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Crafts Galore at the 2020 Norfolk Makers’ Festival

Published date: January 2020

Crafts Galore at the 2020 Norfolk Makers’ Festival

Norfolk Makers’ Festival Saturday 8th to Sunday 23rd February 2020

This free to enter Norfolk Makers’ Festival, at The Forum, in Norwich, is a mix of demonstrations, talks, exhibitions and hands-on activities. If you are looking for a new hobby and want some inspiration, this festival is for you. Why not try your hand at painting, beading, embroidery, weaving, crocheting, knitting, upcycling, spinning, printing, felting, sketching, carving, crafting, quilting, sculpting and much more?

There will be workshops, talks and fringe events around the county and lots of creative activities for those who want to turn up and have a go. Plus, open exhibitions and bookable workshops for those who want more than just a taster.

Visit The Forum during the festival period for a whole host of free activities, demonstrations, talks, workshops, exhibitions and more.

Here are some of the FREE activities and events taking place at The Forum during the 2020 Norfolk Makers’ Festival

Norwich Castle Tapestry Exhibition - Norfolk Museums Service

See how the giant tapestry is coming along. Telling the story of two East Anglian rebellions against William the Conqueror, it’s work in progress and will eventually be a 20-metre-long tapestry that picks up English history where the Bayeux Tapestry ends.

8th Feb – 23rd Feb 2020

Beginnings Exhibition - Progression in Textiles

View a selection of textile work created by the Progression in Textiles group of artists who are based in King’s Lynn. Don’t miss the opportunity to make a brooch from textiles alongside some of the artists on Sun 9th and Mon 10th Feb - it’s free.

8th Feb – 23rd Feb 2020

Children’s Arts and Crafts

This free activity run by Anna Ovenden is perfect for young people (suitable for children 7-12 years) during half term. Watch and learn as Anna demonstrates how to weave basic kumihimo bracelets, with the opportunity to then make your own.

Polymer Clay, which is therapeutic, fun and completely non-toxic is perfect for children to express their creativity. This activity is suitable for children 3-5 years accompanied by an adult.

8th Feb 2020 - 10am-4pm

Upcycled Jewellery Making

A free activity by One of a Kind Club. Learn how to create unique and personal pieces of jewellery from a mixture of materials.

8th and 9th Feb 2020 - 10am-4pm

Saori Weaving for all

A free activity from the Saori Shed in Diss – try your hand at loom weaving with no rules and restrictions!

8th Feb 2020 -10am-4pm

Acetate Artwork

Free activity by Artpocket Studios. Liven up your home in the winter sunshine with a beautiful handmade acetate artwork.

8th Feb 2020 - 10am-4pm

Embroider a Luggage Tag

Free activity by Norwich Embroiderers’ Guild. Decorate and personalise a luggage tag any way you like.

8th-10th Feb 2020 - 17th-21st Feb 2020 - 10am-4pm

Forage and Felt Taster

A free activity by Caroline Hyde-Brown. Combine design, embroidery, felting, hapazome and painting. Why not try your hand at combining natural materials and felt to create a unique piece of art?

8th Feb 2020 - 10am-4pm

Repair Cafe

Free Activity - We Wear The Trousers. See how you can extend the life of your clothing by reusing, recycling and reviving. Save both money and the planet.

8th Feb 2020 - 10am-4pm

Can Fashion Be Sustainable?

Join members of ‘We Wear The Trousers’ for a discussion on the sustainability of fast fashion. Listen, learn and discuss. They aim to empower people to keep clothing in active use for longer and reduce the environmental impact of our wardrobes.

8th Feb 2020 - 3pm-4pm

Children’s Arts and Crafts

Free Activity – In the children’s library at The Forum. Free events for little people, drop-in arts and crafts sessions where they can get creative, a little bit messy and maybe even hear a story or two. Suitable for those aged 5-12. Children under 8 must be supervised. There are 5 different sessions running throughout the Makers’ Festival.

