Much like Punxsutawney Phil, crafters around the nation are poking their head out from beneath the post-holiday shopping onslaught to tentatively check out 2012's craft fairs. But good news, crafters! Unique fairs like the Randolph Street Market and the I Made It! Mine marketplace offer bright spots of DIY sunshine, inspiring the rest of us (groundhogs included) to brave the bleak mid-winter and get our craft on.
While we can't write about every craft fair and marketplace happening across the country (or the world), we do like to highlight a handful of notable ones each week. If you'd like more people to know about your craft show or event, list it on our Craft Map and we'll gladly consider it for coverage. You can also email us at email@example.com.
Feb 4, 12-5
Over 50 vendors will gather in the Steel City for this Valentine's marketplace. With free crafts for kids and handmade goodies galore, this indie craft fair is a one-stop holiday shop (literally — it's a traveling show with only one stop this season).
SouthSide Works, 510 South 27th Street, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, firstname.lastname@example.org, I Made It! Market
Feb 4-5, (Sat) 10-5, (Sun) 10-4
Recovering from a deluge of prattling politicians, Floridians can let loose at this annual craft fair close to the coast. Shoppers should expect more traditional handmades like patriotic crafts and painted-wood folk art.
Volusia County Fairgrounds, 3150 East New York Avenue, Deland, Florida, email@example.com, Buckler Craft Fair
Feb 4, 10-12 or 1-3
Want to make soap but nervous about using lye, unmonitored? The Georgia soap shop Mossy Creek Soap is offering a beginner's class on making your own cold-pressed sudsers.
Mossy Creek Soap, 4501 Russell Parkway, Suite 6, Warner Robins, Georgia, 478-973-3190, Mossy Creek Soap
Feb 4-5, (Sat) 12-6, (Sun) 10-5
Famed for its trendy craft and vintage marketplace, this urban antique fair (one of the best in the nation) features over 200 vendors, high-quality home decor and, best of all, has an open door policy for our four-legged friends.
Inside Historic Plumbers Hall, 1340 West Washington Street, Chicago, Illinois, 312-666-1200, firstname.lastname@example.org, Randolph Street Market
Feb 7, 6:30-8:30 pm
Scrapbooking and good gossip about the men in your life — what's better? This craft class, put on by Stampin' Up demonstrators, offers Valentine's paper crafts for the men in your life.
Street address available upon request, West Bend, Wisconsin, 262-629-9348, email@example.com, Creating the Hive
Feb 2-4, (Vendor Mall) 10-5
Savants throughout the sewing world will gather in Denver, Colorado, for this thread-and-needle convention. Make and takes, a fashion show and even a NYC trip giveaway from Silhouette Patterns are just a few of the highlights from this unique craft fair.
Denver Merchandise Mart/Mart Expo Building, 451 East 58th Avenue, Denver, Colorado, firstname.lastname@example.org, Rocky Mountain Sew Expo
Feb 1-5, (Wed) 10-8, (Thurs-Sat) 10-6, (Sun) 10-5
With wire weaving, cuffs and other beginner-through-advanced jewelry classes as well as a massive bead marketplace, this "humble" Arizona bead show promises to satisfy all your jewelry-making needs.
Kino Veterans Memorial Community Center, 2805 East Ajo Way, Tucson, Arizona, email@example.com, The Best Bead Show
Feb 3-5, 10-5
When was the last time you could go river rafting at a craft fair? Along the Colorado river, this high-adventure marketplace (secretly) promises just that as well as local vendors and craft demos.
Main Street Plaza, Yuma, Arizona, 928-373-5028, City of Yuma
Image credits (from top): I Made It! Mine / maptotheimagination.com, I Made It! Mine / autumnsanticsstore.etsy.com, Buckler's Craft Fair / Eventful.com, Mossy Creek Soap, Randolphs Street Market, Stampin' Up, Rocky Mountain Sew Expo /Barbara Crawford, The Best Bead Show / Margaret Aden and lifeslittleadventures.blogspot.com.