Shops with eclectic ornaments
Renegade Handmade The mother of DIY fests, Renegade Craft Fair, spawned this Wicker Park storefront, which features quirky handmade wares by more than 100 artists. Bikes, birds and mustaches abound in the form of hand puppets and key hooks—part of the small-goods inventory that could double as makeshift ornaments with some hanging wire. Among those actually intended as Christmas-tree ornaments, we’re partial to the Land-Rich mini terrariums. $10–$14 each. 1924 W Division St (773-227-2707).
Brimfield Owner Julie Fernstrom has described her place as “Ralph Lauren meets Paris flea market,” and between the plethora of plaid blankets, vintage street signs and antlers, we can see why. Leave it to this skilled scavenger to find hundreds of vintage ornaments, mostly from the ’50s and ’60s (felt Santas from Japan, brass kittens, tacky Women’s Club creations), along with a handful of Victorian artifacts. $4–$34 each. 5219 N Clark St (773-271-3501).
Rudy’s Roundup Screen-printed tote bags, old-school candies and paint-by-number kits are some of the funky selections at this general store. The ornament selection is equally kitschy and unpredictable—from hand-knit sumo wrestlers to resin cupcakes and hand-painted gourds. $7–$24 each. 1410 N Milwaukee Ave (773-486-6400).
The Sweden Shop Everything from Marimekko fabrics to instructional craft books to kitchen utensils fills this all-things-Swedish Northwest Side shop. Show off your Scandinavian know-how by hanging wood, ceramic and felted ornaments in the shape of hearts, apples, gnomes and tomte (Swedish Santa). $4–$20 each. 3304 W Foster Ave (773-478-0327).
Greenheart Shop Ecofriendly and fair trade aren’t just buzzwords at this nonprofit retail shop; they’re prerequisite qualities for everything in stock—from wood pencil sharpeners to colorful bibs. Artisan-made ornaments, such as felt birds from Tibet, beaded jungle animals from India and hand-blown glass from Central and South America are no exception. $10–$15 each. 1911 W Division St (312-264-1625).