10 Green Gifts for the Artist, Crafter, or DIY'er

Best Green Gifts 2009

We certainly love and have a huge amount of respect for people who create with their hands: whether it's a painting, a hand-knitted scarf, or a bookshelf built from scratch, we've got a few items we think our favorite artist, crafter, or DIY'er would appreciate.Top Row:

1. The Green Guide for Artists: Nontoxic Recipes, Green Art Ideas, & Resources for the Eco-Conscious Artist ($22): this is the one book all green crafters and artists should have. Also right up there are Sewing Green: 25 Projects Made with Repurposed and Organic Materials ($25) and The Best of Instructables: Volume One ($35). These books contain enough ideas, inspirations, and DIY projects to keep your loved one busy for a very long time!

2. Plant-based Colored Pencils from Artemis ($42): Plant-based crayons and colored pencils from Artemis have been colored by natural plant extracts from buckthorn berries, madder root, indigo plant, weld leaves, lac-dye, coreopsis flowers, and catechu acacia - perfect for the budding or the advanced artist in your life.

3. Natural Dyes Seed Collection ($21): Speaking of natural dyes, how about growing your own? The pigments from these flowers can be used to dye wool, silk, and more.

4. Gift Certificate to Mod Green Pod: ($50-$200): Mod Green Pod carries some our favorite sustainable fabrics in rich, playful patterns. All of their fabric is made of 100% certified organic cotton, whitened without bleach and printed in the US with water-based, non-toxic inks that contain no volatile organic compounds. Another option: a gift certificate to Earth Friendly Yarns or Near Sea Naturals for organic and all-natural fabric, yarn, batting, and stuffing.

5. Janome DC2010 Sewing Machine ($499): This was a hot ticket item in our Holiday Giveaway this year, but if you didn't win it, the idea is still a good one. For anyone serious about crafting and DIY'ing, a sewing machine is essential. If $499 is a bit above your budget, then this Brother sewing machine ($160) is a solid, lower-priced alternative.

Bottom Row:

6. Multi-Tip Screwdriver from Lie-Nielsen ($60): a screwdriver is the most basic of tools that every DIY-er should have. The handmade tools from Lie-Nielsen are heirloom-quality and will last you forever, and with an interchangeable phillips, square, and slotted heads, the Multi-Tip is a must-have item.

7. Liquid Nails Home Project Repairs Adhesive ($4): a low-VOC general-purpose adhesive designed for small to medium-sized repairs for a wide range of surfaces, including glass, polystyrene, fabric, rubber, carpeting, painted surfaces, and upholstery. It is GreenGuard-certified, contributes to LEED certification and the NAHB National Green Building Standard certification of the structure. A great glue to add to your crafting or DIY tool box!

8. MAKE magazine subscription ($35): MAKE is the first magazine devoted entirely to DIY technology projects, and those resourceful people who undertake amazing projects in their backyards, basements, and garages. Subscriptions come with a free digital edition.

9. Something from Etsy, Renegade Handmade, or Poppytalk Handmade: I tried to pull one or two items to highlight here, and then just gave up. Chances are your friend is intimately familiar with at least one of these sites, and will love you for supporting other artisans in your gift selection!

10. The Printmasters Press ($480): Made in the USA, this manual printing press has a wood-topped hand crank, and spring-loaded adjustable rollers. It's perfect for relief and intaglio printing, and creates even prints from woodcuts, linoleum and carving blocks.

Stay tuned for more of our "Best Green Gifts 2009" this month!

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