We put out the Etsy Craft Party call, and you all answered in a resounding creative bang! On June 20, 2013, over 11,000 people participated in over 550 gatherings from Horst to Hong Kong, and South Carolina to South Africa, celebrating this year’s Craft Party theme: Craft for Community. Each volunteer-run party concocted their own interpretation of the theme by working in elements of skill-sharing, craftivism, and collaboration for a day of handmade fun. This is the 4th annual Craft Party, and each year I am blown away by the collective creative power of our Etsy community. I have loved seeing all the #CraftParty photos and messages roll in for snapshots from far-flung gatherings. Impressive and inspiring work, party people!
We hosted the Craft Party Brooklyn at the Tobacco Warehouse, just down the street from Etsy HQ. Over 480 people joined us to make puppets to donate to three local kids organizations.
Read on for glimpses into 18 more Craft Parties held around the world.
Left to right:
1. “We folded paper origami cranes as a fundraiser for tornado victims. [We made] the cranes because folding 1,000 brings you good luck.” – Julie G. from the Etsy Fort Worth Craft Party
2. “We combined our creative forces by making a donation of our paper ornaments and decorations to the Children’s Hospital in Skopje to beautify and make the kiddies’ rooms happier. People who read about it in the papers and heard on the radio came to help!” – Maya Kuzman from the Skopje, Macedonia Craft Party
3.”The aim was to doodle anything on the format A5, with anything, on anything. The doodles were donated afterwards to join our collection for the 1000 Drawings Berlin project, which is a non-profit organization. Once we have reached 1000 doodles, we will exhibit them on one night only. They can be purchased for a fixed price and the money will be given to charity afterwards.” – From the 1000 Drawings Berlin Craft Party
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4. “The CREST Artisans Team hosted an awesome party at a local community arts building (Capitol Hill Arts Workshop), partnered with local non-profit ScrapDC for donations, and made awesome cards for the D.C. Children’s Hospital to craft for community. Some serious talent was on hand in our nation’s capitol!” – Starr Ashcraft from the Washington, D.C. Craft Party
5. “Craft Parties are always fun, but this one was special because we decorated a bench that usually sits outside of the library that always host us for free; it was refurbished and we wrote on it a quote by Goethe (this one) and drew insects and foliage. It was a collaborative creation and library people were super happy with that, and so were we!” – Francesca from the Rome, Italy Craft Party
6. “We had a perfect summer night for our Etsy Craft Party at The Studio at Contempo! 75+ guests enjoyed live music, crafting, appetizers, drinks and fun party supplies from Etsy on our sweet little patio. The party even spilled into the streets as guests created flip-flops for Craft Hope, made new friends, and rediscovered the magic of making beautiful things.” – Amy Frank, Boalsburg, PA Craft Party
Left to right:
1. “I was really pleased that our activity worked well with all ages – we had seven-year-olds to seventy-year-olds making paper award ribbons. The subject of each “award” was also an automatic conversation starter, so the best part was definitely socializing with people from the community!” – Betty Turbo from the Corvallis, OR Craft Party
2. “It was wonderful to watch an experienced sewer helping a novice complete her first project: a pillow for an injured U.S. service member hospitalized here in Germany. Crafting creates community and the sharing of skills hearkening back to our grandmothers, who also crafted in support of those on the front lines.” – Heather McCaw Kerley from the Ramstein, Germany Craft Party
3. “We had a lovely older lady teaching crochet and it was great to see a skill being passed down to another generation.” – Kerrie Holland from the Hackney, London Craft Party
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4. “We worked with our local children’s hospital setting up beading, painting and collage workshops for the patients. It was heartwarming working with the kids particularly seeing the smile on a mother’s face when she heard her daughter laughing with the daughter of one of our teammates. She explained her daughter had not hung out with a girl her age for a while.” – Fatema from the Halifax, Nova Scotia Craft Party
5. “In addition to the crafts provided by Etsy, our vendors hosted about 20 different make-and-takes and demonstrations, and we started a tile painting project for the Craft for Community theme. We hope to have them installed as part of a building wall mural here at the Port.” – Rachel Waugh from Craft Party at the Port of Los Angeles (which was the largest Craft Party, with over 800 participants!)
6. “We did batik painting. Everyone had an individual piece, and there were 2 big frames of batik for a group of adults to paint together during the party. One of the best moments was when our youngest participants (2 1/2 years old) and oldest ones (63 years old) all did the same thing and had a great time learning from one another. We also created a felt collage garden where everyone made their own felt flowers and animals to paste onto a big canvas.” – Salinah Zailani from the Singapore Craft Party
Left to right:
1. “We hosted an online Etsy Craft Party in our Facebook group. Each of us created a bunting flag or flags which will be sent to me to string together and the completed bunting will be donated to charity.” – from the Online British Craft Party
2. “It was awesome! The theme of Crafting for Community set a good vibe, and folks not only came to share their time and talent, but their own treasure trove of materials!” – Marielle Nadal from the Makati City, Philippines Craft Party
3. “We collaborated with Pets for Life, a program of the Humane Society of the United States that works directly with under-served communities by providing free animal care and wellness to those who would not normally have access. We fashioned paracord collars which will go directly to dogs in need.” – Annette Bellezzo from the Chicago Craft Party
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4. “The Bergen County chapter of the EtsyNJ team rocked our party in style with feather boas, custom cupcakes, and glitter glue. We Gocco printed recycled cards with a custom team logo and information about the ongoing relief efforts from Hurricane Sandy for our donation project. We had an amazing time making new connections and sharing our stories.” – Joanna Sargent from the Paramus, New Jersey Craft Party
5. “I always love that moment when people who don’t know each other smile and speak through making something. Japanese guys are shy, don’t talk to strangers generally, but ‘craft power’ always breaks the wall of their hearts. RISO (former Gocco company) joined to demonstrate and make silkscreen prints with their digitally printed screens. Attendees then hand-printed a design on tote bags. It became a special memory of the party!” – Atsuko from the Tokyo, Japan Craft Party
6. “Attendees made amazing feel-good postcards. The postcards give the receiver official permission to take a day off work and eat chocolate, for example. Our whole Craft Party was about recycled materials: we made story books and postcards from recycled paper, crochet hearts and bracelets from recycled T-shirts, and painted old glass jars.” – Ka-ching Collective from the Amsterdam Craft Party
Etsy Craft Supplies Box
We would like to extend a giant heartfelt thank you to Spoonflower and these Etsy craft supplies sellers: 24HourCreatives, A2FreshPrints, Craftpon, GooseGrease, KatesPaperie, KnotandBow, MyGoodGraces, PrettyTape, ShauneilSupplies, and SnapCrafty, who generously donated materials to the Craft Supplies Boxes sent out to parties who rallied 25+ RSVPs on Eventbrite by the deadline. The boxes were brimming with materials to make embroidered merit badges, heart medals, and other DIY badge variations found in the Craft Party Kit, as well as stickers, signage, and more. We loved seeing all the photos of these craft supplies put to use with a range of creative interpretations at parties around the globe!
What was your favorite Craft Party moment? Share in the comments below!