Handmade Arcade
Handmade Arcade, photo by Joey Kennedy.

David L. Lawrence Convention Center
December 3
11 a.m.—7 p.m.

Looking to finish your holiday shopping early and feel good about it at the same time? Join over 150 craft-based artists and designers at the free Handmade Arcade, Pittsburgh’s first and largest grassroots independent craft fair.

Now in its 13th year, Handmade Arcade will transform Halls D & E at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center into a one-day holiday shopping extravaganza filled with enough wares and trinkets to ensure that you’ll find that perfect gift for even the fussiest family member.

This year’s vendors were carefully selected from over 400 applicants and represent a cross-section of the finest local and regional DIY makers around, including artists, jewelers, toymakers, clothiers, and everything in between. Some of the local vendors on hand include garbella, Alternate Histories, PuzzlePax, Stak Ceramics, and Lovett Sundries.

Handmade Arcade, photo by Joey Kennedy.

New this year is an appearance from Pittsburgh Camper Booth, a vintage retro photo booth on wheels. Also new: Handmade Arcade is the first craft fair in the country to partner with the Booth Scout mobile app to deliver an interactive map with information on each of the vendors. And this year, Handmade Arcade is launching its new youth scholarship program providing tables to several area high school makers.

Children of all ages will want to visit the free Hands-on Handmade activity area for a chance to try out all sorts of crafting techniques. For example, Assemble will be on hand creating LED pennant banners and the Sarah Heinz Advanced Robotics Program invites attendees to transform old robotics parts into works of pop art.

Local DJs Pandemic, Strangeways, Tara Dactyl and The Garment District will provide the soundtrack to your shopping splendor. Attendees can also stop by the event’s Welcome Tent to purchase limited-edition Handmade Arcade merchandise, including brand new tote bags printed by Modesto Studios.

Looking to beat the crowds? Purchase an Early Birdie ticket for entry one hour before the public and receive a cool swag bag that includes a custom-made Handmade Arcade holiday ornament from TechShop Pittsburgh.

Handmade Arcade has been named one of the “35 Indie Craft Fairs Every Creative Person Needs To Visit” by BuzzFeed, and has received mention in both Thrillist and Condé Nast Traveler. It was also included in Pop Shop America‘s guide to “The Best Fall & Holiday Craft Fairs in the USA 2016.

Looking for more events? Check out our 10 Pittsburgh events not to miss in November and 10 great family adventures in Pittsburgh this November feature stories.

Brian Conway

Brian Conway is a writer and photographer whose articles have appeared in the Chicago Tribune and local publications. In his free time, he operates Tripsburgh. Brian lives in the South Side.