Happy Friday everyone! Welcome to another edition of Friday Faves!
New to Friday Faves? You can read more about my Faves project and see all my previous Friday Faves here.
If you listened to my guest stint on episode 49 of the Paperclipping Digi Show a couple of weeks ago, you’ll have already heard me talk a little bit about today’s Friday Fave since I chose it as my Pick of the Week. But I knew I wanted to give it a Faves post of it’s very own so I could share a bit more about my experience because it is definitely a new Fave of mine.
So without further ado, today’s Friday Fave is…
The Renegade Craft Fair!
If you haven’t heard of the Renegade Craft Fair before it’s basically a free-to-attend craft fair that focuses on DIY and indie-craft culture, ie: handmade goods. Think Etsy meets cool local craft fair. The fair is held yearly (with sometimes a second event for Christmas shopping) in DIY-craft friendly urban cities like San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, London (UK) and Austin which is the one one I attended. About time something cool came to this part of Texas!
The Austin Renegade Craft Fair was the weekend before my birthday so I told Adam that I wanted to go and anything I bought could be counted as birthday gifts. Since it meant less birthday shopping for him, he was all for it! LOL!
The fair was held at the Palmer Events Center in downtown Austin (yay for indoors in Texas heat). There were around 180 booths, some of which had multiple artists sharing the same booth. There were supposed to be something like 200 artists total at the fair.
It’s kind of hard to tell in this photo but it was actually pretty busy on Saturday when we went.
A couple of fun booths that caught my eye as we walked around the event center floor:
The UrbanPosture booth was one of the first booths we saw AND one of my favorite displays of the day.
This is actually the side of the booth and I loved how the bold, black graphic design really stood out as soon as you started walking down that row of booths. They also did a really good job of showcasing their variety of product without it being too overwhelming like some booths were. I ended up buying one of the small blue tree stump clocks (more on that later) so obviously their display worked on me!
I also loved their take on the modern-day cuckoo clock. I could totally see that large grey cuckoo clock somewhere in my living or dining room.
I’m a sucker for natural home accents so I loved these wood vases from BDJ Craft Works. They were a bit out of my budget that day but they seemed really solid and I loved the variation in the woods. Plus they’re made locally in Austin.
These lasercut designs from MAKEatx were SO cool! It’s hard to tell from the photo but the white parts on the flowers were actually cut out with the colored paper behind it. They also had a bunch of really intricately cut pop-up cards, like this Bonsai tree, which were just amazing. I probably said “that is so cool” a million times while in this booth, haha.
This booth by CircaCeramics was another fave of mine. I loved all the brightly colored pottery with the bold graphic designs on them.
I really wanted to get one of these small dishes with the bike on it (being UC Davis grads, we have a soft spot for bikes) to use as a dish for Adam to put his keys and wallet in, but I couldn’t decide on the color combination I wanted. But the great thing about this event is a lot of the artists also have Etsy/online shops as well, so I still might end up getting one of these eventually. They were really neat!
This booth from Dowdy Studio was totally awesome. The Smallest Handmade Shop indeed!
In case you’re wondering if Adam was hating life because he had to spend his Saturday at a craft fair, haha, I can assure you he was not. Not only was he a great sport about the whole event but he even offered to carry all the goodies we bought so I’d be free to look around. He’s one awesome hubby for sure.
See look, he’s even smiling while checking out the Brainstorm Print + Design booth!
Since we’re both from the West (me: CA, him: CA & ID), we ended up purchasing their fun Western US print which you can see just below Adam’s chin. We also loved their cool science-y art posters but buying all three wasn’t in our budget and we didn’t think it made sense to buy just one. But I love the whole science meets cool graphic art twist of those prints. They’d be really fun artwork for a classroom!
During our time at the craft fair we saw some pretty awesomely hilarious products including crazy furry hats and knitted Conan O’Brian’s but being a Cookie Monster lover, my favorite item had to be this drawing by Paul Friedrich:
We didn’t buy the t-shirt version seen in this picture but we did buy the little 3×5 card version you can see on the left side of the photo. It makes me giggle every time I see it!
Goodies, Goodies and More Goodies
So, so far I have casually mentioned three of the items we picked up at the craft fair. Want to see all the goodies we took home?
All together we picked up eight items for under $180. I thought that was pretty good!
