Welcome to the Craft Arena website!

At Craft Arena we sell needlecraft, knitting, crochet, mixed media, craft supplies, Brother sewing machines, wool, threads, haberdashery, beads, craft books, gifts and textile art. You can access our online shop by clicking the Shop menu item above.

We have a wide range of Brother Sewing and Embroidery machines on demonstration, and offer a full personal consultation so that you get be sure of choosing the right machine for you. We give FREE training on most machines.

We hold workshops and training classes in needlecraft, knitting, crochet, mixed media, printing and textile art design in our large workshop area. You can see details of upcoming workshops and training classes below or see a full list here .

We also showcase the work of local artists and design groups in frequently changing exhibitions in Alchemy, our dedicated Textile Art Gallery.

We publish a regular newsletter containing special offers, details of upcoming workshops and everything Craft Arena. If you would like to subscribe, simply click on the blue icon below. Our newsletters are usually sent out weekly.

We look forward to seeing you in the studio soon.

Craft Arena is upstairs at the Barleylands Craft Village, Billericay, Essex, Studios 49 - 51. We are open 10am - 5pm Tuesday to Saturday, and 10am - 4pm Sundays and most Bank Holidays.

We either use or personally recommend the items we sell. If you have a specific requirement please contact us and we will do our best to help.

Workshops - coming soon

Indian Tile with Alex Waylett - Thursday 24th May

Thursday, 24 May 2018 - 10:30am to 4:00pm

This is a structured workshop designed to encourage the textile artist to think outside the box and work with material combinations they may not have previously considered.

Participants will create a highly ornate panel with the use of water soluble fabrics combined with appliqued space dyed velvets and decorative cords.

Experience of free motion machine embroidery is required.


PE Design Software Training for Beginners With Lisa Friday 25th May

Friday, 25 May 2018 - 10:30am to 1:00pm

Whether you are new to designing for your embroidery machine, or you need a refresher, this training is for you.

Lisa will show you the basics of using PE Design which will give you the confidence for taking your designs forward. Just bring a pen and paper to take notes! This class is for complete beginners to PE Design and those who need a refresher.

Once you have taken this class, you will be able to join Lisa on her other PE Design training.


Brother Sewing Machine Demonstrations Sunday 27th May

Sunday, 27 May 2018 - 10:30am to 3:00pm

As part of the Barleylands Village Spring Fair, Craft Arena will be holding demonstrations on our range of Brother machines. Attendance is free with no booking required, so join us to see just what you can do with one of our range of sewingand embroidery machines.

Black and White Lino Printing with Lynne Blackburn - Sunday 27th May

Sunday, 27 May 2018 - 10:30am to 4:00pm

Join Lynne for a Black & White Lino Printing workshop.

You will receive an introduction to the tools and inks used in linocut printing, will learn how to hand carve a design into the lino and take a print from it. Lynne will bring several designs, of differing skill levels, all based around an ‘Animals’ theme for you to choose from, or you can bring along your own design.

If you want to use your own design it will need to be simple and easy to hand carve into the lino; it should be A5 in size (14.8cm x 21cm) and printed out at the correct size onto paper in black and white. The examples shown will give you an idea of what to bring.

You will be given 6 sheets of printmaking paper to print on, together with fabric if you want to try it, and more will be available to purchase if you wish. Everything else you need, including inks, rollers and cutting tools, will be provided.

This is an ideal workshop to learn the skills to create your own editioned prints, artist books,or posters.

This workshop is suitable for complete beginners and those that have tried this technique before.


Intermediate Kantha with Mali Wednesday 30th May

Wednesday, 30 May 2018 - 10:30am to 4:00pm

Take your skills with Kantha Embroidery forward in this workshop with Mali. You will be working on pre-printed cloth which can be made into a wall hanging or cushion cover. You will learn all the skills needed to complete your work at home.

All materials are included but you may like to bring your own sewing kit (scissors, needles etc).

This workshop is suitable for those who have tried Kantha before and those who have some experience with hand embroidery.


Machine Embroidery Group Sunday 3rd June 2018

Sunday, 3 June 2018 - 10:30am to 1:00pm

A series of informal monthly sessions to help you get the most from your embroidery machine.

A different machine embroidery technique will be covered each month, this month we will be discussing using Puffy Foam in your designs.

Bring along any challenges or questions you have, and there is bound to be someone here to answer them!