Holiday Gift Guide – Seattle

Next up in our series of local holiday gift guides is our Pacific NW neighbor, Seattle! All friendly rivalries aside, we have a lot of love for Seattle—from its iconic skyline to Pike Place Market (both great photo opportunities for your next print on bamboo). Here’s a list of some of our favorite Seattle stores to shop this holiday season. ppmxmas-seattlebyfoot Planet Happy Toys Looking for a safe, eco-friendly toy for your youngster? Look no further than Planet Happy Toys. Friendly service and a commitment to providing the highest-quality toys make this toy store stand out from the crowd. (It’s also a great place to host a birthday party!) NuBe Green NuBe Green’s mission is to connect people with the sources of the goods they buy, and sells a variety of products that are entirely sourced within the United States. Sustainable home wares, handmade furniture, clothing, jewelry, and gifts for kids are but a sampling of their eco-conscious inventory. Market Street Shoes Located in Seattle’s hip, northwestern neighborhood of Ballard, the independently-owned Market Street Shoes offers footwear and apparel suited for life’s everyday adventures. If it’s a new pair of kicks you’re after, check them out! seattle xmas market SPUN Started in 2007, SPUN offers eco-friendly clothing that “fits, flatters, and is fashionable.” Each piece of clothing is made in the United States, upholding owner/designer Sara Seumae’s original vision of creating high-quality, eco-conscious clothing locally. REI Okay, so lots of cities have REI—but do they have an REI store with a 65-foot climbing wall inside? Seattle’s huge REI is more than just a store, it’s an experience. Even just taking someone to the store would be an excellent gift. :)

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Plywerk’s Top 5 Holiday Markets

We love the holidays here at Plywerk, and the season isn’t complete with a great holiday market. If you’re lucky enough to live in Portland, Chicago, New York, Seattle, or San Francisco, then you’ll want to check out these holiday markets for your gift shopping. If you’re lucky enough to live somewhere else, I’m sure there’s something great going on there, too! (We had to stop somewhere, after all.)

chicago xmas market

In our hometown of Portland, OR, pay a visit to Christmas in the Garden at Oregon Garden. Featuring a traditional German-style Christmas market, over 300,000 christmas lights on display, and plenty of food, it has something for everyone and is a great photo opportunity! (And those photos would look great mounted on a Plywerk custom picture frame!)

Chicago’s Christkindlmarket is another traditional German Christmas market. Featuring food, holiday entertainment, and gifts for people of all ages, Christkindlmarket has become a staple holiday tradition in Chicago as the city’s largest outdoor winter market.


In New York, the Winter Flea and Holiday Market comes to Brooklyn Flea in Crown Heights from November through March. Featuring over 125 vendors in 30,000+ sq. feet of space, it is the best holiday flea market around.

Seattle’s Pacific Place is the city’s premier destination for shopping, dining, and entertainment. All through the month of December they have holiday oriented events, including visits by none other than Santa himself, who will look great on your next Plywerk order. :)

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DIY Advent Calendar Ideas

Sure, we may be a little late to the Advent party, but if you start an Advent calendar now, that means you get to open, like, 10 presents on the first day! So we’ve come up with some ideas on making your own DIY advent calendar.



As far as choosing the physical structure of your calendar, there are a ton of ideas out there, but we think anything that incorporates your personal photos is a great place to start. Use a hanging postcard holder, collage photo frame, or other picture holder that lets you slide images in, then fill it with your favorite photos. Next, write or print a series of numbered cards to slide in on top of the photos. Each day, remove a card to reveal the photo, along with a written description of that day’s gift on the back of the card. At the end of the season, feel free to repurpose the photos in a Plywerk DIY photo frame, like Maggie!

Now here’s the fun part, the actual gifts.

While Advent calendars are especially enjoyable for children, there’s no reason why you can’t do a more grown-up oriented version for those of you who may be celebrating without kids at home this year. Here’s some ideas that could work in each category.



For kids:

  • A trip to Zoo Lights at the Oregon Zoo (or your own local zoo)
  • Going to Powell’s Books (or your hometown local bookstore of choice)
  • A day of eating dessert first
  • Bake cookies as a family
  • Go sledding
  • A Plywerk Mini Tree Ornament

For grown-ups:

  • A brewery tour
  • A wine tasting
  • Going to a different section of Powell’s Books
  • Sleeping in
  • Have a buy-a-couple-pints-of-ice-cream-and-binge-watch-your-favorite-shows-on-Netflix day.
  • Go to the gym


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Remember Remember the 15th of December

Attention all Plywerk shoppers! We are fast approaching the order deadlines to be able to receive your Plywerk custom picture frame gifts in time for Christmas. We’ve used what magic we could to push the date back as far as possible, but we can only alter the spacetime continuum so much.

last chance shipping dates

December 15th

For all bamboo and maple panels, whether blank or with custom photo mounting, this is the last date to place your order with standard shipping to ensure it arrives in time.

