Best Places To Buy Homemade Gifts In New York

May 22, 2012 6:00 AM

According to ancient folklore, Oriental rugs lovingly woven by hand always contained one slight mistake. This deliberate imperfection was a humble sign of respect to the universe, and an acknowledgement that human beings were, by definition, imperfect as well. We wonder what ancient rug-makers of yesterday would think of today’s perfection-driven artisans and crafters of home-made wares. The jewelry, glassware and hand-sewn apparel found at these emporiums of unapologetic beauty may push humility to the max. Imperfections? Maybe, but we dare you to find them. Here are some of the most charming and creative hand-made gifts you will find this side of a flying carpet.
sweetcharity Best Places To Buy Homemade Gifts In New York

Photo Credit: Corey Whelan

Sweet Charity
411 Seventh Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11215
(718) 965-9200

We know you love your grandma, but her crocheted quilts would be out-of-place at Sweet Charity. A percentage of all sales at this mission-driven shop benefit a sanctuary for sick and unwanted animals. If that isn’t enough to coax you into blowing your paycheck here, the affordable artisanship of Eigen Arts Pottery, Colin Houlder and Marjorie Victor will be. Baby-centric Park-Sloper’s know that Sweet Charity is the place to get personalized gifts that say congratulations, without sacrificing a year’s worth of college tuition. Wooden memory boxes and hand-sewn sock puppets share space with sophisticated, trendy clothing, jewelry and beautiful glassware in an eclectic mix of hand-made style.

shopping style homemade meehee ny Best Places To Buy Homemade Gifts In New York

Photo Credit: Mee Hee via Facebook

MeeHee NY
128 W. 72nd St.
New York, NY 10023
(212) 579-4674

Delicate necklaces, earrings and rings in sterling silver and gold-tone are painstakingly handcrafted by talented jewelry designers Meehee, Sun and Sandra, and displayed museum-style at this 6-year old shop. You may fall in love with the blue topaz and ruby locket, priced a little high at $125, but find blissful consolation with an equally beautiful green onyx hoop at $55. Simply lovely jewelry that is unique features cultured, fresh-water pearls, precious and semi-precious stones and 14k or 10k gold. Many one-of-a-kind creations to fit all budgets and styles can be found here.

shopping style homemade la terrine Best Places To Buy Homemade Gifts In New York

Photo Credit: La Terrine via Facebook

la Terrine
1024 Lexington Ave.
New York, NY  10021
(212) 988-3366

Earthy, hand-painted and molded dinnerware and ceramics in a riot of colors and patterns can be found at both la Terrine locations. Brides-to-be can register for a variety of beautiful pieces from designers such as Deruta of Italy, where artisans handcraft dishes and mugs at affordable prices. The staff at la Terrine can guide you to gift selections for under $100 or $200, based on your budget-of-choice, without compromising on the classic beauty of items such as ornately-decorated olive bowls, cheese sets and platters. The collection at la Terrine will bring a sense of originality and taste to any home.

shopping style homemade off broadway Best Places To Buy Homemade Gifts In New York

Photo Credit: Off Broadway Boutique via Facebook

Off Broadway Boutique
139 W. 72nd St.
New York, NY 10023
(212) 724-6713

The over-the-top style that gives legendary Off Broadway Boutique its rep is not for wall flowers. Women of a certain age will revel in the hand-crafted capes, scarves and accessories that complement fabulous silk one-size-fits-most ensembles. The back-room vintage boutique features astonishing finds. Evening wear can get a little pricey at Off Broadway, but many accessories will absolutely dazzle you at under $100.

Related: NYC Home Decor Guide: The 5 Best Places to Shop

make meaning Best Places To Buy Homemade Gifts In New York

Photo Credit: Corey Whelan

Make Meaning
1501 Third Ave.
New York, NY
(212) 730-1200

Sometimes, you just have to make it yourself. Buy a Creativity Day Pass for $12 at either of Make Meaning’s locations, and get started on designing one-of-a-kind, personalized glass jewels, ceramics, soaps and candles. Bead and paperwork plus cake decorating are great fun here, too. At the end of your visit you will have an original, creative gift perfect for that special someone, even if that someone is you. Make Meaning is a great place to throw parties for kids or adults. Reservations required for parties; walk-ins are welcome.

Related: NYC’s 7 Best Stores for Fun, Unique Gifts

Corey Whelan is a freelance writer in New York. Her work can be found at