November 20, 2009

31st Annual Holiday Craft Sale set for Dec. 3-5

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- No matter how small your budget might be, if you want to give “wow” gifts this holiday season, look no further than the 31st Annual Holiday Craft Sale Dec. 3-5 at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

The sale is the go-to place for special, even one-of-a-kind, gifts. It runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 3 and 4 and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Dec. 5 in the Student Center’s Hall of Fame and International Lounge.

About 75 vendors from throughout the region will offer their handmade arts and crafts for sale. Choose from jewelry of all kinds, hand-blown glass ornaments and giftware, fresh pine and other types of wreaths, handmade glass beads and bottles, hats and scarves, art prints and gift baskets.

You’ll also find, pottery, silversmith wares, fused glass, nativity sets, purses, knitted and crocheted items, ornaments, crystal, dog collars, recycled knits, pillows, chainmail and wooden handcrafts including letters and sculpture boxes. And there’s still more: clay wall décor, soaps and lotions, mini prints, cutting boards, quilts, candles, silk stitchery and even campus photos.

Admission to the Holiday Craft Sale is free. If the metered McAndrew parking lot is full you can enjoy complimentary parking Saturday in the Arena parking lot (Lot 56) and catch a free shuttle to the Student Center. Shuttles will run every 20 minutes.

“The Holiday Craft Sale has been running for 31 years and we’ve always had great support from the SIUC community,” said Ron Dunkel, Craft Shop coordinator. “This sale works because we bring unique craftspeople to the center of campus and everyone loves the diverse, one-of-a-kind handmade offerings. This is a major campus event and provides a convenient time and place to shop, meet, mingle and dine as we celebrate the conclusion of another year and semester. This year we have both new and returning craftspeople and artists. Be sure to visit both floors of the Craft Sale. Our Holiday Craft Sale goes well even during economically rough times as patrons search for something unique rather than large ticket items. Also, it’s always good to know you are buying from someone who lives and works here in this region.”

Student groups will be among those selling their handmade crafts and the proceeds help with expenses like attending conferences and purchasing new equipment and supplies, Dunkel said.

The Student Center Craft Shop is the sponsor of the Holiday Craft Sale and the shop also offers young and old the chance to make their very own gifts -- for others or themselves. There are precast ceramics you can glaze and fire.

Or, enjoy a variety of walk-in craft activities with a holiday twist. Options include card making, origami, scrap wood sculptures, mosaic candleholders, macramé and beaded jewelry, and assorted ceramic items you can create by hand or on the wheel. There’s a nominal fee, $1 and up, for each of the craft activities.

It’s a great way to make gifts with a personal touch. Or, bring the whole family and make some fun holiday crafting memories. In addition, the custom picture framing shop will be open and they’ve got several photographs of McAndrew Stadium, shot by University Photocommunications, for sale. While you’re there, check out the Art Arcade where you can buy handmade crafts SIUC students created. The Craft Shop offers $5 Saluki pins and $35 Saluki puppies too.

For more information about the Holiday Craft Sale or participating in craft activities, call the craft shop at 618/453-3636 or look online at