This weekend, December 5 and 6 is the holiday edition of the Renegade Craft Fair in Chicago. I’ll be attending on Saturday to check out the 150+ indie-crafters and designers that will be showcasing their work. I’m excited to see how holiday crafting trends are shaping up in the indie-crafting world. Often times indie-crafts take on a vintage or earthy look, and stray from more traditional crafting techniques. One thing I’ve noticed is that recycled and upcycled projects are also gaining popularity among the crafting community.
Danielle Kelley, owner and bag designer for Burlap Works in Rockford, Ill. will be selling her line of bags this weekend. Her one-of-a-kind bags are upcycled from leftover burlap coffee sacks and made into satchels, gift bags and purses. Her style is unique and her patience is great, as burlap is a difficult material to work with. (And with two small kids running around, I wonder how she gets work done!)
Danielle first showed at Renegade this past summer, and said it was an absolute blast. There were lots of people, live music and even beer! To her, DIY gifting is the way to go. Last year she spent 1/4 of what she would normally spend, by making gifts for her husband and children.
Another local eco-friendly crafter, Krissy Callahan, is coming up on her one-year anniversary of making her passion for artful screen-printing into her business. Her shop Earth Cadets, features screen-printed recycled cotton tote bags, t-shirts and pillows. Her bags are made from 80% recycled cotton and 20% recycled bottles and are a stylish replacement for the everyday tote or grocery bag.
Krissy’s eco-friendly approach to crafting seems to be catching on in the crafting community too. With the economy struggling, and the environment quickly becoming a public concern, recycling and repurposing seems like the way to go.
The philosophy for eco-friendly gift-givers is: What can I make out of this old thing, that will make something new and even more fabulous?! As much as she can, Krissy makes gifts for her friends and family, saying they’re 100x more special when they’re handmade. With the cost of supplies and quality time spent, she says the price tag is comparable to what you would pay at the store, but it’s so much more fun to make!
What do you think about the status of upcycled and recycled crafting? Are you doing it this year for Christmas? Where do you think the trend will take us? Are we becoming more eco-friendly as a society? Check the FaveCrafts Blog on Monday to hear about my adventures at the Renegade Craft Fair!
Here are some repurposing ideas from FaveCrafts: