Renegade Craft Fair London 2013

17 Nov

So, if you didn’t already know it (where have you been if not?) last weekend, Renegade Craft Fair hit London for their third year in Shoreditch, at Brick Lane’s Old Truman Brewery.

RCF Wall

Just for those who have had their head in the non-craft clouds; RCF is America’s largest curated indie craft fair and has been going for 10 years since their launch in Chicago in 2003. They now host regular fairs across America spreading the word about the handmade community and providing a platform to display all the beauty it has to offer.

On Saturday 9th November 2013 I was up at 3am doing some last minute bits and bobs and we were loaded and set off at about 7.45am (later than planned) but we arrived in time for our loading slot. The Old Truman Brewery was alive with creatives building their stalls and rushing around to prepare for the doors to open at 11am.


Below are a few pics from the people we spotted in the crazy of the set up. Zoe from Ladybird Like’s lovely stall before the magic happened and Kim from Finest Imaginary with her full set up sorted and whom I rushed over and said hello to but totally didn’t snap a pic of..  (thanks for the photo Kim.)

Ladybird Likes set up

Finest Imaginary

Make, Thrift London were lucky enough to be involved in one of a handful of crafty workshops on offer across the 2 days.

In line with the Christmas season and of course handmade, we decided to run a giftwrap printing workshop. Crafters were able to design and carve out their own stamp and then print their design onto brown paper or newspaper to create their own bespoke wrap for all those lovely handmade gifts they picked up. We didn’t want to charge a lot as we knew cash would be better spent on lovely handmade gifts so we offered it at a special bargain price of £6 per person.

Print Workshop




Early birds Ellie from Pretty Much Penniless and Erica from I’m Being Erica stopped by to say hello on Saturday morning which was super lovely!! And after a slow start, while people eased into the fair, we were quickly at full capacity and taking bookings for the next hour! It was a bit manic and we definitely weren’t prepared for how busy we actually were but my trusty Make, Thrift Team were there to save the day and help get everyone’s craft onnn. Saturday’s dream team included myself, Anna and Iyoub.

Alongside our printing workshop we were also running a creative photo competition with our neighbours LookLook Photo Booths who were running a free booth across the weekend (a typical feature at Renegade.) The challenge was to turn a single piece of newspaper into an amazing prop, get your photo taken in the booth and upload it to Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

The Make, Thrift Saturday Team decided to kick it off with a Movember theme. We of course got LOOKLOOK Kate to snap a few test poses (which actually came out better) and you can see our final print out.


With the help of the glamorous Booth Butler, Kate, people were really getting stuck into it, however, the uploading bit was quite long winded and a bit tempremental so although we had a lot of takers, not many people shared their pics. With this in mind, I have decided to extend the competition until this Sunday (19th Novmber) at Midnight. So if you came along and made a prop, please share your pics on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram with the hashtags #looklookmakethrift and #renegegadecraftfair to be in with a chance of winning up to 4 places per entry on one of our January series of ‘Thrifty Makes’ workshops. Good luck! And I can’t wait to see more of the entries.  Our full workshop listings for January and a few new Christmas dates will be on the Handmade by You website by the end of the weekend!

Paper Challenge Prop Making

Aside from our workshop, there was a small selection of classes being run throughout the day by designer makers from Mollie Makes, A Alicia and the Amazings. All fab so do check them out!

It was so lovely to meet some of my instagram friends who also came to say hello. Please do remind me on Instagram what your names were as my brain was pretty much on overload over the weekend!

After the madness of day one I was gutted having not had the chance to peruse the vast (100+) stalls and the handmade treasures they had to offer as well as say hello to old friends and meet some of the crafty people I know through Twitter and Instagram. I had planned to join a group of makers for dinner in Brick Lane after the fair on Saturday but we were so shattered we headed home for a curry and a long sleep.

On day 2 we arrived refreshed and had a new assistant, the very crazy and animated Dilly. There were lots more wonderful creations from our workshop attendees. Here are a few of them. One family went with an Apple vs. Android theme which I thought was very creative.

Apple Xmas Wrap Android Robot Wrap Tiger Wrap

Wrap Washing Line

Being the last day, I made it my mission to make time to shop on Sunday and luckily, after a very rammed and busy morning (once again) from about 3pm there the pace slowed so I jumped at this perfect opportunity to go for a wander. I set myself a budget of £50 plus a few items I had already set my heart on before the fair so I headed first to my wonderful crafty friends and Etsy Craft Party hosts of the #SCP earlier in the year, good friends Rachel of Oh No Rachio and Harriet of Hello Harriet.