Sat 8th Feb 2020 - 10:00am - 12:00pm

Tue 11th Feb 2020 - 10:00am - 12:00pm

Thu 13th Feb 2020 - 2:00pm - 4:00pm

Sun 16th Feb 2020 - 2:30pm - 3:45pm

Thu 20th Feb 2020 - 2:00pm - 4:00pm

From Sheep to Loom

A free demonstration by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust. See how fleece is removed from sheep then spun and woven. Watch sheep being sheared outside The Forum and local spinners and weavers turn yarn to fabric, while the sheep’s coat is still warm!

8th Feb 2020 -11am-3pm

Picking up the Threads

This free exhibition will be held in The Forum Gallery on the ground floor. Explore a diverse display of work by amateur and professional textile artists from across Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire.

8th Feb - 23rd Feb 2020

Ship of Light

A free exhibition by Creative Odyssey. This is your chance to help create a piece of community artwork, which will be on display to the public throughout the Festival. During the first weekend (Sat 8th and Sun 9th Feb 2020) visitors are invited to embellish the metal ‘ship’ frame with textiles and artwork. There will also be the opportunity to create origami boats to fill the ship. Everyone is welcome and materials are provided.

8th Feb – 23rd Feb 2020

New Nudinits

Exhibition by Sarah Simi. ‘Carry on’ style but with knitting!

8th Feb – 23rd Feb 2020

The 76 Textile Group

An exhibition by Norwich Embroiderers’ Guild. View a selection of finished work that has been created by members of the Norwich branch of the Embroiderers’ Guild.

8th Feb – 23rd Feb 2020


An exhibition by The Mercerie. Enjoy a vibrant display of dramatic hues and tonal contrasts, created by crochet students working with designer Sue Maton, from The Mercerie.

8th Feb – 23rd Feb 2020

Cloth of Kindness

Exhibition by Norwich artist Sally-Anne Lomas who invited members of the public to send in their thoughts and words of kindness. The first ‘Cloth of Kindness’ was then created using these words and several cloths have since been created and are used to inspire and comfort people in hospital environments. Exhibition runs 8th Feb – 23rd Feb 2020.

The free activity will allow you to stitch your own loving message onto a piece of fabric, resulting eventually in a beautiful patchwork cloth.

13th Feb 2020 - 10am-4pm

Hands on with Henna

A free activity run by Meanha Begum, from Elegance of Henna. Learn more about traditional and modern henna design and create your own henna tea lights, embellished with paint and gems. You can also have Meanha apply henna to your hands, with all proceeds going to charity.

9th Feb 2020 - 10am-4pm

Mend in Protest

Free Activity by project - We Wear The Trousers. Focusing on empowering people to keep clothing in active use for longer, and to think differently about our wardrobes and how we wear them. Join them and explore different ways to extend the life of your clothing such as visible mending, craftivism and embroidery. Bring a garment with you that you’d like to transform, or if you don’t have one, you can produce an embroidered patch.

9th Feb - 10am-4pm

Make a Brooch

A free activity - Progression in Textiles. Join the folk from Progression in Textiles, who are from King’s Lynn, and make your own stylish brooch. Choose from various printed pieces of fabric to decorate your brooch, and then either hand or machine stitch them together.

9th and 10th Feb 2020 - 10am-4pm

Norfolk Knitters and Stitchers

Are you a knitter who wants to get involved in charity projects and make new friends? Speak to the members who will tell you about their latest campaigns and when and where the local groups meet. If you just want a yarny chat or help with a pattern, then pull up a chair when they are at the festival.

10th -14th Feb 2020 - 10am-4pm

Woolly Windows

A free activity run by Kally Davidson of Woollenwood. Kally is a sculptural textile artist with a passion for the shapes and colours of the natural world, and for encouraging others to enjoy freeform crochet. Join Kally for a free session to make your own ‘woolly window’, using wound and bound willow, found sticks and colourful yarn.

