Five must-visit booths at Renegade Craft Fair

Now in its ninth year, and travelling to cities all over the country, the Renegade Art Fair proves that Chi-town still reigns supreme in the art and design scene. Born and bred on Division Street in Wicker Park, the free fest (taking place Sat 10 and Sun 11, 11am–7pm) is a yearly celebration of all things handmade, indie and local. What can you expect from this year’s event? More than 300 present their conversation starter merch, including mustache’d shaving soap (by Soapily Ever After) and quirky little stuffed animals. We took a peek at the vendors, and here’s our list of five must-visit booths:

1.     Uncommon Handmade Handmade usually makes people think of crafty, gimmicky items. Uncommon Handmade gets straight to the point: home furnishings with a modern aesthetic. Wooden doily coasters ($20 each) make a great landing pad for your drinks and any one of their wall clocks ($32-$78) are sure to catch your guests’ attention.

2.     Lauren Haupt Jewelry A young Lauren started making jewelry to fill in empty spots in her jewelry box. Now Haupt and her team create chic necklaces, earrings and bracelets by hand in their New York City studio. Each piece, such as the to-die-for Antiqued and Gold Fringe necklace ($48), is perfect for jazzing up jeans and a t-shirt or to compliment an evening gown.

3.     Make My Notebook Based in Colorado, Make My Notebook is an eco-friendly company that uses recycled materials for its one-of-a-kind notebooks (pictured above). Each notebook is made to order online at so that each budding journalist, novelist and dreamer out there can have a notebook fit for their every need.

4.     Owly Shadow Puppets Adults need playtime, too, and that’s what these Owly Shadow Puppets are all about. And these puppets aren’t just some wimpy cardboard cut-out puppets; they're based on drawings by creator Andrea Everman and laser-cut on heavy mat board for long-lasting child’s play. The cast of shadow puppets ranges from sea monsters to dinosaurs to a funny little valentine for President Obama (all $12-25).

5.     Shawnimals Do you realize how many good conversations can be started with “Hey, is that… a plush mustache on your desk?” Shawnimals, another artist repping Chi-town, are small, loveable handmade creatures that may also appear in button or t-shirt form. Competing to be our most coveted items are the Mustachio, plush mustaches that come in blond, brown or black ($20) and the Pocket Huggy, a pocket-sized friend to take with you through all your adventures ($12).

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Laura Baginski, Editor (@TimeOutChicago)