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14th Annual Unglued Craft Fest Photo Recap 2024!


"Like Etsy in real life and all the inspiration you'll need to want to get creative again" is part of our Unglued "elevator pitch" and this year's 14th Annual Unglued Craft Fest was all of that in real life! Held March 8-9 at the ever-creative and locally supporting West Acres Mall our community enjoyed discovering 70 handcrafted makers throughout the mall halls, tons of free workshops thanks to DIY organizations in the FM area, a crafty lounge opportunity, DJ vibes, and more!!



This year's poster was designed by the maker above - Art by Max of Minot, ND and let's take a moment to enjoy his own recap of making the poster (catch another version of the art at the very end of this blog!):


"A parade full of wonderfully weird craft loving weirdos! Woo hoo! Here’s my poster for this year’s @ungluedcraftfest put on by the lovely Fargo folk at @ungluedmarket!!!


Had way too much fun making this poster - only listened to Beach Boys - ate sour patch kids - only good vibes to make this good vibes poster - this is what I felt when I was at the fest last year and I wanted to make the poster feel the same… it’s a seriously good time. Anyhoo - I think I got it."


And yes he did!





Enjoy this insane burst of handmade eye candy and color photo recap of the Fest thanks to the crazy talented Studio Freshly - the world's most feels catching/event vibe capturing/make-you-feel-like-a-billions-dollars looking this good photographer!



The Fest kicked off in our usual opening Friday night fashion with all makers showcasing their work throughout the mall + free Friday Fest Flair stations + DJ + our ticketed Crafty Lounge!





The Crafty Lounge was born when we hosted the Fest at the Mall in 2021 for the first time and inspired by our previous Fest Gala Night when the event was at the beautiful Plains Art Museum! This is an optional inspired area of the Fest to grab a ticket for to enjoy 3 DIY projects, a cupcake from Yeobo Sweet Shop, a drink ticket for the Local Libations Lounge, and a place to chill in between shopping your heart out of all the makers!







This year attendees of the Lounge crafted up handcut vinyl "Matisse-style" and could slap our Fest logo on it! And then pot a succulent, of course. Because we can't host an event without a succulent being added to a craft somewhere.









Another Lounge project was doing these epic badges inspired by the super cool imakestagram and her new craft book! We are obsessed with the maximalist vibe, amount of hot glue used, glitter, and pipe cleaners. These were turned into pins to wear or magnets in their ridiculous crafty glory.




And as tradition has it - printmaker Amanda Heidt and Dana headed up a tote bag screen printing station to pull a screen and create your new Fest tote to load up with maker goodies.



The rest of the night was filled with kicking off local and regional maker shopping time!










And thanks to the tunes of DJ Pretty Ricky the party vibes were perfect.





There were also 3 Friday Fest Flair stations for attendees to stop to do for free to get their Fest crafty fun started: a watercolor disco ball, origami mini stars, and adorable lil color-your-own Fest magnet with glass domes.





And then we hit the hay to prep for the full Fest day ahead on Saturday!



Saturday included all the Fest goodness from our Fest makers set up all day to show off and sell their handmade best, a fully loaded free workshop schedule, scavenger hunt, DJs, and more!


New this year was our Handmade Haul - for every Fest maker purchase made you could enter our Handmade Haul giveaway of crazy proportions donated by Fest makers. Our first Saturday Fest hour was also Saturday Swag Hour where select makers featured a surprise special to shop with!




It was a crazy colorful day of crafts, artwork, handmade, and beyond as we continue to see this creative community grow!









Saturday also featured our Young Makers Market - 8 makers ages 16 and under set up in the mall hall of the Food Court showing off and selling their latest and greatest creations:










The Arts Partnership TAP artist studios were also open throughout the Fest to find even more local art! (You can continue to discover them at West Acres Mall near Best Buy!).




From 10am-6pm attendees and mall shoppers filled the hallways in the craziest way shopping their handmade heart out!














Fun side (but not really side) story: the 2 makers above - daniAWESOME and Cat Rocketship are from Des Moines, IA and you could (really, should) say they are a big huge reason Unglued even exists!! Back in 2010 I (Ashley) went on a lil road trip with friends to another friend's white coat ceremony. When we went to a farmers market there someone handed us a "Market Days" flier for a craft fair and vintage market going on in a warehouse down the street. After walking to it and having our minds blown that a craft fair could exist to feature a more modern take on crafts we knew Fargo needed something like that! So major high fives and full circle moments having these 2 artists with us at the Fest again!!



