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.
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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
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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
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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.