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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Amy explained that they offer in-store ‘Sewing Machine Driving Tests‘ where knowledgeable staff help you learn how to get started on your sewing machine. After showing me the basic controls and levers, we had a go on a ‘test sheet’ where the aim of the game was to follow the lines, and try manoeuvring around corners and curves using various stitches. Obviously practice makes perfect, but it was encouraging to hear about the ‘Sewing Surgeries’ that they offer in-store to help you if you get stuck.

Home Baking

Next up I wandered through to the baking section. Now, I love a good cake, but I’ve never really challenged myself to do a huge amount of baking. A lovely lady from Wilton (which is stocked at Hobbycraft) talked me through some of the cakes she’d baked for the event, and how she got some of the desired effects. I was completely mesmerised, and hearing someone talk through the process also made me realise that it is all entirely do-able if you have the ambition, the vision, and the right equipment.

After oo-ing and aah-ing at the gorgeous designs, I was shown how to pipe my own daisy cupcake, which again, was far simpler than I would have imagined. After telling me which new baking products they were most excited about, I was pleased to find said products in my goody bag – a ‘Colour Right’ Performance Colour System, and a Treatology Flavour System – so no excuses now!

Knit Craft

In the very last room I stumbled across the ‘Knit Craft‘ division where some helpful Hobbycraft bods talked me through their range extensions, and gave me a Knit Craft goody bag, complete with gorgeous teal cotton thread, and a shiny 4mm crochet hook. The bag also contained instructions on how to knit and crochet a daisy. You can find tonnes of knitting and crochet project inspiration on their blog.

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Apparently one of their most popular products is called a ‘Caron cake’, which is basically a huge wod of colour-changing yarn, available in a wide range of colours, which means that you can make really impressive colour-changing scarves with very little effort. Sounds good to me! Did you know that they also have their own Instagram and Twitter handle – check them out at @knitcrafthq.

Easter Craft

Last but not least, the whole venue was decorated with cheerful spring and Easter decorations. I love Easter crafting (it’s possibly my second favourite crafting season – second to Christmas). In the past I’ve made DIY origami Easter bunnies and origami Easter bunny baskets, to name a few projects, but I love looking for new inspiration every year, and the Hobbycraft preview didn’t disappoint.

The Easter range is already in-store if you’re as keen as I am, and you can find the latest updates at #HopToHobbycraft. My goody bag contained two mini Easter cross-stitch kits – cute, huh?

Now, I know bloggers and small businesses like to do a ‘year in review’, and Hobbycraft is no exception. Did you know that in 2016 they sold 70,000 sewing machines, 250,000 buttons, half a million reels of thread, and enough fabric to go up Mount Everest 42 times? We really are a crafty bunch!

Thank you to Hobbycraft for inviting me along, and to you guys for reading this far! All of the goodies that you can see in the pictures here are available in-store and online. As for me, I’ve got a few goody bag bits to play with first! Whoopee! Stay tuned for more Easter makes and inspiration coming soon.

The Handmade Fair at Hampton Court

The highlight of my day today was buying tickets to The Handmade Fair, a brand new craft fair presented by Kirstie Allsopp, sponsored by Hobbycrafts, and in association with Mollie Makes!

The fair takes place on 19th-21st September at the beautiful Hampton Court Palace in Surrey. The best thing about the fair is that you can tailor your experience to your craft preferences!

Handmade Fair

When you book, you’ll have the chance to select the specific Skills Workshops and expert talks that you want to attend (as below), and they all look fantastic! There’s a fab line-up of experts from Cath Kidston to PaperPoms, as well as an on-site Etsy Business School – sounds pretty cool, right?

Ticket includes:

  • A Skill Workshop of your choice
  • A session in the Super Theatre with an expert crafter
  • A Grand Make with 250 fellow crafters
  • Access to The Handmade Fair Shopping Village

Kirstie at Hampton Court Palace

Take a look below to find out the kinds of activities and talks you can be involved in. Choosing was incredibly difficult, as they all look so great! If this doesn’t inspire you, I don’t know what will…

Skills Workshop (1 hour):

The Skills Workshops offer the chance to learn a completely new skill or refine one you already know and love. All of the experts leading the workshops have been hand-picked by Kirstie and the Handmade Team. Classes are split into six skill tents, as follows:

Skill Workshops — The Handmade Fair

  • Food Decoration – this yummy tent will give you the chance to perfect your icing skills, create fun marzipan characters or add beautiful flowers to your cakes
  • Jewellery – the jewellery tent is hosted by the London Jewellery School, who will be on hand to show you how easy it is to make beautiful and unique jewellery in under an hour!
  • Papercraft – from whimsical pompoms to intricate papercutting, experts will show you the pleasure of working with paper, making beautiful things of your own
  • Seasonal – the seasonal tent is there to help you on your sleigh – create unique gifts for friends and decorations for your home from christmas crackers to glitter baubles
  • Textiles & Yarning – covering knitting, crochet, sewing and cross stitch, our Textiles & Yarning Tent has a workshop to suit every level of crafter
  • Upcycling – learn how to recover tired items of furniture that could be lying around your house right now, or create a unique wooden toy present.

Despite being drawn to tissue tassles, I’ll be in the Jewellery tent making Chandelier Ear-rings for my sister’s birthday! It will be great to hear other peoples’ experiences in the other tents too.

Everyone has a craft they can do

Super Theatre (45 minutes):

The Super Theatre, hosted by Kirstie, will bring together the amazing people she’s worked with over the years. The sessions provide the chance to hear the latest craft trends, find out insider secrets from experts, and see how some gorgeous designer products are made. Options include:

  • Mollie Makes Mash-UpMollie Makes, the leading title in the craft market, will be bringing two crafts together to mash them up and see how they both collide!
  • Pinterest Super Pinners – meet the ‘Super Pinners’ who have hundreds, thousands, even millions of followers and will inspire you to up your game
  • Crafts Council – join Kirstie in conversation with Annie Warburton of the Crafts Council, about the importance of Craft and Design in education and its critical impact on future generations
  • Kirstie in conversation with Cath Kidston – your chance to hear Cath’s inspiring story, from humble beginnings to global fashion & interiors super brand
  • Kirstie Allsopp, Nick Ashley, Sasha Schwerdt and Cath Kidston – Kirstie hosts a panel discussion with three key people about their days working with British interior icon Laura Ashley

Despite being a huge Pinterest fan, I’ve elected to go to the Mollie Makes Mash-Up!

Grand Makes (30 minutes):

There’s nothing better than learning and sharing crafts with fellow enthusiasts. In the mass makes tents you’ll be taught how to craft something in a few minutes for your home, for a party, or as a gift.

Choose between #WorldPomination with Rosy Nicholas, or Gift-Wrapping with Jane Means. I’ve opted for #WorldPomination which promises to teach you how to make pompoms in minutes and inspire you with ideas on how to use them. We’ll also be trying to set a new world record!

World Pomination

The fair looks to be more interactive than the Hobbycraft fair at ExCel that I recently attended, so I can’t wait to be inspired! I found out about the fair via the Hobbycrafts Club newsletter. You can also get exclusive pre-sale tickets by signing up to the The Handmade Fair mailing list. When you sign up, you’ll be sent a free downloadable craft, courtesy of Mollie Makes – a lovely touch!

Pre-sale tickets are available now until 27th April (£29), however there’s a limited number available, so do book early if you don’t want to miss out! Normal tickets will be on sale from June.

I really can’t wait! Bring on September! #HandmadeFair

The Handmade Fair