We're Dreaming of a Handmade Christmas
It's that time of year when it seems like there's a cool craft fair to attend every weekend. It’s especially going to seem that way during the weekend of December 12-13, when no fewer than four events will be hopping with handmade shopping in both Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti.
Saturday, December 12 marks the sixth annual Tiny Expo Indie Holiday Art & Craft Fair. The fair will be held at the Downtown location of the Ann Arbor District Library again this year. This is the second year that the show will be hosted at AADL, after bouncing around to different locations in its early years, and Tiny Expo is now happy to call AADL home.
The juried craft fair has grown a bit: this year it will feature 45 artists and crafters offering handmade wonders of all kinds. The event will also include a kid-friendly snow globe making workshop, a letterpress demo, and AADL’s new Secret Lab will be open and unveiling secrets.
Just down the road in Ypsilanti, the DIYpsi Holiday Market will take place on December 12-13 at the Riverside Arts Center. DIYpsi will feature 80 artists, and in addition will offer artisan food and beverages for sale. This is also the 6th year for the DIYpsi Holiday Market, which came into being after Ypsilanti’s Shadow Art Fair decided to no longer host a holiday fair.
A group of artists in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti independently desired to fill the gap and offer an opportunity for artists to sell their work and for shoppers to buy local and handmade. From this came Tiny Expo and DIYpsi and a MEGA craft fair weekend! Many shoppers make a weekend of it and hit up both fairs to browse an assortment of unique, quality handmade goods and have a good time.
To make the weekend even merrier, there are a few more events happening in Ypsilanti both Saturday and Sunday, just a hop, skip, and a jump from DIYpsi. Wares on Washington is in pop-up store format and is a community fundraiser for 826Michigan.
There is also Ypsi Alloy Studios, hosting their first annual Open Studio & Holiday Market. Visitors can check out the studio space where visual artists can make, create, and collaborate. The market will feature fine art and handmade gifts by a small group of artists, as well as a cash bar and a gift wrapping station.
More and more indie craft fairs pop up across Michigan each year, giving shoppers opportunities to shop local and buy handmade. It’s a great way to support local artists, keep the cash in our local economy, and have a unique, fun shopping experience outside the big box stores. And let’s face it, craft fairs usually have a better soundtrack and tastier drinks.
So if you’re looking for the coziest scarf ever, soap that smells like raspberry s’mores, a uterus-shaped brooch, a necklace made from graffiti found in Ann Arbor and Detroit, a piece of art to frame, or your new favorite ceramic mug, these creativity-filled craft fairs have you covered.
Amanda Schott is a Library Technician at AADL and readily admits to her craft fair addiction.
Tiny Expo takes place at the Downtown Ann Arbor District Library Saturday, December 12 from 11 am-5:30 pm. Free admission.
DIYpsi takes place at the Riverside Arts Center Saturday December 12 from 11 am-7 pm and Sunday, December 13 from Noon-6 pm. Admission is $1.
Wares on Washington takes place at Chin-Azzaro Studio Saturday December 12 from 10 am-6 pm and Sunday, December 13 from 11 am-4 pm. Free admission.
Ypsi Alloy Studios Open Studio & Holiday Market takes place at Ypsi Alloy Studios Saturday December 12 and Sunday December 13 from Noon-6 pm both days. Free admission.