My name’s Lucy and I am addicted to Etsy. OK now I’ve got that off my chest, let me explain to you why Etsy is my go to website for online shopping. It is a gold mine for unique, handmade and vintage items that are perfect for gift giving, especially if the sender and the recipient just so happen to be the same person…
If you’ve never heard of Etsy before, picture a slightly classier, more hipster version of Ebay. If Ebay was the Liverpool of internet shopping, Etsy would be Brighton (sorry scousers, but you know it’s true). For the non-UK readers who may not get that reference, imagine all of your favourite things on Pinterest available to buy from one glorious site.
Although Etsy has the edge on Ebay in the class department, it still has a variety of budget-friendly items just waiting to be added to your shopping cart. With over two million users currently selling their products on Etsy, you are guaranteed to find something to suit every taste and every budget.
Shopping on Etsy is also a great way to support small businesses, run by hard-working creatives who are much more likely to feel the financial impact of a global pandemic than corporate giants like Amazon. And by avoiding yet another purchase on your Prime, you’ll be able to sleep peacefully at night knowing that you haven’t contributed more money to Jeff Bezos’ obscene fortune – it’s a win-win situation!
So, without further ado, here are some of my favourite Etsy finds.
Scrapbooks and Photo Albums
I am awful at backing up photos. Most of my photos dating back to 2011 exist only on my mobile or Facebook. When lockdown began, I decided to print these photos on mass and put them into albums, but after trawling through pages of search results on Google, I was left feeling thoroughly uninspired. The photo albums looked bland and impersonal, not at all suitable for storing my most treasured memories.
However after five minutes of browsing Etsy, I had found and purchased a gorgeous floral scrapbook, which I can’t wait to fill with photos. It was a little more expensive than some of the albums I saw on Google, but what is the point in buying a boring photo album that will only end up gathering dust on a bookshelf for the sake of saving a few pounds? Those photos of teenage you and your best friends, drunk on the local park with Smirnoff Ice in hand (you know the ones I’m talking about), deserve to be immortalised in a special album, for your children and grandchildren to cringe over them in years to come.
Great news, everyone – less money spent on lunch dates and nights out means more dollar for updating your wardrobe (or saving for a mortgage or paying off student loans, but come on that’s far less fun to blog about).
Etsy is an essential website for fashion lovers, thanks to its substantial collection of vintage clothing. Although I do enjoy browsing the clothes, my favourite thing to lust after is the jewellery; whether you prefer your bling simple and dainty or bold and chunky, you will love what you find on Etsy.
Now if you are a die-hard Pandora fan reading this blog, you are probably already scoffing at the thought of buying your jewellery elsewhere, but next time you want a new ring, take a look at what’s available on Etsy first. You will be amazed at what you can buy for the same price or less. Getting your jewellery online also means you are far less likely to walk into the office and find someone wearing the exact same bracelet.
I heard on the radio this week that Royal Mail has been busier since lockdown began than they were at Christmastime. When you consider the online shopping surge in the absence of the high street, as well as all the letters and parcels people have been sending to their family and friends, that isn’t exactly surprising.
Etsy has thousands of care packages, treat boxes and letterbox parcels to choose from. Whether your friend is a chocoholic, tea enthusiast or in need of a relaxing pamper session, I guarantee you will find a great gift to send them in the post.
Of course if you are more creatively inclined, you could save money by making your own care packages at home, but Etsy’s offerings are very reasonably priced when you factor in the time and effort required to make them. Purchasing online also means you can avoid a dreaded trip to the post office, undoubtedly one of the most anxiety-inducing experiences since social distancing was introduced.
If you’ve read any of my other blogs, you’ll already know that I am a big advocate of lockdown snacking. In the famous words of Willy Wonka, “treat yo’ self chocolate style” (I may have paraphrased). I challenge anyone to browse the sweet treats on Etsy without drooling; there’s iced biscuits, pick and mix, gooey brownies, tray bakes, even personalised birthday cakes! Enjoy them all to yourself or if you’re feeling generous share with your partner or have them delivered to a friend. Obviously an all-important taste test is essential when gifting anything edible to another person, so don’t forget to buy a box for yourself too!
New Hobby Kits
Looking for something to distract you from the constant urge to throttle the people you live with now you’re spending so much time at home? A new hobby could be just what you need to take the edge off. Etsy has lots of beginner and start-up kits for different hobbies, which contain all the materials you need to get started. As well as the ones I’ve featured below, there are kits for knitting, candle making, embroidery, gardening, crocheting, baking and mosaic making.
I can’t be the only person who has had the nagging urge to redecorate my entire home ever since lockdown began. When you’re staring at the same four walls everyday, it’s inevitable that you will end up wanting to change something.
A great way to spruce up your surroundings without a three figure receipt is buying new home accessories, such as candles and cushions. In my experience, you get better value for money when buying candles from smaller businesses as opposed to the leading retailer brands (Yankee, I’m looking at you). There also tends to be a broader range of scent combinations.
My favourite candles on Etsy are literary-themed; along with the inevitable Harry Potter inspired scents, I also found a candle called ‘Pemberley Rain‘. Seriously, how romantic does that sound? What self-respecting bookworm wouldn’t want a candle on their mantelpiece that was inspired by the grandeur of Mr Darcy’s abode? If you would prefer your living room to smell like real-life locations as opposed to fictional ones (although frankly I can’t imagine why), there is also a range of candles dedicated to the earthy aromas of the Scottish Highlands.
Cushions are another cost-effective way to change up a room. They can add a splash of colour to an old sofa or perhaps a sentimental touch with a personalised cover. They also make a room feel immediately more homely and cosier (and we all know how highly I rate cosiness in the name of self-care!)
I went through a serious cushion phase back in 2016, which basically saw the entirety of Primark’s cushion range relocated to my bedroom. Although it left little to no room in the bed for my ex-boyfriend, it was still a very happy time in my life, filled with extra colour and cosiness. Nothing beats a new cushion, my friends – but don’t just take my word for it, find out for yourselves.
And there you have it! My list of non-essential items you need in your life.
I send my commiserations to your bank balance in advance.
Have you bought something from Etsy before? Share your favourite purchases in the comments below, I would love to know!