Crafty Shopping in Oxford

Mr M is still contracting in Oxford, so I went there yesterday to meet him for lunch. When he went back to work I spent the afternoon crafty shopping!

My first port of call was the Old Fire Station. It has a gallery area where they exhibit the work of local artists. The gallery was empty yesterday as they were about to set up a new exhibition. The shop is full of items made by local craft people, which gave me some ideas. I’d never seen so many things made from covered buttons! It was all well presented.


Their window display was jubilee themed (surprise, surprise!)


It was still raining when I left there, so I had to be armed with a raincoat when I explored the market outside.


There were lots of stalls selling antique bits and bobs. I was quite tempted by a wicker basket / hamper to store my fabric stash and the seller offered it at a reasonable price, but as I travelled by train I couldn’t sensibly buy it. One stall even had a pot in a design of china my parents used to collect, but unfortunately don’t any more, as that would have been a good father’s day present.


I did spend quite a bit of time at one stall which sold a lot of haberdashery bits and bobs. There were cotton reels from 30p and knitting needles and old patterns. I spent ages looking through baskets of old buttons. I was looking for red buttons and couldn’t find any suitable red ones, but still found some other buttons I liked.


Not bad for £1.60!

I’d read about Darn It and Stitch when researching craft shops in Oxford. It’s hidden down a side street near the Museum. They helpfully had a sign showing  pointing in their direction.


Darn It and Stitch say they are Oxford’s only haberdashery. The shop is beautifully presented and sells pretty ribbons, thread, and has all manner of things hidden in a huge metal drawer cabinet.


I can’t help think that they could fit a bit more in the shop, but it might not be as well presented! The stairs lead to a workshop space where a weekly quilting group was meeting when I was there, and where they run workshops at the weekend.

I managed to be quite restrained and only bought ribbons.


I bought one metre of the top and bottom ones which only cost 75p per metre. I’m not sure that’s enough, so Mr M might be sent there one lunchtime!

My next crafty stop was in the covered market.


I love Oxford Covered Market. It’s a traditional English market, and unlike others it is still used for its original purpose. You can find greengrocers, butchers, fishmongers, a petshop as well as many other shops. I went there to go to the Helen and Douglas House charity shop.


This is unlike a lot of charity shops and sells wool and some haberdashery bits.


You can never be quite sure what they will have in stock. This is where I picked up my flowery buttons last time I was in Oxford. There were no flowery buttons this time, but after delving around in a big basket full of second hand buttons I added to my collection of red buttons with these at 5p each.


I also treated myself to a tapestry kit for a glasses case. Everything is included, including fabric, wool,needle, cord and even material for lining. Not bad for £1.49!


My last few crafty purchases were at non specialist shops. Boswell & Co is an independent department store with a haberdashery department which they are expanding slowly. They sell the biggest range of Sewline products I’ve ever seen and have recently started selling some wool too. I picked up some cover buttons inspired by the old fire station earlier.

I couldn’t resist a look around the Cath Kidston shop. We have one in Reading now, but as I often have Mr M with me there I never have time for a proper nosey. I do love some of the products, but they are very highly priced due to the name! I would love to own this patchwork chair (luckily for hubby who wouldn’t be so keen, it’s not for sale!)


My last stop before meeting Mr M was The Works. It is often viewed as a discount bookstore, but they do always stock a few crafty bits. The branch on Cornmarket Street in central Oxford has an entire craft floor! They have lots of bits for painting, card making, scrapbooking, jewellery making and even cupcake making as well of course books on the subject! I treated myself to a couple of stencils and some card making bits all at a very reasonable price, helped by a 20% discount code from vouchercloud!

Then it was time to put my feet up after all that shopping with a drink in a traditional pub!


11 thoughts on “Crafty Shopping in Oxford

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