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Craft Con reCON

Craft Con 2023 is a WIP no more!

We convened. We connected. We constructed a world around us draped in craft and sprinkled with community.

In total we hosted just over 60 attendees over the 3-day weekend, plus 30+ crafting artists during Craftin’ Outlaws.

Our speakers shared their talents and knowledge. Toni Lipsey dazzled us with her community guided keynote take. Our sponsors offered us space and materials to convene under the name of craft.

Enjoy a few pictures from the weekend, revisit out the program catalog and keep tagging us with your pictures and takeaways. Thanks to everyone who pitched in and we look forward to gathering again in 2024.

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BIPOC Scholarship Opportunity

Thanks to the support of sponsors, attendees and donors who have chipped in to our scholarship fund, we’ve got one full scholarships available to a crafter of color who resides within the Midwest. 

The scholarship includes a full-weekend pass and access to all the activities of the conference, a total value of $1,000, including access to the Membership platform for one full year. Scholarship winner will receive a suite at the MCC partner hotel. Lodging covers room for two evenings Friday and Saturday of the conference. Transportation is the responsibility of the scholarship winner. Recipient of scholarship will receive a $300 VISA gift card to use for travel and meals. 

To apply for the scholarship, fill out this form by 11:59 p.m. January 30, 2023. The organizing team of Midwest Craft Con will review all the applications and select recipients based on that application by February 15, 2023.

Thank you!

One should never craft alone, which is why we are grateful for the support of: Ohio Arts CouncilMaydel and BLOOM by Bel Monili for directly supporting our scholarship fund. 

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Become a Midwest Craft Con ambassador!

Do you value the importance of handmade goods?
Do you want to be a part of the handmade community but don’t know where to start?
Are you active on social media and love sharing unique finds with friends? 
Are you ready to start your handmade business or who wishes to grow their existing business?
Do you live near Columbus, Ohio?

What Is a Midwest Craft Con Ambassador?

Ambassadors help spread the word about the organization, marketplaces and the annual conference to new customers. You support the mission of MCC by lending a hand and serving on committees that make up the organization, all by sharing social media content. 

What Is Expected of a MCC Ambassador?

Create and/or repost engaging content around Midwest Craft Con’s annual conference and marketplaces to your audience on social media channels like Instagram, Facebook, Tik Tok, and Twitter. 

You meet once a month virtually for updates and provide feedback to the organizing committee. 

We ask Ambassadors to create 5 content posts a month, leading up to the events. Ambassadors are also asked to assist with 2 volunteer hours for each event: Winter Marketplace December 4, 2022 and the conference + Spring Marketplace March 31 – April 2, 2023. 

What Is the Compensation & Commitment?

In exchange for your services, you are provided with a comped ticket to attend the conference, which provides 3 days of creative content which includes: hearing the keynote, art making, access to sessions and panels. Plus name credit during opening announcements. MCC does not cover the cost of travel or lodging. Ambassadors will be extended the group discount rate for hotel costs. 

Ambassadors are to work 2 hour shifts each day of the conference and during the Winter Marketplace. Ambassadors receive one year membership to the MCC Member Platform.

You Might Be Wondering…

  • Do I have to have a large following to be an ambassador? No way! We are looking for Ambassadors who are true fans of Midwest Craft Con, enjoy spreading handmade cheer, and want to make a difference in the lives of crafting artists.
  • How do I know what to post? We’re giving our Ambassadors the freedom to post in a way that feels authentic and natural to their audience. Repost photos of your favorite Midwest Craft Con feeds, create your own video, share a review, whatever you like! We’ll also supply a list of ideas to get you started. 
  • Will I need to show up anywhere? You can help promote the excitement of Midwest Craft Con from the comfort of home. Kick your feet up, grab your drink of choice, and help us spread the word about our virtual events.  

How Do I Apply?!

Click the link below to complete our short Ambassador Application. All Ambassadors will be chosen by September 1, 2022 and contacted via email. 

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Want to present at Midwest Craft Con 2023?

Midwest Craft Con is looking for experienced and knowledgeable creative business owners to share their expertise with our attendees.

Our audience ranges from hobbyists, small business owners just starting out to those who have been in business for 10+ years. A successful pitch will keep one of those people in mind, and we love it when pitches have their own spin on the topic.

Breakout and Workshop sessions are 1.5 hours in length, with built in Q&A time. We are looking for sessions specifically targeted to makers regarding marketing, business, finances, legalities, work-life balance, ideation, creativity and other craft business issues. To get an idea of sessions and workshops we’ve had in the past, check out 2020s schedule here.

Workshops are designed for participants to engage with creativity, regardless of skillset. All projects should be designed as a beginner level. Allowing new students to engage and advanced students to relax. 

Invited presenters will receive an honorarium, hotel stay and admission to our three-day conference with some additional surprises. We regret we aren’t able to invite to everyone who submits an idea, but we hope you will plan to join us no matter what!

We’ll get back to everyone who submits a speaking proposal in the middle of August, and announce the 2023 speaker lineup shortly thereafter.

