Etsy has grown so much in recent years that it’s now actually pretty hard to sift through the site’s countless listings and spot the hidden gems. The world’s biggest online marketplace for handmade goods certainly has no shortage of incredible finds in every category, from jewelry to home decor. But for the second year in a row, the annual Etsy Design Awards competition is shining a spotlight on the best of what the site has to offer. Get ready to be parted from your money.
From thousands of entries, “The Etsies” selected 100 finalists across ten categories, including category winners, Grand Prize winners, and the first-ever People’s Choice Award winner. You can check out the full list selected by judges Drew Barrymore and Etsy trend expert Dayna Isom Johnson (whom you may know from NBC’s Making It) on the site, though we’ve taken the liberty of narrowing it down to a few personal favorites here:
“The Stackton Credenza is so beautiful, and at first glance, one would never know that it is actually made out of recycled skateboards…how cool is that?!” says Barrymore of this Grand Prize Winner, which earned creator AdrianMartinus $15,000 in prize money. The rainbow stripes give this sleek piece of furniture ($4,370) a modern, playful, and unique look.
The public chose this lovely ombre stacking ring ($126) by Dani Barbe as its favorite offering, featuring green gemstones set in a hand-hammered gold-plated band made of recycled metal. “With hiddenite, prasiolite, peridot, green tourmaline, emerald, and green garnet (yes, garnet does come in green!), your finger will sparkle in stunning shades of green,” says the seller.
It’s easy to see why this was a standout entry. After all, Etsy is a great place to find custom wedding gowns you won’t see anywhere else, and Wardrobe by Dulcinea hit a home run with the “Estelle Celestial Wedding Dress” ($888). Made to the buyer’s exact measurements for a perfect fit, the two-piece gown features a bodysuit with cape sleeves and an A-line skirt, all covered in sparkling silver and gold sequin stars.
“My hope is that my separates get worn after the wedding as well, to a festive New Year’s Eve celebration, for example, or an extra-special anniversary dinner,” says designer Inge Stalyte.
Pet furniture is no longer as ugly and utilitarian as it used to be. In fact, some of it is downright cool-looking, adding some flair to the home in its own right. Cosy and Dozy’s Wall Shelf Cat Bed ($207) gives cats the high vantage point they love and features a comfortable and stylish curved design topped with a cushion.
“For us, animals are family members, so we wanted to make sure our two adopted kitties had a place where they’d feel safe and at home,” says Poland-based design duo Magdalena and Wojtek Zajdel.
We’ve all seen macrame plant hangers galore, but this one is different. Demi Macrame Designs integrated a small planter pocket into the center of a woven wall-hanging art piece ($1,300), recommending vining plants like pothos that will trail down the front in dramatic fashion. “The color story is made possible by the hand-dyed cotton string that accompanies the natural cotton and raffia fibers.”
Embodying hip, pared-down Millennial style, these ceramic Face Trays ($93.90) by Madriguera Workshop look cool as display pieces propped up on a shelf or in practical use as serving plates for parties, and they’re 100-percent handmade.
It may not have been a winner, but the Fluted Club Chair by Wren and Cooper definitely still deserves a moment to shine. Solid wood, deeply fluted panels supported by a lacquered steel base with handmade solid brass-brushed feet form its body, which itself is topped with a couple of super comfy-looking cushions. To top it all off, the semi-circle arm rests made of saddle leather give the chair a graphic edge.