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Fall + Holiday Shows around the Midwest!

The handmade season is upon us! Makers are working their magic building up holiday inventory while still hustling their way through the summer fairs and festivals. Fans of DIY can start planning their shopping lists while makers can explore new markets to sell their handmade items.

Want to make sure you get access to early bird tickets? Sign up for our emails to get details on the next con in 2020 — Early Bird tickets will go on sale September 1st!

Know any other indie craft shows that should be on our list? Add them in the comments!


2018 Fall + Holiday Craft Shows Around the Midwest

Midwest Craft Con was founded by three craft show organizers with the mission to help people grow their handmade businesses. While we are still recovering from our conference — sign up for our emails to get details on the next con in 2020 — we are deep in the DIY craft show scene all year round. This list of craft shows and fairs around the Midwest and adjacent states for the rest of 2018 is our gift to makers who want to branch out to new markets. But it’s also for handmade fans who feel like taking a craft show road trip!

strung by shawna, string art, usa map
Art by Midwest Craft Con alumna Strung by Shawna

Know any other indie craft shows that should be on our list? Add them in the comments!


Spring + Summer 2018 Midwest Craft Shows

type shy handmade
Paper art by Type Shy

We started Midwest Craft Con after being a part of the DIY craft show scene for many years. As part of our outreach for crafters, we create this semiannual list of indie craft shows in the Midwest and within driving distance of the Midwest! This list is for makers who want to branch out to new markets, but also for shoppers who are up for a road trip! Our list of fall and holiday craft shows will go up in August. If we missed any events, add them in the comments section.

Vendor applications for our three affiliated craft shows are now open: Craftin’ Outlaws, Crafty Mart and Crafty Supermarket!

Know any other indie craft shows that should be on our list? Add them in the comments!

News · Resources

2017 Fall + Holiday Craft Shows around the Midwest

Midwest Craft Con comes just once a year, but we are deeply rooted in the DIY craft show scene all year round. This list of 2017 Midwest craft shows and fairs is for makers who want to branch out to new markets, but also for shoppers who are up for a road trip! If we missed any events, add them in the comments section.

And don’t forget to save the date for Midwest Craft Con, returning Feb. 16-18, 2018, featuring Kathy Cano Murillo, Gemma Correll and Kelley Deal! Tickets are on sale now!

us midwest, vintage map, craft shows

News · Resources

Spring + Summer 2017 Midwest Craft Shows

Midwest Craft Con comes just once a year, but we are deeply rooted in the DIY craft show scene. This list of Midwest craft shows (and shows within driving distance) is for makers who want to branch out to new markets, but also for shoppers who are up for a road trip! We’ll also put together a list of fall and holiday craft shows in August. If we missed any events, add them in the comments section.

Vendor applications for our three affiliated craft shows are now open: Craftin’ Outlaws, Crafty Mart and Crafty Supermarket!


Meet the Speakers: Lesley Ware & Nicole A. Taylor

nicole taylor and lesley wareMichigan native Lesley Ware is an author, entrepreneur and fashion educator. Lesley works with youth discover their personal style and talents through fun and creativity. She has written two books: Sew Fab: Sewing and Style for Young Fashionistas and the recently published My Fab Fashion Style File. Lesley’s passion for inspiring young people began when she earned her degree in elementary education, and continued when she orchestrated a national program for Girl Scouts of the USA. When she’s not working as a contributor to Martha Stewart Living or teaching, you’ll find Lesley with her husband, seeking out fun, artistic activities around Brooklyn.

Nicole A. Taylor is a multimedia storyteller and author of The Up South Cookbook: Chasing Dixie in a Brooklyn Kitchen (featured in The New York Times, Ebony Magazine, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and New Republic). She has contributed to SheKnows, Civil Eats, First We Feast, Cherry Bombe, Amtrak, Southern Foodways Alliance Gravy, Travel Noire and hosted the Hot Grease podcast on Heritage Radio Network. She founded The Modern Travelers’ Green Zine and is an editor for Crop Stories, a biannual zine that digs deep into relationships between farmer and table. She lives in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.

At Midwest Craft Con 2017, Lesley and Nicole are teaching a session called Bound: Work Your Way to A Book Deal, and Lesley is also teaching Teaching Your Craft!

