If you’re looking for thoughtful holiday gifts that feel more personal than what you might find at big-box stores or on Amazon, why not try looking in your backyard?
From handmade clothing and ceramics to lamps and skincare products, we’ve pinpointed 22 of the best gifts to give your friends, loved ones and acquaintances that you won’t find anywhere else. And all of them are made in L.A.
If you make a purchase using some of our links, the L.A. Times may be compensated.
Working on your holiday shopping? We’ve got you covered with recommendations for the best gifts to find in L.A.
Clare Crespo 2024 Hurray Today Calendar
Nothing says “Today is going to be a great day” like this delightful cake-themed calendar by L.A.-based artist Clare Crespo. “A big reason I do the calendar is to help folks celebrate the days of their lives,” Crespo said of her eighth annual calendar. “So this one feels like it might have a few extra tablespoons of celebration!” Each month features a colorful 13-by-27-inch drawing by Crespo, in addition to holidays, moon cycles and reminders to vote and “go barefoot.” Even if your giftee is not a calendar person, Crespo’s frame-worthy artwork serves as a cheerful reminder that beauty exists every day. The 2024 calendar comes with a colorful clip for hanging.
$47 at Clare Crespo
Danny D’s Mudshop ceramic copita cups
Los Angeles potter Daniel Dooreck’s irreverent ceramic copita cups balance the craft of pottery with the accessibility of flash tattoos and vintage American West art. Dooreck throws the tiny vessels in his Los Angeles studio and carves and paints each piece by hand. Small enough to fit into a stocking as a stocking stuffer, each copita can hold approximately 1 to 3 ounces and can be used for tequila, salt or any other simple pleasure. The cups come in various styles and colors and are dishwasher-safe.
Starting at $25 at Danny D’s Mudshop
Blackwell Woodworks Midcentury-inspired egg clock
Eric Blackwell’s Midcentury Modern-inspired clock, made from upcycled walnut and maple guitar scraps, is the perfect gift for that friend or loved one obsessed with Midcentury Modern design. “I grew up in a guitar shop and started collecting all of the pretty wood leftover from the boutique electric guitars,” Blackwell said. “I made art projects, guitar stands, clocks, cutting boards, whatever caught my interest.” Blackwell sells two main products: fancy, modern wood guitar stands and Midcentury Modern clocks. The 5-by-8-inch retro clock can be inscribed for a personal touch.
Starting at $300 at Blackwell Woodworks
Good Quality Human trucker hat
It’s a trucker hat — only with swag (and it’s really comfortable). Michole McBroom and partner Ishaan Bahri created Good Quality Human, initially branded as Lidstick Diaries, to “fill a need to be heard, seen, connected and respected,” according to the brand’s website. The L.A. line offers hats with themes of female empowerment (“Ladies First”) and Los Angeles, Malibu, Beverly Hills and Venice city designs with fun twists like antlers, upside-down script and reminders to “Always say please and thank you.” All hats, including buckets and beanies, are one size fits all, which makes it the perfect gift for someone who loves to wear hats but has a large head. (McBroom started the hat brand after struggling to find a hat that fit.) In an inspiring touch, each hat has a tag inside the cap that reads, “This dope hat supports a WOC and immigrant-owned business dream.”
$49 at Good Quality Human
L.A. Times Plants X P.F. Candle Co. limited-edition California native plants candles
Inspired by the intoxicating aroma of California native plants, this limited-edition collaboration between P.F. Candle Co. and L.A. Times Plants offers three soy candles: Jeffrey Pine, influenced by Pinus jeffreyi with notes of ponderosa bark, vanilla bean, juniper and campfire; California Black Walnut, influenced by Juglans Californica with notes of lime leaf, green moss, walnut husk and black amber; and Cowboy Cologne, a common nickname for the sweet-smelling Artemisia Californica, or California sagebrush, with notes of blue sage, vetiver, cypress and rosemary. The candles are sold separately or as a trio.
Starting at $24 at P.F. Candle Co.
