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Tuesday 29 September 2015

The Handmade Fair 2015

From the 18th- 20th September at Hampton Court Palace, there was a rather wonderful craft fair held called The Handmade Fair.

The remarkable craft fair was put together by Kirstie Allsopp and her team of experts; bringing buying, learning and making all together for craft lovers alike.

It was my first time at the fair and I was fortunate enough to blog the event and actually meet and interview Kirstie!! Excited doesn’t even cut how I felt about this but that’s for another post- watch this space. All I will say is she was even lovelier than I imagined and it was so nice to sit and talk to her.

I went along on both Friday and Saturday to experience the fair, doing workshops and watching demonstrations with my lovely mummy on the Saturday.  The fair had a festival feel to it with its large tents, live music playing and balloons and bunting strung up at every available spot. Kirstie was there to open the fair and welcome in the first crafters of the day, which was really exciting to see!

On Saturday Mum and I started off by looking around the shopping villages. They were huge! Separated into two tents, there was the East village and West village crammed full of fantastic vendors such as Deathby Tea, Reloved Magazine, Victorious Bee, Sloane,Betty & Dodge, Flossy Teacake  and many more with their products displayed beautifully. The tents were a visual feast of prettiness and there was such a variety of things to buy from craft supplies for all your making needs, to ready-made handmade gifts- making perfect presents.  We came away with bags upon bags of goodies, excited to take on new projects when we got home.

The workshops were great for learning a new skill or to perfect an existing one you know and love. From paper craft to fashion, upcycling to yarning there was something for everyone. We did two workshops on the Saturday, the first being finger knitting and the second was upcycling a photo frame using decoupage.  Both the classes were such fun, chatting to fellow crafters at our table and getting really stuck in with what we were doing, so much so that I was covered in glue when doing the decoupage! Finger knitting was surprisingly simple once you got the hang of it and also very quick, making a bracelet in a matter of minutes. We were actually meant to be sewing with wire but there was an issue with the materials which was a shame but finger knitting was a great alternative. Decoupage was run by Reloved Magazine and using old copies of the magazine, we upcycled old photo frames. The different textures from the bits of paper gave a really nice dimension to the frame and looked really effective as well as being fun to make. Everyone loves a bit of gluing and sticking!

In between shopping and making, we found some fabulous food stalls selling grub that literally made your mouth water. There were lots of picnic benches set up, with everyone budging up to let people sit down. You could happily chat to fellow crafters who were eating, going through their goodies and even crafting in their own little groups. It was such a great atmosphere to be a part of. There was also a rather wonderful collection of cocktail bars… We were rather drawn to the Deco Bar with its airstream prosecco on tap, 20s music, comfy chairs and photo booth! As you can see Mum and I got a bit carried away with the photo boot …Ahem…

In the Super Theatre, we watched Kirstie with her expert and close friend Sof McVeigh give a live demonstration on how to create home-made beauty treats. I didn’t realise how simple it could be to create products in your own kitchen, using some ingredients that you’d have in your kitchen cupboards or growing in your garden. I can’t wait to have a go myself, knowing that what I make isn’t full of unwanted chemicals and also makes for great gifts.

As I said earlier, I was fortunate enough to be blogging the event, being one of the official supporters of the fair this year which meant I had access to the press tent. Here they had the wonderful wedding and lifestyle blogger Louise from B.Lovedblog teaching fellow bloggers to take instragram-worthy shots of pretty things, using the hashtag #InstaPrettyParty . The press tent was styled with all the pretty things from upcycled sofas, a rustic table with props and a huge floral wall with 3d flowers on. It was sooooo pretty! We were given free rein of all the props and Louise showed us some great styling tips to make super pretty Instagram posts. We were also given tips on editing apps, lighting and rules of thirds to give us optimum images. It was really worth going along to her class and I picked up lots of tips and ideas for styling photographs for both Instagram and my blog too! I bumped into a couple of bloggers at the fair such as Victoria from Random Nerdery and strongly urged them to go check out the tutorial!

Here's some of the #instaprettyparty photos I took.

All in all, The Handmade Fair was truly fantastic. For me it was also a wonderful way to spend time with my mum as we’re both avid crafters and both share such an enthusiasm for it. I didn’t realise just how many people were into crafts until I visited the fair and it was so nice to see the age range of people in attendance.

I also vlogged the fair so if you want to see more, click the video below:

If you’re gutted that you missed this years fair, don’t fret as there’s a Christmas fair in November. Once again sponsored by Hobbycraft and Mollie Makes, The Handmade Christmas Fair will be held at Manchester Central as an indoor event. Kirstie commented “This unique event will see craft lovers of all age and ability, join together to share, buy and make. I’m thrilled that we have the chance to bring The Handmade Christmas Fair to Manchester, especially as it is one of my favourite times of year!” So if you’re wanting to get into the festive and crafty spirit, check out The Handmade Christmas Fair for tickets and I’ll see you there!


  1. Such a lovely show! Can't wait to read your interview :)

    1. Thanks Victoria! It'll be up very soon :-) xx

  2. Such a lovely show! Can't wait to read your interview :)


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