Shopping for craft supplies in Dublin can be a bit of a conundrum until you get to know a few regular haunts.
There aren't that many places but there are some gems none the less.
I've got a condition best described as craft-ADHD so I'm pretty well placed to give suggestions for sourcing an
array of pieces for crafting.
Fabric is probably my biggest indulgence and when it come to Dublin's fabric stores, you may have heard the talk - I've been around!
Places you might want to check out are Murphy Sheedy and Hickey's but my personal favorites are Woolen Mills and TWI fabrics.
Both of these shops have that lovely feeling of a big treasure trove of material and supplies.
This is a great spot especially for fashion students or anyone who makes a lot of clothing. The first thing that greets you as peep into this shop (which is in an old georgian house on Mountjoy Square) are rows of sewing machines all set up, clearly a working space and something I find assuring to see. It is a true Aladdin's cave with alcoves crammed with material of every shade and sheen. Full leather skins hang from the banister and there are walls of notions and embellishments.
The staff, I found to be extremely nice, informative and great at advising me on my choices. The opening hours are a little prohibitive, I suppose, but for the stock and friendly inhabitants it's worth moving a few things around. Unfortunately I didn't get any pictures last time I was out there but you can check out their website:
The Woolen Mills
While wandering through The Woolen Mills you can turn up many an unusual piece (like my wide patterned elastic and bright peach plastic fabric):
It's also stocks a wealth of the more conventional fabrics, notions, thread and buttons...mmmm Buttons:
Hows about a forest of fabric rolls:
Not to mention wool. I believe (but feel free to correct me) that as there are no South side inner city shops that sell wool so this is the closest
one to the south of the city:
There's also the finished knit wear on sale to keep your ambitions high and all in all this shop feels very Dublin in a very good way.
The Yellow Brick Road
Totter on up along the Liffey a few doors and you'll find the cheery shop front of The Yellow Brick Road; my choice for beading and jewellery supplies. Alas as I mentioned on my own blog last week they have recently suffered a fire and have relocated to a basement level premises right next door to the shop. It wasn't all doom though, no-one was hurt and a great deal of stock was saved. The staff are all very cool and patiently indulged my snap-happiness. Beginners take note: these guys also teach a range of classes in jewellery and accessory making.
As you can see they are having an awesome sale on findings and a similar deal on seed beeds. This stock (well just the packaging really) has been slightly smoke damaged and is being sold for around a 3rd of it's original price which, the manager informed me, is actually lower than wholesale.
Despite the temporary nature of their current shop they have still got a lovely set up and 'tis a hard heart that can't be cheered by this sparkling sight as you walk in the door:
And just check out this sweet candy:
I often find great fabric, wool and other raw materials in charity shops and indeed craft books.
You can also pick up things to transform using your crafty wiles. How about a collection of mismatched metal frames? Follow up with a can of matt white spray paint from a hardware shop and you've got yourself a quirky set of frames.
Of course there is also refashioning. Take a charity shop find and alter it with a few chops and changes into something uniquely you.
The thing about charity shops is they are always changing stock, always refreshing there layout and are almost always work a peek.
That said I do still have my favorites.
Personally I like the Irish Cancer Society Shop and the St Vincent de Paul in Rathmines and of course the creme de la creme, Oxfam on Georges.
Hardware and Stationary Shops:
I find a good hardware shop to be invaluable to the crafting process and my current favorite is Lenihan's in Rathmines, darling purveyor of 2 part epoxy, super glue, florists wire and blackboard paint!
Stationary shops are also bread-and-butter shops for me. I can usually be found raiding Eason on Connolly street or Reads on Nassau street for spray varnish, Fimo clay, paper and brushes.
Now I'm off to Woody's to buy a giant shed to store all this stuff....