Update: The Etsy Craft Party Kit is ready. Click on the link to download coupons from our sponsors, how-to projects, party signage, and more!
It’s time to celebrate! Last year’s first-ever global Craft Party was so much fun, we’ve decided to orchestrate it again this year on Friday, June 10, 2011. No matter where you live or what you love to make, you are invited to participate. Musicians, painters, sculptors, photographers, farmers, hackers, gardeners, designers, jewelers, bookbinders, printmakers, teachers, makers and doers of all stripes, as well as art enthusiasts, curators, vintage lovers and supporters of the independently made, we’re calling on you! We challenge you to meet your neighbors and come together to make something surprising.
Last year, over 5,000 people participated in over 500 meetups from Dallas to Romania, and this year our goal is for over 15,000 people to share in the spirit of Craft Party. Since we can’t do this without you, we’re calling on your help to mobilize in your local community. To participate, either as a local Craft Party organizer or party-goer, head on over to Meetup Everywhere (as created by Meetup.com) to put your town on the map. Meetup Everywhere is a powerfully simple way for our creative community to, well, organize meetups everywhere. It’s free and designed to spark face-to-face gatherings around the world.
We envision Craft Party to be a celebration of the wide array of making and an expression of the diversity in your local community. What do you love to make? What are your favorite community organizations and space? How can you band together to craft a positive change in your town?
As the dictionary says, a craft is anything “made or produced with care, skill, or ingenuity.” We challenge you to be creative with the format, activities, and location of your Craft Party — after all, it is yours to define. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Host a Craft Night-style event, and invite local makers to teach hands-on workshops.
- Gather a group of programmers for a Code as Craft inspired event.
- Work with your local farmers markets & CSA for a celebration of fresh food, cooking, and sustainability. Make seed bombs and planters.
- Host a potluck, picnic in the park, skillshare, or swap meet.
- Have a parade on two wheels! Meet at a bike shop, tune up your bicycles and hit the town.
- Make your hometown a better place. Use your skills for good and host a craftivism party by connecting with community organizations to make something beneficial.
- Hit the streets for a guerrilla art project or a photography tour of unusual spots.
- Work on a collaborative art project together.
- Use a material as a starting point. See how you can creatively transform something specific like cardboard, tape, wax, glass jars, dead computers, etc.
- Meet up with mechanics and seamstresses and have a fixing and mending session.
- Connect with a local venue like a library, bookstore, coffee shop, cookware store, art and craft store, music venue, museum, gallery, school, etc.
- Make some noise! Celebrate the craft of music.
- Bring some handmade fun to a nursing home or a daycare center.
- Connect with a business bureau and brainstorm a celebration of local small businesses.
- Hook up with an existing local creative group, like an Etsy Team, Church of Craft chapter, Craft Mafia, or Meetup group, to collaborate and celebrate.
- … these are just a few ideas to get your wheels turning and your brain storming. Craft Party is yours for the making! As the Craftifesto says, “The power is in your hands!” (quite literally).
Be sure to check out some tales and photographs from last year’s events to aid your planning, and join the new Crafty Party Etsy Team to converse with fellow Craft Partiers to scheme and dream in preparation for the big day. We’ll highlight notable photos, video, and stories surrounding these category suggestions below, and everything else you all bring to life at your Craft Parties, in a wrap-up post shortly after the confetti has settled from June 10th.
Need some more ideas for what to do at your Craft Party? Let these categories be a springboard:
- Best Themed Party
- Best Craft Projects
- Best Party Decorations
- Tastiest Party Food
- Best Creative Party Challenge
- Most Spirited Collaborative Art Project
- Sweetest Craftivism Project
Etsy and the Craft Party sponsors (more to be announced soon) will provide every event organizer with a free downloadable Craft Party Kit containing how-to project instructions and templates, party decor ideas, along with all sorts of other tips and ideas for hosting your own party. There might even be a few fun coupons and surprises — who knows?
Can anyone be involved? I don’t live in the U.S.
Yes! Craft Party is all about connecting with your local art, craft, and design community to celebrate creativity, no matter where in the world you live.
Do I have to have an Etsy account to join in the fun?
No! Anyone can join, start or organize an Etsy Craft Party Meetup. We just want you to have fun and make things together.
Do I have to have a Meetup account to join in the fun?
No, you can RSVP with your Facebook sign-in, if you don’t have a Meetup account. If you don’t have a Facebook account or a Meetup account, you’ll need one or the other to RSVP and/or step up as an organizer for a Craft Party. It’s free and easy to sign up, don’t worry!
Does the event need an organizer?
Not at first; however, in order to put on a great event and really connect with Etsy, someone will need to step up and take charge.
Can we change the time of the event?
Yes. The event organizer can change the time and set the location of the event.
Can I add a new Meetup to the map, even if my town already has one?
Go for it. If the current Meetup is too far away, feel free to schedule another.
Does using the Meetup Everywhere tool cost money?
Nope. The Meetup Everywhere site is free and so is creating a Meetup.com account. You might want to pitch in for refreshments and party supplies. Check out more ideas for how to throw a great craft party without breaking the bank here.
What project(s) should we make at our Craft Party?
That is up to you to decide. With some help from our creative partners, we’re going to be offering ideas for inexpensive party crafts that are fun in a group setting. Also, be sure to browse the Make section on Etsy’s blog for inspiration and instructions and read through the ideas list earlier in this post.
What’s the difference between Meetup Everywhere and Meetup Groups?
Meetup Everywhere is not a Meetup Group. A Meetup Group is a local community group. Meetup Everywhere is a simple way to spark Meetups all over the world.
This sounds great. How can I help get the word out about Craft Party?
Help us spread the word about this global Craft Party. If you tweet about your Craft Party, make sure to add the hash tag #CraftParty. Get ready to share photos of the event by joining our Craft Party Flickr Group. Also, don’t forget to join the Craft Party Etsy Team to plan with fellow organizers and partiers leading up to the big day.
Feel free to use these badges and banners on your blog or website to help spread the word and promote your Craft Party.
Copy and Paste This Code: <img src=’http://blog.etsy.com/en/files/2011/04/craftpartyMEXYBOLD
Copy and Paste This Code: <img src=’http://blog.etsy.com/en/files/2011/04/craftpartyTRI-RADICAL_storque.jpg’>
Copy and Paste This Code: <img src=’http://blog.etsy.com/en/files/2011/04/craftpartysquare.jpg’>
Copy and Paste This Code: <img src=’http://blog.etsy.com/en/files/2011/04/craftparty125px2.jpg’>
Copy and Paste This Code: <img src=’http://blog.etsy.com/en/files/2011/04/craftparty125px.jpg’>
Right click & save this avatar and update it with your photo.
Right click & save this avatar and update it with your photo.
Special thanks go out to the Raya Brass Band, who performed the can can live in the video above. Raya Brass Band mashes up the music of Eastern Europe with American dance grooves. For more from the Brass Band, check out their Kickstarter campaign, Etsy shop, website and follow them on Twitter!
What are your ideas for your Craft Party? Let us know in the comments below!