Homemade crafts and doodads you didn’t know you needed

Abraham Villarreal
3 min readNov 20, 2022
This ceramic bowl and other items are things I didn’t know I needed until the craft lady told me I did.

I went to a craft fair last weekend at an art gallery that used to be the town’s public library. It’s one of my favorite buildings because it still looks and feels like a place that’s been around for a while. Many buildings today don’t like the buildings they used to be.

At the fair, there were mostly ladies sitting behind fold-up tables filled with trinkets, scarves, ceramic bowls, and interesting jewelry made out of funny-shaped stones of all colors. With the holidays around the corner, there were Christmas doodads in the shapes of pinecones that had been baked into holiday colors, and little trees with ornaments made out of book pages.

“These are only three for a dollar,” said a lady selling bookmarks she created to look like cacti and other southwestern themes. I was tempted to get one so that I could stop folding the corners of my book pages to remember where I left off from the previous day’s reading.

I had to feel some sense of appreciation that all these items were made by hand. Some of them, like the ceramic bowls I purchased, were shaped by hands over and over again until they became the perfect kind of candy bowls. Everything there had a story.

Like a recipe book filled with different ways to cook desserts and savory dishes. A few of the recipes, the craft lady told me, were from her mother and an aunt too.

Near the end of my visit, I saw aprons, very feminine looking aprons, that were once t-shirts, resown and reshaped into something a woman could wear in the kitchen. The designer told me she could make me one like she made for her husband. Something a man could wear. I took her up on it just to see what it would look like. She said her husband sometimes grabs the flowery one on display because it’s the closest thing within reach when he needs it.

I think there’s a craft to be made for everyone. Some people need a warm beanie. One lady had plenty of them, with the colors of different professional football teams and some plain ones too. Others need greeting cards that stand apart from the kind that line up pharmacy shelves. They all feel the same there. At the craft fair, greeting cards feel a little more special.

Abraham Villarreal

People are interesting. I write about them and what makes them interesting.