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Holiday craft fairs and pop-ups: For creative gift giving, shop local

Winter Fantasy
Winter Fantasy Sawdust Festival is a showcase of art, home goods, apparel and more nestled in a 3-acre village in Laguna Beach.
(Mary Hurlbut)

Just in time for the holiday gift-a-palooza, we’ve rounded up a list of craft fairs and pop-up shops (a.k.a. temporary boutiques) designed to introduce you to the independent artists, makers and chefs behind some of the L.A. area’s best handcrafted, locally made products. Want to know how they did that, what inspired them, or if they can make it for you in lime green? Meet them IRL and find out.

The idea: Ditch the big box for the small biz, revel in a sense of discovery, and support new designers and talented neighbors in the process.

Look for: small batch treats, one-of-a-kind gifts, home decor, stationary, jewelry, apparel, art and more. Some of the very merry marketplaces offer pictures with Santa (even for fur babies!), while others offer free refreshments, workshops, live music, gift wrapping and artisanal bites.


These are a few of our faves, but if we missed your go-to pop-up please give it a shout-out in the comments below, and we may include it in another story later this holiday season.

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And note that pop-up times and dates can and do change: Best to check websites before you go, so you won’t be disappointed.

Welcome to our comprehensive gift guide for the 2019 holiday season. This list encompasses the most popular and best gifts for everyone in your life.

Through Dec. 30

The Ecology Center

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The historic 1878 Congdon farmhouse in San Juan Capistrano, once home to Pony Express rider Joel Congdon and now a centerpiece of the non-profit, the Ecology Center, will host Handmade, a pop-up shop showcasing everything from handmade surfboard bags to children’s toys, home goods, fiber art and more. Check website for the additional holiday workshop schedule. theecologycenter.org

Nov. 16 - 17

Mercado Sagrado Annual Fair

“Mercado Sagrado” means “Sacred Market.” Tucked into Malibu Canyon at King Gillette Ranch (the 1920s home of the famed razor mogul), this holistic design fair, organic food showcase and music fest promotes an ethical lifestyle of mindfulness and a curated crowd of makers. 10 a.m.-10 p.m. mercado-sagrado.com

Nov. 17

Long Beach Patchwork Show

The popular, pet-friendly, show spotlighting emerging artists, crafters and designers at Marine Stadium offers free shuttle service and bike valet. There’s a Patchwork Junior section showcasing makers under 18. Artisanal food, free workshops and live music add to the open air marketplace bliss. Free Admission. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. dearhandmadelife.com

Start shopping for holiday gifts early, writes columnist Chris Erskine. Try decorating a cactus instead of a typical Christmas tree. Explore local holiday pop-ups and craft fairs.

Nov. 23-24

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Renegade Craft Los Angeles

Local DJs will spin a lively soundtrack for shoppers at Renegade Craft Los Angeles taking place at Los Angeles State Historic Park. Browse art, apparel, small batch goodies, home decor and more. Pet friendly. Free admission. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. renegadecraft.com

Nov. 30-Dec. 1 (Small Business Saturday weekend!)

Jackalope Indie Artisan Fair

This year, the arts and crafts extravaganza is going underground (literally). The DTLA show will be held inside the newly renovated basement beneath Grand Central Market and feature handmade home decor, art, jewelry and fashion. Free admission. 11 a.m.-7 p.m. jackalopeartfair.com/visitdtla

Unique Markets: Downtown Holiday Market

Featuring independent designers and emerging brands, Unique Markets is setting up shop in a new DTLA location this year inside historic Hudson Loft (10 a.m.-5 p.m.) with a modern showcase of jewelry, clothing, art, home decor, apothecary, wellness items and more. Free workshops, selfie stations and gift wrapping are part of the fun. Admission $12; kids 12 and under, free. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. uniquemarkets.com

Craft Contemporary Holiday Marketplace

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The shopping season on Museum Row kicks off with the Craft Contemporary, formerly the Craft and Folk Art Museum, annual marketplace offering a diverse array of of cool, curated art, crafts and home goods with a contemporary feel. Music and complimentary refreshments. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. cafamshop.org

Nov. 23-Dec. 22 (weekends only)

Winter Fantasy Sawdust Festival

Meet nearly 200 makers and artists in their booths at the annual Winter Fantasy Sawdust Festival a showcase of art, home goods, apparel and more nestled in a charming 3-acre village in Laguna Beach. Live music, workshops, glass blowing demonstrations, puppet shows, balloon art and meet ups with Santa make it magical. 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. sawdustartfestival.org

Dec. 1

Santa Ana Patchwork Show

Patchwork Fair
This year, the Patchwork Show celebrates its tenth year in Santa Ana’s downtown Artist Village.
(Nicole Stevenson)

This year, the Patchwork Show celebrates its 10th year in Santa Ana’s downtown Artist Village. The O.G. event featuring a diverse array of artisanal arts and crafts will span several city blocks and incorporate local shops, museums, restaurants and bars in the festivities. Pets allowed. Free admission. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. dearhandmadelife.com

Dec. 6-8

Echo Park Craft Fair

Drawing more than 150 modern makers from around the globe, the three-day Echo Park Craft Fair, now in its 10th year, offers a curated collection of handmade goods ranging from ceramics and jewelry to apparel, woodworking, home goods and beyond. Early bird preview party at 6 p.m. Dec. 6. A portion of ticket sales to benefit Inner City Arts. echoparkcraftfair.com

Dec. 7-8

West Coast Craft Fair

More than 300 artists, designers, and craftspeople share works as the juried show debuts in Los Angeles for the first time. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Skylight Row DTLA. Free admission. westcoastcraft.com

Dec. 14

Makers Market by Artisanal L.A.

Artisanal
Makers Market by Artisanal L.A.
(Artisanal L.A.)

The holiday happening taking place in Pasadena’s Playhouse District will celebrate more than 75 makers along with acoustic music performances, DIY activities, a photo booth, and pet-friendly pictures with Santa. Getting Fido to smile, priceless! Free admission. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. shopartisanal.com/events

Dec. 14-15

Unique Markets: Santa Monica Pier Holiday Market

More than 100 curated, independent brands will be ready and waiting for you at the holiday market with an ocean view. Complimentary drinks, holiday portraits, DIY workshops and an artist-edition cotton tote with admission, $12; kids 12 and under, free. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. uniquemarkets.com

Hauser & Wirth

Pop up shops
DTLA Arts District showcase promotes the handcrafted products of LA-based makers, artists, non-profits and performers alongside workshops for the whole family
(Trevor Traynor)

The two-day, DTLA Arts District showcase promotes the handcrafted products of L.A.-based makers, artists, non-profits and performers alongside workshops for the whole family. Specialty foods and treats available at on-site restaurant, Manuela. Free admission. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. hauserwirth.com


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