While some Americans have prepared for next week’s election by obsessively following the news or canvassing neighborhoods, a small minority has poured that energy into a more quirkily patriotic pastime: crafting!

Etsy, the online craft store, has in recent years become a clearinghouse for homemade political paraphernalia. During the 2016 election, meme-able phrases from debates between Hillary Clinton and Donald J. Trump were transformed into T-shirts within hours. In the run-up to the midterms, some new candidates have received the Etsy treatment, including prominent Democrats like Beto O’Rourke and Andrew Gillum. But the 2016 heavyweights, including President Trump, continue to dominate the site. Mr. Trump’s image adorns thousands of shirts, hats and knickknacks created by both supporters and detractors.

Below, we’ve highlighted a selection of political merchandise available on the site.


These candles were created by Camillo Melchiorre, a 39-year-old Philadelphian who has been closely following Mr. O’Rourke’s campaign to represent Texas in the Senate.

Several Texans have acquired the candles, including Loren Raun, a professor of environmental statistics at Rice University in Houston, who received one as a gift. She has yet to light the candle, though, citing superstition.

“I think it’ll be on the actual Election Day,” she said. “Maybe I’ll have a ceremony, I don’t know.”

Eighteen people have bought the candles since he started selling them two weeks ago, Mr. Melchiorre said. By contrast, he’s sold more than 200 candles dedicated to one of the few Republicans in his collection: Robert Mueller.


When she has free time, Adele Rutherford, 57, drives around Pittsburgh, searching for houses with roofers atop them. She negotiates with them for the raw slate they remove from the roofs, and takes the material home to Shaler, Penn., about six miles north of the city. She cuts the slate, cleans it, paints it and sells it. She has been doing this for about 20 years, and during the 2016 election, she turned her talents to Trump ornaments.

“When I first started selling them, the little ladies would say, ‘Oh put that in a bag please,’ as if they were buying condoms,” Ms. Rutherford said. “Now, last week I did a craft show and people are saying, ‘Hey, where are those Trump things, I want five of them.’ People are becoming much less worried about what their friends think.”

Most of the merchandise on Etsy that is dedicated to Mr. Trump includes an image of his face, but Ms. Rutherford said her ornaments were a “nontoxic” solution to people who were less enthusiastic about the president.

“Even if people hate Trump, you can’t hate a snowman,” she said.

Ms. Rutherford has been to three of the president’s rallies and said she had sold “probably hundreds” of the ornaments, mostly offline.


When Senator Mazie Hirono of Hawaii spoke out about the sexual assault allegations against Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh, Jen Wilde was listening. Ms. Wilde, a 31-year-old Australian artist who lives in New York City, posts political drawings on Instagram and sells them as downloadable PDFs on Etsy.

“Rage inspires most of my work,” she said in an email. “There’s a lot of valid anger being felt by women, people of color, queer folks and other marginalized communities.”

Ms. Wilde, of course, cannot vote for Ms. Hirono, but she said she has been following her re-election campaign through social media. Ms. Wilde said the print had not sold well on Etsy but had attracted outsize attention on Instagram.

“I know the other thing doesn’t work,” she said.

Print of Tim Kaine with octopus on his head | $25

Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia is another 2016 holdover who finds himself running again in 2018, and, like for Mr. Cruz, many of the items dedicated to him date to that election.

Jonathan Crow, a programmer in Silicon Valley, started drawing all the vice presidents with octopuses on their heads when he was laid off in 2013. He thought the goofiness of the animal was a good match for the goofiness of the role, which he described as “the ultimate dead-end job.”

Expecting that Mrs. Clinton would win the presidency, Mr. Crow planned to release this portrait of her running mate on election night. Of course, it was not to be. Still, Mr. Crow said, he has sold 11 of the prints since, to “people who wanted to live in an alternate universe where he became vice president.”