What is Ideal?

Ideal is a carefully curated shop composed of unique, design-conscious gifts and accessories. The objects we choose are creative, authentic, and refined. They are inspired by the vision of talented artists and designers from around the world.

Our store was formed with our own ideal in mind: that shopping should always be a personal and thoughtful experience.

Enjoy our blog and please come visit our shop in beautiful, downtown Bellingham. If you can't make it in, we take orders over the phone - just call (360-752-5522) or e-mail info@anidealshop.com.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Good Design for $10 or Less!

Happy December! Did you know we have dozens of well-designed, creative, and interesting gift ideas for $10 or less? These great picks will provide enjoyment long after the holiday decorations have been put away. Here are some ideas for stockings and beyond...
Worldwide Co origami and bobble-head kits make creative fun for kids and adults alike. The origami sets come with 100 sheets of paper and a 28-page instruction booklet. Bobble-head kits include 16 full color sheets plus detailed instructions.

Paper Robot Bobble-Head Kit, $10

5 Minute Origami Set, $10
Hungry Animal Stencil Set, $7

If you loved the boxed stencil sets we had last year from Worldwide Co, we have a few of those back in stock as well  - Facebox, Zoobox, Hypotrochoid (like a mini-Spirograph), and Fingerprint Art Box as well as the Hungry Animals set pictured above.

Traditional coloring books can sometimes be a drag, having to stay inside the lines and all that. Not so with Roz Streeten's Rosie Flo and Johnny Joe Coloring Books. Now your budding artist can customize the costumes and scenes with characters of their choosing.    

Rosie Flo Coloring Book, $8.99

Johnny Joe Coloring Book, $8.99
Sample Pages of Rosie Flo

Sunprints are popular with both scientific and artistic types. Place any object on the paper (leaves, flowers, small toys), briefly expose to sunlight, rinse with water and watch intriguing compositions appear in shades of blue. As the set comes with 12 sheets of paper, you have many opportunities to experiment. 
Sunprint Kit, $6

Nippon Work Gloves from Japan protect your hands in style while gardening, tinkering, or heavy lifting.  We have several vivid patterns to choose from.
Nippon Work Gloves, $6

 These Japanese Wooden Tops are like lovely little sculptures, and spin really well. Also from Japan, Kamenoko Tawashi scrubber, made of 100% natural palm fibers. Designed in 1907 and still widely used, this scrubber has stood the test of time. Perfect for cleaning root vegetables, washing pots and pans, and more.

Wooden Tops, $8 each
Tawashi Scrubber, $8

The original Audubon Bird Call makes a sweet little gift that we've found appeals to everyone from baby to grandpa. Handmade in New England by the Eddy family for over fifty years, the bird call's sound is produced by twisting the cast zinc plug against the wooden cylinder. You'll be surprised by the wide range of chirps and tweets this classic call produces.
Audubon Bird Call, $8

These handy Flip and Tumble bags have long been a shop favorite because they tuck so compactly into their own little pocket. Stash a present inside the bag and the recipient will be grateful for "wrapping paper" they don't need to recycle.
Flip and Tumble Bags, $10 each

Field Notes are the perfect notebook to have on hand for making lists or when creative inspiration strikes. Made in the USA, these slim little books have quite a following. We have the original 3-packs (one of each notebook with ruled, graph, and blank pages) or the newest limited edition set - The Northerly Edition - which features a coated, embossed cover and interior pages of light blue/grey with white grid.
Set of Three Field Notes, $10

Unwind the colorful crepe paper ribbon on these Holiday Surprise Balls to discover five fun holiday trinkets hidden between the festive layers. These make great table favors, as well. Made in Oregon.
Holiday Surprise Ball, $10 each

Hooray! A new sweet treat from Chocolate Editions! Salted Dark Chocolate Bars from Chocolate Editions by Mary and Matt. As always, these two chocolatiers have a very visual approach to their work and we love the beautiful marbleized paper on these bars almost as much as the tasty chocolate inside. Handmade in Brooklyn, NY.
Salted Dark Bar (1.5 oz), $5

The iStand is like a handy kickstand for your iPod or iPhone. Suction this to the back and prop it up to watch a video hands-free. Available in orange, green, and black.
iStand, $6

These clever X-Shaped Rubber Bands from Museum of Modern Art go far beyond the humble bands you may be using. These not only help organize your desk, but also work beautifully to wrap a small box. Each set contains an assortment of four different colors and sizes.
Rubber X-Bands, $6 for set of 16

Sandy Chilewich's pressed vinyl Dahlia Circles not only function as a stylish placemat, they also look festive under a centerpiece or vase on an entry table. Best part of all...simply wipe clean.
Chilewich Dahlia Round Placemat, $8

Alchemy Goods business card holder made from upcycled bicycle innertubes is great for cards and also works as a mini-wallet. 99% recycled material and made in Seattle.
Alchemy Goods Business Card Holder, $10

Also from Alchemy, set of two zipper pulls made from pressure valves:
Alchemy Goods Zipper Pulls, set of two $8

Marimekko paper napkins are available in several patterns and sizes. $5.25 for cocktail size; $6.75 for dinner size.These are perfect hostess gifts and also fit nicely in a stocking.
Marimekko Paper Napkins, $5.25 or $6.75

We are stocked up on Japanese "mt" washi masking tape in many different patterns. Great for wrapping packages, sealing envelopes, and any creative project. 
Japanese masking tape, set of two rolls $9

There you have over 20 ideas for $10 or under and that's not all - we also have a selection of stocking-worthy children's books for less than $10. Stop by for a look!

We'll be in touch again soon with more gift ideas!




  1. Love the dahlia placemats!! What colors do you have?

  2. Hi! We have silver, gold, bronze, and gunmetal grey. They are really great...