The Handmade Fair 2015 Review

On Sunday I ventured to Hampton Court Palace for the 2015 Handmade Fair. It was my second time at the fair and I had a lot of people to catch up with! Be warned this is a picture heavy post, but I’m also going to share my thoughts on how it compared to the 2014 fair.  Super-Theatre-Handmade-FairBranding for the fair was identical to last year and the sponsors remained the same; Hobbycraft and Mollie Makes. Two brands I love, so we’re off to a good start! Once again Kirstie Allsopp was the host and she made a few appearances throughout the day. Welcome -To-Handmade-Fair Tea-Stand-Handmade-Fair

There were even more food, drink and cake stalls on offer this year so you definitely couldn’t go hungry. Prices were about average for street vendors, we paid £7 for a delicious duck wrap (Kirstie told me she loves these these too!) and there seemed to be more bars around including an air stream with cocktail waiters and a photo booth. Top marks for keeping crafters fed and watered!Food-Stalls-The-Handmade-Fair Crepe-Stand-Handmade-Fair Caravan-Cake-Bar

One thing I noticed this year was the artisan food market. Lots of yummy cakes, brownies, macarons and more. Artisan-Cake-stall

There were plenty of stands and tents to visit for workshops throughout the day including Janome sewing workshops and knitting tutorials. My friends at Sizzix were there showing newbies how to die cut.
Sizzix-At-The-Handmade-FairSizzix had some super pretty decorations at their stand! I’ll be sharing more of my photos from this tent on Sunday, so do check back.Paper-Pinwheels-Sizzix

Rather than attending the ‘Grand Make’ workshops or ‘Super Theatre’ sessions, I opted for a more leisurely day of meeting up with crafty friends and checking out the stalls. However, we did drop into the Press and Bloggers lounge for an Instagram styling session with B Loved Blog.Instagram-Workshop-On-Styling-BLovedBlog

The lounge was decorated with beautiful flowers, pink cakes and glittery jars. The overall theme for the fair this year seemed to be florals, whereas last year it was pom poms.Floral-Wall-Design

We got to play with a ton of props to create some pretty pictures and learned about scheduling for Instagram, hashtags and the best times to post. Floral-Biscuit-Styling Gold-And-Lace-Styling

We couldn’t miss the Mollie Makes tent which had the cutest display of their cover projects and a stand for subscription sign ups.Mollie-Makes-The-Handmade-FairWe chatted to Chinelo Bally of Great British Sewing Bee fame. She was live dress making and promoting her new book which releases in November.  I was seriously impressed by it – such a fashion forward title. Chinello-Bally-Dressmaking

After a bit of lunch and a catch up with HesterMr X Stitch and Hannah from Crafternoon Cabaret Club, we hit the Shopping Village. The range of stalls on offer was quite varied, although there were a lot of fabric stalls again this time. I vote for more stationery stands!

We swooned over these woven bags from The Basket Room.

Woven-Handbags

And how soft do these hats from Stitch and Story look? They send out samples of Bluebird Tea with their orders – a massive bonus I think!Stitch-And-Story-Knitted-Hats

We caught up with Floss and Mischief and admired the wonderful cross stitch kits.Floss-And-Michief-Cross-Stitch

I’m kind of regretting leaving this illustrated biscuit mug from Death By Tea behind! One for the Christmas list I think….Death-By-Tea-Illustrated-Biscuit-Mugs

Although there were a handful of designer makers in the shopping village, it was largely bigger brands selling craft supplies. I really missed the Etsy tent this year and do feel the fair could do a bit more to support smaller designer makers.

Flower-Crown-Workshop

One thing I will say is that the line-up for workshops and Super Theatre sessions was largely the same as 2014. However, I do think the themes for the workshops (knitting, upcycling etc) work well for trying out new crafts. The addition of the wedding workshops might be useful for some, but I didn’t see much that differed from 2014.

Flower-DecorationHowever, The Handmade Fair is a fun day out regardless of how you choose to enjoy it. You might wish to pack your day full of workshops and meet and greets with Kirsty, or perhaps you fancy some shopping and a spot of lunch and that’s OK too. There are a ton of pretty things to do and see. See for yourself in my video of the day below!

I am proud to have been an official supporter of The Handmade Fair for 2015 and was gifted tickets to attend. As usual, all opinions are my own!

Did you visit the fair this year? I’d love to hear your experiences in the comments below.

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The Handmade Fair 2015

The Handmade Fair is back for 2015! From the 18-20 September, Kirstie Allsopp and the UK’s best creatives will be taking over Hampton Court Palace following the success of last year’s fair.  You can read all about my experience here.

The-Handmade-Fair-2015This year I am proud to announce that I am an official supporter of the fair and I have a ticket offer for you to snap up your chance to attend.

The Handmade Fair is a fully interactive event with hands-on workshops, entertaining interviews, ‘make and takes’, and all the shopping and fabulous food you can manage. Last year the duck wraps and veggie curry were big hits!

Mr-X-Stitch-Handmade-Fair-2014

I am hoping to bump into Jamie aka Mr X Stitch, my colleagues at Sizzix and of course squeeze in a bit of shopping at Peach Blossom for craft party supplies!

Kirstie-Allsopp-Handmade-Fair-2014Last year Kirstie joined in on the crafts and workshops. For 2015, there are VIP experiences available again, so you can grab a glass of bubbly with Kirstie and indulge in an afternoon tea experience.

VIP-Experience-Handmade-Fair-2014 Annie-Sloan-Kirstie-AllsoppI’ll be at the fair on Sunday, so give me a shout if you are planning to go and we can meet up to share the crafty fun! Tea-At-The-Handmade-FairAlthough forgive me as I may be jet lagged!
I am planning to vlog my day at the fair so keep an eye on my YouTube channel if you can’t go along and want to see what happens! I will probably share some live broadcasts on Periscope too. Find me there as Claireabellemakes.

Handmade-Fair-Craft-StallsSo I mentioned a ticket offer didn’t I? You can grab tickets from The Handmade Fair website and use the codes below for some discounts.

CLAIRE27               £27 Full Experience offer (usually £29)

CLAIRE12               £12 Entry Only (usually £15)

Did you know there is also Christmas Fair this year? Taking place at Manchester Central from 20-22 November, The Handmade Christmas Fair will include all things crafty as well as all things Christmassy! Find out more here. I LOVE Christmas crafting so I reckon it will be ace.

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 *All photos in this post are courtesy of The Handmade Fair.