10th and 17th Feb 2020 - 10am-4pm

Introduction to Quilling

A free activity run by the Quilling Guild. Join local members of the Quilling Guild to learn the basics of this delicate craft. Never heard of quilling? It involves rolling strips of paper and then shaping them to make designs. This free activity will demonstrate how to make a beautiful bookmark to take home.

10th Feb 2020 - 10am-4pm

Octopus for a Preemie

‘Octopus for a Preemie’ is a charity that crochets small octopus and jellyfish for premature babies in 130 hospitals around the country including the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and James Paget Hospital. Come along and show your support for this charity by crocheting a heart or butterfly. You can either donate your creation to the team or take it away with you in this free activity.

10th, 12th and 14th Feb 2020 - 10am-4pm

Introduction to Needle Lacemaking

A free activity run by Bishy Lace Group.  Marvel at the exquisite craft of needle lacemaking at The Forum. On display there will be examples of their own unique lace, with the chance to experiment yourself in a free taster session of this traditional skill. There is no age limit for this session, and all are welcome. The Bishy Lace Group are experts at their craft, so if you have lace you would like to be identified, feel free to bring it along and they will try their best to help.

10th Feb 2020 - 10am-4pm

Layers and Landscapes Taster

Free activity by Caroline Hyde-Brown. Join local artist Caroline Hyde-Brown whose work combines design, embroidering, felting and painting. In this free taster session you will combine fabrics, stitching and dyes to create a beautiful multimedia landscape piece, exploring the relationship between the environment and art.

11th Feb 2020 - 10am-4pm

Protest Stitching

Free activity by Withy Arts. Join the creators at Withy Arts, who have been inspired by the work of 19th century needleworker, Lorina Bulwer, who at a young age was incarcerated in a workhouse in Great Yarmouth. To express her anger and frustration she stitched passages of angry text – an early example of ‘craftivism’. In this free activity, you will be taught how to replicate Lorina’s method of stitching and can then stitch your own messages onto pieces of calico and other fabrics.

11th and 12th Feb 2020 - 10am-4pm

Arts and Crafts

Free Activity run by Norfolk WI. Members of Norfolk’s WI Arts and Crafts Committee will be demonstrating a variety of arts and crafts including making Dorset buttons and greetings cards. There’s a long heritage of arts and crafts in the WI and in the early days many WIs set up ‘industries’ making  items such as smocks, gloves and children’s clothes. Gradually these industries ceased and the WIs concentrated on teaching crafts. The Norfolk Federation has more than 150 WIs, with over 5,000 members across the county.

11th and 20th Feb 2020 - 10am-4am

Weavers, Spinners and Dyers

Make time to drop in and chat with the friendly craftspeople from the Diss, Norfolk Countryside and Mid-Norfolk Guilds. They will be demonstrating working looms and spinning wheels and showing you how to use the various machines and hand tools needed to take raw fleece and turn it into woven cloth. This is a free activity.

11th -13th Feb 2020 - 10am-4pm

Environmental Crafts

Free activity run by The Restoration Trust. Members of the Burgh Castle Almanac are holding a day of free craft activities, inspired by the natural environment and can incorporate nature, words and images that have been inspired by the Norfolk Landscape. This programme is run by the charity The Restoration Trust and their aim is to emphasise the connections between heritage, culture, and mental health.

11th Feb 2020 - 10am-4pm

Rag Rug Taster

Free activity - Mudshake Makes. Victoria Goulden from Mudshake Makes will show you how to upcycle textiles to make beautiful, vibrant and durable rugs, mats, tea cosies, seat pads, art and even brooches. Then you will be able to sit down and hook a small piece to take away with you.

12th, 13th, 19th, 20th Feb 2020 - 10am-4pm

Crafting with Silver

A free activity run by Norfolk County Council Adult Learning. Join artist Suzanne Seed and learn more about silversmithing techniques. See how to mould metal and then try your hand at making your own earrings. All materials and tools provided.

