unique, multi-purpose, (pretty!) cooking tools, check out Khphillips’ queso pot. This is the ultimate low-tech appliance for one-pot cooking. Ingredients go in, shove it in the oven, serve from it, then stick the custom lid on and put the leftovers in the fridge. (Of course I’d use it for everything but queso.) I want to eat every single one of my fall and winter meals out of this pot. Check out the rest of his pottery, too!
I’m a huge fan of salt pigs. (Yes, that’s really what they’re called.) I have a good idea of how much salt I’m using (when cooking or at the table) when I can feel it in between my finger tips. Using a salt shaker just doesn’t do it for me. If you have a salt pig, your salt is always within reach, but protected from dust and…well, let’s be honest: cat hair. Check out Risingsky’s shop for different colors, and other fun items like garlic keepers and olive boats.
It’s always good to have candles on hand. Worthysoycandle’s shop is full of them, and she even let’s you pick out your own custom fragrances, colors, as containers. And they’re all vegan-friendly soy! You can’t really beat that for $6.
These aren’t for your table, but I just have to mention them: reusable bulk food bags. Is that a great idea or what? I bought these earlier this year and they’re FANTASTIC. They’re light, strong, and washable. They don’t weigh any more than the normal plastic bags, and they’re slightly transparent so you can see what’s in them. Take a look at Kootsac’s shop to get the colors and sizes that work for you. I liked them so much I went back and bought more.
I just had to feature these pretty coasters by Knight27, because the photos were taken right in my neighborhood! They’re totally lovely, and since they’re just trees, you can pretend they’re from your neighborhood, too. (And you’ll be all matchy-matchy if you get the vases above, too. Just saying.)
I’m always on the lookout for interesting dishes. (I have a little bit of an obsession.) These mini bowls are totally beautiful, modern, and fun, and also made by a local Bostonian. There’s even a nice, affordable appetizer plate in JillRosenwald’s store for $24. If I was going to invest in some gorgeous, handmade pottery, I’d start my search here.
I love recycled and unique things that are also useful, everyday items. Hammeronsteel’s shop has some very charming church keys made from scrap metal. One of the bottle openers in his shop used to be part of an old cider press…How awesome is that? Much cooler than the one I have from Target. Sigh.
There is so much handmade vegan soap on etsy! If you search for vegan soap, you get 310 pages, and there is definitely something in there you will like. Personally, I love the idea of this kitchen soap from spottedcowsoaps that’s designed to get rid of everything from garden dirt to onion and garlic smells. Fresh brewed coffee? Yes, please. You can make garlic soup and smell like a latte afterwords. WIN.
Oh man, the area in my kitchen devoted to spices is out of control. There are jars everywhere, falling over, rolling around, and the cinnamon is always hiding behind the mustard seeds, and I can’t find either of them. If this sounds like your kitchen, go look at Purposedesign’s store and get yourself organized. Spices included!
And finally, never forget to say thanks. I love letterpress, and Littlepretty’s shop is full of original, beautiful, letterpress cards such as this one. Full disclosure: LP is a buddy of mine, but I really do love her cards. I bought the monster cards and the owl cards earlier this year. A couple months ago my husband and I got carried away playing Rockband way too loud, and way too late. Our poor new neighbors had to ask us to quiet down so they could get some sleep. The next day I gave them one of LP’s owl cards with an apology, and they invited us over to a vegan dinner that same week. Her cards are so pretty, they’ll make up for any social blunder! They might even get you a free vegan dinner!
And now, a recipe! VeganYumYum’s Jellied Cranberry Sauce!
More Holiday Recipes from VYY:
Homemade Vegetable Broth
Miniature Napoleons With Eggplant Creme
Candied Lime Sweet Potatoes
Easy Tarte aux Pommes
Asparagus and White Bean Pesto Tart
Artichokes With Sundried Tomato and Marjoram Stuffing
Pumpkin Whoopie Pies With Cream Cheese Filling
How to Buy and Prep Brussels Sprouts
Check out VeganYumYum for more of Lolo’s delicious recipes and great food photography (and tips!).
Looking to do more shopping? Want more Thanksgiving content? Look no further!