We’ve curated 14 holiday gifts by Midwest makers that will make your loved one shout, “Yee-Ha.” Whether it’s chocolate or whiskey, leather goods or wool throws, your thoughtfulness will shine through when you bestow one of these Midwest-made gifts.
Below we give you the full story behind the craftsmen, distillers, growers, seamstress, and artists behind each of these unique, Midwest gifts. By buying and sharing any of these presents, you’ll be keeping your dollars in the Midwest, supporting an artist, and showing how much taste and style you have.
There are links to the merchant’s web pages at the bottom of this post.
Tartan Wool Throw
Cannon River, Minnesota
Give the gift of warmth with this 100% Merino Virgin Wool, washable throw made by Faribault Wool Mill. Now in its fifth generation, the millers make scarfs, throws, and clothing on its “new” mill, which was built in 1892. Choose from numerous patterns and colors. Tartan throw below is priced at $150 and measures 50×66 inches.
Smoking Gun Jerky
You’ll find Smoking Gun Jerky at stores, deer shows, home shows, farmer’s markets, hunting, and gun shows throughout the Midwest. Made by Lincoln, Nebraska, Native, and Entrepreneur Dave Ferguson, the jerky comes in 50 flavors and levels of heat. Dave worked in conjunction with the University of Nebraska Food Science Division to create his liquid jerky marinade, which enables consumers to make their own jerky from wild game or domestic meats.
Order an Applewoord beef or turkey jerky, or Beer for My Horses jerky, for $9 for 2.75 ounces.
BBQ Tailgate Pack
Midwest Made: Marion, Indiana
Grill like a champion with the Midwest Fresh BBQ Grill Pack. Contents include one regular Bacon Jam, one BBQ Mustard, and one Blackstrap BBQ sauce. This is the perfect gift pack for the holidays or any day that involves outdoor grilling or a camping event.
The Bacon Jam is award-winning and guaranteed not to disappoint. Fans recommend trying the bacon jam on burgers, pulled pork, or egg sandwiches.
Whiskey Sampler Pack
Little Rock, Arkansas
Rock Town Distillery claims to be the first distillery of any kind in Arkansas after prohibition ended. It is an artisan craft distillery located in Little Rock, AR, that uses grains from Arkansas to distill award-winning spirits. Rock Town prides itself in being a true grain-to-glass distillery, with spirits carefully made from corn, wheat and rye that are grown within 125 miles of the distillery.
The distiller earned the 2015 US Micro Whiskey of the Year award.
Order its Whiskey Sampler pack for $49.99 or its moonshine or vodka sampler packs for $29.99 plus tax.
Shinola Bear & Son Pocket Knife
Daniel Boone carried one and so can you or your hard-to-buy-for family member. The midsize lock back pocket knife is the perfect tool for a multitude of everyday needs. Features a 440 stainless steel blade, white smooth bone handle, and nickel silver bolsters. This $75 pocket knife is timeless, useful, and can be engraved for an extra $10.
Large Barrel Moon Shield Vase
Rapid City, South Dakota
Sioux Pottery is hand-crafted by Native American Sioux Indian Artists. The Paha Sapa (Black Hills) provided shelter, food and sustenance for the Indian Tribes of the Great Sioux Nation and continues to yield the red clay they use to make their stunning pottery. Check out their lamps, vases, bowls and more. You can order the Moon Shield Vase shown below for $54.
Berber Fleece Lined Slippers
If you can’t leave the house because of the weather or covid, you might as well be a couch potato in style and comfort. These Allen mocassins come in supple cinnamon suede with whip-stitching detail around the toe, and wrap-around laces with a thin leather bow for a custom fit for $49.95.
Ladies love the Women’s Terry Cloth Clog Slipper for $69.95.
Wood Scented Arotags
Arotags are a non-toxic biodegradable air freshener kits with enough fragrance to fill your home, office or car for 365 days. The wood comes from Middlefield, OH, and the fragrance from Wilmington, OH. Choose one shaped like the state of Ohio, the USA, or other options. Choose from Beach Bum, Backwoods Birch, Cool Breeze (a masculine scent) or Vanilla Lavender scents for $24.
NOTE: Scroll to bottom of post for links to all merchandise made by Midwest Makers.
Cowhide Faux Leather Earrings
Nothing says MIdwestern like cowhide or leather. Gift these fashion-forward, faux leather earrings to the cowgirl in your life. Only $10 on Etsy.
Classic Hobo Bag
Johnson County, Iowa
This beautiful deep blue, lined leather bag with gold feet is hand stitched and made in Iowa. The Iowa artist, Rebecca, left the insurance business in 2014 to pursue her passion for making beautiful things This bag is $250 but she has many smaller options for under $100.
Allow 2-4 weeks for your custom order.
Bootleg Bourban Balls
Midwest Made: Kansas City, Missouri
These famously, naughty holiday treats were made by Grandmas everywhere. The fact that they were forbidden to Lisa Fitch, founder of Bootleg Bourbon Balls, only made her more determined to hunt them down and indulge. Now she makes them in small batches to ensure freshness for those who gift these naughty delights. Available starting at $21.95 for six for the Kansas City Spirited Sampler.
Wild Game Sausage 4 Pack Sampler
Midwest Made: North Dakota
Bring out the wildness of your most loved carnivore by giving him or her 6 ounces each of elk, venison, bison, and wild boar sausage. This wild game sampler is a bestseller and loved by any hunting aficionado. Just $29.95. Free shipping with orders more than $99.
Dive Bar Shirt Club
Made in the USA
I couldn’t resist throwing in this member club as a gift idea for your corner bar-loving family or friends. I’m a Dive Bar Shirt Club member and love getting a unique dive bar shirt with a postcard about the bars owners, location and background each month.
Once a shirt is mailed to a member, it’s retired so you’ll be gifting a rare treasure while supporting dive bars across America. Membership is $23 per month, including postage, and can be canceled at any time.
Mushrooms of the Midwest
Mushroom hunting in the Midwest is a childhood passage. The hunt is almost as fun as the feast that follows. The taste of a floured, morel that is pan-seared to a cripsy perfection, and the buttery, earthy taste leaves you hungry hunting for more each April.
The picture-rich book published by the University of Illinois Press combines a general interest in mushrooming with serious scholarship. Mushrooms of the Midwest describes and illustrates over five hundred of the region’s mushroom species.
Gift a copy to a culinary intrigued family member for $30.75. Spend the winter admiring each of the 440 pages.
Which one of these 14 gifts by Midwest makers are you ordering? We’d love to hear in the comments section below.
Midwest Gift Item Links:
- Tartan Wool Throw
- Smoking Gun Jerky
- BBQ Tailgate Sample Pack
- Rock Creek Whiskey Sample Box
- BeaSon Pocket Knife
- Hand-Crafted Sioux Pottery
- Fleece Lined Slippers
- Wooden Arotags Backwoods Birch Air Freshener
- Cow Hide Faux Leather Earrings
- Classic Hobo Bag
- Bootleg Bourbon Balls
- Wild Game Sausage Sampler
- Dive Bar Shirt Club Membership
- Mushrooms of the Midwest
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