Shop Handmade for the Holidays!

Full disclosure: I'm a maker, a craft show organizer, and a craft show frequenter. I love the handmade! Ottawa has an amazing and vibrant maker-scene. We are so blessed to have such a fantastic and varied community of folks who make everything from handmade chocolates, funky jewellery, great stuffed animals, and pretty much anything else you could imagine. I am one of the founders of Craftalicious (December 10 this year!), and while you won’t find me there this year sitting behind a table hawking my wares, I hope to run into some of you at Ottawa’s awesome shows. While I certainly can't promise you no crowds (these craft shows can be busy!), there are many reasons to do your holiday shopping at craft shows this year.

  • You are guaranteed to find a one of a kind item for everyone on your list. I have bought handmade lip balm, handmade soap, hot chocolate mix, gift cards and tags, fashion accessories, art, kitchen accessories, kids' toys, kids' clothes and many other great items at local craft shows. I have considered buying many, many more items, from kids' chairs made from recycled hockey sticks and hand sewn lingerie, and pretty much everything in between.
  • By shopping at local craft shows you're supporting local industry and independent owners.
  • Chances are good that you're supporting a mompreneur.
  • You will be amazed at the selection and impressed by the creativity.
  • You will get a chance to chat with the person whose hands made the items in front of you. How amazing is that?
  • Lastly, and certainly not least, this year marks the launch of Ottawa’s very first CRAFT CRAWL.

Oh yes – it's kind of like a pub crawl but it involves crafts (ok, and no beer).

Six fantastic shows are part of the Craft Crawl, and they kick off on Saturday, November 4th. They are:

  • Urban Craft, November 5, 10am-2pm, 1233 Wellington St. W
  • Handmade Harvest, November 4 & 5, 4-9pm (Fri) 10am-4pm (Sat), Almonte Old Town Hall, 14 Bridge Street
  • Glisten!, November 19, 10am-4:30pm, 1233 Wellington St. W
  • Sandy Hill One & Only, November 20, 10am-4pm, Sandy Hill Community Center, 250 Somerset St. E
  • Idle Hands, November 26, 10am-5pm, St. Luke's Anglican Church, 760 Somerset St. W
  • Hintonburg Artisan Craft Fair, November 26, 10am-5pm, 1064 Wellington St. W
  • Urban Craft,  December 3, 10am-2pm, 1233 Wellington St. W
  • Craftalicious, December 10, 10am-5pm, St. Matthew's Anglican Church, 217 First Ave.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Pick up your passport at Urban Craft on November 5, or any show along the way.
  2. Get your passport stamped at each of the shows listed on the passport
  3. Collect 4 stamps or more to be eligible to win the giant prize package
  4. Turn in your passport at Craftalicious on December 10 to be entered in the prize package draw!

Hope to see you among the crowds supporting handmade in Ottawa! Happy shopping!


Donna is a wife and mom of two girls who is an avid and talented crafter! You can follow her on twitter here.