12th Feb 2020 - 1pm-4pm

Exploring Drawing

A free activity run by Norfolk County Council Adult Learning. Explore drawing using a range of different media and techniques with art tutor Sophia Shuvalova. Learn how to reflect traditional, modernist and contemporary approaches to drawing in this free activity and produce a small piece of artwork to take away with you. All materials and tools provided.

12th Feb 2020 - 10am-12.30pm

Sketching for all

A free activity run by Julie Bolus. Julie Bolus is a ‘reportage artist’ and a member of the Urban Sketchers - a global group of artists who draw the world they live in. Join Julie and have a go yourself whether you are a beginner or a keen sketcher. Materials provided.

13th and 22nd Feb 2020 - 10am-4pm

Silversmithing Taster

This free activity will show you how to make silver jewellery and is run by Sharon and Neil from The Silversmithing Studio. Book onto a free, one-hour silver jewellery making taster workshop where you will make a simple, textured silver pendant. The workshop and materials for this pendant are free, but you will need to bring your own silver chain with you. Alternatively, you can buy one for a small cost price of £4. Booking is essential.

13th and 14th Feb 2020


A free activity run by the Beadworkers’ Guild. Have a go at several beginner techniques and easy-to-learn beading stitches and watch demonstrations to learn a variety of different techniques.

14th -16th Feb 2020 - 10am-4pm

Paper Cutting Taster

A free activity. Join contemporary artist Angie Park, from PaperStory and have a go at the craft of paper cutting.  All materials provided and this is suitable for all age groups.

14th and 21st Feb 2020 - 10am-4pm

Make a Fabric Bookmark

A free activity run by Norfolk County Council Adult Learning. Draw, design and develop your own fabric bookmark with artist Bianca Tye. Start by drawing and designing your bookmark, and then turning this design into a fabric through applique and sewing. All materials and tools provided.

15th Feb 2020 - 10am-12.30pm

Fashion and the Planet

A free activity run by Time & Tide Museum Saturday Club. Explore the issue of sustainability in the fashion industry with young people from Great Yarmouth and see how they use various fabrics and materials to create ‘art wear’. Get hands-on with the creative process.

15th Feb 2020 - 10am-4pm

Pop Up Face Making

Free activity – Join Michael Holton, the Book Surgeon, for a simple, free craft activity for children from 3 to 10 years old. Young crafters are helped to make a pop-up face of their choice and parent or guardian participation is encouraged.

15th Feb 2020 - 10am-4pm

Upcycling with New-U

Bring along your own garments or use those provided, in this unique FREE upcycling session, held by members of the team at New-U. See how to update your garments, or even turn them into something completely new.

15th and 16th Feb 2020 - 11am-3pm

Vintage Fabric, Slow Fashion

A free activity run by Kate Mason. Kate Mason is an eco-designer and she will help you find ways to alter ‘pre-loved’ clothes and mend your own.

15th Feb 2020 - 10am-4pm

Sewing Hearts

A free activity run by Norfolk County Council Adult Learning. Vanessa Unsworth will help you to sew a vintage lavender heart - all materials and tools provided. You are welcome to bring your own fabric if you prefer.

15th Feb 2020 - 1pm-4pm

Introduction to Bobbin Lacemaking

Free activity - Meet members of the Norfolk Lacemakers as they demonstrate the intricate craft of bobbin lacemaking. Experiment yourself in a free taster session of this traditional skill.

15th Feb 2020 - 10am-4pm

Sketching Scoliosis

Free activity - Join Martin Symons, chairman of Norfolk Disability Pride, and Ellen Ross, a regional representative of the Scoliosis Association UK who will be your models for the day. You are invited to draw them and have a chat about scoliosis, the condition they both live with. Materials are provided, or you can bring your own sketch pad etc if you prefer.

16th Feb 2020 - 10am-4pm

Weaving the Natural World

A free activity run by June Croll. June will teach you how to create animals such as fish, birds and butterflies using willow or wire and then you can weave and decorate an exciting collection of colourful materials or create a mini wildlife environment with beads, string and wool. All ages welcome but children must be accompanied by an adult.

