10 favorite finds from Etsy
Shopping the world from your kitchen table
I used to harbor many suspicions about Etsy. The site can be a mixed bag: People selling cheap garbage they found on a roadside. Other people selling mass-produced Made-in-China trinkets and pretending they’re handmade. Some other people selling questionable “antiques.” Many other people selling just plain ugly things they “crafted” with a hot-glue gun.
But if you know where to look—and have the patience to sift through the aforementioned junk—you can find some treasures, especially internationally.
I frequently relied on Etsy while furnishing our home and still use it as a go-to source for rugs, textiles, and other small home goods.
General Etsy tips
Only buy from places with 4.5-star reviews and up. A shop with no reviews is probably a scam. (I learned this the hard way.)
Take the time to read the reviews for a particular item or the shop as a whole.
If you’re looking for something specifically made in a particular county, use the filter to narrow your shop location (to Japan, or India, or Czech Republic, for instance). Just make sure that they also ship to the United States (and pay attention to shipping prices when estimating total cost).
Save items you’re pondering to your favorites list. Rug sellers in particular will often then send you additional discount codes for specific items you’ve saved.
Favorite recent purchases, in no particular order
Block-print tablecloth from India
I love this thin, affordable block-printed tablecloth. Comes in a wide range of sizes. It’s definitely not a hefty, Williams-Sonoma-level quality, but it’s just the right price and really beautiful. This shop has a huge range of beautiful fabrics like this, sold either by the yard or as napkins, table runners, or other kitchen linens.
Giant heriz wool rug from Turkey
My biggest and riskiest purchase from Etsy turned out to be a wonderful stroke of luck. I had a vision for the kind of rug I wanted in our new family room, and I looked at hundreds upon hundreds of rugs on Etsy till my eyes bled. I’m so happy with this one, and the shipping was incredibly (inexplicably) fast.
Solid walnut picture frame from Tennessee
Cheap frames fall apart so easily. For a new piece of art for Guion, I wanted to find something sturdy. This one is handsome and beautifully made.
Vintage mirror from France
I’ve long coveted a “witch’s eye” convex mirror, and after much research, I found this little shop in Claye-Souilly, France, that seems to primarily sell mirrors like this. My mom gave this one to me for my birthday last year.
Custom iron house number plaque from England
I have always loved the iron signs that grace old cottages and homes in England, and when I found a man in Bedworth, U.K., who makes custom ones, I was smitten. I’m so pleased with how our little sign turned out!
Linen nightgown from Latvia
This is an all-time favorite summer nightgown, which has grown softer with every wear and is beautifully made. It stands up well in the washing machine and is also nursing friendly.
Mountain scene furoshiki from Japan
For years, this furoshiki (a bit of pretty fabric used in Japan for wrapping food or gifts) hung casually over our bed in our tiny master bedroom. It is now in a simple poster frame in the basement, but I will always love it as a striking piece of art. The shop has so many beautiful designs (and I think they’re all too pretty to use for wrapping up food!).
Linen tablecloth from Lithuania
I’m a big fan of this beautiful, well-made linen tablecloth. Because of the generally disastrous eating habits of my offspring, I only pull it out for dinner guests, but I look forward to using it more and more.
Tissue box cover from Virginia
A stupid small thing that makes me very happy. I am always really inwardly pleased whenever I can conceal an unsightly tissue box. I would like to buy more of these. The shop is also located in nearby Lynchburg, as it happens.
Pair of bright floor poufs from Morocco
I should have paid her extra to stuff these for me, because I made them too soft/squishy with old pillows, but I love these poufs, made from a vibrant cast-off Moroccan rug. The boys also love pouncing on them.
How about you? Any favorite Etsy haunts? Do share.