Good Giving: 40 Under $40


Welcome to the 2011 Well Spent holiday gift guide. This year, I set out to gather an assortment of high-quality, low-cost goods that, though small enough to fit in a stocking, are a bit more enduring and useful than your typical stuffers. Most of the items are made in the US, and all of them are under $40 (not including shipping). Here’s to a healthy and sane holiday season.




Sierra Lace Extra Rugged Boot Laces
Braided 1000D Cordura nylon
Cut to fit
Guaranteed to “outlast your boots”
Made in USA
Best Price: $4.99 at Hero’s Welcome




Prospector Co. Tester Vials Kit
No “chemical additives, colorings and unnatural preservatives”
Samples include: K.C. Atwood Aftershave Splash, Peary & Henson Aftershave Splash, Burroughs Beard Oil and Miss Annie Jones Shaving Oil
Crafted in small batches in the USA
Best Price: $16.00 at Prospector Co.




Russian Criminal Tattoo Encyclopaedias
Publisher’s description: “The photographs, drawings and texts published in this book are part of a collection of more than 3,000 tattoos accumulated over a lifetime by prison attendant Danzig Baldaev. Tattoos were his gateway into a secret world in which he acted as ethnographer, recording the rituals of a closed society. The icons and tribal languages he documented are artful, distasteful, sexually explicit and sometimes just strange, reflecting as they do the lives and traditions of Russian convicts.”
Best Price: $17.99 and up at The Book Depository




Skinny Ties Cotton Knit Ties
Recycled cotton / acrylic blend
2.5″ width
Made in USA
Best Price: $20.00 at Skinny Ties




GMP Canvas Bushel Bag
Canvas body
Riveted nylon straps
Made in Pennsylvania
Best Price: $20.00 at Craft Work Tools




Stormy Kromer Original Wool Cap
80% recycled wool / 20% nylon outer
100% cotton lining
Made in Michigan
Best Price: $34.99 at Stormy Kromer




Turkish Peshtamals
100% Turkish cotton
Vegetable dyes
Handwoven in Turkey
Can be used as towels, scarves, wraps, shawls, etc.
Best Price: $8.00 and up at My Turkish Market. Additional, more expensive styles can be found at Bath Style.




Carolina Lined Leather Work Gloves
Genuine cowhide outer
Three different liner options (thermal, Thinsulate and pile)
Made in North Carolina
Best Price: $15.80 and up at Carolina Glove Co.




New York Hat Co. Camp Caps
Various materials, including wool, nylon and denim
Made in New York
Best Price: $21.00 and up at New York Hat Co.




Infusion Pencil Pouches
Repurposed fabric and leather outer
Organic cotton / hemp denim liner
Made in Oregon
Best Price: $25.00 and up at Infusion




Paddywax Grove Collection Candles
Eco soy wax
All-natural fragrance
Reusable ceramic vessel
Made in Georgia
Best Price: $28.00 at ZGO




Tagsmith Flat Wallet
Full-grain, domestically-sourced, vegetable-tanned leather
Handcrafted in California
Best Price: $30.00 at Tagsmith




O’Connell’s Surcingle Belts
Non-stretch wool surcingle fabric
Polished brass buckle
1.25″ width
Made in USA
Best Price: $39.95 at O’Connell’s




Klein Tools Lightweight Tool Belt
Natural leather
Nickel hardware
Made in USA
Best Price: $11.99 at Home Network Supply




Southwest Incense & Burner
All natural ingredients
Handcrafted in Colorado
Best Price: $12.95 and up for the burners, $6.95 for the incense at Southwest Incense




Donegal Socks
100% wool
Made in Ireland
Best Price: $17.99 at Biddy Murphy




QP Collections Handmade Neckties
Various materials, including denim, canvas, and flannel
2.2″ width
Hand-sewn in Utah
Best Price: $20.00 and up at QP Collections




Portland General Store 8 Scent Sampler
Made from “simple, natural ingredients using time-tested methods”
Hand-mixed, poured and labeled in Maine
Best Price: $32.00 at Portland General Store




