Holiday Gift Guide 2018

Introducing Alta Handcrafted's first annual Holiday Genius Gift Guide for everyone on your holiday list, filled with product designed and made exclusively in California.  This gift guide is a collection of some of my favorite items to gift.  I am passionate about finding the perfect gift for everyone on my list.  I hope this guide will give you some great ideas for the loved ones on your list.  Not only am I passionate about finding the perfect gift, I also make as many gifts as time permits.  

If you have someone on your list who is tough to buy for and you don't find an idea on my list, please feel free to send me a message and I'll do my best to give you a few ideas!  


A bespoke item --what I view as the ultimate gift, provides your gift recipient with an experience as well as a perfect custom treasure.  Whether it's a pair of sandals, a hand shaped hat, or a new custom dress, nothing is more luxurious and memorable than receiving a bespoke gift.

My personal favorite - A bespoke Sombrero hand shaped by Justin Carpenter of El Rancho Carpintero, sombreros start at $160.  If you haven't read my article about Justin, be sure to check it out, here!

At Trail Cloth Leather, Tancie Trail will take your personal measurements, to create a unique linen garment from her capsule collection.  Each piece is cut individually and sewn in her Mar Vista shop.  Established in 2014, Trail Cloth Leather, is a house to watch!

Let's just design the perfect outfit while we are at it..and add a bespoke pair of sandals by emerging house, Amanu, sandals perfectly fitted to your feet, not your size, handcrafted in West Hollywood in 30 minutes while you wait.  This is the perfect gift for any woman on your list.  Prices range from $175-300.  Create a gift card, here.

Many men are used to reasonable bespoke clothing --with custom suits available in a wide range of pricing options.  For a close to bespoke item for men, that is not suiting, but the raddest, casual streetwear handmade in Southern California, look no further than post-heritage brand, MATiAS.  Awesome selvage indigo dyed denim, made by denim master Matias Sandoval is sure to please the most discerning cool guy on your list, Buck Crudo, $275.


Give the gift of ART

For a truly unique gift, perhaps for a friend or family member who just bought a new home, or moved into a new office, a piece of art is a gift that will last a lifetime.  

A piece of art from the 100 for $100 collection by intuitive painter, Meaghan Miller Lopez of Touchstone Studio Art, allows collectors to collaborate by submitting intentions to be considered by Lopez during the painting session.  Reserve your painting, here.  

Painting from 100 for $100 by Meaghan Miller Lopez of Touchstone Studio Art


Hostess Gifts 

Your host(s) have spent so much time creating the perfect holiday gathering for their friends and family.  Be a thoughtful guest and bring the perfect hostess gift.  Don't forget to send a thank you card or email the following day!

Adopt a Parisian habit and have a stunning fresh floral arrangement sent by your local floral artist the day before your hosts’ event.  Holly Flora’s spectacular arrangements and friendly service is my go-to favorite in Los Angeles. 


Rough Linen Tea Towels make the perfect wrapping for a beautiful bottle of wine.  Buy separately for under $25, or a set of seven for $145 for all of your hostess gifts this season.


You can never go wrong with a box of See’s Candies.  See's represents a longstanding tradition for my Californian family --Christmas simply isn't Christmas without See’s Candy. Handcrafted with the finest cacao and local ingredients, See's is a truly standout chocolatier.  Find out your hosts’ favorite piece(s) of See’s ahead of time and delight her by having the shop build a custom box filled with just her very favorites, wrapped in their signature paper.  Build-a-box is also available online (though, I personally recommend visiting a shop in person for the samples!). 1 lb. box of Sees $20.50


Stocking Stuffers

...for Kids and Adults Alike - because who doesn't love a well stuffed stocking? 

Grow a Giant Sequoia, or Redwood tree from seed with these amazing kits from Made in California, for only $7.50.


This magical bubble wand from Awhannee Bubble Makers, Bubble Wand $12.


Leave it Better than You Found it, enamel mug from Park Projects, $20.  Each product purchased contributes directly to one of over 30 different conservancies across the USA, providing vital funding for the ongoing care of National Parks.

Customizable Russian style nesting dolls  - this is a project I’m hoping to complete for my kids before Christmas this year.  If you are up to a creative project, the customizable nesting dolls can be painted and decorated yourself!  Ships from Venice, CA.


