Arts & Crafts
Unique gifts can be found at craft fairs. To avoid kitsch, attend an indie craft fair this holiday season. Support local artisans, feel good about giving gifts from the heart, and have fun shopping!
What is Indie Craft?
The indie craft movement began online in 2006. According to Crafty Superstar, it is “… the visual contradiction of combining granny craft techniques with punk sensibilities.” Traditional craft skills blend with modern, unconventional style and materials to blur the lines between art and craft. Indie craft holiday fairs feature items that combine contemporary art with traditional craft techniques.
San Francisco Etsy Indie Holiday Emporium 2017
November 25-26, 2017 @ Pier 35, San Francisco
Etsy is the online marketplace for handmade items and vintage goods. It can be overwhelming browsing crafters on the internet. Etsy local events allow you to “shop in your backyard” and support local indie crafters. The San Francisco Etsy Indie Holiday Emporium is held at Pier 35 in the Embarcadero. The SF Etsy team has curated over 200 local artisans for the event. There will be small batch food sellers. Admission is free. Some of the featured vendors are Birch & Brush wooden bowls, Rocky Body Leather laser cut bracelets, and POPup foldOUTs‘ intricate paper cut art. This is the fifth year of the SF Etsy Indie Holiday Emporium.
Urban Craft Uprising Winter Show
December 2-3, 2017 @ Seattle Center Exhibition Hall, Seattle
Seattle’s Urban Craft Uprising helps vendors turn their hobbies into full-time careers. The winter show features over 150 curated and juried makers. 16,000-holiday shoppers attend the event looking for “unique, high quality, hand-crafted alternative to ‘big box’ stores and mass produced goods”. It is the largest indie craft fair in the Pacific Northwest. Olander Earthworks, Kind Apparel, and Moo-Young are just a few of the extraordinary crafters exhibiting at this event. Admission is free.
Chicago Holiday Renegade Craft Fair
December 2-3, 2017 @ Bridgeport Art Center, Chicago
Over 250 indie craft makers will vend at the Chicago Holiday Renegade Craft Fair. Renegade Craft Fairs are the “world’s largest curated showcase of independent craft and design.” Chicago is the home city of the first Renegade Craft Fair. RCF has now spread to 12 different major cities including London, San Francisco, and Denver. The “vibe” of the fairs is:
Equal parts entrepreneual incubator and community gathering space, it all culminates in a lively celebration of contemporary craft and design culture. Our Fairs feature hundreds of makers, interactive elements, inspired locales, artisanal food and libations, great music, and good times.
The Chicago RCF includes DIY workshops in addition to modern indie crafts. From jewelry to apothecary, unique creativity abounds. Indie crafters such as Grayling Ceramics, Peoples Garment Company, and Ply are sure to make holiday shopping easy.
December 2, 2017 @ Music Hall Ballroom, Cincinnati
Featuring local Ohio makers, the Crafty Supermarket expects 6000 shoppers to attend their holiday market. Local food and demo tables are just a few highlights of this popular event. This juried show is best attended at the beginning or end of the day to avoid large crowds. The Crafty Supermarket Holiday Show is the high point of holiday shopping in the Midwest. One-of-a-kind gifts can be found from makers like Paper Acorn, VintageLiz Leather, and Circle Circle Jewelry,
Indie Craft Experience Holiday Market
December 10, 2017 @ Yaarab Temple, Atlanta
Indie Craft Experience (ICE) Holiday Market is an intimate shopping experience. More than 50 craft and vintage vendors will be on hand while DJ Zano spins the tunes. ICE thinks it’s important to support local artisans. Part of their mission is to educate consumers about how buying crafts is impactful.
Guys. To be abundantly clear: we want for you to buy handcrafted gifts this holiday season. We think it’s really important. Imagine your hard earned 💵 going directly to a super talented person who works really hard. Way better than sending it off to a chain of middle men and a big box store.
Indie Holiday Craft Fair 2017 Dates
With Black Friday coming up, you may be preparing to “shop until you drop,” getting the perfect gift for every single person on your list. But have you considered something a bit more… unique. The Creative Spark Winter Market is December 2nd and it features 34 artists showcasing their unique handmade items. It’s a great way to support your local community. Admission can be a modest monetary donation or a non-perishable food item for those in need. Make sure you don’t miss the Royal City Ukulele Ensemble who will be performing.