Here are the goodies we bought (starting at the top left, product & artist names are linked):
Flowerpop 9 by Linda Ketelhut
I loved her colorful graphic take on flowers. She had a lot of fun prints like this – it was tough to choose just one! The colors in this one finally won me over though. So happy and colorful. I love it!
oh darling, let’s be adventurers Screen Printed Poster by Fifi du Vie
As part of my Operation Home Sweet Home project, I’ve slowly been collecting artwork to use as part of an adventure-centric gallery wall for our house. The message on this print seemed perfect for this! The text on mine is actually a pretty peacock blue rather than black. And no, the pink elephant was not included, haha.
Men’s haymaker tee: man punching bear shirt by Sharp Shirter
Adam was really excited about this shirt. As he put it “it doesn’t get more manly than a man punching a bear.” LOL! They also had shirts with a diver punching a shark and some other awesomely hilarious designs.
Tree Rings Clock by UrbanPosture
As I mentioned earlier in the post, I picked up one of these tree ring clocks in blue for my office. It’s really cute and a perfect mix of nature meets modern design that I love so much.
“Cookie vs Wookie” Card by Paul Friedrich
This is a picture of the shirt version but mine is a little 3×5 card with a white background with the same drawing. I plan to frame it and include it as part of a wall gallery – kind of like a hidden where’s waldo item in the midst of more normal photos and prints, haha.
All told, we had a really great time at the Renegade Craft Fair! It was definitely a fun way to spend a Saturday!
Tips for Surviving the Renegade Craft Fair
Here’s a few tips from my first large-scale craft fair experience:
1) Decide on a budget before you go
I’m always a big proponent of budgeting not only because it forces you to make smarter purchasing decisions, but because at an event full of amazing eye-candy like this one, it would be easy to spend several hundred dollars without even realizing it! Avoid the after-event money guilt by deciding before you go what your max spending amount will be.
We took cash out before we went to the fair which was really smart not only because we didn’t have to worry about which vendors were cash-only, but because it forced us to decide which items would get us the most bang for our budgeting buck.
2) Plan to make two trips around the craft show floor
On our first trip around the room, we soaked up all of the amazingness and made a mental note of any of the products/booths we loved and wanted to come back to.
After we had a chance to see everything all the booths had to offer, we took a little break away from all craziness and chatted about what our favorite items were. Then we went back for a second time to the booths we knew we wanted to purchase from.
The great thing about this system was: a) it relieved that “what if I find something better” anxiety, especially since we had a limited budget and b) it kept us from having to carry bags around all day.
Yes it took a little more time and walking but I think it made the overall shopping experience a lot less stressful. Of course there’s always the possibility a unique item won’t be there when you return but we figured if we ran into that, it just meant it wasn’t meant to be. Plus there’s always the possibility you can buy it online later which brings me to number three…
3) Pick up information cards for the artists you love
One of the great things about the Renegade Craft Fair was that a lot of the vendors at the event also have online shops which means even if something isn’t in your budget to purchase that day, you can always check out their online shop later.
We didn’t realize this at first but most of the vendors we saw had some kind of business card/postcard you could pick up that included their online shop information. Picking up these cards as part of your first trip around the showroom floor would be a great way to keep track of which booths you want to return to later.
The Renegade Craft Fair also lists all the artists from the fairs on their website. You can check out all the Austin artists here.
4) Have Fun!
Maybe it’s just me, but I sometimes find large-scale crafty shopping events like these overwhelming because it can be tough to decide what you love and what you love enough to actually buy. But at the end of the day, it’s all good because no matter what you buy, you’re helping out another indie-craft type and that’s always a good thing.
And a bonus tip…
If you’re wondering how you too can get your hubby to attend an event like this with you, I highly recommend rewarding them afterward with a sweet treat.
After the fair we stopped by one of our favorite Austin food carts, Frigid Frog for some shaved ice yumminess.
See, a little sweet treat makes the day that much better, haha.
And with that, this Friday Faves post on the Renegade Craft Fair has come to an end. I have to say this event is definitely a new fave of mine and you can bet I’m already saving my pennies for the next one in November. Here’s to homemade Christmas gifts for all!
If you’d like to learn more about the Renegade Craft Fair, check out their website here.
Anyone else ever been to the Renegade Craft Fair or an event similar to it? Got any craft fair tips to share? Let me know in the comments!
Have a great weekend everyone!
Psst…as with all my Friday Faves posts, I do not get compensated for mentioning any of my faves. These are just items that rock my socks. : )