SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT: Small Business Saturday

shopsmallHandmade Arcade encourages you to “shop small” — not just on Small Business Saturday, but every day of the year. A commitment to shopping at local businesses means that you are helping these businesses give back to their community; you are making a major economic impact in your community; you are allowing small businesses to provide better service and more diverse products; and you gain a sense of community and feel-good vibes from supporting your neighbors.

The following stores are not only small businesses in our community, but they are also Handmade Arcade sponsors. We encourage you to visit them in-person on Small Business Saturday (Nov. 26) and every day there after.

SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT: Commonwealth Press


From classic T-shirts and pierogi pillows to bags and more, Commonwealth Press is a familiar and beloved presence for Handmade Arcade shoppers. This year, we are excited to welcome them back as a sponsor. Visit their table and grab a pierogi pillow before they are gone.

Now with brick-and-mortar stores in Mount Lebanon and the South Side, plus an online store, you can get your Commonwealth Press merch all year long. CWP also creates custom designs that fit your company’s specialized needs. Visit them online for design samples and quotes.

While shopping at HA this year, check out the BRAND NEW aprons our volunteers will be wearing, courtesy of Commonwealth Press!

cwp-300Store Locations and Hours:

MON-FRI: 9 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
SAT: 11 a.m.–6 p.m.


Dan Rugh of Commonwealth Press at Handmade Arcade 2015

MON-THU: 11 a.m.–7 p.m.
FRI: Noon–9 p.m.
SAT: 11 a.m.–6 p.m.
SUN: 11 a.m.–4 p.m.




No, YOU’RE an Artist! 5 Fun Reasons to Explore Hands-on Handmade

New ideas. Original designs. Friendly chatter between craftspeople and craft enthusiasts. An inclusive, engaging environment. Each year, Handmade Arcade sparks a surge of creative energy, and you’re invited to get swept up in it!

So be sure to head over to Hands-On Handmade, a thoughtfully curated activity area adjacent to the Handmade Arcade vendor marketplace. That’s where local artists, art collectives, and nonprofits will lead engaging activities, demos, tutorials, games, and more. And it’s all free for all ages.

Hands-on Handmade 2016 is sponsored by The Artsmiths of Pittsburgh located at 1635 McFarland Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15216.

Here are 5 reasons why you’ll love it:

1.  You’ll learn something new.

Hands-on Handmade 2015. Image by Joey Kennedy.

Hands-on Handmade 2015

Experts and artists will share tips, tricks, and inside information! Join a brush lettering workshop with Katie Harbison from Gardner Ann’s to learn how to create beautiful lettering and magnificent mail (11am-3pm).

Or, grab a crayon and sit down with conservationists who are making Pittsburgh safer for birds. Scientists from the Carnegie Museum of Natural History and BirdSafe Pittsburgh will teach you how to save our feathered friends while you color a mural created by local artist and Handmade Arcade vendor Ashley Cecil (11 a.m. – 7 p.m.).

All the while, TechShop will demo 3D printing, robotic cars, laser wood cutting and more (11 a.m. – 7 p.m.).

2. You’ll connect with other creatives. 

Bring your creativity, curiosity, and imagination and bask in inspiration!

Make eco-conscious friends while Melissa Mason shows you how to turn trash into treasures with flowers made from plastic shopping and newspaper bags (3-7 p.m.).

Collaborate on a public mural as we celebrate our city. The Ellis School will host “Profiles of Pittsburgh” so you can create your own vinyl cut-outs to take home and contribute to a community-based mural (11 a.m. – 5 p.m.).

Hands-on Handmade 2015

Hands-on Handmade 2015

3. You can share and be part of something special.

Visit Urban Pathways Charter School for postcard making. Some of the day’s cards will  be sent to U.S. soldiers serving abroad during the holiday season. (3 -7 p.m.)

Or, be part of 1,000 Birds with the Union Project. This is a special endeavor in which hundreds of people in after-school programs, nursing homes, outreach events, and community centers have come together to create a flock of 1,000+ unique clay birds. Each participant is encouraged to include a message of hope for their community. It’s a wonderful way to create and pass messages of hope between neighbors (11 a.m. – 7 p.m.).

