Day-Tripping to the Union Market in DC for the Crafty Bastards Arts & Crafts Fair

This is not your Nana’s craft show. Please click away if you are expecting doilies or quilts with geese on them—a new breed of crafters is in town! The Crafty Bastards Arts & Crafts Fair was conceived in 2004 by the Washington City Paper as an alternative event for younger, hipper buyers and sellers. The fair features indie crafts such as reconstructed clothing, punk-rock baby clothes, handcrafted jewelry, whimsical and demented plush toys, handspun yarn, screen-printing, avant-garde art and much more.



The festival-like event is held once a year and has grown to over 30,000 attendees who come for the array of crafts and the all-day entertainment. In previous years b-boy battles, fire-eaters, kid-friendly rock shows, fashion shows and belly dancers have all made an appearance. This year a fleet of food trucks also lined the perimeter of the grounds in addition to the fantastic fare offered inside the Union Market.


It has become somewhat of a tradition to take my 7 year-old daughter to Crafty Bastards. There is a kid’s craft section and plenty of cool things to look at and buy. My artsy-fartsy daughter comes away with tons of inspiration and usually a funky print for her room. This year we loaded the whole family into the car and drove the 38 minutes to the Union Market. I promised everyone a colorful time and some gelato at Dolcezza.

Crafters and artists must submit an application to the Crafty Bastards jury to be considered for the fair. This process keeps the quality of products high and ensures a wide variety of one-of-a-kind items. Here are some of our favorites.

stak ceramics crafty bastards union market dc metro modern reston

A hand-thrown iPad Kitchen Dock and Heather Geyman of Stak Ceramics

All products are made by hand with the utmost of care and consideration. Our process consists of multiple techniques including, wheel throwing, mold making and slip casting. The objective of Stak Ceramics is to offer high quality, handmade housewares with a contemporary aesthetic and overall purpose of everyday use. — Heather and Myles Geyman of Stak Ceramics

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Beautiful hand-woven scarves from Pidge Pidge

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A clever silkscreen by Rocks & Salt Brooklyn and quirky cards from Fancy Seeing You Here.

Cotton Monster Crafty Bastards DC metro Union Market

Friendly monsters from Cotton Monster

Giving new life to secondhand sweatshirts, velour track suits and polo shirts of the world, most creations are constructed using clean thrifted clothing as well as sheets and fabric remnants. Each is handmade one at a time, on my Bernina sewing machine, stuffed with brand new super-soft polyester fiberfill and finished with hand-stitching, all in my tiny attic home studio. — Jennifer Strung, Cotton Monster

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Jewelry from Leah Staley

I love to create pieces with smooth transitions, unique connections and sleek lines, which combine to make a casual yet elegant product. — Leah Staley

bags Overlap Sewing Studio Union Market DC Metro Crafty Bastards

Leather goods and accessories from Overlap Sewing Studio

Overlap Sewing Studio is devoted to making things for life. Every product is created with the idea that goods should be beautiful, long-lasting, and function like a dream. There are no fads here, just well thought out, handcrafted items for well thought out people. — Overlap Sewing Studio

Nate Duval poster art crafty bastards DC Union Market

Colorful posters from Nate Duval

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Ceramics with little woodland creatures.

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DC shaped cutting board from Righteous Cheese and hand-carved wood block prints and accessories from Horse and Hare.

marisol spoon seeing in fabric crafty bastards DC metro union market

A whimsical painting by Marisol Spoon and a sewn fabric painting by Jamie Langhoff of Seeing in Fabric.

Crafty Bastards is held once a year in the Fall. Be sure to think ahead next year and go armed with a holiday shopping list. You won’t find gifts more unique than this anywhere.


Did you attend this year? Who were some of your favorites?