What Makers Want: Gifts for Creatives

Looking to buy a gift for the creative in your life?

We decided to highlight the keynotes of Midwest Craft Con past, not to mention those of Midwest Craft Con future in 2020. Explore their shops and products to find something for the creative on your list.  Of course, the most helpful thing you could give a maker for the holidays is a ticket to Midwest Craft Con.



One of our first keynotes at Midwest Craft Con artist, and illustrator Lisa Congdon brings her expertise to this guide to the process of artistic self-discovery.



Gemma Correll taught us that periods and pugs make the world go round and she offers a limitless supply of products that keep us entertained and inspired.



Our 2018 Keynote, Jen Hewitt, fills the pages of this book with textile examples and simple sewing projects for creatives.


For those who love food and crochet, explore the online shop of Twinkie Chan. Download a pattern, some brightly colored yarn and start making. Also explore books and premade goods. We can’t wait to meet Twinkie Chan at the next Midwest Craft Con.



Kathy Cano-Murillo, aka Crafty Chica, sprinkled in all her positivity in 2018 with how she built her creative business from the ground up, with the assist of glitter and hard work. She offers a wide assortment of books and products.



In 2017 we meet Abby Glassenberg, a sewer, podcaster and who was in the infancy of Craft Industry Alliance. This online membership group hosts live meetups, articles and provides countless discounts and advice for and from other creatives.



Yao Cheng continues to share her skills, as she did in 2018, through online session on Creativebug. Sign up and follow along as she teaches a series of beginning watercolor courses.


We are all looking forward to hear more about Social Justice Sewing Academy and the journey that craft has taken Sara on through her work with this non-profit. You can give the gift of a donation and attend Sara’s keynote address in 2020.



Back in 2017, Chris Glass taught us to slow down and observe our surroundings. To take the time to walk around, to reevaluate what and how we wanted our life to transform. His side business Wire & Twine offers apparel that speaks to Midwest roots.

Anything else on your wish list this year? Share your favorite gifts for makers in the comments!


Show a Crafter You Care With Our Holiday Gift Guide

It’s December, so the time is ticking down to buy the crafter in your life the perfect gift. We asked the Conners in our Facebook group what they’re wishing for this year to create this crafty gift guide. (Note: The Amazon links below include our affiliate info, so we earn a few percent back on anything you buy.)

And we must put in a plug for our own swag: We are offering $5 our Never Craft Alone tees and totes from the 2018 Midwest Craft Con! This super cute swag features the design by Gemma Correll and was printed in Columbus, Ohio, by Alison Rose. You can get them in our shop here!

What do crafters want to get as gifts this year? Here’s what’s on crafters’ wish lists:

Great scissors

No matter what kind of crafts a person gets down with, really good scissors always make a great gift. Sublime Stitching has a beautiful selection of thread scissors, ranging from $15 to $110. For all-purpose cutting needs, Kai scissors are top-rated on Amazon, ranging from $15 to $80. If you want to go big, Tula Pink’s hardware system is seven pieces of German-made sewing cutlery for $172.99.

ikea skadis pegboard system

A pegboard system

Lots of our Conners want to get more organized in the new year. We suggest checking out the infinitely customizable Skadis pegboard system from IKEA. A single 30″x22″ pegboard is just $9.99, and you can add as many additional boards and accessories as you want.

A paper calendar

There’s been a real planner renaissance recently. Getting off your phone and writing down tasks by hand can really help you focus and get a handle on what you’ve got to do. Our crafters love the annual planner-style Get to Work Book ($55) and the hanging Habit Calendar from Free Period Press ($18).

habit calendar, free period press

Craft appliances

Big-ticket items like crafting appliances make amazing gifts. Our crafters especially want the Silhouette Cameo 3 ($299), which can cordlessly cut a variety of materials. The Cricut Easypress ($149) has a 9″x9″ adjustable-temperature heating plate to make iron-ons easy. And the DYMO LabelWriter ($129) can change your shipping workflow forever. These items could be business expenses — treat yourself before the end of the year to a tax writeoff!

Gift cards

Of course, if you aren’t 100% sure what the crafty person in your life has on their wish list, you can’t go wrong with a gift card to your local craft supply store or indie craft shop!

Is there anything else you’ve got on your gift list this year? Let us know in the comments!


What Makers Want: Gifts for Crafters

Looking to buy a gift for the crafter in your life? We made this wish list for people who love makers and want to give them something special this holiday season. (That special person could be yourself! We aren’t judging. #treatyoself) Our picks are divided up into categories of gifts: helpful things, charitable things, tasty things and fun things. Of course, the most helpful thing you could give a maker for Christmas is a ticket to Midwest Craft Con, just sayin’. Read on for our whole gift guide for crafters!