4. You might surprise yourself.

Hands-on Handmade 2015

Hands-on Handmade 2015

Maybe you’ve never thought of yourself as an artist before. Or maybe you have—but you’re ready to discover a brand new medium. Whatever your level of experience, you’ll find the supplies and inspiration you need to connect with your inner artist.

Hatch Art Studio will show you how to create a miniature world inside a very tiny tin. They’ll have fabric, feathers, tiny trees, buttons, stamps, and more to create snowy scenes, glittering cities, miniature towns, or whatever you imagine. See what wild world you can dream up (3 – 7 p.m.)!

You can even be a fashion designer for a day with Spool. Owners of the Allentown-based shop will show you how to make fabric-covered pins, hair accessories, and eye-popping wearables. You’ll  strut away in style (3 – 7 p.m.).

5. It FREE for all ages. 

Did we mention that Hands-on Handmade is FREE? Even the fun creations you get to take home! You’ll get to treat yourself to something fun, while discovering local businesses, arts organizations and artists to support.

Handmade Arcade is excited to announce that Hands-on Handmade 2016 is sponsored by The Artsmiths of Pittsburgh located at 1635 McFarland Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15216.



Thank you to Modesto Studios for donating your time and talent for the third year in a row to Handmade Arcade. We are proud to call you HA supporters and friends.

blogbradandstephanieModesto Studios is more than just another graphic design firm or screen- print shop. Husband and wife, Brad and Stephanie Towell and their team of makers create custom screen – printed projects for small businesses, nonprofit, and local artist clientele. The work has expanded over the past couple of years to include movie and television graphic design, prop-making, handmade signs, and large-scale photo booths for high-profile events.

totebagonlyThis year’s colorful tote bag (Image designed by artist Kara Reid and sewn by crafter Al Hoff) is printed by Modesto and will be for sale at HA’s welcome table. Only a limited number are available so get them before they are gone!

Stop by Modesto’s sponsor table and check their wares which will include screen-printed housewares, interior and gift products that include wall paper, gift wrap, textiles, one-of-a-kind furniture, glassware and more.

Visit them online to preview their unique and beautiful work.

Studio Contact:
Phone: (412) 259-8401
Location: 321 Pennwood Avenue, Suite G1 Side Alley Entrance, Pittsburgh, PA 15221
Hours: Hours are typically Monday thru Friday9 a.m. – 5 p.m., but due to the nature of their projects, hours may vary. Calling ahead or scheduling appointments is always the best guarantee that they won’t miss you!


WYEP 91.3 FMwyepsm — an independent voice, inspiring our community with diverse music and vibrant ideas. With its media sponsorships, WYEP exposes listeners to a variety of cultural, artistic and community experiences that entertain, promote discourse, and increase participation in our community.

WYEP is committed to enriching the community through musical discovery, expression and education much like Handmade Arcade is committed to enriching the vibrant arts and maker community of Pittsburgh.

Handmade Arcade is honored to have WYEP 91.3 FM  as a MEDIA SPONSOR this year. Thank you!

90.5 WESA Pittsburgh NPR News — southwestern Pennsylvania’s only independent public-radio news and information station. WESA gives voice to provocative ideas that foster a vibrant, informed, diverse and caring community.

Its mission is to work for the public to inform people in ways that engage and inspire them to create dialog about community issues and stories. Handmade Arcade also works hard to engage and inspire the arts and makers communities with our annual shopping extravaganza.

We are so excited to call WESA 90.5 FM a sponsor and friend.

Spend this Saturday in Lawrenceville!

Pittsburgh’s Lawrenceville neighborhood is THE PLACE to be this Saturday, November 19thwith three AMAZING events.

Kitsch! Conversation! Collectibles!
Start your day at Pittsburgh Vintage Mixer—a one-of-a-kind vintage vendor fair that melds community, creative inspiration and nostalgia. The Mixer returns with a fun atmosphere of quality, authentic vintage treasures and antiques and a variety of collectibles for all ages, styles and budgets.

Hours: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Venue: Spirit (both floors!) 252 51st Street
Details: General Admission for the Mixer is $5 for adults, kids under 12 are free. All tickets are available at the door.

This is a family friendly event—please bring your ID in case you’re considering bellying up to the bar during the vintage fair. PGH Vintage Mixer totebags, by Commonwealth Press, and retro pennants, by Oxford Pennant, will be available for purchase.

