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

Yarn Forward - Wednesday 21st November

Wednesday, 21 November 2018 - 10:30am to 1:00pm

Our regular Yarn Forward knitting and crochet group.

Bring your own yarn work along to knit or crochet and if you have any challenges, there is sure to be someone here who can help.

For complete beginners, and those who are a bit more experienced, you can work that yarn and chat at the same time, and you always leave with a free gift!


Aurifil Weekend

Saturday, 24 November 2018 - 10:30am to 4:00pm
Sunday, 25 November 2018 - 10:30am to 4:00pm

Craft Arena is holding a special Aurifil Event on Saturday and Sunday 24th and 25th November from 10.30 am to 4 pm each day.

Entry is free and you will be able to try out lots of different Aurfil threads for both hand and machine sewing including 50 weight, 28 weight, 12 weight, Lana, Aurifloss and Brillo.

Aurifil is versatile, strong, has a lustrous colour, produces virtually no lint and has a worldwide reputation and is used by quilters, textile artists, hand and machine embroiderers.

Aurifil was originally conceived for the Italian high fashion and luxury bed linen market and is made from long staple 100% Egyptian cotton, grown in the Mako region of Egypt on the river Nile and manufactured in Milano, Italy.

There will be a free raffle, free samples and special offers and discounts.

Water Soluble Bowls with Alex Waylett - Tuesday 27th November

Tuesday, 27 November 2018 - 10:30am to 4:00pm

This is a fabulous opportunity to spend the day creating your own free standing embroidered bowl. 

Through the process we will explore the different water-soluble products on the market and their appropriate uses, automatic decorative stitches and design motifs. 

The day involves intensive free- machine embroidery and your patience will be rewarded with beautiful results.

Suitable for those more experienced in machine embroidery.

A requirements list will be sent to you prior to the workshop.


Christmas Lino Printing with Lynne Blackburn - Saturday December 1st

Saturday, 1 December 2018 - 10:30am to 4:00pm

Join Lynne of Essex Print Studio for a fun Lino Printing workshop with a Christmas theme. Hand print your own set of Christmas cards, bottle bags and wrapping paper to take away!

We will supply all the equipment and various Christmassy items for you to print on. Design, cut and print your own design onto the cards, bottle bags and wrapping paper.

Get in the mood for Christmas - and we'll even supply the Mince Pies !!!

Suitable for beginners and those with some experience.


Machine Embroidery Group - Sunday 2nd December

Sunday, 2 December 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 mongramming.

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


Powertex Fairy with Celia - Saturday 8th December

Saturday, 8 December 2018 - 10:30am to 4:00pm

Join Celia on her first workshop at Craft Arena where she will be showing you how to construct an armature for a figure which will you will finish using Powertex.

The picture above shows an angel/fairy made using this technique.

The class is adaptable, so if you prefer you can to leave the wings to one side and make a more down to earth (but still magical!) figure.