Being the paper addict I am, I eagerly anticipate Renegade Craft Fair in Brooklyn. And I buy more greeting cards and little notebooks than one person can reasonably use. (Confession: I don’t even write in most of them because I don’t want to mess them up.) I also make my own cards and various other crafty things. But because life is not a competition, I love to see what the actual professionals are coming up with, and so Renegade gets marked on my calendar months in advance. It's an ideal setting — on the Williamsburg waterfront, no less — to see first-hand what’s new and trending in the world of crafting.
The Renegade fairs — there are now seven in different cities around the country and in London — bring together artists and crafters from all over, part-timers hoping to quit their day jobs, as well as those making a career of it. What they all have in common is passion, generous souls, and a whole lot of talent.
In the spirit of supporting hands-on artists and their small businesses, wherever they may be, here are just some of the wares that were on display at Renegade over the weekend. From adorable greeting cards to ukuleles made out of skateboards (you heard me), check out what’s new on the craft scene.
Rustic Light Fixture
Reclaimed wood and upcycled materials continue to (and hopefully always will) be a thing. A gorgeous example is this funky, rustic wall lamp/installation piece. There was a real buzz of excitement in this booth.
The Lodge lamp (made to order), $350, Brooklyn Wreckage
More upcycling: The work of this Providence, R.I., duo has a very Williamsburg feel, with skateboards and cigar boxes used to make literal one-of-a-kind ukuleles. Smaller leftover skateboard bits are turned into bottle openers.
Birdmen ukulele, $254, etsy.com
These letterpress notecards, printed on whitewash paper, are clean and understated, leaving room for a handwritten message to shine.
Of Note Stationers card, $5.50, etsy.com
Blue Leaf Bowl
Blue rice-paper leaves are transferred onto a porcelain bowl and glazed. Very pretty in person.
Dirt Work by Rider Designs bowl, $35, etsy.com
Intricate paper cuts, starting from pages of romance novels, become dainty greeting cards. Definitely a labor of love, these are.
Duck & Dog card, $6, etsy.com
More paper-cut, show-off stuff going on here, this time with some serious detail.
Holler and Whistle birthday card, $5.50, etsy.com
National Parks Tribute Calendar
This paper-goods designer has a national park-themed line — notecards, a calendar, a map/checklist to track all the parks you’ve visited (so far), and a sew-on Girl Scout-type patch. Plus, a company name I automatically say with an English accent.
Ello There calendar, $60, etsy.com
A majestic elk, hand-printed on vintage encyclopedia paper. The artists are currently working out of their mobile Airstream trailer/studio while traveling the country, finding inspiration for their collection along the way.
Elk print, $18, The Local Branch
Handmade Floral Dress
This handmade, beautifully tailored cotton dress has grown-up girl-next-door glamour.
Du Ciel Designs “The Adeline” dress, $408, etsy.com
New York History to Wear
This limited-edition T-shirt is part of a line depicting slices of New York history. This one shows the merging of independent Brooklyn with greater NYC in 1898.
Brooklyn Purchase T-shirt, $26, Pursuit of NY
Organic Farm Potions
This family’s small-batch lotions, lip balms, candles, and men’s shave soaps are made with ingredients grown on their organic farm.
Orchard Farm Soap Gardener’s Care Bag, $26, etsy.com
Handleless Mug and Felt Cozy
These hand-thrown ceramic mugs and felt cozies, made by a mother-daughter team — one a ceramicist, one a seamstress — are designed to keep your hands warm but not too warm while you’re sipping.
Cor Pottery mug and cozy, $36, etsy.com
Blue Bird Pillow
This line of pillows with felt applique is fresh and cheerful. This one has a Mexican garland “print.”
Cheeky Monkey Home pillow, $185, etsy.com