If I catch anyone I know shopping at the mall this Christmas, I'll... I'll... well actually they'll probably get away with it because I never go to the mall. But if I hear about it I will be very disappointed. Aside from the Shangri-la of independent boutiques we live amongst, Portland's DIY/craft scene is so booming that from now until Christmas there are umpteen opportunities to shop the craft sales and bazaars that will soon be ubiquitous.
In the past, I've never had more success with finding gifts than at these fairs. You almost can't go wrong, especially when buying for friends and family who live out of town. People really appreciate it when you share a little piece of your hometown with them.
The following is a list of some of the best events and sales coming up, to help you plan and navigate this year. Have fun, and good luck!
• Handmade for the Holidays (Now through Jan 6, Museum of Contemporary Craft, 724 NW Davis, Tues-Sun 11 am-6 pm, Thurs 11 am-8 pm) Artists from across the country offer their top-notch craft goods—it's unlikely you'll encounter anything amateur here.
• Secret Society Sale (Sun Nov 25, 11 am-5 pm, The Secret Society Ballroom, 116 NE Russell) Includes a silent auction to benefit the Oregon Food Bank, as well as fantastic gift ideas from some of the coolest locals.
• Feast on Art (Fri Nov 30 & Sat Dec 1, 11 am-4 pm, Garden Fever, 3433 NE 24th) Look for everything from garden art to vintage placemats and recycled clocks.
• Fourth Annual Kenton Firehouse Sale (Sat Dec 1, 11 am-6 pm, Kenton Firehouse, 8105 N Brandon) Locals offer up small housewares, art, and accessories.
• Forest Market: Sustainable Holiday Fair (Sat Dec 1 & Sun Dec 2, 10 am-4 pm, Tryon Creek Park, 11321 SW Terwilliger) Keepin' Christmas greener than green.
• Holiday Craft Bazaar at the Overlook House (Sat Dec 1, 10 am-5 pm & Sun Dec 2, 9 am-3 pm, Overlook House, 3839 N Melrose) Baked goods, ceramics, jewelry, and more.
• I Heart Indie Holidays (Sun Dec 2, noon- 5 pm, Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) Complete with a TV lounge for non-shoppers to wait it out.
• Sixth Annual Cheap Art & Craft Show (Thurs Dec 6, 6-9 pm, Reading Frenzy, 921 SW Oak) Don't miss this awesome sale, where everything's $100 or less.
• Da Vinci Middle School Arts Fair (Fri Dec 7, 4-8 pm & Sat Dec 8, 10 am- 4 pm, Da Vinci Arts Middle School, 2508 NE Everett) Part of the proceeds from this huge sale benefit the school.
• SCRAP Holiday Bazaar and Bake Sale (Sat Dec 8, 11 am-6 pm, SCRAP, 3901A N Williams) Repurposed crafts and homemade treats.
• Rebel Rabbit Craft Fair (Sun Dec 9 & 16, noon-5 pm, Hipbone Studio, 1847 E Burnside) All the hippest, hottest crafters will be out for this.
• Oregon College of Art & Craft Holiday Sale (Fri Dec 14, 7-9 pm, Sat Dec 15 10 am-5 pm, & Sun Dec 16, 10 am-4 pm, Oregon College of Art & Craft, 8245 SW Barnes) Spring for the $3 suggested donation at the opening, or slide in for free over the weekend.
• Crafty Wonderland Super Colossal Holiday Sale (Sun Dec 16, 11 am-5 pm, Norse Hall, 111 NE 11th) The mother lode.