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ne w

Vintage queen Pearl Lowe’s rose footstool

A stylish summer beret

new projects

Kid crafts

t h e

M A G A Z I N E

G uide

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to

S E L L I N G

 Pop-up books  Dreamcatchers  Belle & Boo’s Explorer Satchel

 Crochet bee Pincushion rings   Wet-felted paperweights

Animal magic SEW YOUR OWN WOODLAND FINGER PUPPETS

TO STITCH & CROCHET

Quick makes

Retro iPod & iPad cases with Lauren Guthrie

M A G A Z I N E

39

sew

crochet

upcycle

How to stand out at craft fairs

Learn The art of visible mending

Toot, toot! ISSUE 05 / UK £4.99 Printed in the UK

05/07/2013 19:46


craftymag.com

WELCOME

TO Crafty

S

o here we are at Crafty issue 5 and boy, is it jam-packed with lots of interesting makes for you to try your hand at. I’ve been busy these past four weeks embroidering lots of lampshades (I’m still learning and have got a bit tired of stitching on handkerchiefs and pillow cases), but I’m ditching the lamps in favour of some of the projects we’ve got in store for you this month. First up on my to-make list is the Belle & Boo Explorer Satchel, which I think would suit my nephew perfectly (once he’s old enough to walk and, you know, explore) and then I’ll be giving the crochet pebbles a go. I’ve just about got to grips with knitting but am still a tad wary of crochet patterns, and these little projects look perfect for a novice to try. Then there’s the dreamcatchers, Lauren Guthrie’s tablet and smartphone covers, and who could fail to be inspired by Pearl Lowe’s upcycled footstool? I hope I can get it all done before Crafty issue 6 is out! But it is summer after all so don’t forget to pack up your projects in your old craft bag and head outside for a spot of fresh air. I recommend a day trip to the delightful coastal town of Whitstable – we’ve just been (see page 72) and can safely say the oysters are particularly fine at this time of year.

editor’s fave to start “I cannot wait tty little na is th making page 30 to beret. Turn to ing it” join me in knitt

I love that mending doesn’t have to be a chore any more. These ideas for creative darning will make even the most holey of clothes beautiful again. page 40 I’ve never tried wet felting before but I reckon these gorgeous pebble covers are what’s going to convince me to give it a go. page 57 Sarah Adie

We’ve set up an Angel Policy for all projects.

Editor

Unless otherwise stated, please assume that all

sarah.adie@practicalpublishing.co.uk

designs are for personal use only, are protected by copyright and are not for commercial use.

Crafty Magazine

@crafty_magazine

Crafty Magazine 003

EditorsLetter.indd 3

@crafty_magazine EDITOR’S LET TER

05/07/2013 17:24


What’s

inside

Projects 18 Up tails all!

COVER

Sew your own Ratty, Mole, Badger, Toad and Weasel finger puppets. Marvellous!

MAKE

28 You busy bee It’s summer and that can only mean one thing: bees! Here’s how to crochet a beautiful bumbly clothes pin.

30 How smart Reach for your crochet hooks – Purl Alpaca’s Cagney Beret is one of our must-makes this month.

34 Sweet dreams Rest easy after sewing our dreamcatchers.

40 VISIBLE MENDING Find out how to mend your holey clothes in a rather beautiful way.

44 The Obelisk clock Here’s how to update a humdrum plastic clock using Post-its!

e Willows Check out our Wind in th t your cover stars! You’d better ge sewing kit out!

46 When dinosaurs ruled the earth 18

Find out how to make a pop-up book.

50 Flying high

CONTENTS

How to upcycle a birdcage into a lamp.

53 The heat is on Try out some embroidery techniques with our summer-inspired pattern.

57 Pretty in pebbles Here’s how to make pebbles even more beautiful than they already are.

30

64 Go-go, gadget! Look after your tablets and mobiles by sewing our retro-inspired gadget cases.

69 Penny for them Favourite cashmere jumper shrunk in the wash? Use it to make a penny mat!

77

77 Sweet gypsy rose Pearl Lowe’s upcycled gypsy rose footstool is another absolute must-make this issue.

82 pIns & needles Keep your pins close at hand with our fun pincushion rings.