16th Feb 2020 - 10am-4pm

Textiles and Printing with Nua

Join students from Norwich University of the Arts (NUA) to create some exciting textile works. This is a free activity and you will learn how to create impressive patterns in your textiles, using a variety of printing and ‘hands-on’ approaches. All materials and equipment provided.

16th Feb 2020 - 10am-4pm

Knitting Basics

A free activity run by HiyaHiya Direct - a widely renowned crochet and knitting brand that was born and nurtured in the heart of Norwich. Free knitting and crochet activities.

16th Feb 2020 - 10am-4pm

Tissue Paper and Texture Taster

Free activity run by Caroline Hyde-Brown, a local artist who combines design, embroidering, felting and painting.  Join Caroline and learn various collaging techniques.

16th Feb 2020 - 10am-4pm

Decorate a Ribbon

Free activity - Half term fun for children. Materials provided.

17th - 21st Feb 2020 - 10am-4pm

Assemblage Art Collage

Free activity run by Anteros Arts Foundation. Join artists and tutors from Anteros Arts Foundation and try your hand at ‘assemblage art’ making. Assemblage is a form of sculpture to create a 3D collage. Materials provided.

17th and 18th Feb 2020 - 10am-4pm

Cubist Portraits

A free activity run by Tricia Frances. Mixed media artist, Tricia Frances will show you how to reproduce some cubist style artwork. All materials provided.

17th Feb 2020 - 12pm-4pm

Discover Animation

Free activity run by Norwich University of the Arts. Create your own stop-motion, cut-out moving sequence. Learn how to visually plan your idea, using storyboarding techniques, and to create your own background and characters. Then bring them to life using professional stop motion software and equipment. The films will be sent to all participants after the activity by e-mail. All materials and equipment are provided. Suitable for people aged 16+.

17th Feb 2020 - 10am-4pm

Sewing Surgery

Free Activity run by Norwich Sewcials. A two-day sewing surgery with Pippa and Emma from the Norwich Sewcials, a group of sewing and crafting enthusiasts who meet regularly in Norwich. Come along with your garments and learn how to repair and re-wear, cut patterns and fabrics accurately, chat, browse patterns and find out how to get involved in the Sewcials.

18th and 19th Feb 2020 - 10am-4pm

Norfolk Quilters

If you want to learn more about patchwork and quilting, then have a chat with members of the Norfolk Quilters. From total beginners to fellow quilting enthusiasts, all are welcome. Try your hand at some basic patchwork and quilting for free.

18th -20th Feb 2020 - 10am-4pm

Gelli Plate Printing

Free activity run by Withy Arts. Try gelli plate printing, a printing technique that is easy and great for beginners and kids. Print patterns onto calico squares and take your design home with you. All materials provided.

18th -20th Feb 2020 - 10am-4pm

Wartime Glamour

Free activity – Join the Costume and Textile Association to create your own glamorous 1940s look, learn about ‘Make Do and Mend’ and more.

18th - 20th Feb 2020 - 10am-4pm

Make a Maze Book

Free Activity run by Tricia Frances. Mixed media artist, Tricia Frances, will show you how to make your own maze book. All materials are provided.

19th Feb 2020 - 12pm-4pm

Natural Collage Creations

Free Activity run by The Nest Project. Claire and Bekah, from The Nest Project, will help you to create a unique and personal collage using natural materials. All materials are provided.

21st Feb 2020 - 10am-4pm


Free activity - Say it with Stitch GY. Join a free drop-in session creating stitched love notes addressed to our planet. Sew your own mini patch to embellish your bag or wear as a statement brooch with your pledge to our earth. Craftivism (craft + activism) is a worldwide movement, which uses the quiet art of textiles to shout about big issues.