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Save the Date for Midwest Craft Con 2023!

Midwest Craft Con is back and we have so many exciting announcements to share! 

Who’s speaking at the CON?
Our keynote for 2023 will be: Toni Lipsey of TL Yarn Crafts.


Toni Lipsey, the designer and instructor behind TL Yarn Crafts, strives to inspire others’ creativity through online tutorials and modern, approachable crochet patterns. Toni learned to crochet from her mother as a teenager and has been exploring the possibilities of yarn ever since. Her current design obsessions are oversized shawls and modern home decor. When she’s not crocheting, you can find Toni cuddled with her 2 kittens and husband in her Ohio home, binge-watching the latest true-crime thriller on Netflix. Follow her daily crochet journey on Instagram and pick up her book, The Tunisian Crochet Handbook, and patterns on  Stay tuned for our full length keynote interview.

When is Midwest Craft Con returning?
Never Craft Alone at Midwest Craft Con which will be held March 31 – April 2, 2023 in Columbus, Ohio!

In addition to the 3 day conference, we are adding Craftin’ Outlaws, our annual marketplace on Sunday, April 2 to close the event. 

All experiences will be hosted at the Columbus Museum of Art. Attendees will gain access to the Museum and discounted room rate but it’s not required to stay at our contracted hotel. 

Ticket Breakdown:

  • $299.00 – Member tickets open 9/15/2022
  • $349.00 – Early Bird tickets open 10/1/2022
  • $450.00 – General admission tickets opens 11/01/2022
  • $175.00 – $200.00 Day passes open 1/15/2023

If you haven’t been to our conference, prepare yourself for an endless weekend filled with pom poms and googly eyes, while you build your creative business. Get ready for our keynote(s) to fill you with inspiration, meet your creative heroes you admire online, and prepare to see colleagues you only see across the aisle at craft fairs.  Make new friends who help provide the extra drive you need to keep your business growing, long after the conference has ended. 

Read more about joining us and lodging

Stay tuned for speaker & workshop sign ups, scholarship forms, roommate options, and interviews with our keynote(s) and so much more!

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Our Past

It’s been two years since we’ve gathered in-person. For crafty folks just getting to know us or for past friends we haven’t seen in a while: HELLO! 

Midwest Craft Con is a 501(c)3 located in Columbus, Ohio. Our mission has always been serving crafting artists through our 3 day creative conference. The events host keynote speakers, breakout sessions, hands on workshops. All while creating connections amongst individuals from across the US, not just the Midwest. But the Midwest is where we have called home and where our connections are firmly grounded.

Past keynotes include:
2016: Lisa Congdon and Abbey Glassenburg
2017: Yao Cheng, Chris Glass and Jen Hewitt
2018: Crafty Chica, Vickie Howell and Gemma Correll
2020: Social Justice Sewing Academy and Twinkie Chan

  • self care for crafters
  • keynote speakers midwest craft con 2018

Through Crafting’ Outlaws we’ve hosted thousands of exhibitors from around the Midwest with Spring and Winter Craft Shows, Pop-up events, Online Marketplaces and Festivals around Columbus, Ohio. Providing spaces for crafting artists to sell their goods. These exhibitors have gone on to run studio operations, e-commerce sites, open brick and mortar stores, sell at trade shows, work with public companies. 

Our past is deeply rooted in connecting artists with experiences that further their craft, building engagement with the public and their peers. It’s the stitches that bind our organization together. 

If you’ve ever attended our conference we ask that you please help us in the present, by filling out this survey to help launch our future and help decide the new direction of the organization. In the coming weeks will be retiring this newsletter and asking those who wish to stay up to date to subscribe to the new list. 
I expect things will change the next time we gather but anticipate that when we do the crafts will be epic and google eye adhesive will be strong! 
Make a donation to help support MCC!
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State of Craft Panel

So much has changed since we meet in March at Midwest Craft Con. Craft shows and festivals have announced cancellations or postponements. Brick and mortar shops have closed their doors. E-commerce sites are seeing a decrease in online sales with custom orders from events or businesses being cancelled.

While sewists and production shops from around the nation have frantically making masks for personal use and to aid in fight of Covid-19.

As we all grasp with loss of income, distance learning with our young children and the cancellation of our creative world as we once knew it, we wanted to connect with our keynote speakers Sara Trail of Social Justice Sewing Academy and Twinkie Chan, to hear how this has impacted their missions and lives. Mostly, we want to remind our creative community that we are all feeling this loss together. This will be an ongoing monthly feature that we bring to our alumni and the creative community.

Join us on Thursday, April 9 at 8pm EST for a touchbase with our 2020 keynotes. Tickets are limited with a portion of proceeds going back to our keynotes, with a discount for alumni of Midwest Craft Con. Secure your ticket today.

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Craft Con in the Time of COVID-19

“It’s better to have loved conned and lost quarantined…”

All photos courtesy of Chris Rutan Photography

As I think back to our glorious time at Midwest Craft Con 2020, I feel really lucky to be part of such an incredibly community. It was such a timely reminder before such an isolating time full of uncertainty.


