What Makers Want: Gifts for Creatives

Looking to buy a gift for the creative in your life?

We decided to highlight the keynotes of Midwest Craft Con past, not to mention those of Midwest Craft Con future in 2020. Explore their shops and products to find something for the creative on your list.  Of course, the most helpful thing you could give a maker for the holidays is a ticket to Midwest Craft Con.



One of our first keynotes at Midwest Craft Con artist, and illustrator Lisa Congdon brings her expertise to this guide to the process of artistic self-discovery.



Gemma Correll taught us that periods and pugs make the world go round and she offers a limitless supply of products that keep us entertained and inspired.



Our 2018 Keynote, Jen Hewitt, fills the pages of this book with textile examples and simple sewing projects for creatives.


For those who love food and crochet, explore the online shop of Twinkie Chan. Download a pattern, some brightly colored yarn and start making. Also explore books and premade goods. We can’t wait to meet Twinkie Chan at the next Midwest Craft Con.



Kathy Cano-Murillo, aka Crafty Chica, sprinkled in all her positivity in 2018 with how she built her creative business from the ground up, with the assist of glitter and hard work. She offers a wide assortment of books and products.



In 2017 we meet Abby Glassenberg, a sewer, podcaster and who was in the infancy of Craft Industry Alliance. This online membership group hosts live meetups, articles and provides countless discounts and advice for and from other creatives.



Yao Cheng continues to share her skills, as she did in 2018, through online session on Creativebug. Sign up and follow along as she teaches a series of beginning watercolor courses.


We are all looking forward to hear more about Social Justice Sewing Academy and the journey that craft has taken Sara on through her work with this non-profit. You can give the gift of a donation and attend Sara’s keynote address in 2020.



Back in 2017, Chris Glass taught us to slow down and observe our surroundings. To take the time to walk around, to reevaluate what and how we wanted our life to transform. His side business Wire & Twine offers apparel that speaks to Midwest roots.

Anything else on your wish list this year? Share your favorite gifts for makers in the comments!


What Makers Want: Gifts for Crafters

Looking to buy a gift for the crafter in your life? We made this wish list for people who love makers and want to give them something special this holiday season. (That special person could be yourself! We aren’t judging. #treatyoself) Our picks are divided up into categories of gifts: helpful things, charitable things, tasty things and fun things. Of course, the most helpful thing you could give a maker for Christmas is a ticket to Midwest Craft Con, just sayin’. Read on for our whole gift guide for crafters!

Megan’s picks

Something helpful: The DYMO shipping label maker is a major time-saver for any small-business owner. If you’re buying this for the seller in your life, be a dear and also order some extra ink and label rolls.

dymo shipping label maker

Something tasty: Give me all the Brezel Pretzels. These Bavarian treats are all I want to eat.

brezel pretzels

Something charitable: Midwest Craft Con is high on my list of groups to support, but clearly I’m biased! Other charities I support include Women Have Options.

Something fun: Monthly gift subscriptions are an easy way to keep giving surprises. Cloth and Paper has created a service full of stationary, pens and  planners.

cloth and paper, diy subscription kits

Brit’s picks

Something helpful: The habit calendar from Free Period Press to support all your unrealistic New Year’s resolutions. Add some organization to your overachieving!

free period press habit calendar

Something tasty: Prongles. In case you didn’t hear, Cards Against Humanity has pivoted from a game company to a snack company. Once you pop, that’s great!

Something charitable: A donation to Stewart’s Caring Place, a center in Akron that supports cancer patients in treatment.

Something fun: This is technically also tasty, but Nocino from Watershed Distillery in Columbus. It’s a black walnut liqueur only released once a year.

Grace’s picks

Something helpful: I’ve been writing in Field Notes notebooks for almost a decade, dang! You can even get the maker in your life a subscription so they never miss a special edition.

field notes notebook subscription

Something tasty: The No. 1 German food item I love is Haribo gummy candy. This tub of gummy frogs is the gift that keeps on giving.

haribo gummy frogs tub

Something charitable: The world is a crazy place, and sometimes I feel helpless about it. But this year I want to give to the UN Human Rights Commission, which helps people in tough spots around the world.

Something fun: A gift certificate to Spoonflower is an awesome gift idea — your maker can get fabric or gift wrap printed with their own design!

spoonflower fabric gift certificate

Anything else on your wish list this year? Share your favorite gifts for makers in the comments!