Or, order a set custom finished by this Marina del Rey, CA based artist:


For the busiest person on your list, Alexis Smart's My Personal Assistant flower remedy is not only a cheeky gift, it really works, $37!

You can never go wrong with a set of negative ion producing Beeswax Candles from Bill's Bees, $8. These also make a perfect hostess gift.  I like to buy tapers in bulk at the holidays, tie a beautiful ribbon around two and have on hand for hostess gifts and for anyone who drops by unexpectedly!

 For the Cat Lover on your list, these amazing Tea Towels and Cocktail Napkins from collage artist, Maureen Shields of San Francisco are sure to please! Tea Towels and Napkins , $24-30.

One of my favorite cheeky gifts to give this year, is the Millennial Loteria game.  Millennial Loteria combines the tradition of Loteria with contemporary humor all in Spanglish.  It's the perfect gift for Californios.  Currently sold out on Amazon, but I still want to mention it here, because it is so SUPER bueno! GIFTBOOK18 gives you $5 off when its back in stock, Millenial Loteria, $24.95.

The healthiest, tastiest, paleo friendly chocolate cake from renowned Sweet Laurel Bakery, made easy with this DIY kit from the Local Rose, includes their wonderful vanilla extract, Cake Mix, caramel, and extract, $56.

Best Gifts for Her

OZMA of California makes the most incredible silk scarves, a reimagination of the classic All-American bandana, in 100% silk, made and printed in Los Angeles.  The only problem is deciding on which earthy color to buy.  I personally want one of each!  OZMA bandana scarf, $85.

For the minimalist woman who perhaps has everything and has a curiosity towards astrology, a subscription to Spirit Daughter's New Moon/Full Moon workbooks is a wonderful gift, she can enjoy all year long, 12 month printed subscription, $120-208.
LFrank jewelry and lingerie is designed by Liseanne Frankfurt, and is created exclusively in Los Angeles.  jewelry is the ultimate in  LFrank's beautiful African beaded necklaces the perfect addition to any outfit (this is one of my favorite pieces of jewelry to wear), African Glass Bead Necklace, $250. And, her gorgeous Flatloop Cluster Earrings are the perfect "understated statement" piece ever, Flattop Cluster Earrings, $2450.

Best Gifts for Him

My husband can be tricky to buy for, but he always appreciates receiving gifts he can actually use, new clothes, art supplies --he's a painter, and special foodie treats in his stocking have been some of his favorites.  Framing a special photo can also be a treasured gift for just about anyone on your list.    

For the man who loves to smell good, but is discerning about what he puts on his skin, Strange Invisible Perfumes scent Peloponnesian, with notes of mountain sage honey, Aegean sea air, hydro-distilled lime, orange, and cypress evoke the ancient aromas of the Peloponnesos in southern Greece, made entirely of Organic Hydro-distilled essential oils, blended in Southern California, is the ultimate gift, Peloponnesian, Eaux De Parfum, $285.  

Show your support for our incredible national parks, by purchasing a beautifully designed t-shirt, from Parks Projects.  Each product purchased contributes directly to one of over 30 different conservancies across the USA, providing vital funding for the ongoing care of National Parks. T-shirts, $28-38.


Serbags makes beautifully constructed bags in Los Angeles, the messenger bags are the perfect blend of functionality and masculinity, Messenger bags, $48-189.


Best Gifts for Kids

Most parents will appreciate when you buy their kids something other than another plastic toy with a million parts.  These are some of my favorite items that my kids and I love.

Comfortable, durable, and stylish play clothes for my kids is always at the top of my list, especially when they are made with sublime linen fabrics, and printed with water based ink.  The best part, you'll be supporting a Mama owned small business when you buy from Tiger Owl, kids clothes $55-65.


My kids absolutely love their lunch boxes from Oakland, California based PlanetBox and I love them, too.  PlanetBox uses the highest grade, heavy metal free stainless steel in their lunch boxes and the carrying bags and water bottles are made just as responsibly.  The best part, is the boxes are under warranty for 5 years!  PlaneBox is offering 20% off for the holidays, Rover Kit includes box, carrying bag, magnets, and water bottle, $85.95.



Adorable Trucker Hats for kids from the awesome Mama owned, Mothersun Captain line based in Santa Barbara are the perfect cheeky sun hats for your favorite stylish kiddo.  Child size trucker hats, $25.




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