Next up check out the 12 Annual Lawrenceville Artists’ Studio Tour
This free event opens the doors to the studios and artwork of more than 50 Pittsburgh artists, showcasing a gamut of traditional and contemporary art media and styles. Studios in 18 venues throughout Lawrenceville offer a fascinating behind-the-scenes view of the processes involved in creating art of all media. Visit lawrencevilleart.com for a schedule and map. Studios are open from 11 a.m. through 6 p.m.

una_logo_mainRAfter the Mixer and Studio Tour, join HANDMADE ARCADE as we help CELEBRATE UNA BIOLOGICALS One Year Anniversary Party!

Una is having a big ol’ party from 6 to 10 p.m. at their shop at 4322 Butler Street. Join HA for BOTANICAL BUTTON MAKING! There will be music, craft cocktails and a trunk show and sale featuring fabulous creative works by Una staff—many of whom are makers in their own right. Visit the event page on Facebook for more details.


Thank you to The Artsmiths of Pittsburgh – 2016’s Hands-on Handmade sponsor.

artsmiths-largeHandmade Arcade is excited to announce that this year’s Hands-on Handmade activity area is brought to you by THE ARTSMITHS OF PITTSBURGH. Located at 1635 McFarland Road in the South Hills of Pittsburgh, The Artsmiths is a 10,000 square foot arts and cultural center featuring local arts, music and food.

The Artsmiths is a one-of-a-kind store and makerspace. Selling curated artwork from over 250 local creators, The Artsmiths sells a variety of products including ceramics, fiber, glass, illustrations, ironwork, paintings, woodwork, candles, bath & body products, jewelry, prints, greeting cards and more.

Koolkat Café at The Artsmiths offers delicious artisan foods and drinks. It also doubles as a live performance and meeting space.

The Underground, the store’s lower level, has a second showroom which showcases large art pieces such as furniture and sculpture. It also has a rotating exhibition gallery, dedicated teaching spaces and ceramic studio for an artist-in-residence.

Like Handmade Arcade, The Artsmiths believe that when you choose to shop local and handmade, you are investing in the future of your community. Both are committed to providing a marketplace for independent craft-based businesses with opportunities to show and sell their wares.

Handmade Arcade, through its Hands-on Handmade activity area, bridges the gap between consumer and creator – inspiring creativity, collaboration, and learning. Similar in mission, The Artsmiths believes that when people participate in the making and appreciation of art, communities become more vibrant, creative, and innovative.

Handmade Arcade is proud to share a similar mission with The Artsmiths and is looking forward to an on-going collaborative relationship with founders Kate McGrady and co-founder Kate Wagle Hitmar.

Visit The Artsmiths of Pittsburgh’s website for more information about the store, artists, classes, events, exhibits and more.


Made with Love: Family-Friendly Crafts at Handmade Arcade

Let’s get family-friendly! At Handmade Arcade, that means exploring crafts that are fun, functional for all ages, and help leave our planet in better shape for our children and future generations. Check out some of the one-of-a-kind goods you can grab for the entire family this year (including our four-legged kin). Don’t forget about hip baby shower and birthday gifts, too!

oliveboBrowsing olive+bo ain’t no stroll through Babies R Us. (No offense, Babies R Us.) If you have your own definition of “cute,” and it includes skulls and storm clouds, stop and see this Philadelphia-based crafter.

olive+bo is bringing minimalist and gender-neutral handmade quilts and accessories for the modern baby, child, and parent.

We’re charmed by the cloud mobile, which dangles whimsical white, gray, or black clouds over a baby’s crib or in a kid’s room. Add a coordinating cloud pillow or lend some color with a huggable stuffed rainbow. The smiling skull quilt is perfect for a badass little kid’s room, but no one’s judging if you decide to keep it for yourself, mom and dad.

lumpkinOkay, while we’re talking about cute, Lumpkin from Lancaster, PA is pretty easy to fawn over.

All Lumpkin merchandise is created using upcycled, vintage, or sustainable resources. They craft heirloom-quality treasures that are safe for children (who will one day inherit the planet).

