The Handmade Fair
"The Handmade Fair is by Kirstie Allsopp and is all about appreciating the beauty of handmade, and learning the skills to become a maker yourself. Whether your day at the Fair teaches you how to make something yourself, upcycle a piece you already own, or if you buy it from an expert, it’s here to help everyone to make their life a little more beautiful."
I was lucky enough to visit The Handmade Fair at Bowood House in Wiltshire. It was the first time for The Handmade Fair to visit Bowood House from 22 - 24 June. I visited on the Friday with a Full Experience ticket. The Full Experience ticket included two workshops and one theatre session. The workshops were on at various times, and you could choose your choices online before you visited.
The exterior of The Handmade Fair was gorgeous. The tents were full of bunting, patterned tablecloths and various decorations. Again, the outside of the fair had bunting. There were old cars, where you could buy cocktails, mocktails and food. They had various food stalls, including a tent full of artisan food. For our lunch, we had halloumi with salad. Later on during the day, we couldn’t resist buying ourselves a Pimm’s and sorbet.
"The Super Theatre, Skills Workshops and Grand Makes are hosted by the UK’s most renowned experts, so you can be sure you’re learning from the best in the business." I definitely was. It’s not only a fun day out, but you’ll also be able to take away a bundle of skills and knowledge that you can use to improve your own life and home.
Our first workshop was the Indian Block Printing. We were given a tea towel with the words The Handmade Fair on the front to block print on. We learnt the art of traditional Indian Block Printing with The Arty Crafty Place. In this session we were taught just how easy it is to hand block print our own tea towel using fabric paint and a mixture of Indian Printing Blocks! We also gained the skills to go away and print our own fabric and paper at home.
We had various stamps to choose from, including plants and flowers. It was great to learn a new skill, that I had never done before. I do a lot of crafts in my spare time and I’ve fallen in love with Indian block printing. I ended up buying a set from The Shopping Village at the fair. I picked myself up some plant and flower blocks.
The second workshop was The Introduction to Papercutting. I do a lot of paper crafts in my spare time, and I wanted to improve on my papercutting skills. The workshop was with Kyleigh Orlebar founder of Kyleigh’s Papercuts, where we learnt the scalpel skills and techniques needed to cut an intricate papercut from one piece of paper. We then finished the class with a lovely piece of wall art, plus ideas on how to frame it when we got home.
Lastly, we had the theatre session. The theatre session was with Mollie Makes. "Knitwear designer Katie Jones was against seriously sassy crafter, Emma Jewell, as they went head to head to make the most creative cushion cover they can against the clock." The first cushion cover was full of pom poms and the second design was a fabric water colour design with glitter. Both of the cushions looked great, and it was great to watch two creatives create unique designs with plain covers.
The Handmade Fair is great for learning new skills or to improve your current skills with various workshops. There are lots of workshops to choose from. I definitely need a three-day weekend at the fair, rather than one. I could do workshops all day and crafts. I cannot choose my favourite part to the day. I loved The Mollie Makes stall. They had free workshops, alongside tea and cake. Everything about the fair was wonderful, especially if you’re a keen maker. I definitely recommend going along to The Handmade Fair. I was lucky enough to meet Kirstie Allsopp at the fair, as she visited all the stalls. It was great to see local stalls at the event.
"The Shopping Villages were full to the brim with handmade products of the highest quality, brought to us by incredibly talented makers, along with an enviable range of tools and materials." There are various talented makers inside The Shopping Village, including vintage, crafts, sewing, crochet and more. It was wonderful to see various creatives, especially getting inspiration for my own crafts. It has definitely been my highlight of the year to go along to this fair and I cannot wait to craft away over the next coming months. Photography by myself and The Handmade Fair.