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Best Handmade Crafts In Chicago

October 2, 2010 11:51 AM

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(photo credit: yelp.com)

(photo credit: yelp.com)

There are many talented Chicago artisans whose work can be found for sale throughout the city. Flocking to summer art fairs, urban galleries, and smaller neighborhood arts and craft shoes, these artisans design one-of-a-kind creations in every category from textiles to pottery, clothing to toys, and then some. So it’s no surprise that some of the best handmade crafts in Chicago are showcased in storefronts that focus solely on selling the work of these talented individuals.

hand arts Best Handmade Crafts In Chicago

(photo credit: artsartisans.com/c/)

Arts and Artisans

321 N. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60601
(312) 541-1951
artsartisans.com

Although there are four locations of this Chicago shop, the North Michigan Avenue store (conveniently located across the street from the Art Institute) is a favorite. With a constantly revolving showcase of artists’ work, you can find jewelry, glassware, clocks, household furnishing and all manner of other handmade crafts. In an area rich with interesting and inviting stores and restaurants, Arts and Artisans stands out as one handmade craft aficionados will not want to miss.

hand beadniks Best Handmade Crafts In Chicago

(photo credit: beadniks.com/chicago)

Beadniks

1937 W. Division St.
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 276-2323
www.beadniks.com

This bead store functions as far more than retail space. Selling handmade beaded jewelry and other items designed with wire and beads, Beadniks also sponsors crafting parties and other in-store events where Chicago crafters can come learn and make their own handcrafted beaded jewelry. Classes featuring more advanced beading techniques are also available. Even for those with no interest in learning the craft themselves, this is a great place to buy handmade jewelry and gifts.

Gallery 37 Retail Store

66 E. Randolph St.
Chicago, IL 60601
(312) 744-8924
www.afterschoolmatters.org

You can feel great about your purchases at Gallery 37 and its accompanying retail store. All the artwork and crafts sold here are produced by Chicago school children, and all proceeds from the sale of handmade crafts go back into programs funding arts programs for youth, including some paid apprentice opportunities for promising artists of the future. In addition to the gallery and its retail store, there is an on-site café, theater space and a special area for art workshops. Lest you think that youth equals amateur, the handmade crafts for sale here are on a par with any professional adult artisan.

hand lill Best Handmade Crafts In Chicago

(photo credit: lillstreet.com/shop)

Lill Street Art Center

4401 Ravenswood Ave.
Chicago, IL 60640
(773) 769-4226
www.lillstreet.com

This adult art learning center houses not only studio space, but a retail outlet for its students. If you’re looking for the best handmade crafts in Chicago, you won’t want to overlook Lill Street. Don’t miss the big Christmas blow-out, where thousands of handmade crafts are for sale. A smaller selection is available year-round in the retail store, and classes are ongoing.

These are but a few of the many places in Chicago that you can find handmade crafts. Each has a unique selection of merchandise that is stunning in its creativity and professionalism. Many also offer classes for the budding artisan, and each purchase in these stores goes to support an artist living and working in the Windy City.

By Christine Zibas

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