You’ll Love Hands-On Handmade If … 5 Kinds of People Who Will Love Our (Free!) Activity Area


– By Jolene Miklas Schneider

Don’t just stand there! Let’s get creative! One of the most exciting parts of Handmade Arcade is the Hands-On Handmade Activity Area, adjacent to the vendor marketplace and chock-full of drop-in projects, make-and-take activities, demonstrations, games, workshops, community art projects, and more.

We can think of at least five kinds of people who will absolutely love it. Which kind(s) are you?

You’ll love Hands-On Handmade if …

… you like giving gifts from the heart.

Contemporary Craft (3 – 6 P.M.) will bring stamping tools so you can hammer names, messages and textures onto copper pendants. Make one for yourself or create a personalized gift for a loved one. BatCat Press will be with us all day (11 A.M. – 7 P.M.) with a vast variety of papers and art supplies so you can make pins — the perfect pop of personalized art for a friend’s jacket or backpack.

… you’re an artist.

Ready to get swept up in a surge of creative energy? Groups like Pop Craft will provide the perfect outlet for your artsy impulses. Join them from 11 A.M. – 3 P.M. to print one-of-a-kind holiday cards from hand-carved linoleum blocks and ink. Or, sit down with the Union Project (11 A.M. – 7 P.M.) to make a unique blossom out of clay. They’ll fire it in a kiln and “plant” it in an outdoor community art garden, where it will bloom all year long for the public to enjoy!

… you’re not an artist.

Think you’re not the creative type? Bring your left brain and surprise yourself, especially when art, science and tech converge! Learn about simple circuits with Assemble (11 A.M. – 3 P.M.) while you create wearable flowers that light up and glow. Prototype PGH (3 – 7 P.M.) will show you how to design in Adobe Illustrator, then will send your original images to a computer numerical control (CNC) vinyl cutter to be turned into stickers! And Sarah Heinz House (3 – 7 P.M.) will be on hand to show you that anyone can engineer, and use wire, tools and LEDs to create spectacular holiday decorations.

… you care about the planet.

Sit down with Earth Girl (3 – 7 P.M.) to learn the art of recycling and reuse. She’ll show you how to turn plastic bottles into decorative flowers and vines that are far too lovely for a landfill. Join Pittsburgh Public Schools, Gifted Center (11 A.M. – 3 P.M.) for Reuse-a-Palooza. These talented students will share what they learned about upcycling, and will help you try your hand at designing and creating your own uniquely repurposed items.

… you like FREE stuff!

All of the Hands-on Handmade activities are free and fun for all ages!

Hands-on Handmade is sponsored by The Artsmiths of Pittsburgh, a 10,000-square-foot arts and cultural center featuring local art, classes, exhibits and more. Its mission is to promote and strengthen art appreciation in the South Hills of Pittsburgh through education of the public and mentorship of its artists.

The Artsmiths of Pittsburgh supports the creativity of Greater Pittsburgh’s artists and the public to further the understanding of a wide variety of art processes, media and concepts; inspire individuals to explore and deepen their own creativity; encourage people to get to know their neighbors and community; foster collaboration among between the city’s artists, art organizations and businesses; and support the magnitude of amazing things happening right here in the Pittsburgh region.

Handmade Arcade is grateful for the generous support of The Artsmiths of Pittsburgh!


 Hey crafters, makers, designers, DIY artists . . . and other cool people! There are only TWO days left to apply to be a vendor at Handmade Arcade! 

Don’t miss your chance to be a part of Pittsburgh’s biggest, brightest, bestest indie craft fair. Apply today!

What’s in store this year? More than 150 juried vendors, nearly 10,000 patrons, a central location in fabulous Downtown Pittsburgh, an Early Birdie shopping preview, and more!

Hurry–applications close at 11:59 PM on Friday, August 18, 2017–we’re excited to see what you’re making! NEW to crafting? Returning after a craft hiatus? Check out our brand new Craft Corridor option!