REVIEW: The Handmade Fair, A Craft Addict’s Dream

I am still recovering from an amazing day at The Handmade Fair at the weekend. I’d been looking forward to it for ages, and took my sister along with me*, along with two friends. If you’ve read my review of last year’s event, you’ll know I absolutely loved it. And this year was just as good, although the weather wasn’t as sunny. I think this gorgeous pink craft bus made up for that though; it belongs to Miss Libby Rose, who was running mini sewing workshops. Miss Libby Rose Bus At The Handmade Fair

There was a huge variety of workshops on offer  – whatever you’re in to, you’ll find something to interest you.

It’s a great, low-risk way to try something new, without having to invest in all the kit. I tried needle felting at the Christmas version last year and didn’t really like the feel of it. I’m really glad I found that out without having bought all the materials!

The instructors are all experts and they demonstrate the make, and walk you through the steps to make sure you don’t get left behind. It really is suitable even if you’re a craft novice. You come away with something that you have made, which is  such a great feeling.

This year, I decided to go for a painting theme with my sessions. I’ve always loved painting but haven’t done any for years (apart from walls, of course!) so I was super excited to get the brushes out and get stuck in.

SKILLS WORKSHOP AT THE HANDMADE FAIR

Our first workshop was Enamel Mug Painting with Teri from The Lovely Drawer. We used porcelain paints and it was a bit strange painting on a curved surface, but we got the hang of it.

I was pretty pleased with my finished mug – it was still a bit sticky at this point and need baking for half an hour to set it.

Absolutely loved the @thelovelydrawer mug painting session at the @handmadefair 💕💕💕 #handmadefair

A photo posted by Becky Pink | PinksCharming.com (@pinkscharming) on

Super Theatre at The Handmade Fair

Next came a Super Theatre session with Annie Sloan (of chalk paint fame) and Kirsty Allsopp. It was a fun session, and Annie had some great advice about doing anything creative:

“Don’t procrastinate… get on with it!”

I have a tub of Chalk Paint but haven’t been sure what to do with it, so I’ll take her advice and get stuck in! Apparently you don’t need a primer with her paint – just paint it on. She says she doesn’t even wipe the surface most of the time, apart from kitchen doors which would probably be greasy. Then you need to add a coat of wax to protect it. It sounds easy enough!

We found out that you can use chalk paint to dry fabric, as well as upcycle furniture, who knew? You just mix some paint with some water in a bath, and dunk the fabric in to it. Then wash it, and either iron or tumble dry the fabric to set the colour. Annie recommended using a baby bath or bucket of some kind, as you wouldn’t want to dye your bath.

GRAND MAKE AT THE HANDMADE FAIR

Finally my Grand Make workshop was with Folk It! to paint a dot daisy folk heart. We had a dotting tool and two cardboard hearts, with white, pink and green acrylic paint at our work station. We started off practicing on one heart, to make either daisies, or roses. I chose roses, and they were easy to make- just a dot of pink paint next to a white one, then swirl it with the tool.

Next we added green hearts, followed by little green and white dots, to make the finished heart.

Dot Daisy Heart with Folk It at The Handmade Fair

It was so quick easy to make, and they would make great Christmas decorations.

Food and Facilities at the handmade fair

Aside from the great hands-on workshops at The Handmade Fair, you can also eat pretty much any food you fancy, including several gluten-free options, and loads of cake. How pretty is this cupcake at the Mollie Makes tent? It tasted as good as it looked.

Time for a tea and cupcake stop at the @molliemakes cafe. @handmadefair #handmadefair

A photo posted by Becky Pink | PinksCharming.com (@pinkscharming) on

There are more pictures of the food on offer on my review from last year, I think all the same ones were there again. The toilets were posh portaloos with proper sinks, and there were plenty so I didn’t have to queue. But they were teeny, and I’m not sure how pregnant ladies managed to get in to the cubicles!

SHOPPING AT THE HANDMADE FAIR

One of the main attractions of The Handmade Fair is the amazing shopping. Last year I went a bit wild in the aisles and came back with loads of things (some of which are still unused in my craft cupboard, oops!) But this year, I looked a lot but was much more restrained. I just bought some beautiful prints from Zeena Shah for my girls. Beautiful bird and tree prints by Zeena Shah

Zeena’s stand was filled with gorgeous things… a few of which I already have. I did one of her classes last year and she’s a great teacher, and so lovely.

Becky and Zeena Shah at The Handmade FairThere were lots of beautiful things to buy, too many to include here – you’ll just have to go next year and discover them for yourself! But here is a little taster from Kitty Kay Make & Sew and The Make Arcade, amongst others. Basically, if you like a craft, it is certain to be represented! These were my favourites and there were also lots of lush kids’ clothes.

I’ll leave you with a comedy picture of me in the press tent…doityourselfie At The Handmade Fair

Don’t you just love that colour-it-yourself wallpaper behind me? So cool, Ava and Thea would love it.

So what do you think of my makes? Would you like to go next year? I’d love to know what you think!