84 An explorer’s satchel 40

WHAT’S INSIDE

Contents.indd 4

If your kids love the great outdoors, then this Belle & Boo project is a must for you.

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These are the best pot holders we’ve ever seen!

PEOPLE 6 Meet your makers Wave hello to everyone whose helped make Crafty this month.

12 All aboard the Craftevan Julie Nixon runs a travelling craft shop out of a restored caravan. Watch out for her at craft fairs this summer!

16 Good reads All our favourite books for the month, plus a chat with Amy Azzarito – author of Past & Present.

22 The Crochet Bloke

92

Craft author Theo Sundh shows us around his divinely retro home – and yes, there’s lots of crochet!

40 oh, darn it!

34

All you need to know about the trend for giving your mending a creative twist.

72 Wonderful Whitstable Oysters truly are an aphrodisiac – just one taste of Whitstable’s famous shellfish and we’re head over heels for the town.

89 At the craft fair Designer-maker Charlotte Farmer shares her top tips for craft fair success.

57

92 the Barbé shop We talk shop with textile designer, blogger and photographer Karen Barbé.

98 X-rated 69

REGULARS 7N  ews Everything that’s going on in the craft world and beyond.

How Mr X Stitch is changing the world, one cross stitch at a time.

How cute are these little wooden bobbins? Love!

13 Competition We’ve got two pairs of tickets to Goodwood Revival up for grabs, worth £150.

14 Save the date Your cut-out-and-keep calendar for September.

97 Next issue Find out what’s coming next in Crafty!

13 7

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WHAT’S INSIDE

05/07/2013 17:26


MEETmYOUR akers

Cover star 18

50

82

Crafty Magazine Practical Publishing International Ltd Suite G2 St Christopher House, 217 Wellington Road South, Stockport SK2 6NG info@practicalpublishing.co.uk Tel: 0844 561 1202 Fax: 0161 474 6961 www.practicalpublishing.co.uk EDITORIAL Editor Sarah Adie sarah.adie@practicalpublishing.co.uk Tel: 0161 474 6994 Editorial Assistant Hugh Metcalf hugh.metcalf@practicalpublishing.co.uk Creative Art Editor Mat Biggs mat.biggs@practicalpublishing.co.uk Photographers Rachel Burgess, Andy Sawyer, Dan Walmsley Illustrator Daren Newman Sub-Editors Becky Higgins, Justine Moran, Ashleigh Morgan CONTRIBUTORS Fausta Babenskaite, Bay Rock Jewellery, Belle & Boo, Jamie Chalmers, Sarah Corbett, Purl Alpaca, Elizabeth Healey, Kim Searle, Catherine Greenslade, Lou Tonkin, Tom van Deijnen

Laura Clempson

Tom Robinson

Jo Watkins

Laura would happily spend most of the day drinking fancy tea, drawing and eating cake. But between juggling two little children, an author husband and a start-up business, she’s lucky if she gets a cup of tea that’s hot! Check out her website

Jo runs Darn It & Stitch, Oxford's favourite haberdashery, and Pinworks School of Stitching while attempting to complete all the half-finished projects stashed around her house. Her past projects have involved knitting the contents of a TV together.

cupcakesforclara.typepad.com

Tom’s a solid gold electrician who uses his sparky skills in all sorts of interesting and madcap ways. It’s not all fixing little old ladies’ lights, you know. When he can’t be found working on submarines, he’s most likely helping his girlfriend with home renovations. That or playing World of Warcraft.