Megan’s picks

Something helpful: The DYMO shipping label maker is a major time-saver for any small-business owner. If you’re buying this for the seller in your life, be a dear and also order some extra ink and label rolls.

dymo shipping label maker

Something tasty: Give me all the Brezel Pretzels. These Bavarian treats are all I want to eat.

brezel pretzels

Something charitable: Midwest Craft Con is high on my list of groups to support, but clearly I’m biased! Other charities I support include Women Have Options.

Something fun: Monthly gift subscriptions are an easy way to keep giving surprises. Cloth and Paper has created a service full of stationary, pens and  planners.

cloth and paper, diy subscription kits

Brit’s picks

Something helpful: The habit calendar from Free Period Press to support all your unrealistic New Year’s resolutions. Add some organization to your overachieving!

free period press habit calendar

Something tasty: Prongles. In case you didn’t hear, Cards Against Humanity has pivoted from a game company to a snack company. Once you pop, that’s great!

Something charitable: A donation to Stewart’s Caring Place, a center in Akron that supports cancer patients in treatment.

Something fun: This is technically also tasty, but Nocino from Watershed Distillery in Columbus. It’s a black walnut liqueur only released once a year.

Grace’s picks

Something helpful: I’ve been writing in Field Notes notebooks for almost a decade, dang! You can even get the maker in your life a subscription so they never miss a special edition.

field notes notebook subscription

Something tasty: The No. 1 German food item I love is Haribo gummy candy. This tub of gummy frogs is the gift that keeps on giving.

haribo gummy frogs tub

Something charitable: The world is a crazy place, and sometimes I feel helpless about it. But this year I want to give to the UN Human Rights Commission, which helps people in tough spots around the world.

Something fun: A gift certificate to Spoonflower is an awesome gift idea — your maker can get fabric or gift wrap printed with their own design!

spoonflower fabric gift certificate

Anything else on your wish list this year? Share your favorite gifts for makers in the comments!


Holiday Gift Guide for Creatives

Crafters are amazing gift givers. We spend the whole year creating new products and designs so when the holiday season comes around our shoppers and loyal customers can give handmade trinkets and treasures to their loved ones.

But shopping for a creative-minded person can be tricky. We’re often perfectionists, and we’re always just as likely to make something ourselves as we are to buy something nice for ourselves. We’ve compiled our personal gift guide of must-haves and must-gives, one practical and one just for fun, so you can steal some gift ideas for crafters.

Megan’s Picks

Dapper pomade: As a soap maker, I have no shortage of bath and beauty products available to me. But even if you work at McDonalds, sometimes you just want some Burger King. The personal care soaps and stuff from Orange Fuzz, crafty friends from Cincinnati, are a must-buy on my own shopping list. Their soaps are finely crafted with great scents, and their Dapper pomade comes in three sizes ($7 to $25). It is like my version of crack. I can’t wear enough of it.

orange fuzz dapper pomade

Trunk with wheels: I am a sucker for practical things in my life. While not very glamorous, this is a highly useful storage container with wheels for products, electrical cords and tools and everything else a crafter needs on the go. It can also double as a seat! This trunk ($52) is available at The Container Store.

container store trunk with wheels

Grace’s Picks

MT washi tape: I’ve got a serious problem when it comes to this pretty Japanese paper tape, and MT brand is the only one that I collect obsessively, parceling out tiny strips so it lasts longer. The number of rolls on my desk is somewhere around 30, and I may or may not have just bought another batch online this week. But it’s so pretty! And you can use it for everything! I do use it on all my official craft correspondence so I’m calling this washi tape (about $4 per roll) a business expense.

washi tape

Smartphone camera lenses: I discovered the Olloclip clip-on smartphone lenses last year when I was assigned to write a story about the company’s founder. I was immediately sold on the concept: The four-in-one lens snaps onto your smartphone (with accompanying case, of course), letting you take fisheye, wide-angle and macro pictures on the front or rear camera with the clarity of a much more expensive DSLR. The rose-gold Olloclip ($79) even matches my iPhone!

olloclip lenses

Brit’s Picks

Coffee gift set: As if I wasn’t caffeinating enough during craft show season, after my show is over I love to treat myself to great coffee. I would love to get or gift this box set of coffee varietals ($24) from my favorite local source, Akron Coffee Roasters!


Field Notes notebooks: These pocket size notebooks are the ultimate tool for any maker. Field Notes comes out with limited edition sets all the time, and this Expedition set ($9.95 for three) is even waterproof! If you’re buying some for me, make sure they have graph paper inside. 🙂

Field notes expedition notebooks

What do Midwest Craft Con attendees want? 

We asked the lovely people in our Facebook group what they’d like as a gift this year, and the biggest wish is downtime. So if you’re looking to surprise a crafter you care about, consider booking a massage appointment or buying them a gift card to their favorite coffee house.


For example: a ticket to Midwest Craft ConGive the creative in your life a ticket to our craft conference, and they can enjoy the down time before spring craft show season starts up while recharging their energy and making new business connections. The ticket includes access to all three days of our conference, plus access to our private Facebook group, and social activities at the con. We’ll see you there!