Mayamam fair trade ornaments

Holiday Gift Guide: Handmade Ornaments from Around the World

Decorating for the holidays is a huge deal for many people, with many bringing out treasures that have been handed down for generations. Ornaments and stocking stuffers can be great small gifts that delight young and old. But, just because something might be small in size, it doesn’t mean that it is necessarily “cheap”. The handmade community tends to have a great selection of lower priced ornaments, but small treasures can also reflect high skills that demand an investment. It all depends on the goal: to build an unusual collection or to find fun trinkets to give away.

I love watching the old British Pate movie clips and have seen lots of them shot in workshops from the early to mid 1900’s. I found this odd one of two women making ornaments for export:



And, here are some Christmas balls in the making:



It’s astonishing to watch the old footage and see how commercial these holidays have been for such a long time. And, yet, they are a time where many pass on traditions or create new ones. We are all sticker shocked by the rise in food and gas prices and there are horrific wars, natural disasters, and climate change effects happening that are affecting millions of people right now. The important thing is that even if our normal behaviors are disrupted, we can make this a season of love and peace. My father was a very poor farm boy when he was young, in post Depression USA. His Christmas stocking had an orange, a treasure and rarity back then which he loved! May we all appreciate what we have and learn to live simply!

Meanwhile, we also want to support our artists and fair trade groups. If you are sending out gifts this year, have a look at these treasures!

Guatemalan Fair Trade Embroidered Ornaments


MayaMam Weavers have a Holiday Collection which includes a beautiful woven stocking, ornaments and table top mats and napkins. They are a fair trade collective in Guatemala and have been able to improve their quality of life a great deal through the sale of their woven products. A couple of years back, each weaver was able to purchase a propane stove! Their children are going to school and they are all learning leadership skills.


Flying Beaded Wildlife from South AfricaUnique Batik flying beaded ornament, fair trade. Giraffe, hippo and elephant.

Unique Batik is a Fair Trade retailer working in several countries. I thought this beaded elephant was cute! They also have a giraffe and a hippo here. They have ornaments from other countries as well. Go here:

Carved Gourds from PeruLucuma Designs gourd ornaments from Peru

Lucuma Designs gourd ornaments from Peru
The Holiday Season décor is a big chunk of what Lucuma Designs sells during the year.  The gourd ornaments are wonderful! They also have ceramic ornaments and nativities. They are a fair trade group working in Peru and Costa Rica.

Felt Ornaments from Central Asia

HoonArts Fair Trade ornaments and gifts
HoonArts Fair Trade ornaments and gifts with owner, Rikki Quintana
Rikki Quintana works with several artisan workshops in Central Asia, including a felt project that makes Christmas ornaments in Kyrgyzstan.  There are so many cute designs, including musicians and activists! As you can see from the photo, she also has plenty of great stocking stuffers. Some of my favorites are the hand carved wooden combs and hair clips.


Embroidered Doll Ornaments from Australia

handmade cloth dolls from australia
Embroidered doll ornaments by AllThingsPretty

Debra Dorgan makes these cute little dolls from embroidery and textile remnants and they would look wonderful dancing on a tree! She also has a small pair of slippers in her shop, so make sure to look for them.


Hand Blown Glass from the US

Thomas Spake Studios - hand blown glass


Thomas Spake lives in Tennessee, USA, where he has his studio.  He creates gorgeous blown ornaments!  He also teaches glass blowing there.



I hope you have enjoyed our little ornamental world tour!  The thing with these ornaments is that most can be used all year long as small decorations. And, they do not always have to do with the Christmas story. They could be used as Hanukkah or Kwanza gifts; as a thank you, a birthday gift, something for a teacher and so much more! 


These are tough times for so many and we hope that all of you stay safe and find ways to celebrate and connect with those whom you love. 


vintage santa postcard



Our Ornaments Category

Here are some random products from the ornaments we have in our Market.

See more here.

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