Sponsor Love: Igloo Letterpress

Get to know the makers, businesses and faces who are helping us create Midwest Craft Con! Today we showcase sponsor Igloo Letterpress, owned by Allison Chapman. Igloo Letterpress has grown from a personal passion into a full-fledged printing business with many employees and lots of loyal customers.


Igloo recently made the move into a new facility around the block from their former space, a sprawling print studio that also houses a retail shop, Swoonful Gifts, and classroom space for teaching others the printing craft.


Look for Allison and members of her staff to be on site during the trade show where they will be selling greeting cards, journals, crafty kits and posters. You can also visit their new space on our Crafty Tour of Columbus!

Megan: How long have you been in the creative scene? How did you get your start?

Allison: I inherited my printing equipment and started getting crafty in 1996. My grandfather was a hobby printer, and I was lucky enough to be his assistant. Igloo really started to grow when my family moved to Columbus in 2008.

Megan: What services do you provide to your community?

Allison: Igloo is a retail destination, community classroom and production facility. We provide letterpress printing and hand bookbinding.


Megan: What are you most proud of when it comes to your business?

Allison: Providing year-round employment for Igloo’s talented staff.

Megan: What is one big mistake you’d suggest others avoid when entering the handmade arena?

Allison: Don’t over-promise on what you can deliver. Don’t agree to make something if you haven’t done it before.

Megan: Any big goals for the new year?

Allison: Increase production in our new studio!

 Meet Allison and the Igloo Letterpress team and so many other makers at Midwest Craft Con in February! 

Early Bird Tickets on Sale Now!

You’ve been waiting for it, and early bird tickets are on sale for Midwest Craft Con now! The first 100 tickets are $199 each, and after that, the full price is $249. Get your early bird ticket while you can — when the early bird tickets sell out, they’re gone.

What is this?

The Midwest Craft Con is a three-day retreat for mid-career crafters, makers and creative business owners. The conference will include inspirational keynote addresses, thought-provoking panel discussions, hands-on workshops and business-focused breakout sessions from experts from Ohio, the Midwest and beyond. But it won’t be all work: You’ll make new friends at our evening mixers, explore our trade show and network with makers — it’ll be a weekend-long retreat with your best craft buddies. We hope you can join us!

Our keynote speakers are Abby Glassenberg and Lisa Congdon. Read more about them here. We’ll be announcing the rest of the schedule in the fall. If you’ve got an idea for a talk you’d like to give, fill out this form! Speakers will get a full pass to the conference, but note that we won’t be able to invite everyone to speak. If you want to be at Midwest Craft Con come hell or high water, get an early bird ticket to be safe, and if we pick you as a speaker, we’ll refund the price.

When is it?

Midwest Craft Con will be from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon, Feb. 19 to 21, 2016, at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Columbus, Ohio.

What’s included?

Three days of sessions, panels and keynote speakers, plus fun maker-centric activities and ample socialization time. Your ticket to Midwest Craft Con gets you 24-hour access to the Hyatt. Note that you’ll be responsible for paying for your own room and meals aside from a few mixers we’ll host. When you register, we’ll send you a confirmation email with a link to reserve your hotel room.

We highly recommend staying on site, as events will go late into the evening, and our reservation of the hotel’s public spaces is contingent on having our people book rooms. We’ve negotiated a special price of $129 for a double and $159 for a quadruple, and we would be happy to help you find someone to share with if you’re coming on your own!

When you book your ticket, we’ll give you access to a private Facebook group just for conference attendees so you can start sharing stories and planning. That’ll be the place to go to find someone to share a room with or hitch a ride with!

Who should go?

Anybody who runs a creative business. Whether you’re a veteran indie crafter, an upstart maker, an artist, a designer or photographer: You’re welcome here and you’ll come away from the weekend with lots of new ideas, techniques and friends.

What else do I need to know?

We aim to make this conference inclusive and fun, so you should have a look at the Code of Conduct that we expect all attendees to adhere to.

Help out a fellow maker!

You also have the option to donate to our scholarship fund on our Eventbrite page. Consider giving a dollar or two to help out a crafter who can’t afford this awesome experience on their own right now.

Can I come for just one day?

We may have some one-day passes available, but that will not be determined until early 2016.