Looking forward to trendy summer craft fairs

May 25, 2012

Home and Hobbies

Unless you’ve been living in a cave, you’ve likely noticed by now that crafts are big. Once the preserve of grannies and bored housewives looking for a hobby, crafting has become enormously trendy in the last number of years.

Handmade cards on sale at a craft fair

Image via elizajanecurtis on Flickr

In large part, this is due to the influence of the internet – websites like Etsy and Craftster (actually short for “crafty hipster”) have allowed people to make a career out of selling their crafty creations.

And once the rest of us saw that despite their traditional frumpy image, crafts can actually be cool, pretty, and totally covetable, we not only wanted to buy them, but to try our hand at making them ourselves.

The seemingly never-ending recession has only boosted the trend, as a make-do-and-mend mentality becomes a way of life.

People are working out that making things at home is not only a relatively inexpensive hobby, but a great way to save some cash at the shops. And it’s not just crafts – there’s been a resurgence in baking and cooking from scratch, especially amongst young people.

It’s becoming cool to learn the types of skills previous generations would have taken for granted – from sewing and knitting to baking a cake.

Sharing sites like Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter are helping fuel our craft obsession by making it easy to see the amazing things others are making and show off our own work. For example, check out this adorable creation:


Or for those who favour eclectic, edgy style, a funky necklace made of recycled materials:


Handmade items are one of the most popular topics on such sites, helped in large part by their visual appeal – check out our recent post on our favourite Instagram DIY projects.

The internet is also awash with how-to videos, guides, and step-by-step instructions to making a variety of foods, crafts, beauty products and more at home, meaning it’s easy to learn all the skills you need to get creating. For instance:

Awesome Knitted Tights (a not so timely project, but in 6 months I bet you'll LOVE them!) #knitting http://t.co/xMrW0QJ1


Now that summer is coming up, we’re particularly looking forward to weekend craft fairs in cities and towns around the country. These are a brilliant way to spend a lazy day and get a taste of the creative mood of a place – plus you can pick up a variety of cool accessories and knick knacks for yourself and your home.

This weekend (26th-27th May 2012) we hope to drop by the craft fair at St William’s College on College Street in York – a gorgeous 15th Century timber frame building tucked away in the shadow of York Minster and within easy walking distance of a range of York hotels, restaurants and attractions.

It’s a fabulous setting to browse through lots of handmade goodies and chat to the people who have made them.

This latter bit is a large part of the appeal – we particularly enjoy meeting the makers of the lovely products we buy – that human touch makes them far more special than mass-produced items from a normal store.

It also helps that so many of the products are environmentally friendly (particularly those that are upcycled, or made from reused materials) and socially aware (in that they’re not coming from sweat shops).

Have you tried your hand at crafting? Tell us about your creations – or better yet, send us a link to a photo, we’d love to see!


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