Advantages Loads to look at, leaflets to learn from, workshops held, most crafts catered for, children and adults crafts catered for
Disadvantages You can spend a long time in the shop perusing as there is so much to see
My sister in law recently advised me that she would like me to decorate some candles for her for Christmas present this year - I am not in the least bit artistic and didn't have a clue where to even start so I decided to visit my local Hobbycraft Store which is in Southampton to see whether I could conjure up any inspiration.Hobbycraft is the UK's largest chain of dedicated Arts and Crafts Superstores.
Since the first HobbyCraft Superstore opened in Ferndown, Bournemouth in 1995, the company has expanded to 19 Arts and Crafts Superstores nationwide.Hobbycraft sell over 30,000 products all associated with various arts and crafts. All their shops are laid out exactly the same so whether you visit the Southampton Store or the Nottingham Store if you are familiar with the layout you should easily be able to find your way around. Allow yourself plenty of time as there is so much to see that it is easy to spend a couple of hours there just browsing - unless your with my husband and you get dragged out after 10 minutes!
With Hobbycraft stocking over 30,000 products it is obviously not possible for me to tell you about all of their products however, I will outline below some of the more popular crafts that Hobbycraft cater for.All products stocked by Hobbycraft are reasonably priced.
**MAKE YOUR WEDDING UNIQUE BY MAKING YOUR OWN .......**Hobbycraft stock so many wedding related items you could quite easily make everything you need to make your wedding day completely unique and individual.
There is a good selection of plain tiaras, headbands and hairslides all of which can be decorated by selecting your favourite colours and items from the vast selection of artificial flowers, beads and ribbons etc.You can also find everything you need to decorate your wedding cake from ready made icing sugar flowers to coloured icing, decorative items to stand on the top of the cake and pillars to support the tiers.
There is a good selection of candles and artificial flowers so if you wish you can make your own table centrepieces, bouquets and button holes etc.Hobbycraft sell everything you need to make your own favours, including ready cut out circular pieces of material in various colours and fabrics which just need to be filled with almonds, or your choice of filling, and tied and decorated with your choice of materials from their extensive range of pretty ornamental decorative items and ribbons.
You can even make your own wedding invitations, order of service, menus etc. Hobbycraft sell a large selection of aperture cards and plain folded cards, these are available in a vast spectrum of colours and you are sure to find the colour of your choice. The cards can be hand decorated to your requirements, there is a wide selection of rubber stamps and ink pads available to choose from or if you prefer you could decorate the cards with artificial flowers, transfers of if you are really artistic you may like to draw or paint a design of your own.Hobbycraft even sell a good selection of balloons so you can even choose your choice of balloons and decor for your reception.
**KIDS CRAFTS**Hobbycraft don't just sell craft items for adults, they also stock a large amount of children's crafts including the following.
Crayons, pencils, gel pens, glitter glue, paint, coloured and plain paper, coloured card, scissors, felt tips and stickers to name but a few - all of which can be used to create some wonderful masterpieces. There is also a good selection of velvet art, paint by numbers and colour by numbers art kits as well as the usual Crayola art kits.Hama beads are a simple idea but are really easy to use and children will have hours of fun using them - Hama beads are individually coloured beads which are placed onto a board into a design, which normally accompanies the kit, when the design is complete you just need to iron over it to fuse the beads together. Hama beads can be used by your children to create their own coasters, toys, Christmas decorations, mobiles etc. Hobbycraft sell lots of Hama bead kits and also sell the different shaped boards, individual packets of coloured beads and inspiration booklets which are bursting with new ideas to try.
**GLASS PAINTING**If you fancy trying your hand at glass painting there is a vast selection of products available to choose from including a wide selection of glass paints, outline stickers, outline markers and for children or beginners they even sell plastic suncatchers which are ready outlined and just need to be painted.
**MAKE YOUR OWN JEWELLERY**Hobbycraft stock a large selection of coloured beads in a vast array of different colours, sizes and styles, bead organiser boxes and a good selection of children's jewellery kits. They also sell jewellery wire and everything you need to make your own earrings, and necklaces etc.