Hello Harriet and Oh No Rachio

Boy was their stall fancy!! Top points for professionalism and a modern and super clean, uber cool display. These girls know how to put on a show and I actually had to go on my tippy toes to even get a look in because they were soo busy! Pure admiration!!

Hello Harriet

Oh No Rachio Plants

I have followed and been a huge fan of Harriet’s kitty Illustrations for a while and had already decided I wanted some cattoos and a roll of gift wrap. I had also been wanting a phone case for a while but couldn’t decide which one. Then I saw her new designs and fell in love with angry kitty (see pic) and I absolutely love it!!

Hello Harriet Merch

I was also looking for a cacti to home in this little pot I found in a charity shop and I spotted this little guy at the back of Rachel’s awesome display of beautiful succulents. Trust me, I have seen the garden centre that is Rachel’s flat and she is a green fingered godess so you know you are buying quality not like the Homebase* succelents I felt like I was rescuing who had been neglected for weeks with no water (disclaimer* other neglected plants are available at various chain retailers!) Rachel was offering bespoke “while-u-wait” kits where you could choose your own cup (hand drawn on by her) and also your own succulent which she planted up for you there and then! Such a lovely idea and thee best personalised service EVER! They also come with a care leaflet (which sadly I lost in the chaos of the break down!) I have my eye on some custom mini cake stands which she is preparing for me for workshop treats (yes one has become some Rachel!) She also does lots of other awesome merch with her own bespoke writing and messages so do take a look!


Another lovely craft friend I had to see was Zoe from Ladybird Likes. Once again, I have admired Zoe’s work for some time and I absolutely love everything her creative brain comes up with. I recently met up with her for a catch up over a bubble tea and ordered a bag full of her new pieces so, although I wanted more, I held back and just picked up some Christmas presents I had pre-ordered (sssh.) As per, her stall was gorgeous.

DSC_0442 DSC_0448 DSC_0440 DSC_0441

She is also thee sweetest and most thoughtful friend ever and prepared little goodie bags for all her craft friends. So this was the contents of mine! YOU ROCK ZOE!! Having already kindly given me a pack of her awesome postcards before I shall be gifting these on (or might even add them to a competition prize! WATCH THIS SPACE!!) You can see one of the vintage poloroid necklaces I got in my large order from before which I photographed with my goody bag goodies.

Ladbybird Likes Goody Bag

An instagram friend I also wanted to see was The Fox in the Attic.  After posting a pic on instagram of a new “hello” brooch she had made, as soon as I saw it I knew I had to have it to match my Hello Quiet Tiger “hello” brooch. Needless to say, they are now firm friends who chat away (with mainly {solely} hellos) on my collars or cardigans.


It was super duper lovely to see the wonderfully funny and well turned out Carrie from the Made in the Shade days. I bought a beautiful old Singer from her and Clare when they were closing their shop and we have kept in touch through cyberspace ever since and finally met at the Craftivist Book Launch but only exchanged a few sentences so having the opportunity for a lovely natter and a giggle was ace! Sorry for the lack of photo. I will say she was wearing an amazing pair of retro trainers with neon pink tights and an awesome COS coat!!

Speaking of lovely friends, Natalie from Lens Obscura also popped down to see me and we spotted Davina Drummond (a craft guru we both admire highly-her blog The Making Home is full of amazing family friendly crafts) so of course, we rushed over to introduce ourselves (I say we, it was lead mainly by me) but immediately she was extremely lovely and we got straight into talking shrink plastic (not to mention her Liberty print lined Barbour jacket) and of course I took her over to see the wonderful Viktorija’s And Smile stall re: shrink plastic. Sadly V wasn’t there but we had a little browse of her stall. I am in love with her cute pandas and basically everything!! If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen my Cyprus souvenir tote bag she painted panda onto and which I now love dearly.

And Smile

Carrie was not the first person to mention a stall called I am Acrylic to me and I took the opportunity on my shopping break to go check out her stall. And wowzer they were not exaggerating! She had thee cutest set up with little miniature people and cactus and super sweet things everywhere. Needless to say I made a couple of purchases! The bird and the cheese. Just what I needed. Fell in love with the cheese board but I’m trying not to buy pretty things without function at the mo (who am I kidding??) Ruth was also super lovely and cut a chain for the cheese to a customer size for me! Another reason to buy handmade direct from the maker..service like nowhere else!

