Shop Etsy

Redesigning Alice: Etsy and the British Library

Apr 4, 2015

by Sarah Hewett handmade and vintage goods

Although she doesn’t look it, Alice (famed for her adventures in Wonderland) turned 150 years old this year and we’re celebrating with a design competition for Etsy sellers in the UK.

2015 marks the 150th anniversary of eternally youthful Alice! One of the British Library’s prized possessions is the original manuscript – now that they have digitised it, people around the world can enjoy ‘Alice’s Adventures Under Ground’ online. The hand drawn illustrations penned by Charles Dodgson (AKA Lewis Carroll) are a wealth of creative inspiration.

The British Library and Etsy UK are working in partnership to see how contemporary designers are inspired by the 150 year old story. Selected makers will win the chance to stock their products in the British Library Shop, coinciding with their Alice exhibition in Autumn 2015 (the flagship London building receives 1.6 million visitors per year). Already stocking a popular Alice range (including Etsy seller, Eleanor Stuart) the Shop is seeking some new, innovative designs to help bring it to life.

Lewis Carroll's original Alice book

The British Library


We’re asking designer-makers to create gift products in response to Alice’s Adventures Under Ground by Lewis Carroll (or submit existing Alice-inspired products). Think new interpretations of the themes and characters and fresh approaches to using the existing illustrations.

There’s a humdinger of a prize up for grabs! As well as a contract with the British Library Shop, the selected designer-makers will receive hands-on professional development support from the award-winning Business & IP Centre (including business workshops and access to the Library’s business and intellectual property collections).

Quirky gifts for the curious and literary-minded, inspired by the British Library’s treasures and exhibitions.’ – British Library Shop mission

The selection panel will include: Sarah Hewett (Etsy UK); Frances Taylor (Marketing Manager at the British Library); retail experts, Emma Mawston (Head of Design Interiors at Liberty) and Maxine Hellenkamp (Buyer and Visual Merchandiser at the British Library); and creative entrepreneur, Michelle Mason.

See full application details and submit form below…

Redesigning Alice: Etsy and the British Library

Eleanor Stuart


Am I eligible for the Redesigning Alice competition?
Designer-makers must:

  • Design and make gift products in any craft/design discipline. These could be existing products that fit the bill or new products developed especially.
  • Have an active Etsy shop (Don’t worry if you haven’t opened your shop yet! You can get 20 FREE listings when you open your shop for this opportunity. See details below…)
  • Be based in the United Kingdom.
  • Be over 18 years of age.
  • Submit  a product design that is ‘inspired’ by the manuscript.
  • Not enter an Alice-inspired product that is already stocked in the British Library Shop.
  • Be careful about intellectual property issues around wider Alice in Wonderland initiatives (e.g. films) to ensure that you don’t break intellectual property regulations.  Check out the Etsy Seller Handbook for help with this.
  • Be able to provide product(s) for stock in the British Library Shop no later than 1 September 2015 (sale or return), if selected.
  • You must agree to Terms & Conditions and read the full Competition Brief here.

If you’re not eligible this time, never fear! We have more showcasing opportunities coming up, so watch out for open calls via the Etsy UK blog and sign up for the Etsy Success newsletter.

Deadline for applications
Applications must be received by 9am on Wednesday 29th April 2015.

I don’t have an Etsy shop yet. Can I still apply?
If you don’t currently sell on Etsy, you can open a shop and apply for this opportunity. Get started with 20 free listings! Enter the code: REDESIGNINGALICE here (new sellers only).

When will I know if I have been selected?
The successful designer-makers will be selected by a panel of Etsy and British Library staff, industry experts and creative entrepreneurs (check out the line-up above!). We regret that we will not be able to inform all applicants of our decision, but successful applicants will be notified within one month of the application deadline.

Redesigning Alice: Etsy and the British Library

Eleanor Stuart


Please submit this short application form by 9am on Wednesday 29th April 2015

You can also find out about this opportunity on the British Library website.

We will be selecting based on your Etsy shop itself, so make sure everything is up to date and it’s looking great. Your photography, listing descriptions and About page are particularly important. Check our the Seller Handbook and search our archive of educational articles to help you improve your shop.

Applications close 9am on Wednesday 29th April 2015

Inspired to get making and open an Etsy shop? Get started with 20 free listings! Enter the code: REDESIGNINGALICE here (new sellers only).

Good luck!

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  • QueenofCuffs

    mary from QueenofCuffs said 5 years ago

    How wonderful to see the original 'underground' writing and drawing. I am looking forward to seeing what inspiration and creation results !!

  • CharlotteBronte

    Charlotte Bronte from CharlotteBronte said 5 years ago

    I wish it was open to those outside the UK!

  • eternalbloom1

    Jamila Hirtenstein from EternalBloomCornwall said 5 years ago

    Me too! Is there anywhere we will be able go see all the proposed pieces? Besides searching on etsy I suppose?

  • AbstractAstra

    Arlene McGinness from ArlenesHandmadeHeart said 5 years ago

    Is it just Alice In Wonderland, or can pieces inspired by Through the Looking Glass be submitted? Thanks.

