Make It An Arts & Crafts Stress-Free Holiday

Don’t groan when I mention it, but Christmas is just two months away.

I say this only because I have taken a vow to make this a stress-free gift-shopping holiday and want to share with you six ideas I have come up with to make this an easy and enjoyable Arts & Crafts holiday.

Consider the following:

1. If you are headed to Craftsman Farms this weekend, take your list along with you. The bookstore and gift shop in the former Stickley family kitchen is brimming with fabulous items with modest prices, from first-edition books and note cards to framed artwork and handmade tiles.

2. If not, scroll down the Business Categories here at You will discover several that have gift ideas you won’t find in any shopping mall, from an authentic Roycroft letter opener or a Heintz vase (pictured) to a Dard Hunter doormat to an Arts & Crafts, limited edition block print. With just a couple of clicks, you can have it on its way to you this week.

3. Make something yourself. Your office mate isn’t expecting a nine-drawer replica Gustav Stickley chest of drawers, but it doesn’t take expensive tools or extensive experience to make an Arts & Crafts oak letter opener, a pair of bookends or a simple wine rack. You could stencil a set of placemats with an Arts & Crafts motif or utilize a local do-it-yourself pottery to shape and/or decorate a bowl with an Arts & Crafts glaze and decoration. Replace the “Made In China” shopmark with your own initials and date.

4. Give a gift of either a gift certificate or conference events pass at the 25th National Grove Park Inn Arts & Crafts Conference. Be as creative as you would like and we will make it happen when you call (828) 628-1915.

5. Give a subscription to Arts & Crafts Homes, Style 1900 or American Bungalow magazines. That is a gift that keeps on giving.

6. Make someone a member of the American Art Pottery Association, the Craftsman Farms Foundation, the Roycroft Campus Foundation or another worthy Arts & Crafts organization that they would be proud to join. You feel good, they benefit and the organization grows stronger.

Finally, whatever you decide, start now. December is so much more enjoyable when you enter it with knowing your gift obligations are all taken care of. Then, while everyone else is lamenting having to make that after-work trip to Dante’s Tenth Circle of Hell (The Mall), you are headed home knowing you are making this an Arts & Crafts Christmas for you, your family and your friends.

“Don’t shop harder, shop smarter.”

– Bruce