We learned. We shared. We brainstormed. We crawled, crafted, karaoked. We grew as professionals, creatives, human beings. We bonded as sisters.

Thanks to our craft supply sponsor, Darice, for inspiring our instructors and offering casual crafts between sessions. We’re so happy to work so closely with an Ohio-based supply company who prides itself on supporting independant artists!

We were inspired by our speakers and instructors. Sara Trail, whose message of justice for all (and quilting for all!) resonated profoundly, despite being the youngest speaker we’ve ever had. Jennifer Perkins got us comfortable being out of our confort zone with her mixed media painting class. Elaine Grogan Luttrull got us over our fear of taxes with tips and tools. Plus many, many more.

As we move forward, before we even think about future programming (although we did announce that we will be hosting some kind of one-day event in the summer of 2021!), we want to make sure that our community is ok and want to help everyone stay connected.

We’ve hosted some virtual karaoke parties and happy hours in our private Facebook group, but we’d like to set up a more structured schedule of programming as we move forward.

Starting in April, we’re planning the following:

First Thursday: Craft Crawl: go Live in our Facebook during the day and share your craft projects, a book you’re reading. Share what you are working on or how you are passing the day.

Second Thursday: State of Craft Panel Discussion via ZOOM. We will record it and share if you can’t attend. Different topics each month with some panelists. We will record this if you can’t view during the specific time.

Third Thursday: Karaoke DAY – Dance, sing, lip sync for your life.

Fourth Thursday: Office/Happy Hour – Share a skill or offer advice.

Save the dates and we’ll get more details out soon! The best way to stay in touch is to sign up for our Newsletter.


Until next time, stay healthy and stay crafty. There are good things to come!

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Full 2020 schedule + a special opening ceremonies!

Welcome to 2020, the year of Midwest Craft Con! We’ve just put up the full schedule of our creative business conference for your perusal. It is three days of business workshops with incredible speakers, hands-on crafting sessions and inspiring keynotes. If you haven’t gotten your ticket yet, those are available right here — and day passes are now available if you can only join us for part of the weekend. 

To help kick things off we are hosting a creative art show with our friends at Blockfort Galleries.  wohl_whiteamerica - Jessica Wohl

Statements crocheted in yarn. Manifestos in embroidery. Quilted declarations.

In a season of heated political discussion, Midwest Craft Con has partnered with the Blocfort to host an exhibition of craft as activism. Selected from a call-for-entries, these works cross traditional craft with topics political and social justice, showing just how loudly modern craft can speak as an art form.

Artists featured in the exhibition include Bonnie Peterson, Alyson Toone, Jessica Wohl, Al Hoff, Rachel Baker, Zak Foster, Jen Edwards, and Letitia Kenemer.

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DIY at Midwest Craft Con sponsored by Darice

Have you ever thought to yourself – I need a break or a little vacation to make things and get creative with my kind of people? Then Midwest Craft Con is the place where you can make it happen.

  The Con has a wide variety of DIY, hands-on workshops – all geared for skill levels ranging from the beginner to the intermediate crafter and maker. The weekend is guaranteed to have you meeting lots of new friends and learning too. Explore all the making you can enjoy over the three day weekend next February. A big thank you to Darice for sponsoring the 2020 craft programming at the conference.

2020 Con DIY Workshops include:

Block Printed Wall Hangings + Tea Towels  with Yetunde Rodriguez @yatoonday 

Learn how to carve a block and design a pattern to create a block printed wall hanging or tea towel.

Hand Lettering with Natalie Keller Pariano @natterdoodles

New to hand lettering? Natalie will share her techniques to make a hand-lettered, canvas wall hanging. 

She will also be teaching intermediate lettering for those who want to learn new and advanced techniques. 

Voter Engagement Felt Patches with Al Hoff @alhoff2000

Make your own non-partisan, voter engagement patch for use on your jean jacket, bag, or whatever place you want to express yourself.  

Mixed Media Painting with Jennifer Perkins @jenniferperkins 

Jennifer will teach us how to “embracing our creativity” with a unique mixed media painting. 

Inspirational Shrinky Dinks with Betsy Salzman @thesciencebee

Create “words of wisdom” favorite phrases, and words to inspire and motivate with this classic and fun craft now making a comeback. 

Succulent Indoor Fairy Gardens with Nicole Pearch @partynwithplants

Design a magical landscape that tells a story in fun miniatures. 

Darice will also be hosting their own creative sessions at Midwest Craft Con too! Pocket Journal with Darice

It’s made with cardstock and paper bags which create little pockets in each page of the journal.

Beaded earrings with Darice

Plus, there will be lots of casual, evening time craftivities for you to relax, enjoy, and spend time making with new friends.  Experience pop-up shops, fun times, and crafty drinks in the rooms of our Craft Con partners and sponsors throughout the hotel on Saturday evening through our Craft Crawls. 
Midwest Craft Con 3-day conference and one day tickets available now.