Last weekend the kind people at BUST Craftacular invited me along to their summer shindig at York Hall, Bethnal Green. I’m a huge fan of Craftacular (dubbed ‘London’s coolest craft fair’), which brings together over 70 unique designer-makers, DIY workshops, tea and cake, and fun-loving DJs.
Photo credit: Shelley Makes®. Maker: Kinska
If you’re looking for quirky handmade gifts, or just presents for yourself, Craftacular is the place to go. Last year I bought a gorgeous white trinket dish with a tiny leaf imprint from madebymememe (a humble #ceramicsmum), and the time before I bought a moon pin-cushion from Oh No Rachio (onr).
Photo credit: Shelley Makes®. Maker: Tea Party at the Zoo
This year, my sister bought some beautiful trinket dishes stamped with gold bees from potter Elizabeth of Limehouse Ceramics (who was also super friendly and chatty). Another favourite stall was Sparkle Child, who made fun sparkly crowns, garlands and wands for children – perfect for play-time.
Photo credit: Shelley Makes®. Maker: Sparkle Child
Craftacular always give a free goody bag to the first 100 people, so if you’re going, it’s worth getting in the queue early. In this year’s goody bag we got an issue of Mollie Makes magazine. Another highlight is the tea and cake from the Drink, Shop & Do cafe, which you can enjoy whilst listening to live DJ’s.
Photo credit: Shelley Makes®. Maker: Drink, Shop & Do cafe
Aside from shopping and eating cake, there are also craft workshops that you can join – some are drop-in and free, and others you have to book in advance, but the selection is always great. This year my sister and I tried an hour-long brush-lettering workshop with Betty Etiquette, which was great fun.
Photo credit: Shelley Makes®. Workshop: Brush-lettering with Betty Etiquette
Using brushes and pots of ink, Rebecca showed us how to control the thickness of the line by exerting different downwards pressure. We started with straight lines of different thickness, and then moved on to letters (thicker on the downstroke), and then finally words. Practice makes perfect!
Photo credit: Shelley Makes®. Maker: Glazed and Confused Ceramics
Other workshops on the day included making i-cord necklaces with I Make Knots, and watermelon pinata-making with The Make Arcade. A few years back we even did a weaving workshop with Peas & Needles, which remains to this day one of my all-time favourite and most memorable workshops.
To add to an already great day, there were also two artist-illustrators doing live portraits at Craftacular. I’ve long been a fan of And Smile Studio who does colourful watercolour portraits, and Benjamin Phillips was also there penning portraits in black and white, so you had a choice!
All in all we had a fantastic day, and I’d definitely recommend it to anyone. As well as the annual summer fair, Craftacular has a Christmas fair around November time, so there are a few dates for your diary!
Follow @craftacularuk for updates, and thanks Craftacular team for the invitation!