Summit Creek Dry Goods Card Case 05 Wallet
Vegetable-tanned cowhide
Six color options
Handmade in Utah
Best Price: $38.00 at Summit Creek Dry Goods




Rocky Top Soap Shop Soap Sets
Soaps are “unscented, cold processed, and all-natural”
Hand-mixed, cut and labeled in Maine
Best Price: $16.00 and up at Rocky Top Soap Shop




Industry of All Nations Faja Belts
100% cotton
Fairly made in Argentina
Best Price: $19.00 at Industry of All Nations




Teroforma Whisky Stones
Manufacturer’s description: “Ideal for chilling your favorite spirit without diluting its flavor”
Milled in Vermont by the oldest soapstone workshop in the US
Set includes 9 stones and 1 muslin storage bag
Best Price: $19.50 at Amazon




Cyclepedia
Publisher’s description: “An homage to the beauty of the bike, Cyclepedia showcases the innovations and legacies of bicycle design over the past century. Captivating photographs, detailed component lists, and anecdotal information illuminate the details that make each bicycle unique.”
Best Price: $22.79 at Overstock.com




Snap ‘n’ Wear Vests
100% nylon outer
Dacron Hollofil insulation
Made in New York
Size down
Best Price: $26.99 and up at Army Navy USA




Merkur Long Handle Double Safety Razor
Chrome-plated steel
Made in Germany
Includes 10 blades
Best Price: $33.51 at Amazon




TUCH iPhone 4 Sleeve
Single piece of vegetable-tanned cowhide, laser cut and folded
Made in Washington
Best Price: $40.00 at TUCH




Artex Knitting Mills Knit Caps
Various materials, including wool and acrylic
Made in USA
Best Price: $7.00 and up at Amazon




Seattle Sundries Shave Soaps
Made using “only natural ingredients with no synthetic fragrances or dyes”
Hand-mixed, cut and packaged in Washington
Best Price: $9.50 at Seattle Sundries




Weck Lunch Kit
Glass, stainless steel and rubber
Made in Germany
Best Price: $12.00 at Heath




Paukstukai Double Sided Bow Ties
Various materials, including linen, cotton, and wool
Double sided = two ties in one
Handmade in Lithuania
Best Price: $21.00 at Paukstukai




Bambu Adjust-a-Bowl
Manufacturer’s description: “Shape it, fold it, or even roll its edges to modify its size for whatever you put in it”
Made in the USA from sustainably harvested cork
Best Price: $33.00 and up at Bambu




Portel Felt iPhone Sleeve
Wool felt, leather and brass
Made in Estonia
Best Price: $34.00 at Portel




PocketToolX PIRANHA Pocket Tool
Heat-treated, 420 stainless steel
Made in USA
Best Price: $35.00 at PocketToolX




Polar Extreme Merino Socks
71% merino wool / 21% nylon / 7% polyester / 1% Lycra
Made in USA
Best Price: 3 for $9.99 at Go Athletic Apparel




SAS Survival Handbook
Publisher’s description: “The internationally bestselling SAS Survival Handbook is the definitive resource for all campers, hikers, and outdoor adventurers. From basic campcraft and navigation to fear management and strategies for coping with any type of disaster, this complete course includes: being prepared, making camp, food, first aid and disaster survival.”
Best Price: $13.49 at Go Hastings




Pocket Square Clothing Pocket Squares
Various materials, including cotton and wool
Made in California
Best Price: $15.00 at Pocket Square Clothing




Organic Bamboo Grow Pots
Certified organic herbs and soil
Handmade bamboo pot
Lacquered lid / saucer
Made in USA
Best Price: $17.00 at Blue Stone Garden




Hatha Krama Scarves
Made from materials that are “wildcrafted, cultivated through sustainable methods, or are taken from post-consumer recycled natural resources”
Dyed using natural colorants derived from indigenous trees and shrubs
Woven, cut and sewn Thailand
Best Price: $25.00 and up at Hatha Krama




Chii Designs Pencil Case
Vegetable-tanned cowhide
Hand stitched in England
Best Price: $37.00 at Chii Designs




Handcrafted Tree Swing
Yellow Pine wood
Made in North Carolina
Best Price: $39.00 and up at Deron and Helen’s Favorites