Did you hear the joyous rumbling that sealed August with a handmade high five? On Friday, August 24, 2012, makers all across the world came together in celebration of the 3rd annual Etsy Craft Party. And man, did you all put on some impressive and inspiring parties! From Brussels to Brooklyn, over 6,000 people gathered in 600 towns to celebrate creativity and community along the theme of “Wish You Were Here.” The parties ran the gamut from intimate meetups of friends taking time to make things together to 1,000 people lined up to get their craft on in Los Angeles!
We extend a warm thank you to everyone who made Craft Party a success — the hard-working party organizers, everyone who came out to meet and make together, and our partners: Spoonflower, Lomography, Sublime Stitching, and BALLE, and, of course, Michaels for the generous boxes of craft supplies they sent to each party with 25+ RSVPs on Meetup Everywhere. Read on for highlights from Craft Party 2012.
“A small group of Etsians and others presented their crafts on Mazepy Street in Kiev. August 24 for Ukrainians is Independence Day. That’s why we celebrated it on the street! In our photos you can see Pisanke Egg Parade too.” — Elena Fomina, Kiev, Ukraine Craft Party
“We had paper-tube animals, magnets with self-portraits, paper weaving and hanging notepads. We also had some samples and leftover supplies for the raffle. Even kids who were at the park wanted to join us for a craft!” — Alexandra, Hillside, NJ
“Our activity was painting papier-mâché horses, which is a local traditional craft. We learned more about this craft, and painted our own! We also had a show-and-tell among crafters after the horse-painting activity. It was awesome getting to know other crafters and experiencing the skill and passion they put into their craft.” — Marielle Nadal, Manila, Phillipines
“We had four stations for different projects. Great vibe, cool and smart people, even some dudes came. One participant was overheard saying,’This is the coolest thing I have ever done in Charleston.’ This event coincided with the grand opening weekend of our new makerspace/crafting studio in Charleston called SpaceCraft Studios, and we were honored and grateful to be a part of the Etsy Craft Party. ” — Alison Merrick, Charleston, SC
The Etsy 817 Team had a night of craft, food, friends, and fun. “We made a glass pebble magnet using maps featuring our area, and ate finger foods in the shape of Texas. Our decorations highlighted local things, like our baseball team and local college.” — Julie, Arlington, Texas
“We are an Etsy-like brick-and-mortar store (called Wildcard), so we rearranged a little in order to have ‘craft stations.’ We made travel journals, map necklaces and magnets, black and gold (Pittsburgh’s sports team colors!) pom-poms, and envelopes out of old magazines and books. We also baked a lot of treats and bought some savory snacks. There was a great turn-out and it was a lot of fun!” — Alicia Kachmar, Pittsburgh, PA
“Over 475 people participated in our downtown community arts co-op, sharing local food, live local music, over 15 demo tables, 30 vendors, 100 swag bags, and 7 raffles baskets! It was completely free and family friendly. I organized this event with the goal of EPIC and we succeeded!” — Kristen Bird from Tampa Etsy Crew, Tampa, FL
“We experimented cutting bottles. We made edible popcorn necklaces, and printed out the face of a friend that couldn’t be there and put it on a stick; we wished she was there. We wore Mexican mustaches and made and ate typical Mexican food! A beautiful day!” – Justine Standaert from the Oaxaca Mexico Team, Oaxaca, Mexico
“We did a joint party between Acorn to Oak Handmade Etsy Team, Roth Brewing, and Techshop RDU. We had a food truck, live music, showed a local independent film some students did for their senior project on dinosaurs, hosted craft tables with different crafts, and had drink specials. People made wood paintings, custom glass drinkware, jewelry, handmade shop aprons, cards, knit scarves, and friendship bracelets.” — Dara McGinn, Raleigh, NC
“Nine strangers joined together in one location for a jewelry-making 101 party. These ladies learned how to make simple jewelry and made 110 pairs of earrings that were donated to our local women’s shelter, Safe Haven. New friends all around, and a monthly schedule to do it again!” — Teri Dodson, Colleyville, TX
“There were no worries of phones ringing, door bells chiming, chores to get done, as all energy was focused on being there in that moment of crafting delight. Everyone agreed that it was a wonderful escape into creativity away from the daily grind. I am certain that this has sparked a desire for this to be a part of everyone’s lifestyle now that they have experienced it at the Etsy Lindsay Craft Party. ” — Paula Wilson, Lindsay, Ontario, Canada
“We didn’t expect such a big crowd to show up! At one point crafters set up camp in the alley next to the shop because all the tables and chairs were filled. We’ll have to find a bigger space for next year! And we’re thinking about making craft parties a regular event for us here in Cincinnati.” — Grace Dobush, Cincinnati, OH
“We held our Craft Party in the centre of our already scheduled Twilight Markets and it was a huge hit! We had young, old, couples, and families come and sit down to craft with us. A favourite quote from the night was a mum with two little boys who said she always means to do this type of thing at home, but finds herself too busy and we gave her to opportunity to spend some quality, stress-free time with her kids. For us, that is what is all about — reinvigorating craft and making it accessible for everyone.” — Belinda Harris, Brisbane, Australia
“Our party was all about celebrating the Alamo City. We had DIY Texas trading cards, travel journals, even a neon pink Alamo photo booth. But the main event of the evening was our very own Craft War. We had three teams of four compete to create the best San Antonio-themed craft out of recyclables. We had goodie bags for the winning team, as well as door prizes for our guests. It was one big DIY fiesta!” — Amy Johnson, San Antonio, TX
“Our Craft Party was at Treehouse Kid and Craft, a local DIY and children’s shop here in Athens, Georgia. We had different stations to make travel journals/zines, postcards, and we also brought our one-inch button maker. The button maker was the big hit of the party! Our party goers drew buttons and then pressed them and added a pin or magnet back. We also made a “Wish You Were Here” sign and took photos, and served snacks.” — Missy Kulik, Athens, GA
“The best part for me is the sense of community. Knowing that this is was just a cell of something bigger. Learning something new and passing along some knowledge and of course having some fun.” — Silvia D’Avila, Forest Hills, NY
“One of the most heart-warming aspects of our party was the fact that it was well attended by crafters of all ages. Adults, teens, children, friends, and family members were all creating together with smiles on their faces. Many new friends were made.” — Holly Embry, Tulsa, OK
“We had live music and two collaborative Bull City-themed projects. And there was a full rainbow right before the sun set!” — Megan Jones, Durham, NC
“We kept our party free and open to the public. We had light refreshments and craft kits, so we were able to truly enjoy the intimacy and make some genuine connections. The best part, aside from making new friends and learning new skills, was definitely the photobooth. That helped people loosen up and laugh together.” — Lorna Ruth Galloway, Deerfield Beach, FL
“We decided on a workshop where we would turn old spoons into garden planters. It turned out everyone had bought their spoons at the same local Goodwill-type store (here called Petit Riens) and the last person to show up found the spoon bin empty! I had a laugh at trying to imagine what the employees of the Petit Riens would have made of this.” — Anna Denise van der Reijden, Brussels, Belgium
The Brooklyn Etsy Craft Party captured the creative spirit of the borough with an epic, energetic affair that featured music from a live brass band, four local Etsy guest artists, three delicious local food trucks, and a photo booth. Festivities were held outside in the Brooklyn Bridge Park. Viva Brooklyn!
To see more photos, or to share your own Craft Party pics, take a look at the Craft Party Flickr group.