Handmade gift shops in the Philippines


If you often struggle in coming up with unique gift ideas come Christmas season, we got you – we only have so much time in a day to do our research. But if you’ve been guilty of sending out generic gifts too often in the past, maybe it’s about time to level up your gifts.

After all, you can find many products from local handmade gift shops that feel more personal and creative, given that these items are not produced on a large scale. And not only do they come off exclusive, but they can also be of use in our everyday life and are made by our indigenous communities. So to help you be more extra when giving out gifts this Christmas, here are handmade gift shops in the Philippines you can check out.


– Toys & accessories –



1. Knitting Expedition – handknit toys made by Ifugao women


Handmade gift shops - Knitting Expedition
Image credit: @knittingexpedition

Whether you’re gifting your kid, pamangkin, or officemates, a quirky handknit toy is never a bad idea especially when it’s made to support the lives of our farmers.

Handmade gift shops - Knitting Expedition
Image credit: @knittingexpedition

Partnering with the women who take care of our rice terraces in Uhaj, Ifugao, Knitting Expedition crafts handmade toys resembling animals from doggos to owls to turtles. Not only can these toys put a smile on anyone’s face, but they also help provide income to the agricultural sector. 

Prices start at P300 (~USD6.03), and aside from toys, there are a few accessories available as well, such as beanies you can wear in the cold season.

Check their branches here

Knitting Expedition’s website


2. The Clay Project – earrings made up of polymer clay


Handmade gift shops - The Clay Project
Image credit: @theclayproject.ph

Accessorizing with earrings does not always have to be boring with plain gold and silver. The Clay Project’s earrings (from P189, ~USD3.79), for instance, are handcrafted with fun, colorful designs ranging from plant-themed to travel-themed made up of polymer clay that are durable and will not fade easily. 

Website


– Homeware –



3. Elepani Arts & Crafts – chic & durable decor


Handmade gift shops - Elepani Arts & CraftMacrame Boho Dream Catcher, Half Moon Spectacle
Image credit: @elepaniartsandcrafts, Frankie General Store

Aside from adding an accentuating touch to a space, dream catchers are thoughtful gifts as they are said to bring a good night’s sleep. For dream catchers that are intricately designed but won’t easily break as well, Elepani Arts & Craft  from Liwliwa, Zambales weaves catchers that are made up of thick, different textiles. 

For instance, the Macrame Boho Dream Catcher (P1,500, ~USD30.09) are adorned with thick tassels and pearls, while the Half Moon Spectacle (P1,519, ~USD30.50) is made up of colorful lace, macrame, and yarns. 

Facebook | Instagram


4. Buklod Crafts – decorative yet functional baskets


Handmade gift shops - Buklod Crafts
Image credit: @buklodcrafts

If you’re having a hard time deciding what to surprise your friends or family, baskets are practical homeware that they can always use to organize and store items, and also serve as designer pieces especially when they’re handcrafted such as the baskets from Buklod Crafts.

The store makes a range of baskets, from round to storage to rattan baskets, that are made for specific use, but are all eye-catching enough to double up as decorations. Coming in various patterns, the round baskets (from P320, ~USD6.42), for instance, are perfect for plantitos or plantitas’  home plants, while the storage baskets (from P320, ~USD6.42) can store everyday items such as clothing and snacks. 

Website


5. Inabel La Union – lightweight towels from the Ilocos Region


Handmade gift shops - Inabel La Union
Image credit: @inabellaunion

Towels can be all too common as Christmas gifts but not when they’re Inabel blankets (from P290, ~USD5.82), handwoven blankets made in the Ilocos Region using traditional looms.

Known for their fine, cotton threads which suit the Philippine climate, the blankets come in various patterns and colors. You can buy these blankets on online stores such as Inabel La Union. 

Shopee | Instagram


– Grocery items –



6. Natu Handcraft Studio – handmade, packaging-free soaps


Handmade gift shops - Natu Handcraft
Image credit: @natu.ph

To encourage a more eco-conscious lifestyle among your circles, giving them products from Natu Handcraft Studio may help them start on their self-care with as little waste as possible. 

They create body care products such as handmade natural soaps that are packaging-free, so taking care of one’s body doesn’t always have to be at the expense of the environment. The soaps are formulated with natural ingredients as well, such as the Chocolate Butter Mousse (P250, ~USD5.02), which can help repair sun damage, and Calendula Flowers and Chamomile (P290, ~USD5.82) soap best for sensitive skin. 

Aside from soaps, shampoo bars, body oils, and candles are also available at the studio. 

Facebook | Instagram


7. Malagos Chocolate – award-winning premium chocolates from Davao


Handmade gift shops - Malagos
Image credit: Malagos Chocolate

Chocolates will never go out of style, especially as gift ideas for Christmas. But you’ll also want to give premium chocolates that aren’t easily found in your nearby convenience store. 

Malagos Chocolate’s award-winning sweets are processed by farmers in Davao. They have gift box sets made for special occasions, such as the Classic Gift Box with Malagos Book of Chocolate (P2,500, ~USD50.15) that contains two award-winning dark chocolate bars and Malagos Book of Chocolate for your reading pleasure about the brand’s history as well as recipes from well-known chefs in the country. 

Website


– Fashion pieces –



8. Akaba – bags with handwoven fabric from indigenous communities


Handmade gift shops - Akaba
Image credit: @akabaco

Traditional doesn’t have to mean old-school, as proven by Akaba’s bags cut in modern silhouettes adorned with beautiful patterns handwoven by indigenous communities from across the country. 

Handmade gift shops - Akaba
Image credit: @akabaco

Starting at P640 (~USD12.84), the bags are made to fit an active lifestyle, whether you’re out for work or travelling in the city, so they would make  perfect gifts for your friend or family who’s always on the go.

The Classic Alumno Knapsack (P2,500, ~USD49.89) is made up of handwoven Inabel fabric and has many compartments, including a section for laptops, that make the bag equally functional and stylish.

Website


9. AMEN – fashionable face masks


Handmade gift shops - AMEN
Image credit: @amen_ph

The pandemic is going to be around for a long time, so presenting your loved ones with a set of fashionable face masks can help them elevate their everyday looks. If you’re looking for face masks that can double as gifts, AMEN crafts cloth face masks embellished with lovely beadings and patterns that are also proven safe with their PureMASQ – PPE-grade filters that can be used for up to 5 washes each.

Many of its masks are also named to inspire their wearer, such as The Princess Diana (P625, ~USD12.53) and The Power Woman Who Shoots for the Stars (P625, ~USD12.53). 

Shopee | Instagram 


Handmade gift shops


Whenever you’re in doubt about what to give to your friends or families this Christmas, many handmade gift shops around offer gift ideas that are creative, practical, and provide an avenue of livelihood for our indigenous communities.

You can check more gift ideas here:

Cover image adapted from: @knittingexpedition, @inabellaunion

Follow The Smart Local Philippines on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Telegram for more stories like this. If you have a story to share, email us at pressph@thesmartlocal.com.