I am Acrylic



Im almost done, I know it has turned into a long one but I wanted to mention one of my favourite stalls run by two brother’s who came all the way from Minesotta in the States. Their brand is called Make Shift Accessories (YEP how cool is that) and they repurpose old rulers and other metal pieces into beautiful modern jewellery. I was soo in love with everything on their stall and after trying on a ruler bangle on Saturday, I went back on Sunday to make a purchase. I was offered a swap and although I did not come prepared for a swap I thought there could be something of interest for them at our stall so Eric came over to browse my things… After offers of typewriters (what was I thinking?!) my large Thermos (again WHAT?) and also the kitty money box (NO WAY!!) He settled on a partial swap with a random Nandos postcard I had in my vast collection, which showed the back of a naked lady with her hands tied with spaghettie and sauce (saucy) and then on the back in teeny writing it said by the way, did you know Nando’s sauces are now available at your local supermarket (or something along those lines.) He loved it (typical man) and gave me £3 off. Score!

Make Sift Accessories



A final surprise and a definite highlight was a visit from the lovely Emily from Emily Has Glasses. We’ve been friends on Instagram for a while and I’ve always admired and found inspiration in her outfit posts not to mention our mutual appreciation of the old and everything vintage and her awesome cooking skills, so when she mentioned she might pop down, as she was in London on the Sunday, I didn’t get my hopes up as I wasn’t sure if she would or not. So seeing her there in person was so strange after just looking at pics and talking to someone through comments. Sounds odd but I was in awe for a few seconds. It was sooo lovely to finally meet Emily. She lives in Leeds so wouldn’t normally just be able to pop down for a cuppa. We had exchanged envelopes for Envelope Club in September and I made her a little book from some paper she had sent me and it was soo awesome to hear she uses it every day! That’s what crafting for friends is all about. The satisfaction in knowing your work is appreciated. We had a lovely chat and it was so exciting to talk about plans for her to visit again. Here are some bad photos of us Dilly took. I must explain, I have an old thrifted lens on my camera which doesn’t have auto focus so whenever someone else uses it they don’t usually get it down. I struggle as it is.

Emily2 Emily

At almost 6pm, right at the very end, Verity of Made by Loulabelle had a browse of our stall and was very interested in the vintage fabrics I had displayed from Little Teawagon. Sadly they were just used as examples of our workshops and weren’t for sale but it got us talking about what Verity makes and everything sounded so wonderful I went to go and have a look at her stall. Verity makes the most beautiful accessories from Reclaimed vintage fabrics and we are hoping to stock some of her wares and possibly even get her to teach a class at the new studio! Exciting times.


I also luckily spotted the sheer amazingness that is The Compartment Store which I can only describe as my dream store! All slotted nicely into a custom made trunk. I didn’t realise but Renegade was their debut! They had gorgeous paper materials, handmade books, haberdashery and vintage ephemera all sectioned off with cute labels and an awesome little display. We are hoping to work with them at the studio next year.

The Compartment Store

The Compartment Store

So, to conclude, we had a blast of a time at Renegade this year and can’t wait for next Winter’s fair. Of course, we mustn’t forget that behind the scenes there is a team of crazy, rushing creatives helping put the pieces together to make this huge operation run smoothly for us. And it wouldn’t happen without them. A special mention to Madelon (end on the right below) for her help and support throughout the weekend as well as replies to my crazy emails. She was always happy and enthusiatic about helping with any little detail. The Renegade Team:

RenegadeTEAM DSC_0483 DSC_0477 Team Renegade

Thanks for a great weekend guys…London misses you already.

I hope you enjoyed the fair if you came along. Be sure to share any pics with us on our Facebook page.

Remeber to share your pics and look out for the winner of our #looklookmakethrift creative photo challenge, announced Monday 20th November.

There were so many more awesome makers at the fair. I didn’t even make it round the whole place over the weekend so please check out the RCF London maker’s page here.

Thanks for reading..if you made it this far, I salute you! Shorter posts from now on methinks…total respect to those bloggers who do this for a living. I will stick to craft.

Love Daisy x

P.S. Sorry if I didn’t get to see you or feature you on this post. As you can tell it has taken me a week and I have literally lost the will to live (nearly!)


Had to share a final pic of the epicness that is our skills at ramming everything into the car on the last day as we had made 2 trips (more stuff added on Sunday) so we weren’t sure we would fit it in (or how!) Huge thanks to Iyoub, Anna and Dilly, whom without I could not have survived the weekend. Go Team Make, Thrift!!

Team Make, Thrift


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