53

34

62

darnitandstitch.com

PUBLISHING & ADVERTISING Publishing Assistant Janice Whitton Advertising Sales Executive Ruth Walker ruth.walker@practicalpublishing.co.uk Tel: 0844 826 0615 Advertising Sales Executive Noune Sarkissian noune.sarkissian@practicalpublishing.co.uk Tel: 0844 826 0612 Advertising Co-ordinator Rachael Edmunds HR Manager Karen Battrick Marketing Manager Carol Jones Group Sales Manager Kevin Edwards Publisher Gavin Burrell Publishing Director Dave Cusick Managing Director Danny Bowler Group Managing Director Robin Wilkinson DISTRIBUTION Newstrade COMAG Magazine Distribution Craft Trade Distribution Practical Publishing International Ltd Craft Store Distribution Executive Lauren Schofield lauren.schofield@practicalpublishing.co.uk Tel: 0844 826 0616 Crafty Magazine is published by Practical Publishing International Ltd. All material © Practical Publishing International Ltd. The style and mark of Crafty Magazine is used under licence from Practical Publishing International Holdings Ltd. No material in whole or in part may be reproduced without the express consent of Practical Publishing International Ltd.

Monique Jivram

Bridgeen Gillespie

Lauren Guthrie

Monique creates vibrant handdrawn illustrations with a nostalgic feel, using urban embroidery or vintage fabrics. Inspiration comes from antiques markets and her Latin American heritage. Her use of commonplace objects prompts a sense of familiarity.

Bridgeen is an illustrator with a passion for creating textile designs and embroidery art. She references pop culture in her work, and grew up on comics, David Bowie and cult 90s TV shows. She also has the ability to change her hairstyle at will.

Lauren has loved keeping busy with creative projects since she was a child when she would make little handbags from the scraps of her mum's sewing projects. She now owns a haberdashery, fabric and yarn store in Birmingham.

moniquejivram.com

cherryandcinnamon.com

guthrie-ghani.co.uk

CONTRIBUTORS

Contributions.indd 6

The publisher welcomes contributions from readers. All such contributions and submissions to the magazine are sent to and accepted by the publisher on the basis of a non-exclusive transferable worldwide licence unless otherwise agreed in writing prior to first publication. Such submissions are also subject to being used, reproduced, modified, published, edited, translated, distributed and displayed in any media or medium, or any form, format or forum now known or hereafter developed, for any purpose, in perpetuity. The views expressed by contributors are not necessarily those of the publisher. Every care is taken to ensure that the contents of the magazine are accurate, but the publisher accepts no responsibility for errors. While reasonable care has been taken when accepting advertisements, the publisher cannot accept responsibility for any resulting unsatisfactory transactions, but will investigate any written complaints made.

Crafty Magazine (ISSN 2051-6568) Published by Practical Publishing International Ltd

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05/07/2013 17:29


craftymag.com

Wrag Wrap 

Wrapping paper costs the earth (and by that we mean both trees and our wallets), so we love the idea of Wrag Wrap. Giving your present in one of these cloth wrappers means your friends won’t just crumple it up and throw it away. If you’re lucky, they might even give you it back! Check out all the designs at wragwrap.com

What’s

new Keep up to date with all the latest news and trends

ST ITC HIN ’ SH AD E but until we’re ade makes us happy, This cross stitch lampsh te to find out ish to traverse the websi fluent enough in Swed inspiration. DIY ve to settle for major where to buy it, we’ll ha lam pg us taf.se

1

ISSUE 3 IN FABRIC 1 Make a matching cushion for your birdcage lamp (page 50) in this bird-enhanced chevron cotton by Lottie Frank. £12 per yard, spoonflower.com 2 We’ve got coastal longings after a trip to Whitstable, no better summed up than in this printed linen from Mini Moderns. £54 per metre, minimoderns.com

2

3 You’ll impress in your handmade vintage-inspired dress at the Goodwood Revival if you head to The Polished Button for your fabric fix. £4 per metre, thepolishedbutton.co.uk

3 007

NEWS.indd 7

WHAT’S NEW

05/07/2013 17:30


What’s

new

BARTER TO GET SMARTER

editor’s fave

idea! I’m “What a great ng about ki already thin t to pick an w I s what skill t should I up. Now, wha ” swap them for?

