handmade reusables for zero waste kids and family!

Amherst, Massachusetts
2,489 Sales | 5 out of 5 stars

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penandthimble is taking a short break


Note from shop owner Taking an extended shop break. The plan is to reopen January 2022. See you next year! :)

Note from shop owner

Last updated on Sep 5, 2021

Taking an extended shop break. The plan is to reopen January 2022. See you next year! :)

Gillian Freeman

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Gillian Freeman


Average item review
5 out of 5 stars
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Quality 196 Shipping 116 Customer service 74

About penandthimble

Sales 2,489
On Etsy since 2014

Less Waste is A Bright (And Easy) Idea!

You want to waste less, you want to leave this world a better place, but also you have kids and they make messes, life is busy, and making better choices means having mental space and time to make it happen. And you don't have either to spare. Right? Been there.

It's not easy to break routines and go zero-waste. But I don't think it has to be that extreme. It can be easy. Just start with one small step at home. Our first step was to start using cloth napkins instead of paper. And that one step changed my business from making things, to making things to reduce consumption of single-use plastics in a fun and easy way.

My personal journey and business are intertwined. It started with making cotton napkins to use at home, clean up messes, and send to school. (Two kids and we have lost 0 napkins at school in 3 years! Yay!) And I added cloth napkins with our signature absorbent backing to the shop! That evolved into making snack bags for crackers, apples slices, and carrots for school, playdates, and on-the-go. We loved them and they were easy to clean so I added them to the shop! That led to saying no to plastic straws and utensils and carrying our own. And utensil and straw travel cases were added to pen&thimble too!

With pen&thimble, I'm on a mission to make it easy for your family to make small steps to waste less. I choose bright and fun prints because stopping old habits and creating new ones is a bold move and I want my products reflect that!

And I want you to know that I practice what I preach inside and out. My family is still a work in progress when it comes eliminating waste, but we're making great strides with composting, shopping with reusable bags every time, and giving up paper towels to name a few things -- which I talk candidly about on my blog at

Behind the scenes at pen&thimble, I'm making conscious cuts when I construct items to eliminate textile waste. And the textile waste I do produce is recycled locally. The eco-friendly products I ship to you are wrapped in paper with a bit of bright washi tape (for fun) and mailed in an eco-friendly mailer that is made from recycled plastic, reusable, and recyclable!

If starting or continuing a less-waste lifestyle is something you're into this year, I’d love if you’d join me! Follow my personal and business waste-free journey I'm sharing on my blog, Instagram, and Facebook @penandthimble. I'm also using the hashtag #wastefreecurious to share monthly challenges and our waste free wins and fails. So come on over and take a small step with me!

Shop members

  • Gillian Freeman

    Owner, Maker, Designer

    Creator of pen&thimble. Dedicated mom and maker who believes that reducing waste starts small and at home. Inspired by laughter and bright colors!

  • Phee

    Assistant, Customer Service

    Creative genius and my constant studio companion!

  • Ivy

    Shipper, Marketer

    Our youngest shop elf! Always brings the smiles (and lots of toys) to the studio!

  • Patrick

    "The Board"

    Husband, rock, cheerleader, listener. Doesn't spend much time in the studio, but always down to hear all about what's happening there!

Shop policies

More information

Last updated on Apr 15, 2019
Frequently asked questions
Care instructions

Care instructions for all items can also be found in the item listing and are also included on a tag with item.

Gift wrapping and packaging

All items are carefully wrapped in a paper bag and bright washi tape that is easy to remove for recycling. Most items ship in an eco-friendly mailer that is made from recycled content and is also reusable and recyclable.

Sizing details

Sizing details are included in the listing of each item. Measure your little one or utensil case items if you are concerned about fit/sizing.

Custom and personalized orders

I LOVE fulfilling your custom or special requests!
See a placemat pattern you wish was a snack pouch?
Love my designs but want something to go with a specific theme?
I want to help!

Custom/Special Order Prices Are As Follows:
- If you request a special fabric, you will be charged the price and shipping cost of that fabric. Custom fees are typically around $8-$15.
-No additional cost if the fabric is already in-house!

Wholesale availability

Want to place a wholesale order? Let's talk!

What does it mean that our shop items are compliant with CPSC and CPSIA for Children's Products?

It means different things for different products.

In short, it means that our resin snaps have passed tests for phthalates and lead content. The fabrics we use have passed flammability tests for clothing textiles. The organic wood rings we use have passed heavy metals, small parts, and mechanical hazards testing.

We have collected federal standards compliance documentation for every item used to create a product in the shop and, in turn, carry certification of each item we produce.

So you can rest assured you are getting handmade quality that meets federal safety requirements.

Safety compliance is important to us. And small handmade businesses aren't exempt from these requirements.

Lost Packages

This has only happened a few times so far while I've been in business and is such a rare occurrence because USPS is pretty amazing!
But if you are worried about your contents being lost/stolen, choose Priority Mail. It ships with insurance so we are all covered and no one loses!
At the end of the day, my policy is to figure out a solution that makes everyone happy!

Wrong Address

Make sure to check that you are sending items to the correct address BEFORE you place your order. My job is considered complete when I create your items and ship them to the address provided. And USPS has done their job when they deliver a package to the address provided. We aren’t responsible for items you don’t receive because of a successful delivery to an address you provided.
If items sent to the wrong address are returned to me, I’ll happily redirect them to the proper address. And the buyer is responsible for additional shipping fees.