Saturday was fulllllll of the most free workshops EVER at Unglued Craft Fest. Thanks completely to our growing DIY organizations in the area that are here to inspire and get you creative!!


Our workshop sponsors that helped keep these free for you to enjoy were:


Hit them up any time to keep your creative inspo and hands on workshop opportunities going all year round! Also joining us to teach you the creative fun was Parachigo, Audrey Gilbraith, Handpicked Goods, Miss Amy Jo of Who Made Who, and Maker Nature!






Attendees dropped in to enjoy hand cut vinyl stickers, jar-rariums, lego printmaking, beaded chokers, alcohol ink projects, wreaths, shrinky dink projects, and more!!








Also new this year was our drop-in Saturday Crafty Lounge! All day long you could stop by to make pipe cleaner projects (but like, really cool ones lol), color the Fest poster, make friendship bracelets, and then enjoy scheduled drop-in workshops like stamp carving, button making, and our 5pm Craft Bash time where we pulled all the remaining projects we had fun with at scheduled times for a crafting extravaganza!






Both Friday and Saturday also included our Local Libations Lounge for attendees to grab a deliciously handcrafted drink from Wild Terra, Bear Creek Winery, Drekker Brewing Company, and the Boiler Room! Crafts and cocktails? Yes, always please.





The entire day Saturday, too, included party vibes thanks to our local DJ crew!




But with all the hands on crafty fun and inspo the main event was shopping the heck outta all the local and regional makers throughout the halls!











(hiiiiiii! this is Justin and I!)





























And our favorite way to end this photo recap is with our booth contest winners! While not required in annnny way to participate, we encourage our makers to take time to level up their booths for this Fest and far beyond! With the goal to create a display that really showcases their products, vibe, and story in a creative, cohesive, eye-catching way.


It should be no surprise that this is the hardest decision every year with all of the creativity bursting from everyone's booth and displays! So thankfully we can enlist help in choosing with some past Fest jurors!



Tylar Frame won Crazy Awesome Booth (aka Kick Ass Booth Display!) for her insanely creative use of vintage found items to display her collage focused products. From an old TV to perfectly vibing booth colors, collaged display to display collage, giant 3D glasses it was so fun to explore!





For the first time ever we had a return winner in the booth contest! Unconventional Cookies won Best in Show 2 years ago and while our booth voters are always encouraged to nominate new new winners, Witney has completely reinvented her booth to display her cookies every single year! From her outfit, to a Justin Bieber cut out with a pink wig that caught everyone's attention, a pegboard to display her cookies in a way we've never seen, giant logo, to the whole flow she crushed it and was awarded a Crazy Awesome Booth Display award!





Best in Show this year was Wildflower & Co! With Sarah's focus on mental health her embroidered apparel and more flowed in the most kick ass way with interactive portions of her booth, her color coordination/brand vibe was crazy creative, and color matched crew with matching-the-booth full sweatsuits were so fun! It was perfectly eye catching and had a focus on her products, but also infused a full experience for attendees. 10/10!!






And that's a wrap! We've never had such beautiful weather (hello blizzard last year on the same weekend!), a fully loaded crafty schedule, and creativity in all corners of the mall halls. Thank you so much for coming out to shop this creative community and trying out some new hands on craft fun yourself!


And thank you to our incredibly supportive sponsors:


West Acres Mall (what a breeze to work with this creative powerhouse and team making this whole event possible!!)

Fargo Monthly (are we not the luckiest community to have such creative publications?!)

FM Convention and Visitors Bureau (keeping this area north of normal, seen, and fun!!)


And our workshop sponsors:



And thank you to our crew! From our event photographer Studio Freshly to my parents above, and all our crew and volunteers running the back end - these are the ones creating the magic and making it all run smooth, clean up hot glue drips and Orange Julius spills, and hype up our makers!



And to our makers who take the risk to show off their handcrafted work, set up shop in what could end up being the dead of winter(!), take weeks and months of prep for the great unknown of what will sell best at an event, dream up the coolest things to make for you (and them), and keep going through all the craziness that an event brings. You all crushed it.



And, again, thank YOU! You can find our vendor list here still to discover these makers far beyond the Fest! Remember, you create the city you want to live in by what you support and we've got a creative culture continuing to grow that will enrich all of our lives by participating in. Next year is the 15th annual fest and you know we love a reason to go extra hard with a party so get ready!!



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