Surcle Wood Moonwake lamp
This handmade lamp by Los Angeles woodworker Julie Jackson is great for the person in your life who uses a clip light from the hardware store as a reading light. Jackson’s minimalist Moonwake lamp for Surcle Wood, a sustainable brand devoted to creating custom wood furniture and accessories from recycled wood, features a glass globe cradled in ripples of wood and is available in 6- and 8-inch globes in four different wood species: claro walnut, antique poplar, white oak and California redwood. Jackson turns each lamp on a lathe in her downtown Los Angeles woodshop and outfits each with cloth-covered wire, an in-line switch, a glass ball and a light bulb.
$210 at Surcle Wood
Would Works Santa Monica serving tray
Know someone who could use a tray for breakfast in bed? Or a beautiful catchall for keys and mail? This simple 17.5-by-11.5-inch birdseye maple tray from Would Works is functional and beautiful. Each handcrafted item is made by a person experiencing homelessness or housing insecurity and comes with a tag identifying the artisan who created it.
$100 at Would Works
Explore the most captivating experiences in California, whip up 12 days of holiday cookies, find recipes for the best jams and preserves and much more with gifts from Shop L.A. Times.
Activist Skincare refillable trial and travel kit
This trial kit from Activist Skincare includes three cleansers, a hydrating toning mist, two serums and a face oil tucked into a drawstring bag with an instruction card. Handcrafted in small batches in Los Angeles, Activist’s clean beauty products are made from organic botanicals and are vegan, cruelty-free and pesticide-free. I found them hydrating and pleasantly aromatic, and the fact that the bottles are refillable means the bag will last a long time as a travel kit. It’s also a great way to sample a variety of things and see what resonates.
$50 at Activist Skincare
Ijji genderless denim work jacket
Ijji’s unisex work jacket, made from Japanese deadstock indigo denim, is the quintessential wardrobe piece for the forgetful person in your life. The oversized pockets are big enough to hold books, cellphones, passports, keys and snacks, and the jacket pairs well with Ijji’s denim studio jeans. Sizes XXS to XXL.
$200 at Ijji
This plant-based organic salve from Yassi’s Butta is “smooth, gentle, soothing and smells like a spa,” according to casting director Yasmin Wade, who created the product for her daughter, who had severe eczema. I have sensitive skin and I agree. A combination of coconut oil, yellow African shea butter, golden jojoba and sweet-smelling essential oils, including tangerine, lavender and grapefruit, Wade’s soothing salve is a balm for those people on your holiday list with sensitive skin (and hair).
$15 to $59 at Yassi’s Butta
Wilkin & May signature collection gift set
For the candle lover in your life, Steven Wilkin has created Wilkin & May handcrafted candles made from food-grade-certified coconut oil, which is ethically produced, paraben-free and never tested on animals. The clean-burning gift set includes a sampler of Los Angeles-themed scents, including Mohawk St., Beverly and Desert Heights, and features fun packaging and artwork with a Los Angeles imprint by Caroline May. Mail in your used Wilkin & May vessels, and the brand will refill them at a discounted rate and return them to you in a branded reusable bag.
$108 at Wilkin & May
Mush Bottega wine charms
Never lose your wine glass again with these colorful drink markers from Mush Bottega. Each wine charm is handmade with polymer modeling clay by Kyrstin Constantino, who also creates a line of jewelry from the synthetic material. The charms are available in a flower shape and circle-shaped cow patterns. Simply choose your favorite charm style, bend the charm open and wrap it around any stemmed glassware. The charms aren’t dishwasher-safe.
$24 at Mush Bottega
Saba Surf crewneck sweater
Venice-based Saba Surf, co-founded by surfers Gal Tshnieder and Laura Quintana, is dedicated to crafting limited-edition essentials that celebrate L.A.’s surf community. “We are making small batches of everything because our designs are all done by local surfers and artists,” said Quintana. Saba Surf’s cozy fleece crew-neck sweater, made to order by a local seamstress, is perfect for warming up after stripping out of a cold wetsuit. Even if your giftee is not a surfer, they’ll surely look stylish.
