Handmade Arcade will be back in person this year Downtown at the Convention Center. Photo courtesy of Handmade Arcade.

At Handmade Arcade this weekend, check out maker demonstrations and gifts by local crafters — including teens!

Photo above of Handmade Arcade’s 2018 market used by permission. 

If you love to shop local, this is your weekend: Beginning on Friday night, the David L. Lawrence Convention Center will host the Handmade Arcade craft fair, where more than 200 makers will showcase everything from clothing, jewelry and body products to toys, art and home furnishings.

Artist & Craftsman will be among those offering take-home maker goodie bags at Handmade Arcade this yea
Artist & Craftsman will be among those offering free take-home maker goodie bags at Handmade Arcade this year.

The coolest part? At this year’s event, plenty of locally-made, kid-friendly gifts will be available and you’ll even find a few teenage vendors in the mix. Among them: 16-year-old Hannah Zak, the creator behind Scrunch Bunch and Stuff.

She has been selling hair scrunchies and other accessories since 2019, and was busy selling masks during the pandemic. But Hannah tells Kidsburgh she’s actually been doing maker projects since early childhood.

Today, she loves working on STEM projects as a student at Reach Cyber Charter School. And though she isn’t sure what she might pursue as a career in the future, she can imagine a career that will involve creative projects and hands-on making.

Hannah encourages other students to pursue their own maker projects, and maybe even launch their own businesses.

It was intimidating at first, she says, to try selling her handmade products at local craft fairs. “I was kind of nervous that people wouldn’t like my stuff,” she remembers. “But you really have to just take a step forward and just advertise yourself and advertise your stuff.”

Along with Pittsburgh-made gifts by kids, Handmade Arcade offers plenty of gifts for kids this year.

Among the options: Check out adorable baby booties and bibs by Waku Waku Baby, crocheted creatures by PennyKnot and a wide range of kid-friendly goodies by Inclined Designs.

Photo of Jayla Patton by Renee Piechocki.
Photo of artist Jayla Patton by Renee Piechocki.

If all of this local talent has you feeling creative, the whole family can participate with free take-home craft kits from Artist & Craftsman, Artsmiths, Hip Modern Soap and others.

You’ll also find live demonstrations of artwork and maker work.

Lindsay Hagerty will be sewing quilt squares from mask scraps. Artisans from the Pittsburgh Glass Center, Artist Image Resources and Protohaven will be demonstrating their talents.

And muralist Jayla Patton, whose art decorates the streets of downtown Pittsburgh, will be spending the day on Saturday creating a large-scale mural in Handmade Arcade’s activity area.

Tickets are free for the main shopping day (Saturday, Dec. 4, 11 a.m. through 7 p.m.), but you must register here for your free, timed-entry pass. (Want to get a jump on the treasure-hunting? You can also buy tickets for the festival’s Friday Night Happy Hour or buy a pass for Early Bird Shopping on Saturday morning.)