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Holiday craft fairs return: Where to shop for the best handmade gifts in L.A.

Illustration of a knitted gift box
(Micah Fluellen / Los Angeles Times)

Whether you’re making the rounds at ROW DTLA or enjoying the downtown skyline from the Los Angeles State Historic Park, indie craft fairs are a great place to find handmade items of all kinds. Recently, they gave us great ideas for our annual made-in-L.A. holiday gift guide. But craft fairs are also a chance to connect with friends and family during the holidays under the pretense of shopping for gifts.

Where are the best holiday craft fairs in L.A.?

Below is a list of events where you can shop for handmade goods, and small independent brands, in person this holiday season. Note that events will follow state and local COVID-19 guidelines, so be prepared to wear a mask and show proof of vaccination in some cases, and if you’re not ready to shop indoors, most of the events are held outdoors.

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Nov. 13-14

Dear Handmade Life’s Patchwork Show

Dear Handmade Life, a networking group for creatives in Los Angeles, sponsors this annual craft fair in the parking lot of the Marine Stadium in Long Beach as a way to highlight small-businesses owners. This year’s show will feature more than 250 makers, from jewelers to potters as well as kids’ coloring stations, hands-on DIY classes and more than 10 food trucks. The event is bike- and dog-friendly, and even includes a bike valet. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 490 Bay Shore Ave., Long Beach. Free admission. dearhandmadelife.com

Nov. 20-21

Renegade Los Angeles

The popular alfresco market returns to the lawn of the Los Angeles State Historic Park with its usual assortment of apparel, home goods, beauty, wellness products and art. Stop for a bite or beer at the food trucks and beer garden on site or grab lunch in nearby Chinatown. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. 1245 N. Spring St., downtown Los Angeles. Free admission, although donations are accepted. Leashed pets are welcome. Face coverings are required for everyone when not actively eating or drinking over the age of 2 regardless of vaccination status. renegadecraft.com

Jackalope Pasadena

More than 200 local artisans will set up at Central Park in Old Town Pasadena for the annual curated selection of independent artisans offering original fashion and jewelry design, paper goods, home goods and art. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 275 S. Raymond Ave., Pasadena. Admission free. Leashed pets welcome. The event will repeat on Dec. 11 and 12 on San Fernando Boulevard in downtown Burbank in between Magnolia Boulvard and Olive Avenue. jackalopeartfair.com

Here are our suggestions for unique gifts and other ideas for the 2021 holiday season.

Nov. 27-28

Small Business Block Party

The downtown shopping district ROW DTLA teams up with LA Original, a program that supports creative local businesses, for a small-business showcase including tenants on site as well as Los Angeles brands Castlepillar Design, Cha Cha Covers, Concrete Geometric, Lot XI, Narrated Objects and Plume & Pulp. In addition to free zero-waste gift wrapping, there will also be a beer garden, pottery demos and crafting workshops. Noon to 5 p.m. 777 S. Alameda St., downtown L.A. rowdtla.com

Nov. 29

Grand Central Market Bazaar

Local independent artisans and makers set up in the basement of the downtown food court, offering one-of-a-kind handcrafted gifts, home decor, vintage apparel and wellness products. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Fridays through Sundays. 317 S. Broadway, downtown Los Angeles. grandcentralmarket.com

Dec. 4

Rose Lane Farms Holiday Community Market

The second annual market at Rose Lane, L.A.'s sustainable rose farm, will feature handcrafted jewelry by Sarah Melde, masks by the Foliage Fanatic, Moon Age Candles, wreaths by Golden Heron and small-batch remedies by Maribeth Helen, among others. It will also be the last day where you can pick your own roses on the farm until the spring. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. 11740 Sherman Way, North Hollywood. roselanefarms.org

Dec. 4-5

Craft Contemporary Holiday Marketplace

The Craft Contemporary (formerly the Craft and Folk Art Museum) Holiday Marketplace is an alfresco affair featuring holiday crafts and artisan wares. 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Early access to the market, including a light breakfast, $35 to $40. Admission is $9 on Saturday (includes museum admission); pay-what-you-can on Sunday. 5814 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. Craft Contemporary requires all visitors age 12 and older to show proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test taken within 48 hours prior to visit. All visitors over the age of 18 must show a photo ID alongside their proof of vaccination. craftcontemporary.org

Dec. 11

Heather Levine Ceramics Holiday Studio Sale

Ceramist Heather Levine opens her studio for her annual holiday sale, an intimate affair featuring works by Los Angeles artists Heather Rosenman, Jen E, Pawena Studio, Betsey Carter, MH Ceramics, Funsize Ceramics, Madeleine Pellegren, Alison Nix Ceramics, Matthew Rosenquist and Clare Crespo. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 3024 Carmel St., Los Angeles. Ride-sharing encouraged. Admission free. Face masks are required. heatherlevine.com

Support local businesses and gift these uniquely L.A. items to everyone on your list.

Dec. 11-12

In Todo BIPOC Craft Fair

After “bonding over similar experiences of tokenization and invisibility in the fashion industry,” designers Kristen Gonzalez (Selva Negra), Shobha Philips (Proclaim), Adele Tetangco (Et Tigre) and Aliya Wanek formed In Todo, a marketplace that highlights BIPOC designers in Los Angeles. The market will be held both indoors and outdoors and will feature more than 85 artists including local brands Botanica Workshop, Gracemade, Poplinen, Selva Negra, BRWNGRLZ and Studio Ebunoluwa. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mack Sennett Studios, 1215 Bates Ave., Silver Lake. Proof of vaccination required. Admission: $10, or $16 for both days. intodo.us

Unique Market

The 13th annual Unique Market returns to ROW DTLA after a series of successful outdoor events held this year with limited entry. From apothecary goods to ceramics and jewelry, the 13th annual holiday market will highlight more than 150 makers and offer free portraits, lawn games and DIY gift wrapping. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Row DTLA, 777 S. Alameda, downtown Los Angeles. Admission, $12 to $35. uniquemarkets.com

Dec. 12

Handmade Market Collective

Artists, creatives, designers and makers assemble in the parking lot of Hugo’s Tacos for the annual community bazaar. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Hugo’s Tacos parking lot, 3300 Glendale Blvd, Atwater Village. handmademarketcollective.com


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