Handmade Arcade, photo by Joey Kennedy.

David L. Lawrence Convention Center
December 5
11 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Join over 150 local artists, designers and makers at Pittsburgh’s first and finest independent craft fair, Handmade Arcade. Now in its 12th year, this free, grassroots event transforms the David L. Lawrence Convention Center into a holiday shopping extravaganza you can feel good about.

Courtesy of Handmade Arcade
Courtesy of Handmade Arcade

Why fight the crowds at your local big box retailers when you can find handmade gifts crafted with care by talented tri-state and national artisans and creatives. This year’s vendors were carefully selected from over 400 applicants, and represent a cross-section of the region’s finest DIY makers. From soaps to stationery, artwork and illustrations, to t-shirts and toys, you’re bound to find that perfect, one-of-a-kind gift for even the hardest to please loved one on your list.

Ditch the canned muzak as DJs Pingting, Pandemic Pete and tOTAL TRASH set the shopping soundtrack, followed by more jams in the afternoon from DJs The Bad Seed and The Garment District.

And if you need a break from shopping, pay a visit to Hands-on Handmade, a daylong interactive activity area filled with crafting demonstrations and mini-tutorials where makers showcase their skills and help “bridge the gap between consumers and creators.”

Handmade Arcade, photo by Joey Kennedy.
Handmade Arcade, photo by Joey Kennedy.

This year, Handmade Arcade will celebrate the release of its first publication, Things Making Things: A DIY Coloring Book, which features original commissioned artwork by 10 Pittsburgh-based artists and Handmade Arcade vendors. Attendees can purchase the book for $10 and can have the participating artists sign the back cover during the event.

Proceeds from sales of the all-ages coloring book—along with brand new, limited-edition tote bags and signed and numbered screen-printed posters—will benefit Handmade Arcade’s educational and outreach activities.

Handmade Arcade, the region’s first and largest indie craft fair, has been named one of the “35 Indie Craft Fairs Every Creative Person Needs To Visit” by BuzzFeed, and has received shout-outs in everyone from Thrillist to Condé Nast Traveler.

Looking for more events? Read our 10 Pittsburgh events not to miss in December feature.

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.