One-of-a-kind gifts; Looking for something different to give this holiday season? Worcester Living visits five places where you can find unusual gifts, many made by local artisans.


Craftworks, founded in 1979, is one of the oldest artisan cooperatives in New England. The shop displays the work of more than 75 regional artisans. Items for sale include stained glass, jewelry, woven and knitted items, quilts, home accessories, pottery and more. All work must be reviewed by members of the cooperative in order to be included in the shop.


3 Pierce St., Northboro

Open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursdays, and noon to 4 p.m. Sundays

(508) 393-9435

Mightier than the sword

This rosewood desk pen is made by Art Thompson of Inglis, Fla. $60.

Monkey see, monkey do good

Lollipop Tree Monkey bread mixes can be used for breakfast goodies or as desserts. $6.50 to $8, with a portion of the sales going to support the Heifer Project.

For your laptop

Laptop bags by Ande Lockwood of Northboro are made from recycled sweaters in various sizes. Prices range from $25 to $35.

Mix it up

Cheryl Allen of Rutland made this set of three nesting bowls. The pieces are lead-free and safe in the dishwasher, microwave and oven. $43.

Tactile toys

Baby blocks are made with various fabrics. Some have plastic pockets for pictures. $6.95 to $8.98.

Lavender luxury

Sweet Auburn Soaps offers a variety of vegetable-based soaps by Jeff Dougherty and Jim Caffery of Watertown. $5.50 each, with gift sets ranging from $11.50 to $24.

The Bella Luce Art Cafe, in the renovated Whitin Mill Complex at Alternatives Unlimited Inc., includes a gallery, working studios, classrooms and a gift shop. The gift shop supports regional artists and offers high quality items including jewelry, pottery, textiles, handbags, quilts, paintings, photographs and cards. The shop is open during most Whitin Mill Complex events, which include theater programs, exhibits, workshops and more.

Bella Luce Art Cafe and Gift Shop

34 Douglas Road, Northbridge

Holiday hours: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays in November and December; otherwise by chance or appointment, and during most events at the Whitin Mill Complex. See the website for event information.

(508) 234-1234


A hand-blown glass chess set by Tom Kies of Auburn. $250.

Amusing muses

Jennifer Niles of Paxton creates whimsical cards and magnets inspired by her cats, PK and Nellie, and other cheerful subjects. Cards, $3; magnets, $3.25.

Bigger than a breadbox?

Woodworker Steve Butler of Mendon crafts one-of-a-kind tables using...

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