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The 5 Best Alternative Holiday Craft Fairs In NYC

For the most unique gifts, sometimes you need to get crafty. We're not talking wiles, nor are we urging you to get out the glue gun and start shooting. Instead, we're inviting you to attend one of New York City's best craft fairs. Just don't forget your gift list. By Jessica Allen.

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(credit: The BUST Magazine Craftacular / Facebook)

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BUST magazine has been supporting crafters and DIYers since its founding in 1993. Its annual craftacular began in 2005. This year's two-day holiday version takes place at Metropolitan Pavilion on Saturday, December 14, and Sunday, December 15. You'll find more than 270 vendors selling vintage and handmade goods or food. Plus, there's a puppy adoption (and cuddle) room and plenty of opportunities to make your own stuff. Admission is $3. Worth it!

(credit: Scarf Moment)

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Notwithstanding the name, the Degenerate Craft Fair is full of wholesome people selling wholesome wares. The fifth annual fair opens at 12 pm on Saturday, December 14, followed by a full day of fun on Sunday, December 15. Its founders and vendors seek to blur the line between "art" and "crafts." On-hand this year will be The Scarf Moment, which fashions new scarves from vintage fabrics, and Grim Dandy, which makes one-of-a-kind cigar box guitars, among many others.

(credit: Etsy New York / Facebook)

At the Handmade Holiday Cavalcade, you'll find the kinds of terrific cards and stationery, leather goods, knitted fashion accessories, belt buckles, pendants, scarves, purses, earrings, quilts, tote bags, clocks, aprons, photographs, make-your-own lip balm kits, embroidered artwork, and other carefully crafted housewares, clothes, and jewelry for which sponsor/founder/organizer Etsy is known. This year, the fair is being held at the Space in Williamsburg, on Saturday, December 14, and Sunday, December 15.

(credit: Astoria Market)

Not to be overshadowed by Brooklyn, Queens has its own proud, and proudly crafty, scene. Held at the Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden (the oldest beer garden in New York), the Astoria Market offers baked goods, vintage goods, wearable goods, and handmade goods of all kinds, including cork wreaths, cleverly inscribed glasses, nice-smelling body scrubs, and upcycled plastic crocheted bags. Admission is free. Stop by on Sunday, December 15, for a pint and a poke around.

(credit: Garrett Ziegler)

Fridays and Saturdays belong to the Brooklyn Night Bazaar in Greenpoint. Here, you might hear music from such up-and-comers as The So So Glos and Imperial Teen, shop Yee Yee (for clothes) and Well Rounded Sound (for audio equipment), eat at Ample Hills Creamery or BrisketTown, admire art installations by Nuit Blanc New York and Rafael Silks, and drink. This regular event puts cool before craft, but that doesn't mean you won't be able to find the perfect thing for everyone you know. The fun starts at 6 pm and goes until midnight.

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