Welcome to the Craft Arena website!

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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 can choose 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 click here for a full list.

We 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 "Subscribe" icon above. 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

3D Floral Triptych with Alex Waylett Thursday 23rd and Friday 24th May

Thursday, 23 May 2019 - 10:30am to 4:00pm
Friday, 24 May 2019 - 10:30am to 3:30pm

This is a two-day course with Alex Waylett, when she will show you how to construct a 3D Floral Triptych.

Designed to take you through a series of innovative techniques using a multitude of different materials all brought together with free motion embroidery, the course covers illustration, composition, and painting techniques with inks from your chosen design source on the first day followed by working with water soluble and cords to create 3-d elements on the second.

You will spend the first day working with Koh-i-Nor inks and various other paints and metallic wax to produce a textural background with lens tissue, papers and string before on the second day stitching into your designs using your floral pictures as a design source. You will be taken through a series of steps to create the triptych using sheers and stitch to link all the pieces. On the second day you will be shown how to create 3d elements to add to your piece – i.e. flower heads and leaves using water soluble in a hoop.

You will leave with all the necessary machine embroidery techniques and media knowledge to complete your Wall Panel will be completed at home.

You will need some experience in free motion embroidery and be happy to pick up a paintbrush and experiment!

The pictures above are work done by students from previous triptych workshops.


Batik with Jannetta Sosin Saturday 25th May

Saturday, 25 May 2019 - 10:30am to 4:00pm

Join Jannetta for a Batik workshop.

Using wax as a resist, you will draw a design and paint a design with silk dyes. This workshop is perfect both for beginners and those who wish to extend their skills.

More details to follow.


Ribbon Embroidery with Wendy Sunday 26th May

Sunday, 26 May 2019 - 10:30am to 4:00pm

Featuring beautiful silk ribbon, you will learn the basic stiches to complete a floral design. (Project may differ from illustration). All materials included.

This class is suitable for those who have not tried ribbon embroidery before, and those who wish to refresh their skills.


Babylock Open Day

Friday, 31 May 2019 - 10:30am to 4:00pm

We are holding a special Babylock event on Friday 31st May when Jan Wright from Bablylock will be bringing a range of overlock and coverstitch machines to demonstrate.

We have asked her to bring the Sashiko machine, which is magic!

If there is a particular model you would like to see, let us know and we'll ask Jan to bring it with her.

Booking isn't necessary, but if you would like to reserve a time for a personal demonstration, contact us or give us a ring on 01268 523780.

Machine Embroidery Group Sunday 2nd June

Sunday, 2 June 2019 - 10:30am to 1:00pm

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

In this session we will be demonstrating applique.


Miniature Books with Alex Waylett - Friday 7th June

Friday, 7 June 2019 - 10:30am to 4:00pm

This is a great design project that produces a number of different designs within a whole piece…almost effortlessly!
The day will be spent looking at your design source in some detail and incorporates a number of colour media to achieve some great effects. Possibilities are endless! The first part of the day will be spent painting—then sectioning off areas before hand-stitching if you so wish.

This workshop has been postponed. Subscribe to our newsletter for all the latest news on our workshops.