Meg's guide to crafting in New York City.
New York City is filled with artists, crafters, and designers, so there has to be a lot of materials and supplies to enable us all to create. Whether you live here, or visit our lovely city, here is a little guide to help you craft in New York!
You can find inspiration everywhere in this beautiful city. From museums to parks to architecture to people watching.New York is five boroughs full of diversity, art, and music, you only have to walk out your front door to find inspiration. Of all of the amazing museums we have, MOMA is my favorite, and my mecca of all inspiration. Two spots you don’t want to miss are the design floor with the mid-century furniture, and the photography. Set aside a nice chunk of time, as you could spend days soaking it all in. Our parks are stunning, so be sure to check out Central Park and Bryant Parks in the city, and Brooklyn Bridge Park in my borough. In Summer, Brooklyn Bridge Park have films like Woody Allen’s Manhattan on a huge outdoor screen on the lawn with the Manhattan skyline right behind it. It is breath-taking! Top of the Rock is one touristy trip that even this New Yorker loves because you can take in the whole gorgeous city at sunset. And as you are riding the subway around the city, soak in the local musicians playing music for you. You’ll hear mariachi bands, guitarists, every kind of music is playing right below us in our subway systems, pretty much at all hours of the day. There is stimulation and inspiration for all of your senses all of the time in our concrete jungle.
In the crafting world we are all about community, so to have the Etsy labs right here in Brooklyn, NY is a real treat. You can attend classes, met other Etsians and crafters, and create cool stuff with people. 3rd Ward is another cool place to take classes on crafting techniques like metal work or jewelry. In NYC, we are super-lucky to be so close in proximity to some of our iconic leaders in the craft world like Martha Stewart, making it possible to attend her show. Becky and I were invited to attend Martha’s show today to represent Craft for her special crafting episode. It was so fun, inspirational, and I highly recommend it. Just look at all the free, cool craft supplies we got!
- Fabric, books, supplies: Purl Soho
- Art Supplies: China Town-Pearl River
- Yarn: The Yarn Tree
- Everything: The garment district spans from Fifth Avenue to Ninth Avenue, from 34th to 42nd Street, and is FILLED with stores that sell any button every made, every hue of fabric created, and any tool a crafter or sewer would need. Go, ask the store owners, and you’ll find what you need.
- Everything: I prefer the independently owned, smaller “mom and pop shops” when shopping, but if all else fails, you can go to the newly opened Michael’s in the city, located 808 Columbus Avenue, New York, NY 10025-5139 (212) 865-0813.
New York has a floral district that is to die for! Located in Chelsea, in the 20’s on the west side, you can find everything from trees, flowers, bamboo, birch branches, wood chips, every kind of prop you would ever need for a photo shoot. As someone who doesn’t believe in fake flowers, they have some that fooled me. I could get married over and over again just to create different wedding décor themes found in the floral district. I used materials from there for this video on wedding or holiday tablescapes.
Flea Markets and thrift stores are the very best places to scout vintage finds that you can re-purpose and up-cycle into amazing design pieces. My favorite places are Brooklyn Flea, Ugly Luggage (located at 214 Bedford Ave., Brooklyn, NY), and Sanford and Sven’s. And lastly, for big, building materials, supplies, and second hand furniture, even crazy cool old signs and lights, check out It Green in Queens
Meg Allan Cole is an actress, activist, DIYer, and founder of Enderby Designs. She lives in Brooklyn, NY with her musician husband Will, rescue mutts Gracie & Milo, and bunny Linus Clyde. Meg blogs, has hosted home decor videos on Curbly, Etsy, and created the show Decor It Yourself.