21st Feb 2020 - 10am-4pm

Big Draw Norwich

Norwich 20 Group. Always a hit at The Forum, Big Draw Norwich allows you to stand at an easel and draw live models for free, with materials provided. With talented and friendly artists on hand to assist, with tips and help, if you need them. The theme this year is ‘Drawn to Life: Creativity and Wellbeing’. Anyone can take part, whatever their ability.

22nd and 23rd Feb 2020 - 10am-4pm

Norfolk Makers’ Festival Fringe Events

Dereham Library

Community Crafters - The Dereham Community Crafters hold ‘Crafternoons’ every second Saturday of the month, 1pm-3.30pm and Wednesdays 10am-12pm.

Dereham Stitchers - pop into Dereham Library on Tuesday 11th Feb 2020, 2.30pm-4.30pm, to meet members and find out what they are up to.

Dereham Library’s Knit and Natter – the group meet every Friday morning, 10am-12pm. Plus, you can drop into a Learn to Crochet workshop on Friday 14th Feb 2020 - 10.30am-12pm. Children’s Learn to Knit workshop will be held here Monday 17th Feb 2020, 2.30pm-4pm.

Robot Junk Modelling – Dereham Library will be hosting a free workshop for all young inventors in half term, Tuesday 18th Feb 2020, 10.30am-12pm. Build your own model Robot or Digi Creature out of recycled junk materials. All ages welcome, under 8s must be accompanied by an adult. Booking essential.

Contact Dereham Library on 01362 693184 for more information and booking details.

Artpocket Studios – Norwich and Cromer Library

Artpocket Studios will be holding various workshops, including Japanese Bookbinding, Polychromatic Printmaking, Gelli Plate Printmaking and Heat Transfer Printmaking. For more details email or call 07501 315095.

Cromer Library

Every Monday at Cromer Library there is an open arts and crafts group who spend their time being creative. Bring along your own project or use the materials provided.

Norfolk Record Office

Art in the Archives - Visit the strong rooms and conservation studio of the Norfolk Record Office. Uncover how they store and repair the materials they collect, from parchment to paper. Then view a display of some of the more colourful and visual documents in the office, from maps and plans to scrapbooks. Cost: free.

10th Feb 2020 - 2pm-4pm

Block Printing - Visit the Norfolk Record Office and learn how to create your own block that you can adapt for multi-layered printing. Cost: £6

14th Feb 2020 - 10.30am-12.30pm

To book call: 01603 222599 or email:

Owl Tree Crafts, Sheringham

Just pop in and Jo Dyer will teach you how to turn a simple braid into a beautiful bracelet with this free session of Kumihimo braiding.

Designermakers 21 Open Day, Diss

This is an established hub of contemporary craft and creativity in the heart of Diss. Drop in and have a go at a variety of arts and crafts for free, at the top of the Heritage Triangle, opposite the Corn Hall in Diss.

Great Yarmouth Library

Join ‘craftivism’ enthusiasts for a drop-in session creating stitched love notes addressed to our planet. The aim is to raise awareness of issues which affect us locally and globally, such as marine pollution and litter, through creating positive and inspirational textile art at pop-up workshops.

14th Feb 2020 - 11:15am-2pm

Eau Brink Studios, King’s Lynn

Visit the Eau Brink Studio in Kings Lynn for two days of free stitching activities. Created by artist Anita O’Neill, try your hand at machine or hand stitching and complete a beautiful piece to take away with you. All materials provided.

12th and 15th Feb 2020 - 10am-4pm

Sewing Workshops – King’s Lynn Library

Drop into King’s Lynn Library and take part in a free sewing workshop and work with felt, fabric and patchwork. All materials provided.

11th and 20th Feb 2020 - 2pm-4pm

Norfolk and Norwich Millennium Library

Keep Calm and Colour – Every Tuesday - 10:30am-12pm

Drop in and Draw – Every Wednesday - 2:30pm-4:30pm

Knit and Natter - Every Thursday - 2pm-4pm

For more details about anything mentioned in the above article, please go to the following website:

Information correct at time of publishing.

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