$120 at Saba Surf
Amano Goods leather dog leash and clip-on bag holder
Dog lovers can walk their dogs in style with this handsome leather leash and dog bag holder from Amano Goods. Each piece is handmade in the brand’s Echo Park workshop using vegetable-tanned leather selected from traditional tanneries in Italy, Japan and the United States. The solid brass hardware is handsome, and it’s a safe bet it will give a dog the perfect auditory alert that it’s time to go for a walk. (And who doesn’t want to go for a walk?) All Amano leather goods come with a lifetime guarantee on workmanship.
$85 for leash and $65 for bag holder at Amano Goods
BX Ceramics wave cups
The handmade ceramic wave cup from Pasadena potter Becki Chernoff of BX Ceramics is a comforting gift for anyone who appreciates handmade gifts. A former engineer and car finder, Chernoff throws each mug in her Pasadena studio, where she also throws dinnerware, wine cups and vases. The 4-inch cups are heavy and have a nice tactile quality when held. The cups are microwave and dishwasher safe, but hand-washing them is recommended.
$44 at BX Ceramics
NewMade LA metal wall planter mobile
It might look like a work of art, but it’s a plant holder. Paired with the brand’s hanging circle planter, NewMade LA’s powder-coated wall planter mobile elevates plants to something more than greenery — something the plant parent in your life will understand.
$48 for the wall planter mobile and $38 to $50 for the hanging circle planter at NewMade LA
Lisa Says Gah baby tote
Lisa Says Gah’s baby tote, made from eye-catching denim, is for the maximalist in your life who doesn’t shy away from bold prints. The drop-handle tote is petite and comes in two color schemes. It also pairs nicely with the brand’s playful Italian print Robyn Jean (sizes 0 to 30) if your giftee wants to make a festive foodie statement.
$55 at Lisa Says Gah
Heavy Petal California poppy tee
Give the houseplant lover a band-themed plant tee from Heavy Petal. With this brand, California poppies, hellebore and monstera plants are elevated to rock-star status. The poppy tee is 100% combed ringspun cotton, and other super-soft shirts in the line are made from a 50/50 cotton and poly blend. They will vary in color because of the printing process.
$62 at Heavy Petal
Norwegian Wood hand-embroidered linen napkins
Angie Johnson’s personalized napkin collection for Norwegian Wood is made from 100% linen and handcrafted in her L.A. studio using a mix of hand embroidery, machine embroidery and a vintage 1930s shell edge hemming machine. Johnson is offering three groupings, including the Hand Embroidered Collection (Mushroom, Lavender and Strawberry), the French Collection (Bisous, Merde and Salut) and the Custom Initials Collection available in any combination of letters. In a hyper-local touch, they come with a “Made in L.A.” tag sewed into the hemline.
$75 to $150 at Norwegian Wood
Miracle Eye Marigold jumpsuit
This cheerful ’70s-inspired jumpsuit is handmade with vintage deadstock stretch-cotton twill by the Latina-owned family business. The fabric then is printed with Miracle Eye’s marigold print and sewn in Chinatown. The brand also sells a variety of pieces including a romper, overalls, sun hat, pants and minidress. Jumpsuit sizes XS to XL are in stock; however, all jumpsuits can be customized to any size. Stop into the family’s bricks-and-mortar store in Chinatown and see the seamstresses at work in the back.
$225 at Miracle Eye
Hereafter Otter pair ornaments
Yvonne Leung says her handmade otter ornaments, which come as a hand-holding pair, carry a special symbolism. “Otters hold hands when they sleep so they don’t drift apart from each other, a perfect fun fact to share with your loved one as an adorable reminder of your sacred bond,” Leung writes on her website. Each ornament is laser-cut using sustainable wood and finished with an Italian cotton ribbon. Also, for $8, you can add a custom message on the back to make the gift feel extra special.
$20 (with free shipping) at Hereafter
Flora Animalia basket apron
Gardeners will appreciate Flora Animalia’s elegant farm-to-table apron, which is sewn right next door to the brand’s bricks-and-mortar shop in Hollywood. Rozae Nichols designed the durable denim unisex basket apron to carry homegrown herbs and produce. The apron has two handy side pockets that accommodate garden tools.
$155 at Flora Animalia
Prices and availability of items in the Gift Guide are subject to change.