As an admirer of all things handmade, I wouldn’t have missed the 5th annual, Etsy sponsored New York Renegade Craft Fair this past weekend for anything. A haven for makers and all of their clever, inspiring wares, walking through the well attended fair granted us a peek into the minds of the most creative craft makers on the circuit. Here are some highlights from the fair…

astulabee, chalkboard t-shirt, chalkboard tee, craft,  dianne koss, diy, enfant terrible, fluffy goodness, handmade, jessica knapp, Mandalina Rossa, Miss Natalie, mogo, Nazli Centiner, Pinky Punk,  renegade craft fair, renegade fair, sheriff peanut, the cherry box
Repurposed Lego rings

We had many favorites at the fair. My son dug the repurposed, stackable Lego rings (above) offered at the Pinky Punk booth; I was a fan of the handmade, DIY growth chart kit on sale at the Miss Natalie pop-up shop (they sold out by the second day). My wife, a lover of little girls clothing, hovered way too long by the adorable one-of-a-kind Mandalina Rossa dresses (below). “I use a hand-knitting machine for the pieces and an old paper punch for the patterns,” explained the collection’s designer, Nazli Centiner.

astulabee, chalkboard t-shirt, chalkboard tee,  craft,  dianne koss, diy, enfant terrible, fluffy goodness, handmade, jessica knapp, Mandalina Rossa, Miss Natalie, mogo, Nazli Centiner, Pinky Punk,  renegade craft fair, renegade fair, sheriff peanut, the cherry box
Nazli Centiner and her Mandalina Rossa dresses

Our overall favorite item at the fair was the fun line of t-shirts offered at the Chalkboard Tees booth. Smart and simple, the tees feature silhouetted graphics on pastel colored shirts that come in both kid and adult sizes. “It was all Christopher’s idea,” said JinYen, one half of the Chalkboard Tees team. “He experimented with various inks until he came up with the solution we use today.”

astulabee, chalkboard t-shirt, chalkboard tee,  craft,  dianne koss, diy, enfant terrible, fluffy goodness, handmade, jessica knapp, Mandalina Rossa, Miss Natalie, mogo, Nazli Centiner, Pinky Punk,  renegade craft fair, renegade fair, sheriff peanut, the cherry box
Jinyen and Chris with The Chalkboard Tees

The pigment Christopher created is easy to write on, holds a smudge-resistant chalk image, yet is easily ‘erasable’ with a gentle wipe from a damp cloth. “Kids love the tees,” JinYen continued. “Especially Chris’ clever chalk-it [the tag on the hem of the tee serves as a pocket for your chalk]. Most kids don’t leave the booth without putting on their new Chalkboard Tee right away.”

Christopher and JinYen will be taking their tee shirts (which are deconstructed, screened and stitched by hand) on the road beginning next week. They will be present at the upcoming Los Angeles and San Francisco Renegade Crafts Fairs.

Other cool and crafty Renegade exhibitors are listed below (in no particular order):
• The Cutest Pencil Box Ever! at the mogo table – mogogoods.com
• Super cool duds at the Enfant Terrible booth – shopenfantterrible.com
• Plush taxidermy by Jessica Knapp of Cheery Box studios – thecherrybox.com
• Hand-made baby bibs at the Sherrif Peanut tent – sheriffpeanut.com
• More adorable plushes (and gumballs) at Fluffy Goodness – fluffygoodness.com
• Cutesy but not Cutesy critters made by Diane Koss – dkoss2.etsy.com
• Totally ‘squiddy’ stuff at the Cleodee booth – cleodee.etsy.com
• Silk and linen stuffed animals by Astulabee – astulabee.com