Hobbycraft Halloween & Hobbycraft Christmas
Although it may well be scorching hot outside, that doesn’t stop pre-planned events from going ahead, and Hobbycraft is no different.
Needing to launch details of both Halloween and Christmas ranges that are planned for (unsurprisingly) later this year, I was invited down to a small shop in London to have a sneak preview.
Now I’m not easily spooked. Ghosts and goblins, haunted house and anything paranormal gets taken with a pinch of salt. Halloween is a time of year where I find the creativity of a trick rarely outweighs some cat whiskers and a basket clutched by kids knocking door to door. Still, it’s good to see that year on year more fun seems to be had as we adopt a very American approach to the holiday.
With that said, I know for a fact that I have twice typed up this entry about Hobbycraft, but for some reason I can find neither post, not even in a draft format. Odd. Or, if you’re buying into the Halloween spirit of the post, oooOOOooOOOoh, odd. (That was my ghost impression by the way.)
Back to the point in hand. With sweat dripping down my brow, I took along my eldest and youngest daughters with me to have a search through the up and coming offerings from Hobbycraft. Hobbycraft, for any American readers, is the UK equivalent of Hobby Lobby, I am led to believe. What I lack in any kind of ability to make, recreate or inspire craft-based projects, I seemingly make up in a willingness to pay out for my kids to do it. With a 13-year-old to my left and a ten-year old to my right, we mooched and meandered around the displays.
As much as we were taken in by the gorgeous displays (and even as a man who likes to take the minimalistic approach to Christmas decorations, I found myself mentally adding things to a wishlist), it was obvious to me that the two girls had seen the craft table set up by the front door and were eager to get involved with that.
We headed back to the entrance and worked our way to the craft table. Starting with the cake pop making section, the girls whizzed through the making of (and subsequent eating of) a cake pop each before settling down to work on loom bands.
With hindsight, I probably could have left them there and picked them up a fortnight later, they were that taken by it all.
Fingers whizzing around the loom bands in a blur, they feverishly manipulated each tiny band into place to create various styles of bracelets, with even the Hobbycraft rep admitting that she’d learnt a lot from the various displays that kids had put on in making their masterpieces.
Then it was on to present decorating. With a nod towards old fashioned present wrapping, they were each given a box, some brown wrapping paper and a seemingly limitless supply of craft goods with which to use on their presents.
It was around this point that I surreptitiously checked their foreheads, as it had been at least a full thirty minutes since they had last mentioned Minecraft. Yes, you read that correctly. That’s how invested they were into the Hobbycraft spirit.
As buttons, string, ribbon and paper flew, their parcels came together. Using the Christmassy stamp sets that were available, they finished the wrapping with a flourishing stamp each, posing briefly for me to take a photo before moving onto the next item.
This is the one that intrigues me the most. Duck Tape craft (or duct tape, if you are choosing to be non-brand specific). This tape is a heavy duty tape which I have primarily used in the past to fix things. I even half-joked that my old house was held together with strips of black Duck Tape.
Seemingly, though, this is the start of the latest craze. Using Duck Tape for craft purposes. It seems odd to me, but then as I have said, my creativity and craft making skills are lower than a rattlesnake’s belly, so I decided to judge it on how the kids liked it.
Suffice to say, they embraced it with aplomb, and before long had followed some instructions and each made a Duck Tape flower - something that I attempted whilst there and managed to spectacularly fail at.
Hobbycraft is fast becoming a mecca for craft enthusiasts and it’s easy to see why. My kids were taken by just about every activity they tried, and were over the moon to be taking a few bits home with them too.
Hobbycraft have a blog themselves which can be found here, as well as the which has exclusive offers and promotions.