A Handmade Tale: Objects of Desire

For the Traveler

Many of Wright and Rede's handcrafted leather pieces are named after explorers. The Magellan Midori Notebook Case ($70) lets you tell the tales of your journeys as it weathers. Over three days, leather craftsman Jordan Lee starts with the unfinished hide of an entire cow, conditions it with a natural wax called dubbin, then cuts and sews his wallets, clutches and notebook covers by hand.

For the Craft Beer Enthusiast

Artsy couple Sean Major and Melissa Klimo-Major dreamed up Burning River Candle Co. while they were waiting for Melissa's Terra Verde Handmade soaps to cure. Beer lover Sean used a stained glass cutter and sandpaper to transform interesting beer bottles into candle holders, such as a 16-ounce Dogfish Head Pearl Jam Twenty candle ($28), with scents including Brown Sugar Clove, and Oak Moth and Amber.

For the Dog Lover

Forest City Portage designer Michael Hudecek has found yet another use for seat belts. His line of messenger bags and totes flourished by using the reclaimed material as straps. Now he's reshaping it into dog leashes ($35) and collars ($25), a collaboration with upstart retailer Kutya Rev Ohio City Dog Haven. Hudecek scours salvage yards, harvesting seat belts, and totes them to his studio by bicycle and trailer.

For the Fashion-forward Friend

An eye-catching $700 necklace in the window of a New York City boutique inspired Leigh Ring to launch her hunt//gather jewelry line in 2012. The bib-style Tanis necklace ($118) is her signature item in a line dominated by bold statement pieces of metalwork and natural beads. Some materials are mined from thrift stores and estate sales, creating pieces that are one-of-a-kind.

For the Local Shopper

It started as a his-and-hers wedding gift — a canvas tote hand-stamped with meat varieties for a carnivore groom and veggies for a health-conscious bride. These carryalls, such as this Italian Ingredients Shopping Tote ($44), are now among handbag designer Liz Sabo's best-sellers — her vision for a do-it-all bag perfect for the farmers market and beyond.

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