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

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.

Craftacular UK_Shelley Makes-3701Photo 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!

Craftacular UK_Shelley Makes-3685
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.

Photo credit: Shelley Makes®. Makers: Left – Limehouse Ceramics. Right – Mustard & Mint.

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!

Craftacular UK_Shelley Makes-3689

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!

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 

BUST Craftacular London.png

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


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!

Makers & Friends Pop-Up Shop

A few weeks ago I was invited to a fun blogger workshop and ‘Meet the Maker’ event at the brand new curated pop-up shop, Makers & Friends near Angel tube station in Islington, London.

If you haven’t yet seen it, Makers & Friends is a roving pop-up shop for independent designer makers, allowing fresh start-up companies to sell their work, possibly for the first time, on the high-street.

The shop is the brainchild of Zen Zhou, an independent maker herself, who now curates the shop, selecting the best independent British makers to showcase and sell their wares.

I was thrilled to be invited to their inaugral workshop on the week of their launch along with a handful of bloggers from the Creative Bloggers Facebook group. I chat to many of these girls online pretty regularly with the weekly #cbloggers Twitter chat, but it was so nice to meet them in person.

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