69 crazy talented makers lined all 4 main mall hallways. A Local Libations Lounge overtook Buffalo Court. The Young Makers Market showcased 5 makers ages 13 and under. The Crafty Lounge was full of color. Free workshops were taken by about 240 attendees. And APT Studio Artists opened up their spaces to showcase their creative work. The 12th Annual Unglued Craft Fest was March 11-12, 2022 at West Acres Mall and was the perfect anecdote to an endless winter!!
This was our 2nd year bringing our annual Unglued Craft Fest to collaborate with West Acres Mall to especially allow more space in a pandemic world. We are so grateful for such a community-driven, art-inspired, and small business supportive team there we got to work with!
Each year we have an application open for any maker to apply and a 7-person jury meets to review and curate a new and returning variety of modern makers to showcase during the Fest. This year we went back to our "normal" number of vendor booths of local and regional makers, artists, and crafters from 45 last year to 69 here in 2022!
Then our lil' Unglued planning team meets to dream up all the other fun to get our community inspired through creative opportunities happening throughout that Friday evening and Saturday - both to get more people out and connected to these Fest makers and then to get creative themselves!
This year for the first time we introduced a Crafty Lounge on Friday night of the Fest! This was in the freakin' gorgeous space in Center Court of the Mall - the Oh Happy Day Lounge created by Love Always Floral and The White House Co. While Craft Fest admission was totally free both Friday and Saturday, this was an optional ticketed lounge for Friday evening to make it a fancy night out - complete with a Yeobo Sweet Shop cupcake, drink ticket for the Local Libations Lounge, and 3 projects included using a punch card to come and go!
Crafts included screen printing a tote bag with Amanda Heidt from the Plains Art Museum, potting a succulent and making it craftastic with our giant crafty stash, and grabbing a DIY embroidery kit we crafted up using an image from our Fest poster to take and use anywhere that night or enjoy at home!
Then it was time to shop your crafty heart out! The Fest (and Crafty Lounge) on Friday night went 4-8pm to kick off the opening shopping night of these 69 Fest makers!
It was also the perfect night to drop by the Local Libations Lounge with 4 handcrafted drink makers - Wild Terra, Proof Artisan Distillers, Drekker Brewing Company, and Dakota Vines!
Friday night also included DJ Pretty Ricky creating the whole evening party vibe(!) and Olive the photo booth by Gathered that was free for attendees to drop in and get their own photo moment!
Then the Fest closed up for the night to prepare for one full crafty day on Saturday!
Saturday morning kicked off our annual swag bags in a new way - the first 2 purchases at each of our 69 makers booths received a full fest swag bag! A variety of our vendors and sponsors put in coupons, samples, and promo fun (hello world's best pizza cutter from Kilbourne Group!) for attendees to use during the Fest and some to use after online or at their shops to enjoy!
And then the world grabbed a big ol' cuppa coffee from Thunder Coffee and got to enjoy shopping all 69 Fest makers all day!
The Young Makers Market was also back in action this year! 5 makers ages 13 and younger set up shop in another mall hallway to show off their handcrafted wares.
And right around the corner DJ AP played jams throughout Saturday afternoon to keep the crafty party going!
DJ AP was located in the Local Libations Lounge that returned on Saturday to keep the cocktails, wine, beer, and cider drink fun going!
Saturday was our free workshop Fest day, too! 12 full on workshops were offered for both kids and adults to join in to get crafty and creative themselves with kick ass local businesses and Unglued instructors, too!
The Plains Art Museum sponsored and brought both kids and adult workshops to try out - including animal portraits, gelli printing, and slab bookbinding!
Baker Garden and Gift sponsored a Lucky Bamboo workshop! Attendees could bring their own jar to add some lucky bamboo to and learn about feng shui and tons of tips from Audrey!
Then Crooked Lane Farm joined in the creative inspo and sponsored a Mini Spring Wreath Workshop and Mini Barn Quilt Workshop that gave people a taste of folk art and craft!
And then Chelly from We Can Make That in Bismarck taught a note card and inking workshop to fill the world with joy!
Not pictured but also crafting up a storm at the Fest included free button making with Handpicked Goods, kids cookie decorating sponsored by Jen's Bakery, a tufting demo by Bridget Solsaa, and embroidery with måske!
We also had a low key coloring lounge in the Fountain area of the mall to drop in and enjoy!
And some of our maker booths had extra interactive experiences like henna tattoos with lesleydidthat! and Henna by Nasritta!
And permanent jewelry with Everthine Jewelry!
And Leika Sensory Creations kids area!
And, of course, British street waffles with Windsor Waffles!
And the Plains Art Museum teaching origami at their booth!
Our info booth also handed out scavenger hunts to peruse the mall and Fest with - and then later claim hunt winnings once scavengers were done!
And up at said info booth was our community pom pom wall to contribute to. These will be used for an art piece we'll be eventually making!
And then the shopping and discovery all the amazing makers continued all day Saturday!!
(we also hosted a variety of "live broadcasts" from the Fest over on Facebook to keep you connected to the fun in blazers crafted up by Kristina Lau!)
These are the kinds of days we live for: to connect you to local makers and really amazing local businesses. To elevate handmade. To propel new and growing small creative businesses. To get you inspired to create yourself. And to create more opportunities to enjoy and love living in this area especially during the highest cabin fever moment of an endless wintertime! Put this all together and we fully believe it's what has been a part of and continues to grow this creative community and culture. All because you show up and make it happen!
AND it's thanks to really supportive and mission-driven sponsors to keep it free to attend the Fest itself and workshop opportunities! So please give a big huge high five and go support these wonderful businesses who sponsored the Fest:
And our workshop sponsors:
Cheers to a crafty, creative, fun, and inspired spring and rest of the year ahead! You are our favorite!
Photos by M. Schleif Photography and Heidi at West Acres Mall - and occasionally my iphone!