With the afternoon barbecues and balmy nights well and truly underway, now is a great time to start stocking up on outdoor entertaining items. From place settings and doilies to candles and decorations, the Australian Etsy creatives have all your entertaining needs covered. We’ve trawled through lots of stores to bring you the very best in homewares. You can thank us with an invite!
This store is a homewares heaven. The owner, Deb, specialises in items that are perfect for entertaining, such as reusable cocktail napkins, cupcake stands and vintage doilies. Her creations are whimsical yet practical, vintage yet timeless. If you’re a fan of the saying “what’s old is new again”, you’ll love this shop.
SheKnows: What makes your shop unique?
Deb: I like to think that what sets my store apart from others is the variety of homewares and decorations. Every item is completely (or almost completely) created from beautiful but previously unloved vintage items. There’s something for all vintage tastes. Whether you’re hosting a special occasion, want an everyday vintage decor, or prefer an eco-aware way of furnishing, you’ll find something in my shop.
SK: What are your most popular items?
Deb: Both the doily buntings and cupcake stands are pretty popular with customers, though I find the doily buntings result in the most inquiries from brides-to-be. I always get a tingle of pleasure when I find out that my creations are being used to make a couple’s special day that much more special (and pretty). My favourite items are the cupcake stands, because I can’t resist crockery and chinaware of any kind and I love to serve up lots of different finger foods at parties and other celebrations!
Marley and Lockyer
If you’re looking to add some sparkle (and perhaps a twinkle) to your next outdoor dinner party, head to Marley and Lockyer. Run by designer Ness, the store has a range of cinematic ceramic lights that can be used both indoors and outdoors. While you’re there, take a look around: Ness sells ceramic bowls and tags, both of which can add a customised touch to the simplest of tables.
SheKnows: What inspires you?
Ness: Daily, I am inspired by the Etsy community of creatives. It is such a buzz seeing what people are out there doing with their talents. My palette of whites and neutrals is always inspiring and I often look at my mood board to get ideas. My vintage and antique pieces constantly inspire me.
SK: Can you tell us about the creative process behind your plates?
Ness: The ceramic plates are a marriage of my love of white kitchen pieces and vintage linens. The linens are sourced from around the world and are anywhere from 50-106 years old. I love being able to capture the embroiderers’ stitches from so long ago in the ceramic. It is like a gorgeous time capsule… that can go into the oven! I wanted to be able to make something beautiful and useful. It’s not often you get both in kitchen work pieces.
My Bearded Pigeon
So, you’ve got the place settings, flowers and cutlery ready to go, but there’s still something missing. That’s when you know it’s time to turn to Cath from My Bearded Pigeon. Her cushions, wall hangings and signs walk out the door faster than it takes to pull off your oven mitts. If you’re hosting a dinner party, the “hangry” cushion is sure to be a hit — and a cool conversation starter.
SheKnows: What do you love about Etsy?
Cath: Etsy is great. I started selling here as I always loved the site. The outlay needed to open a shop is minimal and you can edit and change it as you need to. There are also millions of people already looking on Etsy, so your market is right there! Most of all, I appreciate the fact that Etsy gives me an outlet to sell my cushions and wall hangings. Our products are unique, high quality and are made using 100 per cent certified organic cotton.
SK: Has the hangry cushion been a best seller?
Cath: The most popular design is definitely the hangry definition. When I first heard the word, I could not stop laughing as it describes me perfectly. I came up with this definition, put it on a pillow and people love it! The maps are also really popular. We have over 100 different places and people often buy them for family and friends living overseas, or as wedding presents. The map cushions are also really great gift ideas for men.
Homewares lovers, beware: Once you start shopping at Kanimbla Clay, you may find it hard to stop. Now that we’ve warned you, we can move on to lusting over its tea lights, salt and pepper dish sets and other clay goodies. The woman behind the store, Helen, really has an eye for beauty. Her work reflects the Blue Mountains landscape she lives in: all organic materials, unique surfaces and natural colours shining through. Seeing as these pieces are inspired by the great outdoors, they’re perfect for entertaining.
SheKnows: What inspires you?
Helen: The great outdoors is a constant source of inspiration. I hike around the mountains every day with my dogs and am always planting trees and digging vegies. There is definitely something about being out in the fresh air and among the trees that really kickstarts creative thinking for me.
SK: What is your favourite item in store?
Helen: The “Valley” tea light holders. They are made using a porcelain clay called Southern Ice, which is developed by an Australian potter in Tasmania called Les Blakebrough. I mix a natural iron oxide into the clay to create layers of colour. Each one is very unique in surface design, but all resonate the landscape that I live and work in. I really wanted the lights to transport people into the wonderful, misty landscape of Kanimbla and the Blue Mountains.
Hosting a themed party? Then you’ve come to the right place. MerryGoRoundHandmade is brimming with handmade decorations for special events — and best of all, they can be used indoors and outdoors and can be recycled for the next party. Now, that’s what you call an investment! The owner, Nicole, specialises in buntings — and believe us, you’re bound to find a bunting to match your theme.
SheKnows: What sets your shop apart?
Nicole: My point of difference. Yes, there are many sellers that make buntings, aprons and decorations, but I believe my store stands out because I creatively combine fabrics in my designs. What’s more, I try to use hard-to-find, rare and pre-loved fabrics as much as I can. Buyers love my vintage buntings and the floral fabrics in lovely retro colours. Some of my work is OOAK (Etsy speak for “one of a kind”) and you won’t find anything quite like it elsewhere!
SK: What inspires you to create?
Nicole: Many things inspire me! I’m an ex-graphic designer so I just love all things arty, crafty and divine. I really enjoy working with colour. Often, it’s the fabrics themselves that inspire new designs and colourful combinations. I try to upcycle/recycle/repurpose where I can, and I love the fact that my eco-friendly buntings can be reused for many happy occasions. Great feedback from buyers inspires me too!