What’s

new

We’ve got an unending thirst for picking up new skills but pockets that, quite frankly, end too soon to be able to enrol in every class we like the look of. This isn’t the only reason we’re in love with the idea of the Trade School though. It works like this: someone with a skill to teach proposes a class and asks for barter items in return from students. You might want to teach a class making butter and ask for anything from jars and bread to music tips or help finding an apartment. It’s a co-operative system and sure to bring people together to learn and make collaboratively. There are already Trade Schools in London, Edinburgh and Glasgow, but if there isn’t one in your area, take a look on the website and help to set one up. tradeschool.coop

rewind, recycle Sonic fabric... that’s a thing now. This “sonorously imbued” material is woven from cassette tape by artist Alyce Santoro and, even when made into something like this tie, can still be played with the help of a specially modified Walkman. It does sound “like scratching five records backwards at once” though... alycesantoro.com

Kits for Kids 

Made for beginners with sticky pattern pieces (no pinning needed!) and all the fabric and trimmings you’ll need in one bundle, Little Dress Kits are perfect for new mums who want to give the gift of something handmade to their newborn. We’ve got two sets of dungarees to give away – sweet hearts and cars. For your chance to win visit ppjump.com/littledresskits

WHAT’S NEW

NEWS.indd 8

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folding seat We love the design of this origami footstool available from cool design shop Pretty Dandy. At £180, it’s a little steep so we’ll have to save up for it, but at least it’s inspired us to get folding our fabric to reimagine this amazing geometric swallow. prettydandy.co.uk

Lamp Love  Billing itself as the “first physical social network”, the Goodnight Lamp is a lovely bit of British design. A family of internet-connected lamps, you can flick a switch on the big papa lamp to turn the smaller ones on and off, wherever they may be in the world. We think it’s perfect for when you’re away from the kids and you can pre-order it now at goodnightlamp.com

TIC TAIL run a for the handmaker to y wa ly on the ’t Etsy isn ‘the ed bb import Tictail. Du business: meet Swedish ing om d-c -an up ’, Tictail is an Tumblr of ecommerce g alin pe ap an s ha , which free platform for selling easily. d lise na rso pe be n ca and stripped-back design like Jess es are using it already, ess sin bu ft cra of s Lot her shop for lls do tiful wooden Hunt who creates beau u at yo for t righ it’s if see Hinter folk, but you can om l.c tic tai

THE WORKING ARTISAN’S CLUB Surf and skate magazine Huck has teamed up with O’Neill for an event celebrating those who have taken things into their own hands and make a living from what they, well, make. But these aren’t your everyday crafts, rather hand-making skateboards and bikes, screen-printing, tattooing and more. We particularly loved reading about Elsie Pinniger, who hand-makes her surf wetsuits on a vintage Singer sewing machine down in Cornwall... pretty cool, no? The series of profiles culminates in September with a week-long exhibition in London. Keep an eye on the magazine to meet some more inspirational makers on show and for further details of time and place. huckmagazine.com

009

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WHAT’S NEW

05/07/2013 17:31


Make it

sweets dream

Make our embroidery hoop dreamcatchers and you’ll sleep easy for ever more PHOTOGRAPHY dan walmslEy

Materials

embroidery hoops (3, 4 & 8”) colourful fabrics colourful embroidery thread fabric glue

PROJECT BRIDGEEN GILLESPIE

popular during the 70s) has us doing skips of joy every now and again as we walk down the street on our way to work.

craft glue scissors sewing needles pipe cleaners wooden beads seed beads feathers lightbox (optional)

N

ative American traditions always fascinate us here at Crafty, from rain dances to Kachina dolls (spirits who return with the clouds to help their tribe), so the discovery that dreamcatchers are enjoying a bit of a revival again (having been pretty

SWEET DREAMS

DREAMS.indd 34

The first tribe to use the dreamcatcher – a handmade willow hoop covered by a net and decorated with sacred bits and bobs like beads and feathers – as a way of ensnaring nightmares was the Ojibwa people, but the Pan-Indian movement in the 60s and 70s saw lots more adopting the practice. It was believed that the night air was full of good and bad dreams that got caught in the net while you slept. The good dreams were able to pass through the net and slide down the feathers easily but the bad dreams got tangled and perished when the sun came up. The way the beads and feathers are used also has special meaning. A single

bead sewn in the middle signifies a spider on its web and a feather hung from the middle is a symbol of air or breath, while scattered beads across the net can mean lots of good dreams. Making your own dreamcatchers using embroidery hoops means you can customise them in all sorts of ways with beads, real feathers and the fabric colours of your choice. It’s been such a long dreary spring that our colour inspiration was sunshine on a rainy day! The patterns at their present size fit 3, 4 and 8” hoops respectively. Stitch an affirmation that means something to you into the centre and hang an arrangement of different-sized dreamcatchers on your bedroom wall. You’ll never have a bad night’s sleep again!

