DIY Inspiration: Renegade Craft Fair

Updated: Aug 06, 2011 11:10
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If you didn’t go to the Renegade Craft Fair at Fort Mason this past weekend then you definitely missed out. Or you live outside the Bay Area (in which case, you’re still missing out – snap!). Either way, you know I was there taking in all the DIY crafty love and inspiration so that I could present to you a list of awesome ideas. Some of the DIY projects I’ve made mention of here before were represented at the RCF too (record bowls, shrinky dinks, buttons, journals, re-purposed bike parts…), and if you like what you see, stick around – I can pretty much guarantee that some of these clever ideas will be featured in upcoming columns.

1. Cards – these note cards (from, I believe, Sweetie Pie Press?) are not only awesome, but if you have a label maker, easy to recreate with your very own sarcastic slogans!

2. Object d’ art – We’ve talked about how awesome making your own object d’art is before but check out Mary Beths Art jeweled-toned animal jewelry hangers, and Viva Greetings luchador magnets.

Image courtesy the Social

3. Screenprinted Everything: From t-shirts (the Social Dept), to hand towels (the Heated) and pillows, (Utilitarian Franchise) screen printed fabric was a popular item at the RCF. You can learn how too, by taking a class at Workshop *cough, cough* or via these cheap and easy instructions from, where else? Instructables.


4. Shadow boxes: Glass Cathedrals is a good example of taking a so-called kids craft like shadow boxes and making it awesome again….let’s say we meet back here next week and I show you how? C’mon…it’ll be fun.

5. Fascinators/Headbands: Feathers are big this year. How big? Fisherman are literally running out of lures. So it makes sense that fascinators and headbands are making their own resurgence; 1931 chic is calling. Get your glue gun.

6. Shrinky Dinks: We’ve talked about the magic of plastic #6 before, and no one knows that slick trick better than Mamas Little Babies which featured some brilliant jewelry – all shrinky-dinked!

7. Notebooks/Journals: much like ashtrays, the notebook/journal is an ubiquitous DIY project – mostly because it can be fashioned out of nearly anything like say, playing cards, or old books .

8. Wallets (Also see: Credit Cards): While Bryant Holsenbeck had some lovely credit card birds that got me thinking about cutting up my plastic (an idea I will certainly be revisiting), Magic Industrie took me way back with their library book magic wallets – which are .. relatively easy to construct yourself. The Heathered booth is a prime example – little wallets made from old postcards, airline instructions, maps, newspapers and books. You have paper, you have packing tape – how hard can it be?


9. Buttons: Buttons are everywhere at craft fairs –they’re super easy to make, super cheap to construct and you can sell ‘em for $1 which makes them great for folks like me who want to buy something but only have a five spot in their wallets. Check out the lovely typewriter necklaces from The Weekend Store and start brainstorming on what else wants a fresh new life as a button.

10. Bike Parts/Skateboard Parts: Your mode of transportation isn’t just a way to get from point A to point B – it’s raw material for your next DIY creation. Check out the clocks made from bikes (courtesy 1 by Liz), or these rockin’ earrings that used to be skateboard decks (courtesy Mukee Design).


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Amber Bouman - Crafty & Cashless

Amber Bouman - Crafty & Cashless

A freelance writer, blogger and poet based in San Francisco, Amber has written for PC World, InfoWorld, and the 16th & Mission Review. She has performed at City Hall, Litquake, the Brainwash, 16th & Mission, BlueSix, and SFSU among other places. Amber is also consummate fan of swearing, organizational freak, yoga practitioner, music geek, caffeine addict, and tattoo enthusiast who enjoys platform shoes, making out, thumb wrestling and fighting the good fight. She owns a bicycle named Gretel, a motor scooter named Elroy and a cat named Simon. She can be found in various virtual locations all over your interwebs.

1 Comment

  1. […] Last week I promised y’all shadow boxes, inspired by the shadow box/diorama art of Glass Cathedrals, and as I’m a woman of my word, we’re talkin’ shadow boxes. They’re rad, they’re easy and all you really need is the box itself. And well, stuff to put in it. If you’ve got any wood working skills (and I know you do heh heh) then you can throw together the box pretty quickly. Just grab some wood scraps, measure the lengths and cut where necessary, and use a hammer and nail the pieces together into a frame. Paint or embellish as needed. You’ll need something for the back – foam board or cardboard – and you can add something clear to protect the front like glass or plastic, but it’s not a requirement. Gift box shadow box image courtesy […]