December 16th

Plywerk magicians have managed to push back the date for expedited shipping of custom prints on Plywerk and blank panels. This was completed at great cost, and thus will be slightly more expensive than standard shipping.

December 17th

Due to the smaller folds in spacetime required for our Mini stocking stuffers, you can order them with standard shipping right up until this date, or the 18th with expedited shipping at additional cost. All Portland pickup orders can also be placed up to the 17th.

December 18th

Maggie and Stanley have several unique properties which enable them to ship faster than other Plywerk photo mounting products. Order them by this date to ensure delivery in time for Christmas.

For our Canadian customers, unfortunately the frigid air of the Great White North wreaked havoc on our time-magic, so we are no longer able to guarantee shipping to Canada in time for Christmas.

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A Plywerk Christmas Carol

Emptywallser Scrooge (no relation) was an old curmudgeon who lived in gigantic mansion with—you guessed it—empty walls. The walls were painted a color so boring, calling it beige would be an overstatement. It was a color that Emptywallser felt externalized his personality (which was correct). Above a fireplace that had never been lit, sat a mantle that showcased nothing at all, save for a fine layer of dust. Try as they might, not even Emptywallser’s family could get him to place a single family photo there, and he overtly refused to hang his grandchildren’s artwork anywhere in the house—not even on the refrigerator (which, coincidentally, was completely empty).

2014 Stanley Winter

Each year on Christmas, the family members would return to Emptywallser’s mansion to attempt to breathe some life into the old place. Emptywallser grew so annoyed at this that the following December he had all of his furniture removed and destroyed. His family would have to stay away, as there was nowhere for them to sit, eat, or sleep. But unbeknownst to Emptywallser, he would not be spending the holiday season alone.

No sooner had the last piece of furniture been thrown out and burnt to a crisp, when there came a faint knock on the door. Furious that someone would dare interrupt his empty solitude, Emptywallser huffed and stomped his way to the door and thrust it open with exaggerated effort. There was no one there.


“Who goes there?” he demanded, his breath visible in the cold December air. There was no response. As he went to close the door, he noticed a small, cardboard box that was obviously sourced from surplus supplies. Curious, he took the box inside where he set it on his empty counter and opened it cautiously. Inside, he found a bright red ribbon wrapped around a layer of eco-conscious Geami. “Who would send me something in this green alternative to bubblewrap?” he pondered aloud.

Suddenly, three little photo display products bounded out of the packaging and stood upon the counter. One, a dark walnut picture stand, carried an old photo of Emptywallser’s deceased parents. It stepped forward and said, “I am the custom picture display stand of Christmas past. And my name is Stanley.”

“My word…” said Emptywallser.

Then a lighter-colored bamboo frame stepped forward. (Or scooted forward? However a picture frame would move, it did that.) Held in place by four obviously crazy-strong magnets, this frame displayed a picture of Emptywallser’s siblings and nieces and nephews. “I’m Maggie, the custom do-it-yourself photo frame of Christmas present.”

Finally, a small, square bamboo block revealed itself and said, “I’m Mini, the smallest Plywerk, and the photo display panel of Christmas future.” Mounted to Mini’s petite frame was a photo of a child Emptywallser had never seen before—his newborn granddaughter.

A single tear formed in Emptywallser’s eye. He picked up the old rotary-dial phone and called up his entire family to invite them back for Christmas. Then he picked up the rotary-dial computer and visited Plywerk’s online store, where he discovered a world full of beautiful, handmade custom picture frames that would look perfect on his empty walls.

The family arrived Christmas morning and were awed by the beautiful pictures and artwork that now covered Emptywallser’s mansion. He had even rebuilt a large couch from the scraps of his old thrown-out furniture, so inspired was he by Plywerk’s “more than just green” attitude. And Emptywallser himself could not have been happier, especially now that he had the chance to meet his youngest grandchild. As the family sat down by the fireplace, which for the first time burned with gentle warmth, the Plywerks of Christmases past, present, and future looked on from the freshly-dusted mantle.

Plywerk, saving the holidays one picture at a time.

This holiday season, make your memories matter by sharing them with your family and friends. A great picture on a beautiful display can warm even the coldest of hearts.

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