Highlights: The Handmade Christmas Fair

As promised, here is a post about my time at The Handmade Christmas Fair which took place in Manchester on 20-22 November. When I received an email from the organisers inviting me to the event, I did not hesitate for one second and accepted. Living in Newcastle, I always feel pretty jealous about all the amazing events in London throughout the year so finding out that the fair was in Manchester this time was a very pleasant surprise, and on Sunday morning me and my bf hit the road south.

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http://www.thehandmadechristmasfair.com

Our Full Experience tickets gave us the chance to attend one session in the Super Theatre, one Skills Workshop as well as one Grand Make session. There was A LOT to choose from and, because we were quite short for time (and because I wanted to have enough time to check out the Shopping Village), we decided to head to the Super Theatre first for a christmas pudding cookery lesson hosted by Kirstie Allsopp herself and Lisa Bennison from the award-winning Bettys Cookery School. Being French, Christmas pudding has always been super weird to me – I mean, where is the crème pâtissière – but the demonstration was very interesting and Kirstie & Lisa shared lots of insider secrets (one was that spices don’t last so you should share them with friends!).

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We then joined one of the Skill Workshops, where you get to learn a technique and take your finished product home. Luckily, the last workshop of the day was upholstery, something we’ve both wanted to try for ages! The chair pad workshop was led by the guys from Ministry of Upholstery, the UK’s leading modern upholstery school.

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Did I enjoy it? I enjoyed it so much that I signed up for an upholstery course here in Newcastle the following week!

Finally it was time to check out the Shopping Village yay! To be honest, there weren’t as many exhibitors as I’d expected, but there was a great variety of crafts and I did manage to spend quite a bit of money :) Here are a few pics from some of my favourite stalls as well as my purchases… cannot wait to make my own candles!

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Manchester Craft Mafia
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Goodnight Boutique, the best looking stall!
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Great British Sewing Bee 2015 Winner, Matt Chapple & his SIGNED SEW-A-SAURUS sewing kit
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Wirework by Lucy Elizabeth
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Ben Rothery (we bought the Moby Dick illustration which is right behind him)
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Kirstie’s candle making kit is now mine!
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Rory Mullen’s portraits for a pound…
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…we had to do it <3

The Handmade Christmas Fair is not just a fair. As they describe it themselves on their website, it ‘puts buying, learning and making at the heart of your day’. I loved discovering (and trying!) new crafts and meeting so many talented designers, as well as the queen of handmade herself, Kirstie, who was so engaged and passionate. I’d definitely love to attend the Handmade Fair next year and recommend you check it out too!

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