*I was gifted two entrance tickets by the Handmade Fair team to allow me to review the event, but we paid to upgrade to the Full Experience to do the workshops. All opinions and words are my own, as always.

Why not Pin my review so you can find it next year?

A review of The Handmade Fair 2016 in Hampton, London. A hive of creativity and fun, with tonnes of different craft workshops, fabulous food and amazing shopping.

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22 Comments

  1. 13th February 2017 / 9:49 am

    Thanks for sharing! I went last year too and LOVED it- also reviewed it for my creative living boo – but clearly I need more photos! 🙂 I love yours! 🙂 Hope to see you there this year 🙂

  2. 4th October 2016 / 1:06 pm

    We seem to be busy every year when this is on and I’ve never managed to go yet!!! Such a shame cos it looks right up my street!!! Maybe next year..? 😉 Thanks so much for linking up with #HomeEtc — hope to see you tomorrow 🙂 Caro x

  3. 2nd October 2016 / 10:04 pm

    How fab, I was very tempted by this this year but in the end had other plans. What struck me about this post though is that pink van, I saw it at the garage round the corner from home a few weeks ago. There can’t be two, and sure enough there’s a Greenwich connection, I checked. Small, small world! 🙂 #homeetc [PS your captcha/human challenge is way too hard !!]
    Stephanie Robinson recently posted…Post Comment Love 30 Sept – 2 Oct 2016My Profile

    • 3rd October 2016 / 9:19 am

      Ooh thanks Stephanie I’ll check out the Captcha – that’s not good!! I’d really recommend going to the Handmade Fair next year if you can, it was such fun and if you’re in London already it’s easy to get to. The pink van is great isn’t it, such a lush colour!xx

    • 3rd October 2016 / 9:13 am

      Thanks so much Jess, it was such a great day, everyone was smiling wherever you look xx

    • 28th September 2016 / 5:02 pm

      Thanks Karen, I did do a lot, I was exhausted when I got home! So worth it though xx

  4. 28th September 2016 / 10:08 am

    I saw lots of this from Teri’s Instagram Stories and it looked like so much fun. I totally agree, it’s a greay to find out what you may or may not love by dipping your toe in the water and sounds like you had a great time X #HomeEtc

    • 28th September 2016 / 5:03 pm

      She was a great teacher, it was my favourite session of the day, and I love my new mug! xx

    • 28th September 2016 / 5:02 pm

      Ah thanks so much Emma, I had a great time xx

  5. 27th September 2016 / 4:46 pm

    I thought I’d read your review from last year, but I must’ve read a review from a different craft event you went to! This sounds just amazing, and I’m especially envious that you met Kirstie Alsopp-one of my all time favourite tv personalities!! I love her style, her voice, and I hope she was as lovely in real life as she seems on tv! The heart looks awesome, and must’ve been really fun to do. The prints you bought for your girls are also gorgeous! I’d love to do something like this, but I haven’t crafted in years. I know you said it’s ok for novices, but I’d like to build my skills back up again I think!
    #bigpinklink
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    • 28th September 2016 / 5:00 pm

      It might have been a Berylune craft night that you read about, I try and go to a few of these events a year as they are so good for making me find the time to actually make something! Kirstie is a legend isn’t she, I love all of her programmes! xx

  6. 26th September 2016 / 9:17 am

    Ah this looks so much fun! I love doing crafty bits but never get time these days, unless you count fashioning Roman coins out of clay for one of the kids homework projects 🙂 Your cup and heart look great, what a cute idea. (PS Love the dungas!!) 🙂 #BigPinkLink
    Mess and Merlot recently posted…**Coming Soon!** ‘She Loves Herself’My Profile

    • 27th September 2016 / 9:37 am

      Roman coins sounds fun! I feel the same, so I think going somewhere to do activities like this is great as you have set the time aside and can’t get sidetracked by loading the dishwasher, or whatever else is at home! xx

  7. 23rd September 2016 / 10:10 pm

    Oh this looks totally my cup of tea. I just love doing craft but don’t get a chance to do it as much as I’d like. I’d really want to learn how to do screen printing. That wall paper that you colour in looks such good fun.

    • 23rd September 2016 / 10:12 pm

      It’s so hard (OK virtually impossible) to get time to do these things isn’t it, which is one reason the Handmade Fair is so good – you’ve set aside that time so you don’t have any distractions! xx

  8. 23rd September 2016 / 7:34 pm

    It looks like you had a fabulous time. You must have been exhausted by the time you got home x

    • 23rd September 2016 / 7:37 pm

      I really was Julie, but it was so worth it! xx

  9. 23rd September 2016 / 12:12 pm

    Oh becky. This looks absolutely amazing. I would love to go to this fair. Handmade crafts are so awesome. It looks and sounds like you had a super time.
    Angela recently posted…A New Dress From Love The SalesMy Profile

    • 23rd September 2016 / 1:48 pm

      Thanks Angela, it was brilliant, I’d really recommend it! I love how you come home with something you’ve made too, such fun xx

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