Oh yes….it’s that time of year again. Time for the profusion of holiday craft fairs. I attended a craft show Saturday at the Minooka high school to benefit their choir and help defray some of their travel expenses for their upcoming choir trip next spring.
The door fee of $2 per person gave you entrance and one raffle ticket. The long entry hall lined with many, many raffle baskets gave an idea of how many people worked on and donated to this event. Everyone had the opportunity to purchase more tickets to increase their chances of winning a basket. These industrious students and their families worked long and hard to put on a good show. In addition to the raffle opportunities, they had a face painting stand, an opportunity to visit and take photos with Santa, a bake sale and more.
In the cafeteria several booths lined the walls selling tickets for their upcoming holiday madrigal dinner, school choir pride T-shirts, baked goods and other refreshments. Two of the large gymnasium were loaded with crafters of all genre. Everything from holiday floral creations to hand made quilts to hand painted signs to repurposed decor items to jewelry to T-shirts to baby doll clothes, gourmet foods, gourmet pet items and much much more.
Each booth is set-up and decorated by each individual vendor. Some crafters create a boutique style setting, other dealers simply display their items with a take it or leave it style. These vendors are the type that do not rely on impulse buyers as much as the quality of their product selling itself. One such vendor was Pa’s Woodshop. Jerry, Pa makes cornhole boxes, wine racks and wood toys. His product is big, bold and showy. Cornhole boxes are a game of skill similar to horseshoes only, each goal is a slant board type box with one hole and instead of horseshoes to throw, one uses beanbags. Jerry doesn’t need additional fluff for his booth, the cornhole games take pride of place and their glossy surfaces draw the customers to him. He finishes them with a wrap that can be customized with almost any design. At this fall show he featured hunting and fishing scenes, a few Chicago sports teams as well as every branch of the military since Veterans Day is only a week away. These cornhole games were some of the best designed I’ve ever seen. For more information contact Jerry by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A few vendors had re-purposed items featuring vintage finds used as a basis for holiday designs. Matilda’s This & That, a local crafter set up their booth with the flair of a boutique including charming vintage pieces for displaying their attractive holiday merchandise. Their re-purposed items had a rustic yet charming appeal that would brighten any holiday decor. Their use of old cans and containers for the base of small Christmas trees while trendy is also striking. If you like what you see, check out their Facebook page for their schedule of upcoming shows.
A little further down the same aisle was Boone County Designs, a sign maker with attractive and popular signs for your home. For signs that feature so prominently in all the home design magazines, this vendor certainly has that look. The Rudolph Electric Company sign was my favorite; it made me chuckle. Clean lines, snappy sentiments, holiday themes and a good quality product, what’s not to like? For more information check out their Facebook page HERE.
Around the corner, past children’s clothing and accessories I found another home decor booth that caught my attention. This motherload of re-purpose treasures included shutters, sleds, crates, and burlap sacks. When in the hands of Heather Mou, these seemingly mundane daily items become lovely accents for your home. I adore the burlap sacks painted on the outside, lit from within by twinkle lights and accented at the top with greens and a bow…..perfect accent for a covered porch or next to the fireplace. For more information on her next shows or her beautifully crafted accent pieces for your holiday decorating, email Heather at Heather_mau@yahoo.com.
The last booth to share is a quilter with an amazingly gifted talent. Delphina Spangler makes all sizes and styles of quilted objects from purses, bags, throws and stuffed animals. Her handwork is superb and her customer service is charming. She sells on Etsy and at craft shows. What struck my fancy was the Christmas quilt used as a wall hanging in her booth. The colors were subdued but definitely some of my favorites. On the back of a sofa, that green and red quilt would scream Christmas. If you need more information about Delphina’s Designs check out her Etsy page at HardKnocks Homestead.
So many other booths and vendors with beautiful hand made items for sale made this craft show so very cheerful and the students added their talents for an added dose of holiday happiness. Whatever your plans for the holiday season, I highly recommend going to several craft shows in an effort to gain some much needed holiday spirit. If your schools offer a holiday craft show, GO! Support the students in their fundraising efforts and find a bit of holiday happiness to share. These shows generally have more than enough holiday merchandise that cannot be found in a regular specialty shop and certainly not in the big box stores. The music is on, there is a festive quality in the air and for the most part, the shoppers are in a happy-to-be-here mood.
Merry Christmas….only 8 more weeks. Will you be ready?