  • kathrynshayler

    Kathryn Shayler from KeylimeDesignLtd said 5 years ago

    Love this! What a great opportunity. Feeling inspired already! Thanks Etsy

  • printsofheart

    Lisa from PrintsOfHeart said 5 years ago

    Oh WOW, what a fantastic opportunity. Thanks for letting us know!! I'm going to get to work ♥

  • paisleypat

    Patrick Moriarty from PaisleyPowerShop said 5 years ago

    such a great competition. Excellent theme. My mind is spinning!

  • sjegan

    Sarah-Jane Egan from FragmentDesignsEtsy said 5 years ago

    Oooh what I fantastic opportunity! Good luck everyone :)

  • Nanfan

    Nana Louise Nielsen from NanfanJewellery said 5 years ago

    Awesome challenge. I agree it would be wonderful to see all the pieces.

  • TheInkyDeer

    Daisy Maude from TheInkyDeer said 5 years ago

    Wow the illustrations of the original manuscript are delightful! This is such an amazing opportunity!

  • Cactus67

    Kate Lowe from BagsyMeFirst said 5 years ago

    “...we must run as fast as we can, just to stay in place. And if you wish to go anywhere you must run twice as fast as that.” ― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland What a great opportunity!

  • TheInkyDeer

    Daisy Maude from TheInkyDeer said 5 years ago

    The illustrations on the original manuscript are just delightful! This is such an amazing opportunity. Cannot wait to see the selected makers' designs!

  • FoxtrotDesignsUK

    Nancy Fox from FoxtrotDesignsUK said 5 years ago

    What a great opportunity for Etsy Sellers! ...Time to get creating!

  • LucyBousfield

    lucy bousfield from LRBFineArts said 5 years ago

    Woweee! Never read Alice, actually, I might be having to!

  • mishkachisholm

    Mish from AnaisandAiyla said 5 years ago

    How exciting!! I actually work at the British Library so I can't enter the competition but it's so awesome to see this partnership with Etsy. :) I'll be watching to see the winning designs!

  • identitypapers

    Linda Hasking from IdentityPapers said 5 years ago

    Very exciting as I already have a product. So, Sarah Hewett, are the original illustrations by Tenniel allowed here? I have used these for a product and they are out of copyright. I'd redesign with Lewis Carol's own illustrations if necessary.

  • edlefroy

    Ed Lefroy from LambertandStamp said 5 years ago

    Yes are we allowed to use the original illustrations?

  • arwensmode

    ArwensMode from ByJewell said 5 years ago

    What a fabulous competition. It'll be great fun just to be inspired by the theme and participate in it!

  • MargheritaMollBiondi

    MARGHERITA MOLL from MargheritaMollBiondi said 5 years ago

    Definitely applying!!! ^_^

  • chrishaywood31

    Chris Haywood from Chrishaywoodart said 5 years ago

    What a great competition! I do hope we will be able to see all the entries. It will be so interesting!

  • LadyBabajola

    Ivi LadyBabajola from LadyBabajola said 5 years ago

    WHAT A GREAT INITIATIVE! I hope it will be possible to follow the development of this competion. LOVE IT!

  • atelierspatz

    Jo from AtelierSpatz said 5 years ago

    Oh, I can see a great costume coming along for my shop! Just got started on a white rabbit anyway, so Alice will be a great challenge. Will definitely participate! What a great competition. Thanks Etsy for putting this up.

  • kellymorris87

    Kelly from Kellyscharacters1 said 5 years ago

    Wow an amazing opportunity!!! I'm really excited about this and think I better create some more creative characters

  • kellymorris87

    Kelly from Kellyscharacters1 said 5 years ago

    Wow what an amazing opportunity!!! I am really excited now and better get moving to create many more characters

  • mollygdesigns

    Molly Glass from MollyGDesigns said 5 years ago

    A wonderful opportunity. Going to set my mind to this straight away!

  • whitesabrina

    Doolallytap Design from DoolallytapDesign said 5 years ago

    Great project ! Thank you!

  • HouseOfBadaboom

    House Of Badaboom from HouseOfBadaboom said 5 years ago

    Amazing! We shall be entering something faaabulous, woooohooo!!

  • 06020s

    Stephanie Young from saminteriordesign said 5 years ago

    What a great competition, especially for those who love animation. Good luck everyone.

  • Malaspiga

    carlotta tilli from SummerInItaly said 5 years ago

    beautiful ! I love :)

  • Malaspiga

    carlotta tilli from SummerInItaly said 5 years ago

    I love :)

  • eldris

    Gaby Brereton from eldrisCREATIONS said 5 years ago

    Thinking caps on everyone! And good luck!!

  • atelierpompadour

    Paola from atelierpompadour said 5 years ago


  • confetticones1

    The Confetti Cone Company from Confetticonecompay said 5 years ago

    What a great competition ! good luck to everyone! xx

  • SoCalShabbyChic

    Carli Faith from CarliFaithSkincare said 5 years ago

    Amazing competition. Good luck :)

  • OrchidsHeart

    Ophelia Holt from OrchidsHeart said 5 years ago

    I am based in the UK and Paris, over the summer I will be in the UK, does this suffice do you think?

