UrbanWire was among 1,400 eager attendees huddled under tents at Singapore’s first large-scale indie craft fair at Fort Canning Park on Jan 19.

Featuring 71 vendors, the fair saw one-of-a-kind goods like the iBam, a music speaker made entirely with bamboo, and adorable cotton playsuits for pooches being sold. There was even a tent where attendees could try their hand at silk-screening their own t-shirts and tote bags.

Darius Ou, 20, was particularly impressed by Banwagon’s minimalistic and appealing leather ware.  With a healthy mix of students, families and expats at the fair, it really did seem like there was something for everyone – even the men.

“We really didn’t expect the amazing turnout, especially with the downpour. We were unsure if we’d promoted the event enough as we relied highly on social media and word-of-mouth marketing,” said Aisah Dalduri, 21, a founder of organiser Handmade Movement Singapore (HMSG).

HMSG is a non-profit initiative founded by Aisah and Michelle Tan. It seeks to provide a platform to encourage appreciation for handmade items by local artisans. Supported by Noise Singapore and the National Arts Council, HMSG began planning its inaugural craft fair last June.

Attendees also could attend workshops conducted by vendors like Uyii,learning how to sew their own bags and kiss-lock purses, and appreciating the benefits and how-tos of natural skincare with Green Living. Most of the workshops were free, while some required a minimal fee to cover the cost of materials and fabrics needed for the workshop.

Aisah revealed that the vendors were carefully curated to ensure variety and quality. UrbanWire zooms in on 3 vendors that caught our attention at the fair.


DIY Skincare

It’s not every day that you get to make your own facial cleanser out of completely natural products. However, Green Living made that possible by creating the only do-it-yourself station at the fair in their booth.

Instead of buying ready-made skincare products loaded with chemicals, customers could request to make their own all-natural beauty concoctions with ingredients like nourishing oatmeal and essential oils. An infused vinegar or baking soda went for $8, while customers could whip up their own cleansers, scrubs and all-natural deodorants for $10.

Join Green Living’s mailing list on Facebook to get firsthand news of their popular workshops and be on your way to a cleaner and healthier lifestyle.


Temporary Tattoos For Big Kids

The folks at Dottinghill think you’re never too old for a temporary tattoo, and UrbanWire agrees wholeheartedly.

Founded by Singaporean husband-wife team Mike and Tammy Cho, Dottinghill is an online community that allows designers to submit their own designs for temporary tattoos. ‘Residents’ of the Dottinghill community can then score the designs, and the designs that receive the highest scores are printed and sold on Dottinghill.com.  The community boasts Residents from all over the world, from Europe to USA and Mexico. You could say this is like Threadless for temporary tattoos.

Forget the tacky dinosaur and butterfly tattoos you stuck on your skin at your 8th birthday party. Dottinghill’s designs are tasteful, quirky and beautifully detailed.

At the fair, Keefe Wong, 20, was impressed by the creativity of the skin accessories. “It was an innovative take on the handmade theme,” he said.

Take for example “My Neighbour Totoro” ($6.95 for 2), a design inspired by Hayao Miyazaki’s animation of the same name. The skin accessory is a silhouette of Totoro filled with natural elements like blue skies and flora, reminiscent of the movie itself. According to Tammy, it’s currently one of Dottinghill’s best selling designs.

Get Dottinghill’s temporary tattoos here. Prices vary according to the size of the skin accessory.


Paper cutting Prowess

Many think of paper cutting as a traditional eastern art form, but Beatrice Ng’s works challenge that stereotype. Inspired by British paper cut artist Rob Ryan and her own penchant for silhouettes, Beatrice began her own paper cut projects 3 years back.

At the HMSG fair, Beatrice sold and displayed her impressive paper cut designs, digitised and printed onto stickers ($1 each) and postcards ($4). Despite her paper-cutting prowess, she humbly told UrbanWire in an e-mail interview that she’s hesitant to conduct workshops as she considers herself a novice.

For now, you can take a peek into Beatrice’s paper-cutting journey on her blog, and contact her through her online shop.


All photos courtesy of Tong Jia Han Chloe, Handmade Movement Singapore, Dottinghill.com and Beatrice Ng.