The Handmade Fair

The Handmade Fair is brought to you by Kirstie Allsopp and is all about appreciating the beauty of handmade, and learning the skills to become a maker yourself. Whether your day at the Fair teaches you how to make something yourself, upcycle a piece you already own, or if you buy it from an expert, it’s here to help everyone to make their life a little more beautiful. The Shopping Villages are full to the brim with handmade products of the highest quality, brought to you by our hand-picked and incredibly talented makers, along with an enviable range of tools and materials.
The Super Theatre, Skills Workshops and Grand Makes are hosted by the UK’s most renowned experts, so you can be sure you’re learning from the best in the business.

It’s not only a fun day out, but you’ll also be able to take away a bundle of skills and knowledge that you can use to improve your own life and home.

The Handmaid Fair

2016 was my second year attending The Handmade Fair. Only this year my knowledge and insight into the craft world is certainly a lot deeper since the launch of my own business The Craft Collective.

Hosted by Kirstie Allsopp (of Channel 4’s Location Location Location fame) The Handmade Fair is a crafters dream day out. Each year my big sister buys me a ticket for my birthday! Its possibly the best present I get (don’t tell the rest of my family I said that) and together we spend the day learning new crafts and exploring the wonderful products that are for sale.

Despite the fact that we got caught in torrential rain driving down from Lincoln we still arrived on time and we wrapped ourselves up and prepared for the fun and frivolity regardless of what mother nature was going to throw at us. Fortunately all the workshops and shopping are under large marquees so despite The Handmade Fair being an outdoor event your never far from shelter.

IT’S JUST WATER, AND IT’S JUST WET!

The Handmade Fair Manager, Freya

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Workshops and Events

There are tons of workshops and talks and master classes going on at The Handmade Fair each day. Some you can just rock up to and book yourself on for free, others are prebookable as part of your Full Experience ticket or just can buy the entry only ticket and try and get onto some classes on the day from the workshops tent!

TIP: Book a full experience ticket if you even think that you might want to do workshops, the sessions get full really quickly!

From the extensive list of sessions to choose from I picked to start with Lino Printing with a wonderful lady called Zeena Shah!

Lino Printing

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Take a piece of lino, ink and an interesting looking tool, and stamp it onto anything and I am a happy little bunny.

Before this session I had never tried lino printing, which was the main reason for booking onto the workshop. Zeena showed us some basic techniques for making up our design and cutting it from the lino, she got us to think about the negative and positives of our design. I chose to cut out a little sailing boat as I live in Cornwall it felt really appropriate.

The act of slicing away at the lino to create your design is amazingly therapeutic and soon you have a piece of lino ready to be stamped onto something.

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We used ink pads to dab over the top of our lino stamps and then we placed the lino onto our tote bags and used a tiny roller to push the print down into the fabric.

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To ensure that your printing is waterproof Zeena’s tip was to iron on the reverse of the printing and that is it.

I am now a Lino Printing convert and have bought my own little stamping set to have a play at home!!!!

Christmas is going to be filled with handmade wrappings.

Artcut Butterfly Brooch

Our second workshop of the day was to create a butterfly brooch from precut wooden shapes from Artcuts.

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We used ink pads to paint around the edges of the butterfly and to stamp tiny dots all over the front using a cotton bud.

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We then sanded magical japanese paper from a tiny butterfly and stuck it on the top of the larger butterfly and decorated them with golden hearts and pearl beads before securing the brooch back!

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Paper Crafts with Cricuts

We booked onto this workshop once we arrived at The Handmade Fair as a bit of a last minute decision.

Using the Circuits machine the host had already cut out the paper templates for us (time efficiency!) and this allowed us to create a tiny organiser using stamping and sticking techniques.

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The end result was a tiny clipboard with a piece of vinyl chalk paper inside it.

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I thought that paper crafts were note really my cup of tea but I really enjoyed this workshop!

I also won their daily competition and am now the owner of a brilliant Cricut machine! This is really exciting and I am really looking forward to spending sometime learning how to use the machine.

Patrick Grant – The Great British Sewing Bee

My final exciting event of the day was the Super Theatre where Kirstie Allsopp met Patrick Grant from The Great British Sewing Bee.

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We all listened as he talked about his life and what led him to appear on The Great British Sewing Bee. 

Then we dragged our exhausted, crafted out covered in ink selves back to the car and headed home after another brilliant day at The Handmade Fair.

We have already made our plans to return next year, where we hope to be celebrating my sisters 50th Birthday!! So a quick thank you to my wonderful sister for buying the tickets, getting up at 5am, driving to London and back in a day, and in the rain! Your the best!

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