**SEWING, KNITTING & CROSS STITCH**Hobbycraft stock a good selection of threads, cross stitch kits, sewing and knitting baskets etc.
**FRAMES**If you are an artist and wish to frame your work some stores have there own framing centre who will happily frame your masterpiece for you. If you prefer you can select your own frames from a good selection which are always kept in store. Hobbycraft also sell coloured mounts, picture wire etc.
**ARTIST MATERIALS**There is a wide selection of paints, paintbrushes, pastels, artists pencils etc ranging in quality and price so that there is something suitable for everybody from cheaper products for amateurs to high quality products which are perhaps better suited to the experts.
**MAKE IT YOURSELF**Hobbycraft stocks a wide selection of leaflets, which can usually be found by the entrance and dotted around the shop, which explain how you can make your own craft products at home.
The leaflets are all printed in colour with step by step directions on how to make the item and a list of materials required is detailed on the leaflet.There are leaflets available for most crafts that Hobbycraft cater for including both children's and adults projects.
For example for children there are currently leaflets showing them how to make their own Halloween Masks, lanterns or how to make a wicked witch. There are also many other leaflets available that are not focused on Halloween.For adults and children there is currently a wide selection of leaflets which suggest ideas for making your own cards for Christmas.
The above ideas are just a small selection of a wide choice of leaflets available. For more ideas on how to make things visit the Hobbycraft Website where you can find step by step guides to carrying out a wide variety of projects. The website can be found at www.hobbycraft.co.uk.**WORKSHOPS**
If you are not particularly artistic and wish to learn a craft Hobbycraft often hold one day workshops which you can enrol for and maybe even develop a new talent in a day.During the October half term Hobbycraft are running a selection of free demonstrations aimed at children, for more details of dates and times of these workshops you can click on the What's On link on the website or use the following URL http://www.hobbycraft.co.uk/fr/dates.htm.
**HOBBYCRAFT WEBSITE**Hobbycraft also has a website and this is very colourful and informative and well worth a visit.
If you don't live near a Hobbycraft shop you can take a virtual tour of a Hobbycraft store or place an order online for any of the products that they sell, you can also find out details of workshops being run in your area and links to various craft related guilds.The website contains all the craft ideas listed above as well as many, many more. There are some great ideas to keep the children occupied over half term or on a wet and miserable weekend.
The ideas are not all aimed at children - there are ideas for making your own wedding items, mothers day presents, Christmas gifts and ornaments to name but a few.Remember relatives love to receive handmade cards and gifts, there is such a vast selection of projects to make at home, with step by step directions detailed on the website that you could quite easily make a gift for every member of the family.
The website has an area entitled Craft Techniques and this is a very informative area. It provides you with all the information you need before you begin your project.I clicked onto Glass Painting Techniques and was very impressed with the informative guide which was displayed - if you decide to embark on a new craft but are unsure of where to start there is a good chance you will find the necessary information you require in the Craft Techniques section of the website.
The Hobbycraft website even has a forum area where you can post a message or view other messages under the following categories, General, Needlecraft and Painting.There is far too much information available on the website to even begin to do it justice in an opinion and I would strongly advise you to take a look it really is a fantastic website and is on my list of favourite websites as I am sure it is a site I will visit over and over again even if only to get ideas for art projects to do at home with my son on a wet winters day.
The website gives details of the locations of all Hobbycraft stores so you can see if there is a store near you.You can sign up to receive newsletters online and these give you details of events happening at your choice of Hobbycraft Stores.
The website address is as follows: www.hobbycraft.co.ukFor details of store locations and opening times you can ring 0800 027 2387.
As I have not shopped online I am unable to comment on the services listed below but I am sure that they will be highly efficient as the shop staff members are always extremely helpful and knowledgable.I hope you have enjoyed this review and that you too will find the website interesting and informative.
Thank you for reading.Julie
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