And are they ever cute! We love the plush toys featuring friendly-faced creatures and, get this – snuggly, huggable little fruits and veggies! They’re perfect for playtime and look adorable on display in a kidlet’s room.

ottofinnDesign-conscious moms and dads shop Otto Fin. Creators Ross and Rona value art, design, and functionality, and it shows. Their napkins, tea towels, tote bags, and fashionably functional children’s accessories embody a clean, modern, and natural aesthetic.

Don’t miss the bandana baby bibs, with patterns starring swans, night skies, foxes, and pretzels. No kids? No problem. We think your dog would look dashing in the canine bandanas, designed to slip through a dog collar.

One more reason to love them: This Pittsburgh-based pair is conscious of their environmental impact and makes every effort to consider the planet in their fabrics, water-based inks, and packaging.

sasisafiLaura from SafiSani of Pittsburgh makes unique bags for the preschool set. She’s bringing one-of-a-kind backpacks, small bags, and other accessories specially made for 2 to 5 year olds.

As she says, “Every kiddo needs a place to carry their treasures.” Her perfectly pint-sized backpacks feature whimsical prints and plenty of space for toys and snacks. Or, check out the zipper bags, ideal for a 3-year-old’s special collection of rocks, shells, or plastic animals. They’re made to be durable enough for airplane rides and car trips, and can be washed again and again.

SafiSani bags will make sure your kiddo is hip and organized. Be sure to rock a fun pattern — like the retro monster print or happy little houses.

Whether you’re single, hitched, or have kids of the two- or four-legged variety, your family can get squeaky clean with Pip & Lola’s. They’ll be at Handmade Arcade with amazingly emollient soaps.

Sami the Soap Goddess says that most bath and beauty bars are detergent-based and strip your skin of its natural oils, leaving it dull, dry and itchy. After suffering from psoriasis, she formulated these cleansers to be super-fatted with skin nourishing oils that are eco- and family friendly. They’re also vegan or vegetarian.

Wake up with their chamomile/peppermint tea soap and party down with the porter (beer) shampoo bar. Scub your little sweetie with the honeyed oats bar. With the Dirty Dog bar, you can even shampoo your pooch!

Are you as excited as we are? Check out the complete list of Handmade Arcade 2016 vendors here.

Home Sweet Home: Shop Home Décor at Handmade Arcade 2016

Whether your home is contemporary, cozy, or eclectic, you’ll find plenty of home décor items to love at Handmade Arcade. Here are a few vendors who can help you make your home uniquely “you!”

klugoworldVisit Klugworld to visit a colorful world where dogs drive, cats play the drums, and all pets go to Heaven. Dave Klug (you’ve seen his murals at The Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium, PPG Paints Arena, and Primanti Brothers Restaurants) will be bringing silkscreens, woodcuts, and even pet bowls to add lovable, pet-themed whimsy to your home.


studioglasscoPittsburgh-based Studio Glass Company is new to Handmade Arcade. Daniel Buchanan makes art glass tableware, lighting, and architectural installations. Vivid colors meet bold shapes in his functional contemporary art pieces. Gaze into a koi pond platter, bask in the warm glow of a glass table lamp, or hang a scene from Pittsburgh’s past on your wall.


Veteran Handmade Arcade commonrebelsshoppers will remember My Favorite Mirror and their pocket mirrors made from kids’ books and magazines. Now they’ve got an expanded repertoire and a new name — Common Rebels. These “purveyors of awesome” offer nightlights, mouse pads, coasters, and other goodies so you can surround yourself with cute stuff. Their funny, cheeky designs feature tacos, rainbow sloths, animals in business wear, hedgehogs, and a whole lot more.

simonsgranddaugtherVal Snyder of Simon’s Granddaughter scours antique stores across the country and brings the best treasures back to Pittsburgh. Here, she turns bone china, porcelain, pressed glass, teacups, and candlesticks into one-of-a-kind pieces. We love her elegantly eccentric three-tiered stands, which are perfect for displaying your jewelry or serving high tea. Check out her inspirational Pittsburgh wall plates—a great gift for any sweet, sarcastic yinzer.

hannahgraceclackIn a hilltop studio along the Monongahela River, Hannah Grace Clark paints tranquil scenes starring bears, narwhals, gentle giants, and sleepy seaside towns. Her oil paintings are rich with dreamy detail and tell the story of weird and wondrous creatures in a fantasy world. We think her artwork is a lovely way to invite a little imagination into your home!


