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Redesigning Alice: Etsy & the British Library

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 the Shop is seeking some new, innovative designs to help bring it to life.


Etsy are 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

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.

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).


Click here for the application form

Click here for the competition brief

Applications must be received by 9am, Wednesday 29th April 2015.

Further information here