I always struggle with what to theme my last gift guide of the year. There are so many types of loved ones that I want to cover (not to mention niche groups of life like “what to get frenemies” or “gifts that won’t confuse your ex”) and so little time to squeeze them all in. Thankfully, I always like to save the best for last and there is simply nothing better than a massive animal lover.
I don’t know what it is about animal people but whether they love cats, dogs or something a little less convention (snails, anyone?), we’re all a little kooky. Our personalities and tastes may differ person-to-person, but when you’re as obsessed with your pets as I am (and I know many of you are), almost anything that reminds you of them or represents them is a home run gift in your book.
I balked at including actual gifts for pets (if only there was one more week!) but I hope you will like the handmade animal inspired stuff I scoured online. Of course, at this point it is a little late to be ordering Christmas gifts online, but remember that last minute shoppers can always order a present and have it sent straight to the recipient. If you’re set to see the person before the gift will arrive, simply print out the listing or photo of the present and include it in a nice card. This way, they have something to open on Christmas AND something to look forward to in the coming days. It’s not the perfect situation, but, hey, it works! Happy holidays, y’all!
Use the easy four-step print kit to get a paw print of your BFF’s dog or cat. Then, frame it in the 12-by-15 inch wood wall frame alongside their favorite photo of them. Check out the gift lab of the Paw Prints Keepsake Frame on the Uncommon Goods blog!
Oh, the irony! This indoor only birdhouse won’t be necessarily useful for your favorite bird lover, but hopefully they’ll find it cute enough to hang in their house. “Designer Dave Vissat stumbled upon this idea when he was making a birdhouse for his mother. He ran out of wood, so he resorted to using an old book as a roof. Then he began incorporating interesting text and illustrations as well. Now, Vissat searches and scavenges flea markets and libraries for discarded and vintage books, then he scans the cover, makes a print and affixes it to the exterior of the house.” Made in Pennsylvania.
Everyone is in their animal kingdom place with the tree clock by Don Gidley and Sue Parke, who met while creating theater sets. Hand cut from sheets of aluminum and then hand painted, the flat pieces are “layered on a “stage” to create depth while the animals’ expressions and body language give it a playful touch.” Handmade in Canada.
Coasters from the “bad dog” series feature dogs doing basically the exact opposite of whatever is being asked of them. Set of four corkboard ceramic coasters will, if nothing else, save you from rings on the furniture. Made in England. Printed in Canada.
This hand-crafted clay shaker set is perfect for the friend who loves both the felines and the puppies. Karen and Stephen Steininger’s shakers are made in their native Iowa.
Get this: a handmade blueprint for your animals breed! Too cute. Get your friend’s favorite dog or cat breed and pay tribute to the feline or canine in their life. The schematics are sure to interest the pet owner, and the midcentury blueprint design by animal architect I.M. Paws (teehee) is sure to delight. Each print gives a detailed illustration of the breed along with written stuff about their origin and temperament. Each piece is printed on archival-quality Epson Ultra Premium Matte Paper and given a distressed finish, to create the look of an authentic, vintage blueprint. Made in California. Print comes mounted with acid-free archival board, and framed. Don’t see the needed breed? If you email email@example.com with what you’re looking for, they’ll email you if it becomes available.
Bone shaped trivet set is a fetching surface protector that comes in separate pieces for ease of use with various kitchenware. They’re made from solid cork, a sustainably harvested, renewable material. Made in Canada.
Sand and plaster kit to make a one-of-a-kind paw print. Either buy the set and complete for your friend or simply give them the set and let them capture the paw on their own. Easy-to-follow instructions with everything you need to do either a cat or canine’s impression into a sand cast from a knotted jute cord. Assembled in the USA; plaster made in Canada.
Uncommon Goods selling point? “When you think about it, isn’t it obvious that within every feline lurks a wannabe DJ? Kitty is mad pumped to kick it behind the wheels of steel and throw down a dope set of old skool joints, yo!” We can’t argue with that! Designed in London, the Cat Scratching Pad features cat smiley faces, paw prints, photos of fish-shaped cat treats, and joke band stickers (“Run DOG”), it’s a flat pack cardboard kit that you fold together according to the included instructions. No glue is necessary.
Choose your breed (cat or dog) and get one of these awesome collage’s from interior designer Denise Fiedler. To make them, she carves shapely silhouettes from the yellowing pages of old books and then assembles the cutouts into pastiches that illustrate the personality of each breed. Made in San Francisco, California.
Help your loved ones display their love of doggies with this customizable lawn silhouette. Available in a variety of breeds and cut with your street numbers. Each is made from 16 gauge steel with a metal finish and clean lines. Handcut in Old Saybrook, Connecticut.
Kaleen Wolfe has created these amazing personalized dog nose necklaces that will melt your favorite pet owners heart in a second. To create each piece, the artist mails a non-toxic molding kit and instructions and works directly from an impression of your pet’s sweet nose to create a one-of-a-kind keepsake in sterling silver. Each pendant is finished with an extra personal touch: pieces are engraved on the back with your pet’s name (up to 12 characters). Handmade in Pennsylvania.
If they love their dachshunds, I am willing to bet they will love these oil and vinegar cruets. Just a guess.
Custom quilted portrait of your BFF’s pet. The fabrics are applied with fusible applique, then free-motion stitched with coordinating threads. A sleeve is sewn to the back so the quilt can be hung from a dowel, and the label on the back can be customized. You pick the size, color palette and number of fabrics. All Terry Aske needs to start is a photo.