Cambridge Etsy Craft Party 2012

Etsy Craft Party on claireabellemakes

Over the last few weeks, I have been busy organising an Etsy Craft Party which took place on Friday 24th August. What’s a craft party you ask? In the words of Etsy…

“Craft Party is a time to get to know your neighbours and exercise your creative spirit. Craft Parties take place around the world when communities come together to participate in art, craft, design and DIY in every form. Anyone can organise a Craft Party and anyone can participate — the power is literally in your hands!”

Etsy arranged a simple ‘meet-up’ site with leaders inviting their participants and planning activities. What caught my interest, was that it was a global craft up, with parties taking place around the world, at the same time. Fact fans may like to know that almost 500 parties took place, with close to 5000 participants. That’s a lot of crafty people!

Fellow bloggers Crafty Painter and Suzie Makes put their thinking caps on to help me organise. The parties were sponsored by American craft store Michaels (think Hobbycraft)  who kindly provided a FREE box of supplies! Check it out!

Etsy Craft Party on claireabellemakes

We were over the moon about this! Paint, papers and scrapbooking materials galore! If these goodies didn’t ignite creativity, we were stuffed!

We had organised a picnic (yes, I know British summer sucks) and planned to dash to the local pub if the rain made an appearance. We rocked up to the local green with cakes and craft supplies aplenty. A small crowd at first, which grew to 23 in total throughout the afternoon.

Etsy Craft Party on claireabellemakes

I knew almost all the people who attended, via our newly formed WI group, but many of the attendees had not talked to each other before. Some new faces came along too and shared their fantastic scrapbooking and book binding skills. As cheesy as it sounds, it really felt as though sitting in a park, collectively crafting, brought us all together as new friends.

Etsy Craft Party on claireabellemakes

Naturally there was an immense amount of cake. We ignored the rain (see the drops on the lid of the bakewell tarts) and stuffed our faces. Sugar overload. Probably not a good idea with embroidery needles and scissors around!

The theme for the craft party was ‘Wish You Were Here’ so we planned some crafts to reflect our city. Bicycle themed embroidery and wooden painted postcards featured.

Some people indulged in papercraft. Look at the fab page from Miss Dotty’s smash book!

Etsy Craft Party on claireabellemakes

Some made friendship bracelets (quite apt for all the new friends made) and learned basic crochet stitches, whilst others came with in-progress projects.

By the end of the afternoon and 5 hours of crafting under the threatening grey skies of Cambridge, we had experienced a few rain drops, made some pretty things and all gained stiff backs and dead legs. Picnic blankets are not all that comfy it seems!

Etsy Craft Party on claireabellemakes

Etsy UK and Etsy US tweeted us throughout and we posted updates of our makes on Instagram. Although some parties such as NYC wouldn’t take place until hours after ours, we had US twitter followers commenting on our party. The Brooklyn party was on a much bigger scale (queues aplenty) and Vancouver even had an after party planned for theirs, but our small picnic somehow still felt as important.

It was a fabulous afternoon. New friends made, new crafts learnt. Sharing out the unused craft supplies at the end of the afternoon came with great excitement. You’d think we’d all got a new pair of shoes or a sparkly diamond ring each. It’s amazing how exciting crafters can get about a new pair of scissors hehe!

We decided ‘crafternoons’ should be a regular thing. Inspired by Etsy’s idea, we shall meet again.

Please also take time to check out this fabulous post about the NYC craft party by starcrossed smile!

claireabelle x

36 thoughts on “Cambridge Etsy Craft Party 2012

  1. Looks like you guys had loads of fun! I’m so glad the rain held out for you too. If your doing this again perhaps I’ll need to take a little mini-break to Cambridge… 🙂 x

  2. This is so cool! I would love to do this in my city 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing, it looks like yall had fun. Please share about your next one as well!

  3. Lovely post Claire, just writing mine now, although it’s a bit more about what I have got up to since the party. Brilliant afternoon, thanks for organising us all. x

  4. Great post Claire 🙂 I really enjoyed the craft party. Thinking about how to finish/frame my bicycle embroidery, then will get around to doing a post myself! Thanks again for all the organising! x

  5. Oh, this is so fabulous Claire! Sweets and crafts are two of my favorite things, so combining the two together in one afternoon sounds perfect. My goal is to next year be able to host my own craft party like you did 🙂 Loved reading your post and thanks so much for linking to mine!

  6. You are definitely a leader in life. It sounds absolutely amazing and I am glad that you all had fun. Maybe I will make the next one….? Well done on what seems to be another well organised event.

  7. Ooh This looks like so much fun!
    I wish more people in Belgium would start doing this like this!
    I would definetly join for it! 😉
    I’ve started to follow you through Bloglovin! I love your creations and i’m a jewelry maker myself. Maybe we can chat sometime?

  8. Hey Claire,

    Sorry for being so slow to write this, it’s been a real hectic month! Thank you so much for welcoming Marie and I to your party, we both felt really glad we came, thank you to all of you for making us feel welcome and for feeding us your lovely and varied cakes…yet more evidence that tells me Cambridge is Cake Capital of… the world, I suspect:) We look forward to meeting up with you guys again and getting to know you all. When is your next WI meeting that us newbies can attend?

    Here’s to making new creative craft chums

    PS Also, thank you so much for sharing the wonderful art supplies you got from Etsy, you didn’t have to, that was very kind and generous of you!

    PPS Great website! When I have more time, I’ll have a really good look around:)

    1. Hello Sharon! Thank you so much for taking the time to comment and to share your experience of Cambridge’s first Etsy Craft Party! I’m glad it was a great success and that you enjoyed the art supplies. It was such a lovely creative afternoon, even if we did all get sore backs by the end!

      I’ve emailed both you and Marie about the WI meeting, really hope you can come.

      Claire x

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