Excited yet? That’s not all. From jewelry to bath and body products, there’s lots more to see at Handmade Arcade 2016. View the complete list of vendors here.

Brand Spankin’ New (To You!): First-Time Vendors at Handmade Arcade 2016

When you’re a veteran Handmade Arcade shopper, it’s hard to decide what’s more exciting: returning to your favorite vendors year after year, or discovering new favorites!

Get ready to explore lots of never-before-seen goods this year, as HA welcomes more than 40 first-time vendors with one-of-a-kind wares. We’ll tempt you with just a few of them now …

Jewelry: Frost Finery
frostHigh-tech meets handmade to produce this sleek, modern and sometimes adorable jewelry. Frost Finery jewelry studio in Pittsburgh is the creation of owner and self-described shine-maker Melissa Frost. She combines old and new techniques (metal laser cutting, 3-D design and traditional metal-smithing) with metal, gems, and even plants and wood. We love her chunky quartz crystals on a delicate sterling chain, laser-cut leather wrist cuffs, and tiny coffee cups to adorn a caffeine-lover’s ears. Look for edgy statement pieces like hammered metal-chain-link necklaces, alongside sweet surprises like a kitten you can wrap around your finger.

Housewares: Rustbelt Workshop
rustbeltSimple meets wild at Pittsburgh-based Rustbelt Workshop. Browse living artwork made from plants, wood and glass. Succulents take center stage in wood and stone planters, while moss makes a home in lightbulbs and antique glass globes. You’ll find elegantly rustic terrariums and hanging art made from driftwood, ferns, reclaimed wood and more.


Bath & Body: Lovett Sundries
lovettNo colors. No fragrances. No chemicals. No frills. Just good, clean, finely crafted apothecary products. Lovett Sundries is a family company based out of Wilkinsburg. Stop by their booth for body, hair, shaving and household cleaning goods. From texturing sea salt spray for hair (made from filtered water, Epsom salt, aloe vera and sea salt) to laundry soap (baking soda, borax, coconut oil, filtered water, lye), simple ingredients are gentle on the body while getting the job done. Check out the Lovett Sundries deodorant, peppermint lip tint, dry shampoo, charcoal soap and other items, too!

Artwork/Prints: nola & vi
nolaAdd a warm, sweet and dreamy touch to your home with felt and embroidery keepsakes by nola & vi. Owner and creator Julie Lynch has been making art in Pittsburgh all her life. Today, her hoop art wreaths, pillows and party favors play with modern designs and bright and pastel colors. They’ve also got personality, as cats in bow ties, surprised French bulldogs, vacationing panda bears, sleeping foxes and amused unicorns make themselves at home among her designs. We love her lifelike bunches of felt flowers!

Accessories: Chillibibbi
chillibilliYou haven’t shopped leather goods like Chillibibbi before. This Pittsburgh-based designer uses leftover pieces of leather to make one-of-a-kind handbags. They say, “We upcycle leather because we are of the view that if an animal loses its life for us, the least we could do is use all of the skin.” The result is eye-catching cross-body, clutch and laptop bags for men and women. Browse items with bright and natural colors, bold designs and original embroidery. With zipper pockets, sturdy cotton linings and adjustable straps, each work of art is as functional as it is fashionable.

Stationery: Cannibal Paper Goods
cannibalBookworms should make a beeline for Cannibal Paper Goods. This Pittsburgh-based studio and bookbindery deconstructs old and abandoned books to make journals, sketchbooks, boxes and more. They stalk thrift stores and estate and library sales for the best vintage designs. Like the best hunters, they make sure no part of the book goes to waste. We took a sneak peek at their Instagram page and loved their paper flowers, pocket-sized mini books, and pins starring salvaged storybooks, Hardy Boys mysteries, and more.

Other: Louson Drums
lousonLouson Drums is a two-person company that makes drums right here in Pittsburgh. Stop by their booth to tap custom drum kits, shakers and other percussive instruments. Be sure to check out the cajóns, or box-shaped percussion instruments perfect for “pleasing low notes and poppy slaps.” Gorgeous glossy woods in espresso, moss green and other rich shades make them a treat for the eyes as well as the ears. A friendly jam session may be in your future!

Visit our Vendor Page for a complete list of Handmade 2016 vendors.