  • vineettandon

    VINEET TANDON from PANKHURIART said 5 years ago

    Very nice competition, good luck for those who can participate

  • 'Redesigning Alice': Etsy UK design competition to stock Alice in Wonderland designs at British Library shop, deadline: 29 April - The Design Trust said 5 years ago

    […] For more information and to apply visit Etsy UK […]

  • Post Thirteen The Idle Knitter Underground | theidleknitter said 5 years ago

    […] Carroll’s death. And finally into my inbox drops an email from Etsy announcing a competition  ‘Redesigning Alice’ all to do with Alice Underground to celebrate the 150th anniversary of this work. Now I know I’ll […]

  • teestrend

    teestrend from Trend2Tees said 5 years ago

    GREAT INITIATIVE! Such a good idea! Keep going....

  • Patreeshcrafts

    Patreeshcrafts from StampCraftStamps said 5 years ago

    Fantastic and exciting competition! :)

  • SewPaperArt

    Lynn from SewPaperArt said 5 years ago

    What fun!!

  • Alice’s Birthday! | Ingenious Treasures Past and Present said 5 years ago

    […] to put our own spin on the original manuscript. I cannot wait to see what people come up with! Alice has inspired so much of our culture it is hard to not love the elements of the story that […]

  • delfina11

    Delfina said 5 years ago

    Amazing inspiring looking forward to seeing submissions wonder if they will shown on here. I rather like the old designs bit of an English institution so this is exciting with big shoes to fill so to speak. Good luck everyone.

  • 1kirsty1

    Kirsty from CornwallBagCompany said 5 years ago

    One of the links doesn't work - to the guidelines

  • MrSquimpsCatShop

    Peter Brighouse from MrSquimpsCatShop said 5 years ago

    Just hope my two entries have got through all right. Pity there isn't an email acknowledgement; the vagaries of the internet using forms causes a mild amount of concern.

  • diamoniqueriver

    Diamonique Boutique from DiamoniqueBoutique said 5 years ago

    Very nice creative competition idea.

  • jaynestennett

    Jayne Stennett from Mamasrainbowhouse said 5 years ago

    help i have set up a shop on the link and i am unable to make any listings the link isnt working so i can't enter the competition . Any suggestions please i am running out of time

  • Tweedle Dum & Tweedle Dee « Veronica Rowlands, Artist said 5 years ago

    […] recently found out about the Redesigning Alice competition in which Artists and designers create new pieces inspired from Lewis Carol’s: […]

  • debbietodd61

    Debbie Todd from DebbieToddStudio said 5 years ago

    I am an artist and printmaker. This is an inspirational project, and has set my mind buzzing! I have ideas for designs for the Redesigning Alice competition. My prints are collagraphs that are all hand-pulled through an etching press, not mass produced. Is worth my submitting designs? Please advise.

  • angelaook

    Angela Finch from FinchCards said 5 years ago

    Yay, entry form in. Can't wait to see what is chosen.

  • ram80

    ram80 from allcraftlover said 5 years ago

    Is there anyway for sellers outside the UK to participate?? I'd love to..

  • matthewroby

    Matthew Roby from PickledCircus said 5 years ago

    "I'm late, I'm late, for a very important date!!" I can't believe I've only just found out about this. I have so many creative ideas, is it possible to submit both finished work and design ideas?

  • WoollyWoodlanders

    Lorna Jenkin from WoollyWoodlanders said 5 years ago

    I've just submitted my entry. This has give me such a buzz to develop a design to fit the subject. How exciting! I hope there will be a pictorial record of the wining entries.

  • wicksteadseatme

    EatMe from WicksteadsEatMe said 5 years ago

    Alice read the label and it said 'Eat Me' ... so she did!

  • BewitchedBoutique

    Samantha Wray from BewitchedBoutique said 5 years ago

    Just got my entries submitted last night in the nick of time. Would love to see what other creations have been made, how exciting!

  • thedutchhospital

    The Dutch Hospital from TheDutchHospital said 5 years ago

    How exciting! Managed to submit exclusively made product line on-time..never too late! for a very important date! :)

  • LaurieGee

    Laurie Azure Gee from laurieazuregee said 5 years ago

    What an exciting and fantastic opportunity!! I submitted hand dyed scarves with 5 minutes to spare!!! So worth the rush! <3

  • andernik

    Anderson Roses from andernik said 5 years ago

    Does anyone know when the completion results are announced ? Looking forward to finding out and seeing the entries!!

  • JolieBlonsBounce

    Emma from JolieBlonBounce said 5 years ago

    I read a pdf file that stated that winner/s were supposed to be contacted by email by end of yesterday, Wednesday 13th May with official Etsy announcements next Monday 18th May.

  • andernik

    Anderson Roses from andernik said 5 years ago

    Thanks Emma will keep an eye out tomorrow

  • FabFunky

    Kelly S from FabFunky said 5 years ago

    The BL announced it on 18th May. Etsy didnt Google 'Etsy British Library Alice Winners' Its the second entry down

    • Alice Young said 5 years ago

      Hi there! Etsy also announced the Redesigning Alice winners on the 18th May, here: Thanks!

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