Broad Canvas, 20 Broad Street
Tel 01865 244025
Art and craft supplies: paints, pads, brushes etc. Large craft section, including materials for stool-making, tapestry, screen printing, candlemaking, picture framing. Little gallery as well. Now incorporates what was Brush & Compass from two doors down.
Latest: paint your own Russian Dolls. If only I was young again...
Unique Creations, 263 Banbury Road, Summertown
Tel 01865 553554
This is both a pottery painting cafe and busy shop, giving it a purposeful air. The shop sells gifts (particularly for small children, newborn presents etc) and does a good range of craft supplies too. Includes beads, pliers, wire, ribbons, paper and forms for decollage, fimo, sets of thingss, and they'll even sell you a complete kit for a party.
The pottery painting is great fun. You choose the item you'd like to paint, which has been biscuit-fired, and they have the paints, brushes, sponges etc. When you're finished they fire it and you collect a week later. It's a jolly good way to spend a rainy afternoon, or keep smalls amused, though probably too expensive for every weekend! You can also order drinks in handpainted crockery.
The Cake Shop, Covered Market
Tel 01865 248691
As well as the finished masterpieces they also sell the equipment to decorate cakes yourself, including professional sugar paste and flower cutters.
Eggs Eggcetera, 67 Botley Road
Another good purveyor of cake equipment.
Orinoco Scrapstore, Peat Moors, The Slade, Headington OX3 9HS
Tel 01865 761113 / 07960 661748
Open Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, 11am - 4pm
This is for people who like the lucky dip approach to buying craft materials! Orinoco might at any time have scrap paint, gold lamé cloth, beads shaped like licquorice allsorts, gigantic sheets of hardboard, pencils, new books, plastic bottles (clean and unused), spare monopoly counters and the list goes on. Fortunately it's all illustrated on their website, so you can get an idea what's new in! Ethical, helpful, surprising, what more could you want?
Conservation Resources (UK), Unit 2, Ashville Way, off Watlington Road, Cowley, OX4 6TU
Tel 01865 747755; email ConservArts@aol.com
Mail order firm who sell conservation grade stationery and art materials, but they also sell in person, 8.30am - 5.30pm. Amongst their stock: restoration products, acid-free paper, mount board and cutting tools.
The Works Publisher's Outlet, Cornmarket Street
Surprise entry, as most people will know this as a source of remaindered paperbacks and London bus fridge magnets. HOWEVER upstairs is an art dept which might sell you enormous canvases, easels, cutting mats, paints, paper, and clip frames, all very cheaply. In my experience the paint brushes shed, but everything else seems to be of decent if not professional quality. Stock will vary over time.
Oxford boasts many of these, from independent treasure-trove Honest Stationery (Cowley Rd), Pen to Paper (London Rd) and Mayther (New Inn Hall St) which will sell you any colour of writing paper and matching envelopes under the sun. Then there are chains: Ryman's on the High Street is pretty good with enticing arty materials as well as the more mundane officey things. WH Smiths on Cornmarket also sells some craft supplies.
Materials: Textiles (mostly)
Brambles, 93 London Road, Headington
Tel 01865 762695
Wool, patterns and knitting advice. The wool is largely of the baby pastel acrylic variety, with some interesting things mixed in. But the advice is more far-reaching. Beware - they shut promptly.
Port Meadow Designs, 104a Walton Street
Tel 01865 311008
Behind the clothes they stock all sorts of wool, highly prized by those in the know. These include Manos (wool and silk blend), Noro, Debbie Bliss, Louisa Harding, Colinette, tweed wools, Rowan wools and Addi needles. This shop is pricey because a) their products are expensive and b) you'll be very tempted by the lovely fairtrade / alpaca / flame-coloured / silk / space-dyed excitements on offer you'll come out with more than you bargained for.
Darn It & Stitch, Blue Boar St (just off St Aldates), OX1 1DL
Tel 01865 242779 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Accurately selling itself as Oxford's one and only haberdashery(!) these guys are now selling vintage and new items, in a treasure trove that's half shop - half bijouterie. They have an eye for design and though small, the shop is well-stocked. A welcome addition to Oxford. Stock Oxford Kitchen Yarns (see below).
In the upstairs they're now running workshops at weekends. The current crop range from lace-making, to corsetry, via patchwork, knitting and crochet. Classes are small, and many more topics are planned.
Masons, 20 & 22 Bath St and 39 Stert St, Abingdon
Tel 01235 527720 (main), 01235 520165 (22 Bath St), 01235 520107 (Stert St)
Absolute Aladdin's Cave and well worth a trip to Abingdon. Everything's so crammed in that it can be difficult to manoeuvre when it's crowded. But that means they're very likely to have anything you need. Now offer an online purchasing service as well.
