Last Sunday, I went to check out the Renegade Craft Fair, right here in Austin, Texas.  If you’re not familiar with the Renegade Craft Fair, it is, in their own words, a “large-scale DIY arts + crafts event held in five cities across the nation, featuring hundreds of independent artists and their unique handmade items.”

The fair is held in different cities throughout the US each year; this year, in addition to Austin, they will hit up Chicago (where the fair originated in 2003), Brooklyn, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

Only the Best

One of the cool things about Renegade is that the fair is juried, which means that crafters must apply and be accepted in order to participate in the fair.  This ensures that only the highest quality and most unique crafts are available.

Renegade Craft Fair features indie arts and crafts (as opposed to fine arts or country crafts).  Some of the crafts included jewelry, clothing, notebooks, screen printed and letterpress pieces, accessories, baby gear, and ceramics.  I could have wandered around there for hours, examining each vendor’s crafts and spending way too much money.

Try It Yourself

Another fun aspect of the fair were the workshops and demonstrations that were offered.  For those who have always wanted to try to screen print a t-shirt, make your own jewelry, or sharpen your photography skills,  there were plenty of opportunities to take part in the DIY craft movement that has taken off like wildfire the past few years.

In the end, we escaped with only two items: I purchased a very cool little zip pouch from Miss  Alison to replace my broken wallet, and my husband surprised me with a beautiful necklace from Kate Winternitz.

Connect With a Crafting Community

If you are a DIY crafter and you haven’t checked out Renegade Crafts yet, be sure to visit the fair if you get a chance this year.  You can also purchase items from the artisans online at Renegade Handmade,  or visit their brick-and-mortar storefront in Chicago.

Supporting handmade crafts is the next best thing to making them yourself.  It’s also a very green choice!  Many of the crafters rely on recycled and repurposed materials, and buying locally produced goods is a great way to reduce your shopping carbon footprint – not to mention supporting your local economy.

Are you a DIY crafter?  Have your ever been to or been part of the Renegade Craft fair, or something like it?  If you have an online shop, feel free to leave the link in the comments – we’d love to check out your work!