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05/07/2013 17:41


craftymag.com

PRESENT IDEA Spread good dreams around by giving these to your friends

035

DREAMS.indd 35

SWEET DREAMS

05/07/2013 17:41


Make it

1

3

2

4

5

6

how to

1

Transfer the design onto your fabric using a lightbox or window. Position the pattern, tape it into place then lay the fabric on top with the right side facing up. Trace directly onto the fabric.

2

Add seed beads then stitch over the design using your choice of thread, with two strands doubled over for smaller details and three strands doubled over for strong lines and the lettering. We used a combination of split stitch for the web and chain stitch for the lettering. The stitches are interchangeable and create a lovely raised line which stands out.

3

Wrap the embroidery hoops with 1” strips of fabric to add colour and texture to the dreamcatcher. Tearing or rough cutting the strips as a raw edge is quite attractive – just be careful not to make them too bulky or they might not close when you go to frame your design. Remove the outer embroidery ring (the one with the screw) and dab some craft glue all the way along the outside edge. Leave to get a bit tacky then wind the strips of fabric around until you cover the hoop. Leave to dry.

SWEET DREAMS

DREAMS.indd 36

7

4

For the tassles, create fabric strips that match the hoop you’ve just covered, and use pipe cleaners, wooden beads (with a wide opening) and feathers. Cut the pipe cleaners as long as the width of the hoop and the fabric twice the length of the pipe cleaner.

5

Tie a knot in one end of your fabric strip 1” before the end, then tuck one pipe cleaner into the knot. Dab glue along the length of the pipe cleaner, then carefully roll wrap the fabric diagonally down its length. Twist as tight as you can at the end and let the glue dry a little. The trick is to not let the glue set hard, as you’ll need to trim the excess fabric off and tuck the pointy end into the wooden bead. Dab more glue into the bead to secure it. Dip your feather’s stalk in glue and tuck into the open end of the bead. Be sure to match the way the feather is facing with the knot at the top of your tassel – they should both be front facing.

around, ½” in from the edge, then pull like a drawstring and secure.

7

Pick three points to attach your tassels. We recommend one at the bottom centre and two on either side at 45 or 90° angles.

8

Make sure your tassel faces outwards before you pin, and the knot and feather are front facing with your embroidery, with the knot appearing just below your hoop. Once in position, use a small running or back stitch to tack your tassel in place.

Eureka! You can make an iron-on transfer using the reverse image of your design. Trace over the lines with a heat-transfer pencil or pen, then place the pattern right side down on the fabric and press firmly with a dry iron to transfer 

6

At the back of your embroidery, gather in the loose fabric and trim off any excess, leaving 1-2”. Knot a thread and work a running stitch all the way

When stitching the dreamcatcher outlines, try randomly adding a seed bead here and there to catch the light

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05/07/2013 17:41


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WANT MORE ? Check out Bridgeen’s blog

cherryandcinnamon.com

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DREAMS.indd 37

SWEET DREAMS

05/07/2013 17:42


Make it

BITS & BLOGS

TEMPLATES Not for commercial use

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SWEET DREAMS

DREAMS.indd 38

038

05/07/2013 17:42


Make it

the OBELISK clock Past & Present is a wonderful book that puts a modern twist on design concepts throughout history. There are lots of marvellous projects to ooh and aah over but the neon Post-it notes on this clock really had us at hello PHOTOGRAPHY ELLEN SILVERMAN

Materials

clock with a plastic face & removable plastic cover ½” Post-it Arrow Flags flathead screwdriver painter’s tape X-ACTO knife

O

ur captivation with ancient Egypt continues to this day and obelisks still pop up frequently in modern décor (usually in the form of bookends or mantel decorations). Obelisks also appear in more unexpected ways, like on the clocks shown here. Designer Timothy Liles uses pointed obelisk-shaped Post-it flags in neon colours to create a decorative element across clock faces. The clock itself, which marks the movement of the sun, is a little nod to the obelisk’s original purpose: to honour the Sun God, Ra.

