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Bazaar Bizarre

A DIY craft fair that happens once every December in San Francisco, Boston, Cleveland, San Mateo

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I don't miss the Boston weather, but I do miss the DIY.

  • Jan 12, 2010
When I lived in Boston I was still a student, so my schoolwork and job were my first priorities over finding all of my friends and family the "perfect" Christmas gift. Luckily, each year I was able to attend Bizaar Bizarre and take care of ALL my Christmas presents -  literally, I was able to check eveyone off of my list after attending this event year after year.

Bazaar Bizarre was started to help support local independent crafters. As it says on the website, "Dissatisfied with stencils of country ducks and painted wooden slices of watermelon, a hodge-podge of friends started the Bazaar Bizarre craft fair in Boston in 2001".

Each year the bazaar was held in a different place - when I went it was held at a venue commonly used for trade shows and weddings...essentially, we're talking about a BIG space. They fill the space with booths for each crafter, as well as booths for local food vendors, AND they have DJs and sometimes bands (once they had a guy playing the theremin).

The best way for me to describe the booths is to say "The Brick and Mortar Etsy". You can find ANYTHING here, and instead being mass-produced in China, each item is lovingly hand made, usually no more than 1,000 miles away (And the prices are not too awful, either...but then again, most of the time I'm willing to shell out extra cash to support independent artists). I've purchased jewelry, hand-screened t-shirts, decorative housewares, and handmade soaps...but you'd be amazed at what you can find! Need a religious relic/statue made from scraps of metal and rhinestones? They have it. Need a toilet seat cover with a rhinstone skull on it? They have that too.

I bought this for my boyfriend from a vendor called T-Shirt Insurgency.

I bought these little bird hooks for my parents from Beehive Kitchenware.

What girl can resist handmade jewelry?! Made by Twigs and Heather.

Plant in a jar? A surprisingly awesome gift.

I really, really miss going to BB every year. Sure, I can buy all my gifts on Etsy, but it's just not the same (not to mention the shipping costs). I miss it so much that I MIGHT just have to trek to SF next year for their local chapter...I bet it's even larger and more amazing than the Boston event.

If you live in one of the four areas listed, you NEED to go next December. ....I dare you to not buy something for yourself. It's impossible!

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January 17, 2010
This definitely sounds like a place to go with my daughter when she is a little older! Thanks for the review :) 
January 12, 2010
sounds real interesting! Looks like the place to find 'one-of-a-kind gifts! I'm a SF native so it'll be easy to go.
January 12, 2010
Strange, but I've heard of the San Mateo one, but not the San Francisco one even though that one's closer to me. I may just have to trek out to check out this Etsy in a warehouse! Thanks for the heads up, Melissa :)
About the reviewer
Melissa Aquino ()
Ranked #6
Born and raised in NJ, relocated to Boston, MA to study at Emerson College, transplanted to Hollywood, CA to get my career started on the fairer coast.      I love hiking, eating new … more
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Bazaar Bizarre began in 2001 in the Boston area as an informal craft show featuring handcrafted items for sale with a heavy emphasis placed on subversive, indie, punk, goth, and rockabilly subcultural aesthetics. The first event was also billed as an "offbeat entertainment extravaganza" since it featured musical acts and DJs, and continues to today. In 2004 the Bazaar Bizarre spread to Los Angeles and Cleveland. In 2006 Make (magazine) sponsored the Bazaar Bizarre as part of the Maker Faire in the San Francisco area every spring. The Bazaars in Boston, Cleveland, Los Angeles and San Francisco happen every year during peak holiday shopping season in December.

Bazaar Bizarre was an extension of the craft fair of the same name, and came out to early fanfare in such publications as USA Today. "Never underestimate the power of Ziploc bags, duct tape and beer cans. That's what I learned last week, when I got a crash course in cutting-edge crafts nearly everywhere I looked: from designer Todd Oldham's five-part HGTV series ...and in author Greg Der Ananian's Bazaar Bizarre ... As Bizarre's subtitle points out, many of today's do-it-yourself items are "not your granny's crafts" — they're edgier, more diverse and often cheaper."

The book is a how-to craft book that features specific projects contributed by various celebrity crafters, such as Dana Berkowitz and Leah Kramer of Craftster. Besides the crafters narrating how to make their...
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San Francisco, Crafts, Boston, Diy, Cleveland, Diy Crafts, San Mateo, Craft Fair


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