Etsy Made Local Christmas Markets 2017

A few weeks back I received an exciting mystery package from the Etsy Made Local London Team. To celebrate their upcoming Christmas market in South London, the team sent me a box of specially curated goodies from selected Etsy sellers who’ll be showcasing their handmade wares in December.

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I went to my first Etsy Made Local Xmas market in 2015, and I loved it. I went looking for Christmas presents for friends and family but went home with lots of lovely goodies for me! Back then I bought a set of tiny concrete diamond ‘baubles’ from PASiNGA, whose stall I loved, and they come out every year.

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I was so excited to receive my package – the team told me that they’d tailored the contents to suit my style and audience, and I don’t think I could have picked better for myself if I tried. The first item I saw was this gorgeous hand-formed blue and white mini rope bowl by Zuzana of Rope Works. The bowls are naturally dyed with Indigo and make perfect trinket bowls for jewellery by your bedside.

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Next up I spotted a brown leather key chain from Suede & Co who make handmade leather and suede accessories from coin purses to laptop sleeves. My second leather goody came in the form of a leather cord holder / cable organiser from By Law London. These are perfect for keeping your headphones together in your bag. Janet sells sets of two for £9, alongside other leather accessories.

Another of my favourite items was a fun laser-cut wooden jellyfish brooch by Martin Tomsky. Martin specialises in large intricate wooden laser cut artwork, as well as smaller items. This cute jellyfish from the Ocean Collection costs £10, and is also available in pink. Just in time for Blue Planet 2!

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Next up I came across two fabulous glitter typography cards from Oh Squirrel which are hand-printed in London. One says ‘Do Your Best’ and the other says ‘You Got This’, so they’re great motivational cards. You should also check out their gorgeous collection of Christmas cards and stationery. Last but not least I found a geometric notebook (£5) from Made by Aiza who works with colourful, fun prints.

Buying even just one card from a small shop this Christmas can help to keep their creative businesses afloat, and handmade items that aren’t available on the high-street make super-thoughtful presents. Go check it out! If I haven’t tempted you enough, the first 50 people to arrive at the market get a free goody bag filled with a selection of designer-maker items like these. Tempted now?

You can find these sellers and 40+ more at the Etsy Made Local London Christmas Market on Saturday 2nd December 2017 (11am – 5pm) at Tooting Tram and Social. This year, as I’m away, I’m hoping to pop in to the Etsy Made Local Bristol market instead. You can find other regional markets all over the UK.

Thank you to the London Local Team and the makers for sending me this curated kit =)

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Christmas Gift Wrapping with IKEA

A few months back I was invited to a festive gift-wrapping workshop with IKEA in London. It was far too early to really think about Christmas back then (I think it was June!), but the event also offered a sneak peak at IKEA’s Autumn / Winter collection (in-store now), which I couldn’t refuse!

You might remember that last year IKEA put on a Christmas tablescaping workshop for a few crafty bloggers, where I obsessed over a gorgeous black bear ornament. This time we were treated to a gift-wrapping workshop with the lovely Janine, who has a completely different creative job by day, but is a widely acknowledged ‘awesome gift wrapper’ on the side – nice to be multi-talented!

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It was lovely to see some friendly faces in the form of Gabrielle from Design Curator and Anna from The Smell of Roses (not to be confused with The Only Smell is Roses, which I nearly wrote – too much TOWIE), and to meet some new faces too – namely Lou from Little Green Shed, Jess from The Only Girl in the House and Georgia from Flowers in the Window. As well as making some gorgeous gift-wraps, Georgia also patiently put up with a mega coughing fit from me on the train back to Essex – sorry!

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BUST Summer Craftacular 2017

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.

Craftacular UK_Shelley Makes-3678Photo 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).

Craftacular UK_Shelley Makes-3679Photo 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.

Craftacular UK_Shelley Makes-3674Photo credit: Shelley Makes®. Maker: Sparkle Child

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Hobbycraft’s Spring & Easter Craft Preview

Last week, I went along to Drink, Shop & Do near King’s Cross in London to preview Hobbycraft’s new Spring and Easter craft collections. Ever since I started blogging, it’s been an aim of mine to attend a Hobbycraft event, as I do buy a lot of my supplies from there, so I was thrilled to get an invitation.

