20 Maine-Made Gifts for Everyone On Your List

From clogs to craft kits to greeting cards, there’s a beautiful locally sourced gift for everyone who’s been good (for goodness sake).

By Sarah Stebbins
Photos by Clayton Simoncic
From our December 2023 issue

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wheel-thrown mugs by Stephanie Haynes

Wheel-Thrown Mugs

New Harbor ceramicist Stephanie Haynes’s porcelain mugs feature layers of black oxide and wax sanded to a smooth, subtly textured finish reminiscent of embossed paper. Each design is unique, perhaps resembling a landscape or an abstract painting. $48 each. Wishbone Clay. Available through Shop Maine Craft.

greeting cards

Maine Greeting Cards

Just because you can use modern technology to make a flawless print doesn’t mean you should, says Portland’s Jaime Wing, who prefers the wobbly lines and varying texture hand-carved wood blocks impart. His Maine greeting cards conjure painterly topographical maps, and because they’re hand-printed, each is an original work of art. $22 for 6. Winged Prints.

three-year journal from  Purplebean Bindery

 Three-Year Journal

Auburn bookmaker Anna Low’s vibrant, hand-stitched blank journals are beloved by scribes, but this one will make a writer out of anyone. Each page has space for three years’ worth of memories. Jot down a few lines per day, and revisit them over the coming years. $50. Purplebean Bindery. Available through Shop Maine Craft.

flower seed packets from Foxglove Farmhouse

Flower-Seed Packets

During the pandemic, Elizabeth Brown gave away hundreds of flowers from her York perennial garden to essential workers and decided to turn her green thumb into a business. Today, she teaches floral workshops, creates customized garden plans, and sells cut flowers, as well as the seeds of her favorite hearty, low-maintenance blooms. $6.95 each. Foxglove Farmhouse.

cotton throw from Maine Heritage Weavers

Cotton Throw

After Lewiston’s Bates Manufacturing Company textile mill closed, in 2001, its president, Fred Lebel, hired former workers to make cotton bedding for a new company, Maine Heritage Weavers, now headquartered in Monmouth. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of each of MHW’s Monmouth Academy throws goes to a preservation group working to restore the town’s 1855 former school. $78. Available through the Bates Mill Store. batesmillstore.com

block-printed tea towels from Quiet Coast Goods

Block-Printed Tea Towels

Former art teacher Alex Boucher, of Portland, rubber-stamps her cotton tea towels with hand-carved designs inspired by nature and the changing seasons. She dreamed up this strawberry print in summertime and the bird print (in colors that conjure a snowy forest) on a winter afternoon. $22 each. Quiet Coast Goods.

block

Herringbone Trivets

Rockland woodworker Heide Martin’s graphic carved trivets recall the woven tape and caning on her Shaker-inspired furniture. The depressions in the design help dissipate heat, while a three-day soak in linseed oil protects the wood. Choose from cherry, maple, and walnut. $50 each. Heide Martin. Available through Jessie Tobias Design. shopjessietobiasdesign.com

KIDS

Maine Alphabet Print from Emmy + Olly

Maine Alphabet Print

Falmouth’s Allison Chavanelle taught herself to paint using her grandmother’s watercolors and pad. Now, Chavanelle’s whimsical blueberries, Bean boots, moose, and other emblems of the Pine Tree State enliven stationery, greeting cards, gift wrap, and muslin baby blankets. When a client suggested she design a Maine-themed alphabet, the ideas flowed easily — until she got to Q and Z. $30. Emmy + Olly.

Punch-Needle Embroidery Kits from S. Jane Craft

Punch-Needle Embroidery Kits

Maine College of Art & Design grad Sarah deGrandis fell in love with punch-needle embroidery — a craft similar to rug hooking — eight years ago and wanted to share it, and her playful illustrations, with others. Her Scarborough-made kits contain everything a novice crafter needs to complete a project: an adjustable punch needle, an embroidery hoop, yarn, a hand-drawn pattern on fabric, and an illustrated instruction booklet. $35 each. S. Jane Craft.