How would you describe yourself in 10 words or less?

Lesley: Fashion loving, patient, creative, happiest when caffeinated

Nicole: Curious, precious, stylist, master home cook, food storyteller, donut addict

What is your earliest crafty memory?

Lesley: Shopping at JoAnn Fabrics with my mom in the ’80s.

Nicole: Baking a caking while home alone.

What is your favorite thing about the Midwest?

Lesley: After being in New York for 10 years, everything feels relaxed, affordable and semi-worry-free when I’m in the Midwest. I love it!

Nicole: I haven’t spent much time in the Midwest, but all the stories of makers are drawing me towards the region.

What would you be if you weren’t a creative?

Lesley: A librarian.

Nicole: A teacher.

What three things would you recommend to makers?



What are your personal resolutions for 2017?

Lesley: Get more passport stamps!

Nicole: More patience.

What are your 2017 resolutions for your business/professional life?

Lesley: Write a fiction/fantasy/fairytale book + more crafty stuff of course!

Nicole: To improve my long-form writing skills.


Jennifer Ackerman-Haywood on the Sisterhood of Craft & Setting Goals

jennifer heywood ackermanJennifer Ackerman-Haywood was born in Detroit Rock City and now lives in West Michigan with her husband, Jeff, and two daughters. She makes a living teaching craft workshops, working as a freelance feature writer and adjunct journalism professor, and selling wooden weaving looms and handprinted goods. She hopes to realize her childhood dream to write a book very soon. She likes to quilt, knit, weave, sew, carve blocks, pull prints and do just about every craft under the sun. She’s almost always armed with a portable project. She started the Craftsanity podcast in late 2005 while on her second maternity leave from her newspaper gig. She continues to interview artists and crafters from around the globe, review the latest books and products and share fun project ideas you can try out in your home studios or with a group of artist friends and kids. She’ll be recording interviews at Midwest Craft Con with anyone who’d like to tell their story!

Why do you do what you do?

I make things because it’s how I breathe and process every life experience. In good times and bad, I create my way through it, documenting it with text and stitches along the way. I enjoy interviewing creative people because they inspire me, and I am intrigued by the stories behind the art and craft they create.

What’s your earliest crafty memory?

One of my earliest crafty memories is learning to crochet at the Sunday night craft gathering my great-grandma hosted weekly. Sitting in a low, kid-sized chair at her kitchen table, I fumbled with my size “G” hook in my earliest attempt to crochet a potholder out of brown rug yarn. Even though I was only about 5, I was very proud to be crafting at that table surrounded by four generations of women in my family. That was my first social experience with the sisterhood of craft. I felt like I was part of something very special, and I still remember it fondly.

What crafty personality would you most like to get a drink with?

My full list is too long to type but here are some names off the top of my head: Heather Jones, Clara Parkes, Eric Hoffman, Lea Redmond, Erin Paisley, Abby Glassenberg and Lisa Congdon. But I’m a lightweight when it comes to booze, so I should probably save myself from disaster and stick to conducting sober interviews with creative types from all walks of life. The truth is, I actually find most conversations with creative people very intoxicating. 🙂

What advice would you go back and give your younger self?

Don’t be so hesitate. Hatch a plan, do all your prep work and then run full blast toward your goal. Don’t give all your time away. Don’t put everyone else first all of the time. Commit to yourself and don’t feel bad about your success. Celebrate it. Remember that if you stay focused your goals and do well, you will be better equipped to help others do well. Practice what you preach, sister. And when all else fails, remember that nothing bad happens to writers. The ups and downs make for great stories. Write them.

What’s your favorite craft/business book?

My list of favorite books is ridiculously long as my house is overflowing with them. So I’m going to simplify things and share a title I’m currently enjoying. I just interviewed Clara Parkes, author of “Knitlandia: A Knitter Sees the World,” and it’s so well written. Clara has such a wonderful voice to her writing that makes the stories such a joy to read. Her book will be released in February and I highly recommend it.

How did you get where you are today, in 10 words or less?

I work hard and believe that anything is possible.

What are your goals for 2016?

