Kirstie Allsopp presents The Handmade Fair

Handmade Napkins Shopping Tote Bag Lemon

I've just about recovered from a brilliant weekend at The Handmade Fair.

The event was presented by TV craft empress Kirstie Allsopp and sponsored by Mollie Makes.

It was a dream weekend for anyone who loves cutting, sticking, stitching, knitting, pearling, up-cycling, hoarding fabric and generally making a beautiful mess.

You could indulge your crafty urges in any way you liked, with workshops, demonstrations and pep talks from some of the best makers in the country including Emma Bridgewater, Annie Sloan and Chinelo Bally.

Handmade Shopping Bag AllotmentHandmade Illustration Lampshade Feather HareHandmade Screen printed Tea Towels

My stand was based in the west shopping village. This was my very first consumer show of this size, so it was a great chance to learn how to not only set up my stall to look great but also to work as a pop-up shop, storing stock, taking payments and generally making the most of the space.

My neighbours included the wonderfully sincere illustrations of Death by Tea and the satisfyingly collectable trinkets of Acorn & Will. I also had a former Norfolkian next door in the form of cross stitch queen Bobo & Stitch and the smiling face of Lucy Elisabeth who I met earlier this year at BCTF. It always helps to be surrounded by friendly stallholders, a great way to share notes and tips. 

The days were long and fuelled by gallons of coffee and a multi-pack of Twix. The attendees were very enthusiastic and seriously committed to high quality crafts. I met some lovely new customers, handed out plenty of postcards and started building our mailing list (which you can join too if you like).

Handmade Allotment Double Deck Chair

My secret aim of the weekend was to temp Kirstie into my screen printed double deck chair for a photo opportunity. I posted a tweet on the Saturday but soon realised it was pretty much impossible for Kirstie to navigate the site without being mobbed by enthusiastic crafters on the hunt for selfies.

Kirstie Allsopp Handmade Fair Double Deck Chair

By the final day I'd given up, if it were me I'd have retreated backstage to avoid the rabid photo hunters. Then, as if by magic, Kirstie appeared and having seen our message, she kindly sat in my deck chair and posed for photos. It was a really kind gesture and got a suitably ecstatic reaction on our Facebook page.

Kirstie Allsopp Handmade Fair Bunting

Having packed up my remaining wares and completed my trek home, I find myself back in the studio with a big list of personalised lampshades and double deck chairs to print. 

A huge thanks to everyone who made the Handmade Fair such an enjoyable weekend, I'll see you next year!

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