You might remember a few weeks ago I told you my excitement at getting tickets to Hobbycrafts at the ExCel centre. Well, today was the day, and my sister and I boarded the train to London.
Hobbycrafts is a fair for ‘avid crafters’, although with no major brands present, it does have quite a ‘market’ feel – complete with the sharp elbows of fellow bargain hunters. Be prepared!
The stalls were selling craft supplies from beads, paper, cross-stitch, knitting needles, thread, and ribbon, through to fabric, with multiple stalls (decked in bunting) selling stickers and stick-on gems.
Some of the arts & crafts supplies were a bit kitsch (or as I called it, ‘quiche’, before I refined my crafting lingo), however I wanted to talk about some of the stand-out stalls!
The best stands were interactive, offering sewing machine tutorials, or the opportunity to sit down and knit. Everyone was pleased to talk to the stall owners and learn from their expertise.
My Favourite Stall:
My favourite stand, hands down, was Decopatch.co.uk, which had a shop section but also a sit-down craft section where you could ‘try before you buy’ and have a little fun being creative!
I’ve never done decoupage before, or even really considered it, but everyone at the crafting table looked very content as they played with different patterned papers and made decorative figurines.
There was a lot of choice of things to decorate so you really can choose something personal to make a thoughtful gift – from a letter of the alphabet, to a jewellery stand, to a chair.
I imagine that a deco-patch café would be great for birthday parties, like a ceramics café!
My Second Favourite Stall:
My next favourite stand, ironically, was where the stall-holder told me abruptly ‘no photography’, as I was drawn in by the most gorgeously scented dried flowers and potpourri – NaturaLeigh. In the stall-holders defence, someone had just stolen some of her goods, so she wasn’t the happiest bunny!
The dried rose-buds and lavender mixes were to be used within scented ‘home-furnishing’ kits. They also sold natural heart-shaped soaps which would make lovely gifts or favours.
I only bought one item at the fair – a mini alphabet stamp set, and was tempted by some pretty gilded scissors. Despite a few quality exhibitors, I’m not sure if I’ll head back to Hobbycrafts next year.
I think it’s probably aimed at a slightly older crafter, and I would have liked more inspiration on specific craft projects, not just products. Many of the stalls were quite samey, which was a shame!
If you went this year, tell me, what did you think?