Knot-Tying Kit from Maine Craft Design

Knot-Tying Kit

While working as a charter-boat captain, Kennebunk’s Dave Coleman noticed kids and adults transfixed by the nautical knots he used to secure mooring lines and fender whips, and he came up with the idea for these kits. Each contains rope, pulleys, a metal ring, a carabiner, a dowel, a cleat, and illustrated how-tos for eight basic knots. $24.99. Maine Craft Design.

flash cards from Hope Learning Toys

Flash Cards

Former elementary-school teacher Heather Schultz, of Hope, designed this 34-card set, illustrated by Wayne’s Morgan Birtwell, to facilitate reading, spelling, and storytelling. Open-ended concepts (i.e., “Jolly” instead of “Christmas”) can spark any number of plotlines. $14.95. Hope Learning Toys.

Baby booties designed by Molly Angie

Baby Booties

Cape Elizabeth’s Molly Angie started sewing clothes when she was 12 and sold her first peasant blouses and patchwork tank tops three years later. After her first son was born, she began making baby booties and selling them at craft fairs. Available in a rainbow of shades, the slippers feature fleece linings and snaps that keep them on wee feet. $28.

stuffed fox dolls from The Linnea Company

Handmade Stuffies

Warren stitcher Kate Tallberg’s build-your-own dolls let kids select a skin tone, hair color, and outfit. This year, she’s added cuddly foxes and deer, available in a choice of clothing, to the mix. $78 each. The Linnea Company.

boat garland

Boat Garland

Portlander Nicole Svenson scours thrift shops for old books to use in her paper art. And so do her friends. Jessica Thomas, owner of the Deering Center shop Handiwork, unearthed the out-of-date Irish road atlas Svenson turned into this garland, which would look sweet sailing above a dresser in a kid’s room. $24. Occasional Papercraft. Available through Handiwork.

WEARABLES

Denim Purse from Erin Flett

Denim Purse

Erin Flett began silk-screening her whimsical hand-drawn images onto bags and home goods in her Gorham basement 14 years ago. Now, she works out of an 1850 storefront on Main Street, where she churns out new designs, like this stylized berry print, every six months and collabs with big names like L.L.Bean and Anthropologie. $52 (optional strap, $75).

Card Wallet from The Acadian

Card Wallet

For the natty dad or granddad, Westport Island’s Chris Cavallari makes a host of handsome, manly accessories — hand-stitched leather dopp kits, journal covers, koozies, pocket-knife cases, and even scented beard oil. His sleek card carriers are an antidote to bulky wallets that are a literal pain in the butt. $55. The Acadian.

Knit Maine Hat from Bespolk

Knit Hat

Needing a hat to wear to her barn when she cared for her horses, Rockport’s Liz Polkinghorn whipped one up with a four-letter word that rhymes with “knit” on the front as a joke. Her daughters wanted their own personalized hats, and a business was born. Choose from a variety of Mainey and campy statements (“Ski,” “Fiasco”) or create your own. $150. Bespolk.

Woven Earrings from Agaseke

Woven Earrings

Before Ange Muhorakeye left Rwanda, in 2018, her mother gave her basket-making supplies and some advice: “Do not forget our culture.” Now based in Gorham, Muhorakeye weaves graphic baskets and earrings using traditional techniques passed down from her mother and grandmother and don-ates half of the proceeds from each sale to charities supporting women and children in her home country. $35. Agaseke. Available through Shop Maine Craft.

Wool Scarf by Emi Ito

Wool Scarf

As a makeup artist in her native Japan, Emi Ito learned how color and clothing can enhance one’s face. As a weaver now based in Bath, she creates scarves and wraps in richly hued wools that are as stylish as they are flattering. Each is woven using a freestyle Japanese method known as Saori on one of Ito’ssixlooms. $140. Available through Shop Maine Craft.

Leather Clogs from Kurier

Leather Clogs

Jasmine Clayton honed her sewing skills working for Portland clothing designer Jill McGowan before opening her leather-handbag shop on Congress Street. In 2020, she learned to make clogs from a Swedish craftsman via FaceTime. Available in six styles, two heel heights, and natural and jewel tones, the sensible, stylish footwear is now her specialty. $188. Kurier.

Looking for more great gift ideas? Check out these Maine-made gift ideas from our advertisers.

May 2024, Down East Magazine

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