For our first Christmas together, I decided I wanted to get Grant a couple of custom-made stuffed animals from Perfect Children. (We had seen their stuff on display at Bumbershoot, but we weren’t in the mood to buy anything and haul it around at the time.) I tracked their store down on Etsy, and asked the owner if he could create a couple of custom animals based on a few of the traits we most liked.Freaver

Zebra DalmatianAnd voilĂ  our Zebra Dalmatian and our Freaver! They may not be the most “standard” stuffed animals ever, but we love ’em (and we find that guests invariably either love them or are afraid of them.)

But there’s so much more to custom orders on Etsy. I just recently discovered Etsy’s Alchemy section, and it’s truly an epiphany for me. In a nutshell, you can create a custom “ticket” for an item you’d like to wish into existence, and you name a potential price. Crafty people bid on the opportunity to create the item for you, and there’s room for negotiation as far as payment terms, price, and other details.

This is THE BEST THING EVER. I’m so ridiculously picky and persnickety, and I always wish certain things into existence and am then continually dissatisfied with not being able to have them. But now, I can commission them!

I’m already having someone make me a custom hat/scarf/gloves set, which should be ready in time for this winter. Next up is a chalkboard/message board to go by our front door. And who knows what else we may commission? I LOVE being able to get stuff custom made — this is a picky shopper’s dream come true!