You could grab some friends and go have a glass of wine at a local bar – again. Or, you could grab those friends, have a glass of wine and create some holiday decorations you made yourself. Doesn’t that sound like a nice change of pace? These small wineries across the U.S. offer guided craft classes, complete with the ability to sip while you craft. Make your reservations as soon as possible – these fun events often sell out.
Wine Glass Painting at Laurita Winery, New Egypt, NJ
Create your own original artwork on not one but two wine glasses – one for you and one to share with a friend. You’ll be given everything you need, including step-by-step instructions, to turn wine glasses into Santa and one of his elves.
- Where: Laurita Winery, 85 Archertown Road, New Egypt, NJ
- When: Wednesday, November 29, 6:30 pm – 9 pm
- Tickets: $35 online; $45 at the door, includes one glass of wine
Holiday Wreath Making at Labelle Winery, Portsmouth, NH
Take a breather during this hectic time of year for some relaxing wreath making in the winery cellar. Create your own beautiful evergreen wreath that you can hang in your home or maybe give away as a hostess gift. Instructors will give directions, provide tips and offer suggestions. Wreath rings, tools, wire, mountain laurel, white pine and eastern hemlock will all be provided along with winter berries, and you’re welcome to bring some of your own natural elements to include, too.
- Where: Labelle Winery, 104 Congress Street, Portsmouth, NH
- When: Sunday, December 3, 10 am or 1 pm
- Cost: $30, wine available at an additional cost
Grapevine Snowman Wreath Making at Vineyard View Winery, Keuka Park, NY
Bring a little bit of the vineyard into your home by turning vines into an amazing wreath snowman. You’ll paint the wreaths and add embellishments while an instructor walks you through the whole process. To make it a little more snazzy, bring your own string of white lights to wrap around your snowman.
- Where: Vineyard View Winery 2971 Williams Hill Road, Keuka Park, NY
- When: Wednesday, November 22, 6 pm – 8 pm (registration required by November 20)
- Cost: $30, wine available at an additional cost
Wood Sign Painting at Summerset Winery, Indianola, IA
Customize a wooden sign just the way you want it when Gena’s Designs of the Heartland guides you through the steps to make a 12×12 inch piece of art. Sign style and design are chosen in advance so you’ll know exactly what you’ll be bringing home with you to brighten your decor.
- Where: Summerset Winery, 15101 Fairfax Street, Indianola, IA
- When: Wednesday, December 6, 6pm – 8pm
- Cost: $65, includes one glass of wine
Cork Ornaments at Cougar Vineyard, Temecula, CA
Sip, nibble & craft away while creating holiday ornaments out of wine corks. Bring home something special to hang on the tree and something stuff in someone’s stocking – you can make several cork ornaments during this event.
- Where: Cougar Vineyard, 39870 De Portola Road, Temecula, CA
- When: Wednesday, December 13, 4pm – 6pm
- Cost: $15 wine club members, pre-paid; $18 non-wine club members, pre-paid; $20 at door if still available, includes one glass of wine and light snacks
Slate Painting at Chateau Bu-De, Chesapeake City, MD
No experience is necessary to creating a beautiful painting on slate to add to your holiday and winter decor. During this festive evening, you’ll be guided through the steps necessary to paint a winter scene that will make you look like a professional artist. All supplies needed to finish your slate that evening will be supplied.
- Where: Chateau Bu-De, 237 Bohemia Manor Lane, Chesapeake City, MD
- When: Friday, December 8, 5:30 pm – 7 pm
- Cost: $50, includes one glass of wine
Snowman Wood Pallat Painting at Benigna’s Creek Winery, Klingerstown, PA
Let everyone know ‘There’s snowplace like home” with this folksy wood pallat painting of a cheerful snowman. Graphic designer and artist Connie Higgins leads painters through the process step-by-step. Even if you’ve never painted before, your artwork will come out looking like a masterpiece.
- Where: Benigna’s Creek Winery, 1585 Ridge Road, Klingerstown, PA
- When: Friday, December 1, 7 pm -9:30 pm
- Cost: $37, includes wine tasting and snacks