If holiday shopping can seem like a chore, why not make it an adventure? Take a road trip in the coming days and find some handmade treasures in our Maryland and Delaware small towns for unique gift giving. Best of all, our crowds are small, so you can enjoy a little peace in the shopping process. While you are shopping, check out our December weekend planner to schedule in some fun small town holiday events to enjoy on your visit.
Put that overcrowded mall in your rearview, travel over the bridge and through the fields to Chestertown, MD for these handcrafted gift ideas:
Artisan and graphic designer Greg Waddell’s handsome, high-quality soy candles, are perfectly packaged for gift giving, and come in a range of sophisticated scents that include Festal Forest, Holiday Hearth, Tobacco & Bayleaf, Snug, Whisky, and Turkish Fig. Sold locally at She-She in downtown Chestertown.
Husband and wife, Dave and Patti Hegland collaborate on the design and construction of every piece of their art, which runs from intricately patterned bowls and plates to meticulous relief maps of beloved shorelines, including the Chesapeake Bay. Using strips of opalescent, transparent, and clear glass, the couple form patterns that are fired in a kiln and then extensively polished and shaped. The result has earned them a spot in 17 fine art galleries, including Chestertown’s Massoni Gallery and the Renwick Gallery in D.C.
Faith Wilson Floorcloths
Artist Faith Wilson’s floorcloths would be too pretty to step on were they not so durable and easy to maintain. The contemporary designs on canvas—often featuring birds, chairs, and circles—encourage contemplation of the complexities and wonders of this world. She thinks of her art as “a requiem to a moment that has just passed.” You can think of her floorcloths as a way to put vibrant art underfoot.
Rob Glebe Metal Vessels
Rob Glebe’s love of pattern, texture and nature shines through in his striking metal vessels. The bold pieces, often featuring leaves, pods and petals, explore metal finishes and patinas and are guaranteed to give any room an immediate focal point and conversation starter.
Marilee Schuman Pottery
Self-described “art worker” Marilee Schuman’s hand-shaped plates, bowls and cups become family favorites because she so beautifully merges form and function. The simply elegant pieces she coaxes from clay are highly functional and comfortable to use but also enhance the tabletops and counters they grace.
Uncle Jon’s Soap
Like their handcrafted soaps, they to use natural materials in our products when possible. From Soap to beard balm, candles and skateboards. Making everything with the least impact to the environment and by hand.
Jeffrey Auxer Designs
A fully operational glass blowing studio and gallery. Specializing in creating unique artwork for a variety of functions. This includes small gifts, hanging wall platters, centerpiece bowls, custom awards, pendent lights and chandeliers.
Handmade glass bead jewelry made on Main Street in Berlin.
A very talented group of artists that create a beautiful verity of handmade goods such as: paintings on unique material, holiday ornaments, home decor, candles, photography of local areas and much more.
Hand painting and creating refurbished pieces of furniture using chalk paint and much more.
The Worcester County Arts Council Gallery
Featuring many handmade items, created by local artists, that are suitable for gifts: paintings, hand painted scarves, pottery, glass sculptures, hand made jewelry, holiday cards and more.
The Serenity Shoppe in Snow Hill
Shop owner Diane Armstrong handcrafts so many amazing items including, customer favorite, Whipped Body Butter in Calming Lavender or Sensitive Skin. Using only simple, quality ingredients, the whipped body butter nourishes dry, cracked skin. Customers have even reported it helps with eczema, along with reducing redness, swelling of body scrapes, and scarring.
All that shopping works up an appetite so get yourself a treat! Here are some of our favorite treat stops.
On What Grounds
Unique homemade chocolates and baked goods.
Baked Desert Cafe
Unique homemade pastries, cakes for special occasions, pies, granola and so much more.
Chesapeake Bay Farms
Give yourself the gift of an ice cream break during all the shopping and pick up some handcrafted cheeses for your holiday entertaining.
Olde Town Candy Company in Snow Hill
Handmade, hand painted truffles.
If you are in the northern part of Delmarva, check out these local spots for gift ideas in and around the Elkton area.
The Palette & The Page
Established in November 2009, The Palette & The Page is a woman-owned gallery that carries art by local artists, books by local authors, gently used books, the music of local singer/songwriters and offers workshops.
The gallery is stocked with a collection of beautiful handmade items – paintings, drawings, photography, hand-rendered lettering art, handcrafted jewelry, finely crafted paper items, textile arts (including baby items), pottery, ceramics, greeting cards, wood turned items, letterpress, hand-cut stones, body care products and more. We carry children’s books, young adult books and fiction & nonfiction adult books by local authors and a wonderful collection of gently used books in all those categories as well.
Cecil County Arts Council
Gallery Gift Shop featuring original work by member artists.
The Market at 135
A fun, educational collaboration involving art, history, land preservation and agriculture has begun at the arts council. Cecil County farmers will provide farm fresh products that can be purchased at the market, daily. Local Farms will include: Luff Family Farms, Chesapeake Gold Farms, Rumbleway Farm, Stafford Angus, and Milburn Orchards. Fresh products will include: honey, jams, beef sticks, eggs, cheese, pickled beets and peppers, relish, bacon and more! Products may vary from time to time but the farms will always restock inventory.
Art Space on Main
Whether you are a seasoned mudslinger, an aspiring potter searching for a class, or you are just fascinated by the potting process we are glad you found us. Perhaps you are simply looking for one-of-a-kind, hand crafted stoneware gifts. Whatever your desire, we think you will find what you are looking for at Art Space on Main.
Southern Delaware is a great destination for shopping since the state famously does not charge sales tax. You can take a break from the outlet crowds and find great handmade gifts, while enjoying the slower pace.
Quattrociocchi Fine Woodworking in Milford, DE
Imaginative fine woodworking by an award-winning wood craft artisan, Michael’s work is in the permanent collection of the Biggs Museum of American Art Selected to design and build the 2014 “Governor’s Award for the Arts” by the Delaware Division of the Arts. Find his work at Gallery 37 8 S. Walnut Street, Milford, DE.
Lavender Fields, Milton, DE
Lavender Fields at Warrington Manor is Delaware’s premier lavender farm, carrying a large inventory of lavender plants, bath, body & culinary products, and handcrafted items, as well as hosting a variety of events such as tours, weddings and classes. Also, the home of The Soap Fairy®, offering natural handcrafted soaps, bath salts, and lotions.
Antique Alley, Bridgeville DE
Handmade ornaments, dog collars, reading pillows, scarves, bowl cozies and wreaths are some of the locally-made items you can find at this 120-booth marketplace featuring multiple vendors.
Gallery 107, Seaford
Located in the heart of downtown Seaford, the gallery offers a wide variety of locally crafted art including oils, watercolors, multimedia, wood turnings, pottery, jewelry and Holiday items for the gift giving Season.
Peninsula Gallery, Lewes, DE
Featuring 26 artists, this year’s “Small Jewels” holiday exhibition at the Peninsula Gallery will be the largest in its 16-year history. There will be 116 works of original art on display, all of which are limited in size and price for the gift-giving season.
All of our towns offer main streets brimming with creativity and local flare. Venture out to our shops over the holidays and wow your gift recipients while keeping your zen!