The Creative Craft Show

The creative craft show NEC July 2018

One of my favourite days out is a good craft show. I'm lucky to live in the middle of the UK pretty close to the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) and several times a year IHCF Events host The Creative Craft Show. It's a great mix of craft workshops, exhibitions and craft stalls and I was lucky enough to attend again recently. Here are my highlights!

Do you know a brilliant way to spend a little of your time? A craft workshop! You get to sit with people you've never met before and make something. By the end of the session you feel like you've made new friends too! 

At The Creative Craft Show there are a number of workshops that you can book in advance but many of the stalls have mini workshops running to. Get their early, get your name down on the list and pop back at the given time to enjoy a mini make. 

The first thing I did when I arrived was run to The Arty Crafty Place stand and get myself booked in. I LOVE their beautiful hand carved wooden blocks, they print SO nicely and there were so many out on the table for us to play with. We started with a practice piece, just to get the hang of how much paint to use, how hard to press etc.

block printing practice piece

Then I printed a lovely tea towel for our kitchen. When I got it home I just needed to iron it to set the fabric paint and make it machine washable. 

block printed tea towel

See how nice it looks in our kitchen!

hand stamped tea towel

The first thing one of my friends did was have a good chuckle about some of my chicken placement, I'd not even thought about where they were looking! 

Another mini workshop I enjoyed was marbling. 

This is a clever product that can be used to marble pretty much any surface. The workshop was fun, I came away with a piece of marbled fabric that I'm going to make into something, the only drawback was that we didn't actually DO much. The guy running the workshop dripped the colours we choose into the water/ mix in the tray, we got to make the pattern we wanted with a cocktail stick and then he pressed the fabric onto the surface. 

marbelling medium

One of my fellow workshoppers marbled a tile rather than fabric, isn't it beautiful?


The third mini workshop I took part in was Sashiko. I've been pronouncing this wrong the last few years, I've been saying sash-ee-coe, turns out it's sashy-coe! 

Jill Clay from Festival of Japan Tours taught us a little bit of the background of sashiko and some top tips and then we got started. 

beginners sashiko

Here's my finished little practice piece. It's intended to make into a coaster but I'm thinking maybe I can use it as a pocket on a bag.

beginners sashiko

As well as the workshops there was some great shopping opportunities, I mostly window shopped and saw lots of lovely stuff.

There was a lot of beautiful embroidered denim about, I really think I'm going to have to treat myself to some soon.


House of Zandra have some absolutely beautiful felt toy kits, so quirky and not at all expensive. 


Needle felting is such a big trend. The Makerss have some beautiful kits with everything you need to get started. 


In previous years at craft shows like this there have been giant knitted and crocheted art installations. This time there was a lovely yarn picnic scene,


and at this veg patch complete with garden gnomes.

veg patch.png

What a fabulous day out I had, it's just lovely to be in an exhibition hall surrounded by 'my people', fellow craft enthusiasts!  For more info on other similar shows around the UK throughout the year, check out the ICHF website