Midwest Living Holiday Gift Guide 2021
Discover an artist, support an entrepreneur, keep your dollars local—and get your shopping done, with gifts hand-picked by our staff and made right here in the Midwest.
I'm obsessed with Hemlock Goods' cotton bandanas ($14 each). Artist Beth Snyder designs new patterns frequently, and she supports causes I care about, like nonprofits that empower women. - Erin Kieffer, Senior Graphic Designer
Candy whiz Carrie Abbott, of the business Newfangled Confections, makes this stuff called Frittle—addictive little crunchy, flaky, brittle-ish squares—in flavors like classic peanut, milk chocolate, coconut and (my fave) sesame. From $4. - Amy Lynch, MWL Writer
Forget scaling down and cutting out a teeny-weeny photo. The Locket Sisters does it for you, digitally. Their lockets come in dozens of trendy and classic styles and finishes (including leather key chains). From $65. - Brenda Kienast, Art Administrative Assistant
My family lost our pet this year. One of artist Nicole Rodgers' oversized custom wood ornaments will be such a sweet way for us to pay tribute. $50. - Kaili Miller, Student Aprentice
When a state goes by the nickname the Mitten, you knew someone was gonna do it, right? I get a kick out of wearing my adopted home on my hands—and supporting City Bird, a fab shop run by seventh-generation Detroiters. $25 each. - Kristin Bienert, Custom Media Editor
Cream City Duffel
Is someone in your life ready to retire a drab black suitcase? (I know I am.) Treat them to this rugged weekender from Milwaukee Boot Company $149, stitched from durable waxed canvas and leather, with a cotton lining and brass hardware. - Hannah Agran, Executive Editor
Cloudy Morning Planter
Bismarck, North Dakota
Shelly Sayler's pottery has a cozy, tactile style, with cool patterns carved deeply in the clay. Planters (like this Cloudy Morning Planter, $38), bowls, jumbo mugs—I crave it all. $38. - Alicia Underlee Nelson, MWL Writer
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
In my quest to reduce my planetary footprint, I've fallen hard for Locust Grove Farm's natural, great-smelling bath products. The soaps, from $7 each, make pretty gifts, and the shampoo bar is amazing. - Diane Penningroth, Copy Editor
Grand Rapids, Michigan
I am usually all about neutral colors—but OMG, these mugs! I swear they're glazed in dopamine. Artist Jeff Ham will launch this joyful collection in late October, and I'll be first in line. $55 each. - Mary-Beth Rouse, Creative Director
Jacqueline Crowther's bright and colorful seed-bead earrings, $35, make me happy just looking at them—especially these sunbursts. I dig her stackable bangles too. - Erin Kieffer, Senior Graphic Designer
Cranberry Maple Syrup
I normally find maple syrup too sugary, but this Cranberry Maple Syrup, $15, that I discovered while road-tripping in Wisconsin hits the right balance of sweet and tart, with a delightful depth of flavor. The Morley family also makes jalapeño, cinnamon, coffee and bourbon syrups—I'm eager to try those too! - Ginger Crichton, Senior Editor
Kansas City, Missouri
Sustainably formulated Pigeon candles, from $24, have sophisticated aromas, and you can personalize the chic label with a message for free. - Ruby Pierce, MWL Digital
Sock Monkey Kit
Teach a tiny human the joy of turning a red heel into a huge smile. In each $20 Sock Monkey Kit, you get thread, eco-friendly stuffing— and authentic Rockford Red Heel socks, once made in Illinois but now knit across the Mississippi in Iowa at Fox River Mills. - Helen Karakoudas, Fact-Checker
Boyne City, Michigan
I've been following Shaggy's Skis for a while, and this year I may take the plunge! They craft skis with great care and use local materials whenever possible. From $649. - Kylee Krizmanic, Editor in Chief
Raise your glass (or set it down?) to The Mixed Up Alphabet of Cocktails, $25—a slick box of 26 cardboard coasters produced on a 1924 antique printing press. Each features a recipe and unique graphic design. - Cynthia Earhart, MWL Writer
Great Lakes Embroidery
Libby London (aka the Northern Dyer) dyes fabric with plant materials like indigo leaves and marigold petals. She sells both finished products—such as wall hangings and embroidery—and natural dye kits for beginners. $29. - Ashlea Halpern, MWL Writer
For an instant mood boost, head to Etsy and scroll through Mandi Smethells' full collection of deliciously colorful, adorable fiber wall art. This piece comes from her Rainbow Swirl series and measures 12 inches; the biggest ones span nearly 3 feet! From $120. - Julia Sayers Gokhale, Travel Editor
Minnesota artist Cait Courneya designs the most sophisticated textiles in varied patterns and earthy hues. These 20-inch scarves are perfect for tying a chic ponytail. From $39.
St. Ignace, Michigan
We're absolutely smitten with illustrator Katie Ebert's sweet flowers and birds notecards. From $5.
I follow Emily Phillips on Instagram and buy her gorgeous wheel-thrown work locally at Des Moines Mercantile. From $50. - Kylee Krizmanic, Editor in Chief
Mindy Schumacher applies her vintage-look block prints to cards, stickers, throw pillows and these fun rabbits. Tuck one of these 9-inch bunnies in a stocking, $12 each.
Metalsmith Christine Leader uses an array of Michigan-sourced stone in her gorgeous cuffs. From $75.