Brighton is a mecca for all crafters, DIY-ers and creatives. Choc full of independent shops selling handmade items, it has such a fun and bohemian vibe (if you are in the right parts! I loved it as a child, admit to being less than impressed the first time I went back as an adult, but learnt to love it again once I found all the cool hotspots!) If you live around Brighton, or are visiting and are a fellow craftaholic (I check out bead & craft shops even when I’m on holiday! I remember buying a carved shell bead when I was in Barcelona and lots of czech crystals in Prague :P), here are some of my favourite craft places that you should definitely check out.
- ANY event held by the Brighton Etsy team
So far, all the ones I’ve been to – the Brighton Etsy Craft Party and the Brighton Etsy Sample Sale- have both been held at the Brighthelm Centre on North Road, which is less than a 10 minutes walk from the train station. The Brighton Etsy team is huge and their members are really committed to putting on good events! I actually got to try 3 different full-scale craft workshops at their Craft Party (for less than £10!) and came back from their sample sale with 4 earrings, a ring and a jewellery stand 😛 I usually don’t buy too much jewellery since i make my own, but the 4 earrings + ring were under £10, so how could I resist?!
2. Kerrie Berrie Bead Shop, Sydney Street
A few minutes walk from Brighthelm Centre is the Kerrie Berrie Bead Shop. I think this is the last man standing of the Brighton bead shops although there is a bead warehouse (Beads Unlimited) still around. However, it’s never been open on the days I visited Brighton so can’t vouch for Beads Unlimited! Kerrie Berrie sells a good range of beads- I saw the cutest unicorn charm that i was so tempted by but my bead collection probably doesn’t need adding to… – and has jewellery as well. So a good place to get inspiration! 🙂
Over the weekend, there’s a market selling vintage and some handmade stuff on this street so it’s a really fun place to be!
3. Brighton Sewing Centre, North Road
In between Brighthelm & Kerrie Berry is this lovely haberdashery, perfect for quilters! They offer 2 classes a week- one is a quilting catch up and the other an intro to sewing class where you leave with your own cushion! (£40) There is a really good range of cottons, trims and buttons. Prices are very reasonable too! (See section on CH for comparative pricing) Next time I get a pay check, I’ll definitely be leaving with a ton of stash!
Their lovely kits- first time I’ve seen one for an oven mitt!
The interiors are gorgeous and make you feel like they’re a more modern type of haberdashery (you know the type that yuppies and modern makers would be happy to hang out in. Just check out their lovely Singers! This was donated to them by a gentleman who didn’t want to see it going to waste!
4. Miy Workshop, North Road
Dressmakers, don’t fear! Although the Brighton Sewing Centre focuses more on patchwork and quilting, opposite it is a dressmaking workshop! It was closed today (they close Sats) so I didn’t get to take a photo inside but what with so many fabric shops in Brighton, this is the perfect place to make yourself some cool outfits!
According to the sign on the door, they have workshops on Tuesday, Thursdays, Fri-Sun at £35 each (you get a discount if you book more than 1) Totally worth it- just think, once you learn to make one type of outfit, you can make it over and over again in all your favourite fabrics! SO useful for people who, like me, can’t find stuff to flatter them in stores! (I’m a mesomorph/ inverted triangle/ broad shoulders, no hips but unfortunately not stick thin so often look chunky and can NOT pull off all the razor backs, cap sleeves and what not that you see everywhere. Sigh)
5. Utility Store, North Road
This isn’t a craft shop per se but it has a really nice range of plain wooden stuff which would be great for DIY makeovers! Decoupage, painting… you name it!
6. Painting Pottery Cafe & Made Brighton Cafe, also on North Lane
2 cafes where you can eat and try fun craft workshops! (I’ve actually thought of opening a craft cafe myself!) Not much commentary here as I haven’t eaten there/ tried their classes. But they’re fun places to put on the “to check out” list!
There was also a place for screen printing classes down the road but I couldn’t see a sign!
7. Ditto Fabrics, Kensington Gardens
I’d say this (and C & H, which I mention below) is probably your best bet for dressmaking fabrics (Brighton Sewing Centre seems to have more cotton fabrics) as it has a wide range of different types of materials. It always seems crowded when I pop in so it’s definitely popular 🙂 Be prepared to squeeze around things and people!
They always have a nice selection of fabrics outside- often on sale too!
8. New Fabric Fair
I think this is probably the most comprehensive craft shop/ haberdashery I’ve found in Brighton. I’ve bought a peacock embroidery patch, metallicleather, feathers etc from here. (They also have a ton of trimming and fabric) But it’s quite dusty and messy inside and service isn’t great. (Prices aren’t that cheap either) But it’s always good for a rummage!
See what I mean about how much stuff they have!?
9, Clarkes of Sussex, The Art Shop
The first floor is deceiving- it’s primarily a stationer when you enter but don’t worry, go on up to the second floor and you’ll find a ton of arts supplies there. Not much crafts though but still worth a browse!
10. Cass Art
And if you still haven’t found the art supplies you want, there’s also Cass Art on 21 Market Street 🙂 Not going into much detail here as Cass Art is quite a well-known chain!
11. C & H
This shop is pretty interesting- it sells blinds AND crafts. I guess it makes sense when you think about it, but initially I thought I’d gotten the wrong place! The haberdashery is on the 2nd floor and has quite a wide range of items- I left with a bag of stuff 😛 But prices are slightly on the high side. For example, I got a huge pom pom trim from the Brighton Sewing place at £3.30 that was going for over £4 here (that said, these are the only 2 places I’d seen a trimming with such large pom poms! Visit my blog again to see what I’m going to make with them 🙂 )
I’d say their strongest point is their large yarns, fabric and dressmaking section (buttons, trimmings etc) but they also stock some random crafts such as felt making, paper craft stuff etc
Note: it’s also a little walk away from all the other shops on the list. I’d say it was in “mainstream” Brighton (where you get your regular type shops and probably only locals go) instead of around North Laine & The Lanes (cute and quirky Brighton where tourists (& locals) hang out)
That’s always good for DIY supplies! Their yarns are particularly cheap- 3 for £2- and great for beginner knitters or weavers!