THE OBELISK CLOCK

OBELISK_CLOCK.indd 44

PROJECT TIMOTHY LILES

how to

1

There are usually three or four tabs holding a clock’s cover in place. Pry them back with the head of the screwdriver until the cover comes free. It’s not necessary to remove the hands or ticking mechanism – as you attach the flags, you can simply move the clock hands out of your way as needed.

2

Your design will be based on a straight line. To create this line, lay down a strip of painter’s tape anywhere on the clock’s face. This will establish a consistent first row of stickers on which you can build the rest of the pattern.

3

Attach a lengthwise row of stickers along the edge of the tape, keeping the spacing as even as possible (because you’ll need to eyeball the spacing, it won’t be perfect, but the naked eye won’t pick up discrepancies in the finished piece). When you get to the end of the row, the last sticker may

go beyond the edge of the clock face. Trim it carefully with the X-ACTO knife so that it perfectly meets at the edge of the clock’s face or the plastic rim.

4

When the first row is complete, remove the painter’s tape. For the next row of stickers, reverse the direction in which the arrows point. Keep ¼” of spacing between the rows. Continue laying down successive rows of stickers, alternating colour, direction and varying the spacing if it looks good to you. When thinking about your design, make sure to consider which parts of the numbered clock face you want to show and how much you want to cover up.

5

When you finish placing the stickers, set the hands of the clock back to 12. This will ensure that when the clock starts ticking again, everything will move at the proper rate. Snap the plastic cover back into place, and you’re done!

044

05/07/2013 17:45


craftymag.com

WANT MORE ? You can get your wall clock and paper arrow stickers from viking-direct.co.uk

the& book Past Present by Amy Azzarito is available from Chronicle Books chroniclebooks.com ÂŁ16.99

045

OBELISK_CLOCK.indd 45

THE OBELISK CLOCK

05/07/2013 17:45


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CM05 SH32 house ad_Layout 1 05/07/2013 19:23 Page 88

THe multi-craft magazine for creative minds

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pinwheel template ™ 32-page paper pack ™ flower-shaped brads

Inside issue 32 ™ FABULOUS FELT BAG Gillian Gladrag interview and exclusive felting project for Simply Homemade – don’t miss it !

™ GORGEOUS GIFTS TO GIVE Apple-inspired sewn makes from Debbie von Grabler-Crozier

™ BEACH ACCESSORIES Sew your own holiday essentials – Sally Shepherd shows you how

™ STASH STORAGE IDEAS Fabulous makes to keep your craft room free from clutter – perfect for presents!

™ UPCYCLE WITH STYLE Customise your clothes and accessories with our step-by-step guide

™ CROCHETED BLANKET Julie Ferguson unveils her latest masterpiece – a chic granny square summer blanket

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more inspirational projects and designs, all the latest news and reviews and much more!

Issue 32 On sale nOW For more information go to www.simplyhomemademag.com


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S EL L I N G

AT THE CRAFT FAIR WITH CHARLOTTE FARMER, INDEPENDENT STALL HOLDER INTERVIEW SARAH ADIE

I

llustrator and screen printer Charlotte Farmer is old hat when it comes to craft fairs, having been to at least 10 of the things, as well as several open house and studio weekends, so she’s certainly well versed in getting up at the crack of sparrows and hot-footing it to various venues to sell her beautiful wares. If you’re thinking about taking the next step as a designermaker and are keen to spread the word about what it is you do by having stalls at craft fairs, her words of wisdom could really help you see success at your very first fair.

anyone else. Having originally done a degree in fine art specialising in printmaking I then did an MA in illustration. The combination of drawing and printing has proved very useful in creating my own products.