In 2016 I want to:

  • relaunch CraftSanity Magazine (a new issue is coming out in February)
  • expand my podcast audience
  • record more content for the CraftSanity YouTube channel
  • stick with a fitness plan
  • dedicate time to property launching and marketing CraftSanity Prints
  • commit to sending out a regular newsletter
  • carve out more time to write
  • begin work on my first book
  • spend more time by the water
City Guides

The Crafty Guide to Detroit

Bethany Nixon of Reware Vintage and Handmade Detroit was kind enough to write this guide for her city of Detroit:

Metro Detroit is one of the most friendly, diverse and imaginative areas I’ve ever known, and I am proud to have lived here nearly my whole life. As a community, we have historically been known for our ingenuity and hard work, and that applies to our crafty scene too. Come here to shop, learn, and party with us — you’ll fall in love with Detroit too. — Bethany Nixon


City Bird
460 W. Canfield St., Detroit, MI 48201
Carrying handmade goods from all over the US, with a great emphasis on makers from Michigan and the Midwest.

City Bird

Yellow Door Art Market
3141 W. 12 Mile Road, Berkley, MI 48072
Yellow Door features over 60 Michigan artists and has gifts for pretty much anyone on your list.

Haberman Fabrics
905 S. Main St., Royal Oak, MI 48067
Haberman is a huge independent fabric store that teaches lots of different kinds of classes for all levels of sewers, and also boasts fabrics & patterns from Marimekko and lots of other big and independent designers.

Munro Crafts
3954 12 Mile Road, Berkley, MI 48072
Paradise for jewelry makers, this independent bead store has an insane amount of jewelry stuffs, and other craft supplies — many of them vintage.


Pewabic Pottery
10125 E. Jefferson Ave., Detroit, MI 48214
A historic ceramics studio in Detroit, with beautiful traditional and modern works for sale from its artists, and classes for all ages to learn. 

Pewabic Pottery

TechShop Detroit
800 Republic Dr., Allen Park, MI 48101
A Maker Space open 24 hours with lots of equipment and classes to get your make on. 

Signal Return
1345 Division St #102, Detroit, MI 48207
This letterpress studio teaches many different workshops, or come in and work on your own project during open studio time. 

Arts and Scraps
16135 Harper, Detroit, MI 48224
A non-profit that annually recycles 28 tons of material to help spark creativity. Shop through their scrap store, buy a prepackaged project for kids to take home or sign up for a class (adults & kids) and craft outside the box.



  • Detroit Urban Craft Fair: Organized by Handmade Detroit, DUCF is the longest-running indie craft fair in Michigan, featuring over 100 crafters. Takes place the first weekend in December each year. 
  • DIY Street Fair: An annual festival in Ferndale each September with dozens of local bands, nearly 200 vendors, including tons of indie crafters and lots of fun activities for kids and grown ups.
  • Rust Belt Market: An indie vintage/craft market open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. They also host special events within like concerts, performance artists and even weddings.
  • DIYpsi: A semi-annual festival in Yspilanti with favorite Midwest crafters, a full weekend long!


Detroit Mercantile
3434 Russell St., Detroit, MI 48207
Lots of rad American- and Michigan-made gifts here, but the vintage housewares here are seriously jaw dropping.

Detroit Mercantile

Lost and Found
510 S. Washington, Royal Oak, MI 48067
Metro Detroit’s must-shop vintage clothing store, with a huge variety for guys and ladies. 

Vogue Vintage
23622 Woodward, Ferndale, MI 48069
If you want to outfit your entire home in Mid Century Modern decor, this is your place.


Garden Bowl
4120 Woodward, Detroit, MI 48201
America’s oldest running bowling alley, over 100 years old, which also happens to have punk rock bartenders, concerts on the lanes, and some of the best pizza in Detroit.

Gold Cash Gold
2100 Michigan Ave., Detroit, MI 48216
Located in a former pawn shop, the menu is regional and delicious. 

22646 Woodward, Ferndale, MI 48220
Great pizza, greater brews. Get a Raspberry Blonde, then a growler to go.

Eastern Market
Russell and Wilkins Streets, Detroit, MI
There are 4.5 miles of produce, meat, gardening, art and culture in this market, with great lunch spots and people watching too.

Want to know more about Detroit? Contact Bethany, the lady behind Reware Vintage, and a member of Handmade Detroit, the organizers of the Detroit Urban Craft Fair. Find her at and, on Twitter at @bethanylouise and on Instagram @rewarevintage.