The Handmade Fair 2014

Last Sunday I had the wonderful pleasure of attending the inaugural Handmade Fair at Hampton Court Palace in London. I jumped on the hideously early 6.30am train from Cambridge with a few close crafty pals to join thousands of fellow creatives in the most beautiful setting on a sunny day.

I was invited to attend as press, but decided on sharing the day with friends instead and I’m so glad I did (my friends are barmy and delightful in equal measures).


Kirstie Allsopp opened the fair each day and could be spotted in different talks and sessions or speeding around on a bunting adorned golf buggy with huge pom pom headbands and shoe clips. I may steal the idea and start a travelling craft party around Cambridge…

World Pomination was in full swing as you entered the fair with the world record attempt for the longest pom pom chain still progressing.


As soon as I walked in I met a blog reader (hello Sheree!) and caught up with Zoe Jade of Ladybird Likes in the Mollie Makes tent.

The fair was really well laid out with tents for shopping, workshops and talks. The food and drink section was blimmin’ awesome, but more on this later.


If the fair runs again, I think they could give each person a map as you had to buy a £5 programme or talk to volunteers for directions. Maybe they could have emailed them out to attendees to print themselves.


The decorations made for a Pinterest worthy event. Lots of bunting, balloons and garlands. The Handmade Fair team had worked really hard.


My ‘full experience’ ticket (£29) included talks, craft workshops and shopping so I decided on gift wrapping with Jane Means (who is hilarious by the way), calligraphy and an Etsy talk with Kirstie and Matt Doris. You could also pay extra for more workshops on the day.


Jane Means gave tips for making your Christmas gifts look luxurious on a charity shop budget. She scours pound shops for supplies to compliment her ribbons.


A friend visited Poppy Chancellor’s paper cutting workshop and made this beautiful tree.


My attempts at calligraphy were not so beautiful, but I have a day school to attend soon, so I hope to improve!


Now, the food and drink vendors made the fair for me. EPIC DUCK WRAPS. If you ate one you will understand. There were also some great veggie options too.


There was alcoholic iced tea (with vodka and a shot of gin!)….


…..and a Prosecco van and tea rooms dotted around.


The shopping section of the fair was substantial with a good balance of yarn, fabric and treaty stalls such as Lush who also had a spa. I could have done with a few more paper crafting stalls, but I’m not complaining.

It was a crafters dream with a Hobbycraft shopping tent too and lots of show discounts. I managed to find Kate with her stall for The Homemakery and discovered Multi Pom who sell tools for making up to 20 pom poms at once!



I came away with some Wool and the Gang yarn and some new knitting needles. I also got a calligraphy book and some handmade marshmallows which are to die for. There were some great handmade sellers in attendance too, especially in the Etsy and Mollie Makes tents.


All in all, a fabulous day. It reminded me of the amazing community we have and how crafters will strike up conversations with anyone. Everyone we encountered was super friendly and it was fab to see some bloggy pals in real life too as well as spotting Sewing Bee contestants.

I hope they made enough money to put the fair on again next year! Did you attend? I’d love to hear your experiences in the comments below.



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24 thoughts on “The Handmade Fair 2014

  1. I went on the Saturday with a friend. Unfortunately due to getting a bit lost (wrong train!) we arrived late lunchtime…we could have done with a bit more time as we realised we didn’t get to see everything! There was so much to see and although we didn’t do any workshops there were hundreds if stalls to look at and chat to the crafters. It was lovely to hear where they had travelled from and their stories as to how they took up their craft…such friendly, warm people. I loved to hear all about them. It was very inspirational. Like you, I spotted some fellow bloggers/twitterers/instagrammers from the sewing/handmade world! The food stalls were amazing and again such welcoming, friendly people. It felt like one big family was getting together from all over the country and beyond! I’d love to go again and a winter version would be wonderful too…all Christmassy themed! Lovely day out. I’d recommend it to anyone for next time. Kate

  2. I went to the Handmade Fair on Saturday and recently posted about my day on my blog. I was able to attend a quilting dicussion, make a knit beaded bracelet (I had to finish it at home- 30 minutes just wasn’t enough time), and got to an oragami workshop (I’m not very good at oragami), plus I tried to take advantage of all of the free activities. I tried the French sandwiches and salads for lunch and enjoyed my visit to the tea/coffee stand for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up.

    FYI: I’ve seen the Duck Wraps people at the Newmarket Nights summer concerts at the racecourse if you need some more duck wraps.

  3. Amazing pictures! I would’ve love to have a proper look around but we were so so busy! Everyone I spoke to there had a great ol time though. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Lovely write up Claire of the Fair – can’t believe it was only last weekend. Was so much fun. Your pics are gorgeous!! And thanks for the shout out ha ha – was so lovely to meet you. x

    1. Yay! I’m going on the Sunday this year. Have you bought your ticket yet? I am sharing an offer for tickets on the blog this week as one of the Fair’s official supporters x

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