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I tagged along after work and was greeted at the door by the Hobbycraft team. They’d split the Drink, Shop & Do floor into various stations so that you could try your hand at different crafts, and learn more about their upcoming range expansions, from sewing supplies, knit craft, Easter craft, and baking.

Sewing Machines

My first stop was the sewing machine station where a helpful seamstress named Amy sat me down at a sewing machine for the first time, and showed me how to do some basic stitches. Some of you might recall that I was bought a sewing machine for Christmas a few years back, and am ashamedly yet to use it, as I wasn’t really sure where to begin, so I was really excited about this opportunity.

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IKEA Christmas Tablescaping Workshop

Can you believe that it’s just six more Sundays until Christmas? I don’t know about you, but for me it feels like the months fly by quicker and quicker every year! Still, at least it’s nearly the holidays!

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Earlier this year I was invited to an IKEA tablescaping event with some fellow bloggers to preview IKEA’s Autumn / Winter range, as well as take a sneak-peak at some of IKEA’s scandi-inspired Christmas goodies. I’m a big fan of IKEA, and always try and fit in a visit before Christmas.

The event was held at 19 Greek Street – a modern white event space in Central London. I was thrilled to join some blogger friends – namely Hannah from Crafternoon Cabaret Club, Tasha from Graphique Fantastique, Rosie and Hannah from The New Craft House, and Emma from Emma Jane Palin.

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After an introduction from the IKEA bods who talked us through the four new autumn / winter trends, we were invited to have a leisurely peruse, and get hands-on with our own DIY tablescapes. A credit to the IKEA wares, we soon felt at home, and were all prepared to move in within minutes.

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Christmas Maker Markets, London 2017

One of things I love most about winter is the arrival of brand new seasonal maker markets. With Christmas around the corner, it’s the perfect time to buy presents before the panic sets in. Below you’ll find some of my favourite seasonal maker markets in London – pop the dates in your diaries!

BUST London Christmas Craftacular 

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When: Sunday 27 November, 11am-5pm

Where: York Hall, 5 Old Ford Road, Bethnal Green E2 9PJ

Why: The BUST London Craftacular is back, featuring talented, crafty vendors, pop-up cafes, DJs, and DIY workshops. Entrance is £3, and the first 100 shoppers get a goody bag.

I went to the BUST Summer Craftacular last year with my sister and loved it. As well as browsing the wares from independent makers, you can also take part in fun workshops – last year we did a weaving workshop with Peas & Needles – one of my all-time favourite craft workshops.

Christmas Crafty Fox Market

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When: 3-4 December, 11am – 5pm

Where: Dogstar, 389 Coldharbour Lane, Brixton, London, SW9 8LQ

Why: The Crafty Fox Market is putting on a host of Christmas markets – this one is in Brixton, and promises the opportunity to support independent designer-makers for a festive shopping experience – with DJs, drinks, food, and an exciting array of craft workshops – more details coming soon.

If you know of any more maker markets not to be missed this winter, please pop them in the comments below. Personally, I can’t wait to start my festive shopping!

All Aboard the Paperchase ‘Back to School’ Bus

Three weeks ago I was delighted to attend my very first Paperchase event! This was actually one of my New Year blogging goals back in January. As a massive stationery fiend, I was chuffed to be invited to explore the brand new ‘Back to School’ range during the Paperchase BTS Press Bus Tour.

Paperchase Back To School Collection 2016 by Shelley Makes (1)

The event was hosted on board a shiny red vintage bus, parked outside Paperchase’s Head Office in London. The bus immediately brought back old school memories, particularly as it was raining outside, and steamed up on the inside! I immediately wanted to draw on the windows, for old times’ sake.

Paperchase Back To School Collection 2016 by Shelley Makes (2)

The Paperchase team had laid out their four new school collections on the seats of both decks for our perusal. This consisted of the adorable Monsterosity range, featuring pixelated dinosaur designs in blue camouflage colours. My favourite item is probably the wooden dinosaur pen pot (£6) in the centre.

Paperchase Back To School Collection 2016 by Shelley Makes (12)

As well as the usual notebooks and pens, the range features a tonne of different back-packs, flasks, lunch boxes, and pencil cases, so you really can send your kids to school with everything they could possibly need. I can’t pretend that I was this cool or organised when I was at school! I wish.

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