They’re not reusable, but they are amusing. These paper sacks printed by Etsy seller sammo (also known as illustrator and designer Sam Morrison) add some punch to your lunch while potentially discouraging theft — after all, will that hungry coworker really help himself to your braaaains? With a variety of fun illustrations, they’d be great as quick wrapping paper, too. Five for $3.49 at sammo’s shop. –Mary T.
My favorite author, Chuck Palahniuk, once wrote about how he’d like to deduct money on his tax return for copies of his favorite books, because he buys them over and over again every year. The problem is, he lends them out and â€œwhat happens is they never come back. Good books never do.â€ Don’t let it happen to you! Arm yourself with the personal library kit from Knock Knock at Fred Flare. The kit comes with everything you need to be a stern librarian including self-adhesive pockets, insert cards, and an old-fashioned date stamp (cat eye glasses and nubby sweater not included). At $20, it’s a great, inexpensive gift for any forgetful bookworm or soon-to-be-departing college student. –Katie D.
Daniela Shelton makes gorgeous toys. Selling under the name Hasenpfeffer Incorporated (Hasenpfeffer also happens to be the name of her pet rabbit) Shelton hand-stitches stuffed dolls and bears with an incredible attention to detail. Not only is each toy charming to look at, each is wonderfully finished to stand up to actual kids’ play. Shelton makes her dolls from a combination of re-used clothing and hand-knitted outfits by her mom. She takes custom orders, too — wouldn’t a bride and groom doll wearing outfits made from the couple’s clothes be cute? The pieces range from $32.25 to $104.25, but the craftsmanship makes them worth every penny. See everything Hasenpfeffer has to offer here. –Mary T.
I believe that showing up to a dinner party with a bottle of wine in the black plastic bag from the liquor store will be appreciated just as much as showing up with one in a fancy cellophane gift bag. However, I think if you decided to give the bottle inside one of these funky little birchwood cylinders by Roost, it would be appreciated on an entirely different level. There are three different sizes to accommodate the varying bottles used for wine, champagne, and dessert wine. I just love the clean lines and the simplicity of the leather cord closure. Pick one up over at Velocity Art & Design for just $10-$15. –Erica P.
Find more hostess-giving insight here and here.
At Dynomighty Design’s recent sneak preview of what’s new and popular, designer Terrence Kelleman shared his theory that the best product ideas are often the simplest. I thought these items all seemed to capitalize on that idea. –Sarah C.
Bottle Cap Tripod, $10
My photos seem to fall into two categories: those that prominently feature people, and those that feature a close-up of the arm of the person taking the picture. While I love the coziness of a self-snapped shot, sometimes it’s nice to have a photo that is not taken at point-blank range. The Bottle Cap Tripod solves this problem in a simple twist of the wrist! A universal thread mount makes it compatible with most digital cameras. Just attach your camera to a standard bottle cap and you’re set to take photos from a distance that reminds you of the good times, not your last visit to the dermatologist.
Lil Sprout Growth Chart, $20
I’m convinced that having kids thrusts your life into warp speed. I’m vacationing soon with good friends and their twin toddlers, and I swear these kids were sonograms ten seconds ago. That’s why I love the Lil Sprout by PA Design. Divided by increments of one inch, this growth chart has spaces for mini pictures of your kids as they grow so you’ll never forget how cute they were in those fleeting first years.
Mighty Wallet, $15
I am always amazed at the state of affairs when it comes to the wallets of my male friends. Every one I see looks like it’s been thrown into a meat grinder with an encore in a washing machine. Which begs the question: Why won’t someone just make a more durable wallet? Enter the Mighty Wallet. Designed by Terrence Kelleman, the Mighty Wallet is made of Tyvek (the same stuff as priority mail envelopes), which makes it tear-resistant, water-resistant and (bonus!) recyclable. Its stitch-less, single fold design protects it from wear and also allows its 5/16â€ profile to expand to hold up to 16 credit cards. It’s available in 15 eclectic prints ranging from comic book art to a map of the New York City Subway System, so youâ€™re guaranteed a sweet treat for your back pocket. And although its hardy construction will keep it with you for years, Dynomighty Design is a receiving center for Tyvek and will recycle your wallet for you when you choose to retire it!