What inspired you to set up a creative business? I wanted to do something that used my creative skills and I didn’t want to work for

What challenges have you faced as a creative freelancer? The biggest challenge is always financial. I mainly work as an illustrator

Have you always been a crafter? I’ve always enjoyed drawing and making prints, which I’ve been showing in galleries for about three years now, but it’s only in the last couple of years after doing a course in fabric printing that I’ve really started to make printed bags and so on to sell.

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at craft fairs, and screen printing fits in around that, but you never really know how busy you’re going to be. I also find it hard to keep up with admin-type work – it’s not my strong point so I always seem to be rushing around doing everything at the last minute! What was your first fair like? The first fair I did was in London, run by a magazine – so it was a pretty big one for my first time! I persuaded a friend to help and we caught a train bright(ish) and very early, then wheeled our giant cases (packed with far too much stuff) along Archway Road looking for the venue. Once we found it (a church hall next to a newsagent and what appeared to be a gun shop), we set up our display, which involved stringing tea towels around the

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Crafty Business

WANT MORE ? Don’t forget to check out Charlotte’s goodies on her website charlotte-farmer.co.uk

edge of the table and using old suitcases to display prints, bags and cards. Once the doors opened, it was crazily busy all day – I even spotted Linda Barker and a semi-celebrity chef! What do you need to do to prepare before heading off to a craft fair? For my tea towels, I spend ages ironing and tying them up with string. There’s always a late night scramble and panic, making sure I have enough prints wrapped and cards in bags as well as tracking down my business cards and postcards. I tend to attach price labels when I get there otherwise they can get a bit bent in transit. How do you go about setting up your stall and display? The display my friend and I created for the first fair has served as a bit of a blueprint. I start with the tablecloth, which is just a large piece of plain white fabric, then I pin tea towels or bags around the edge. After that, it’s a matter of arranging the cases of prints, tea towels and cards depending on the size of the table and trying to balance bags on top. I also have a small case full of all the things I might need like scissors, string, pegs, safety pins, drawing pins, Blu-tack, luggage labels and Washi tape.

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What sort of props do you need to take? I’ve collected a few useful props over time and I’m lucky that there’s a crazy antique shop on my walk home. I’ve got old leather suitcases, wooden crates, biscuit tins, a wire in-tray and small blackboards. I had a rubberstamp made that I stamp onto small luggage labels. The size of your table can vary hugely, so be prepared to adapt. How much stock should you take? It’s really hard to predict, although I now know which of my bags sell best and that there’s not much point in taking large expensive prints. It can also depend on how you’re travelling. What about pricing? I stick my labels on with colourful Washi tape or tie them on with string when I get there. It’s always a last-minute rush and I write a general price list on a small blackboard too, although I have noticed that people prefer to be able to pick something up and find a price on it. It’s good to have a range of prices so people can always buy a card if they don’t want to spend too much. I have to be careful with prints as I sell them in galleries too and don’t want to undercut them by too much, so I tend to take 20%

off. You just have to bear in mind your costs and time – my things aren’t super cheap but they are good quality! Do you advertise about the fact you’re doing a craft fair? As I said before, admin isn’t my strong point so I usually manage a last-minute post on my blog. I joined Twitter this year so I tweet a week or two beforehand if I remember. I don’t set a good example on this side of things! How essential is it for creative business owners to go to craft fairs? It’s a good way to boost sales and it also gets your work seen by a wider audience. You never know who might buy something, so make sure your name or web address is on everything!

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“You never know who might buy something, so make sure your name or web address is on everything!”

Charlotte Farmer’s top 3 craft fair tips

1

2

3

Take

a float and have small change! And take a friend to help if you’ve got someone willing to sit for ages keeping your spirits up and getting you cake (there’s always cake to be found somewhere). Time

of year is most important – the fairs in the run-up to Christmas are always the best and, as people are usually more organised than I am with their Christmas shopping, ones in late October and November tend to be the best. Make sure your work is of the best quality you can produce. Attention to detail is really important, so use good paper or materials and think about how you package things too. Make an eye-catching display and stand out from the crowd.

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