The stores are organised as follows:
20 Bath St: HQ and main haberdashery. Fabric, ribbons, dyes, buttons galore, every inch is filled.
22 Bath St: Bridal, scrapbooking, beads and sewing machines for sale upstairs
39 Stert St: Curtain fabrics and wool/yarn/knitting/crochet supplies. Good range covering 100% acrylic to 100% alpaca, and everything in between.
Oxford Kitchen Yarns, mail order
Beautiful hand-dyed wool made in a kitchen in Oxford with natural dyes. Make sure if you want your knitting to be exactly the same shade to order enough wool from a single batch. This is proper cottage industry, and small variations in colour may well occur!
Oxford Wednesday Market, Gloucester Green
Weekly. Has a cloth and haberdashery stall. Fabric is increasingly hard to come by in Oxford, but Abingdon, Thame and Kidlington all still have cloth shops.
Fred's Discount Store, 185 Cowley Road
Another surprise, but if you're looking for sewing / embroidery threads and you don't mind if they're not Anchor or DMC then often Fred's and its neighbouring cousins are your best (and certainly cheapest) bet. They also sell Dylon Dyes.
Wool and Willow, 7 St Mary's Street, Wallingford, OX10 0EW
Wool and Willow offers local, British and fair-trade yarns, in addition to well-known brand names. It's only a short bus ride from St Aldates (X39 or X40) to the quaint little market town of Wallingford.
Oxford Art, Craft and Gift Shops
For the highest concentration of useful browsing shops, try the Covered Market, Little Clarendon Street, North and South Parades and the beginning (town end) of Cowley Road. Click here to find these on our Oxford Map.
Alice's Shop, 83 St Aldate's
Tel 01865 723793
Lewis Carroll souvenirs, Alice memorabilia, other gifts.
Arcadia, 4 St Michael's Street
Tel 01865 241757
Gifts, wrapping paper, cards, second hand books, prints.
Art Jericho, 6 King Street, OX2 6DF
Open Wednesday - Saturday 10am - 5pm or by appointment
Contemporary 2D and 3D art in a converted Chandlery.
East Oxford Farmer's Market, East Oxford Primary School, behind Tesco's
Saturdays, 10am - 1pm
Usually has at least one stall of jewellery, cards, textiles etc. Some of the cakes border on fine art too.
The Fairtrade Shop, under St Michael's Church, Cornmarket
Tel 01865 722505
Ethical, fairtrade clothing, food and knick-knaks.
The Farmhouse, Oxford Covered Market
Tel 01865 247084
Gifts, pottery, teddy bears, cards, pot-pourri, toiletries, Pilgrim jewellry.
Oxford Holographics, 71 High Street, OX1 4BA
Tel 01865 250506
Open Mon - Sat 10am - 6pm, Sun 11am - 5pm
Holographic pictures, jewellery and innumerable eye-catching knick-knaks.
Indigo, 62 Cowley Road, OX4 1JB
Tel 01865 794176
Ethical and fairtrade textiles, notebooks, toiletries, jewellery and sparkly things.
Pylones (formerly Octopus), 30 Cornmarket, OX1 3EY
Tel 01865 256058
French firm who make an astonishing assortment of domestic items with characters, such as squid egg whisks, salt and pepper people, decorated toasters, watering-can handbags, and all manner of things to make everyday life more fun.
Pod, 86-87 High Street, OX1 4BG
Tel 01865 245577
Open Mon-Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 11am-5pm
Fun, designer-led 'lifestyle' gifts of all kinds from trendy chain outlet.
Sarah Wiseman Gallery, 40/41 South Parade, OX2 7JL
Tel 01865 515123; open Mon 10am-4pm, Tue-Sat 10am-5.30pm
Contemporary, modern British painting, jewellery, ceramics and textiles.
Shop @ The Old Fire Station, Gloucester Green/George Street, OX1 2AQ
Tel 01865 263990; open Tue-Sat 10am-5pm
Fine 'home grown' creations from Oxon/Southeast-based artists, from original prints and jewellery to cards and zines.
Oxford Town Hall Gift Shop, St Aldate’s, OX1 1DP
Tel 01865 252761; open Mon - Sat 10am - 4.30pm
Items inspired by collections in the museum, prints, greeting cards, traditional toys, condiments and preserves, local history books, Mini memorabilia, and work by local artists and craft workers. Profits go to museum and community activities.
Verandah, 3 North Parade, OX2 6LX
Tel 01865 310123; open Tue - Sat 10am - 5pm
Gallery showcasing mainly British jewellery, ceramics and textiles.
The Windmill Fair Trade Shop, 104 London Road, Headington, OX3 9AJ
Tel 01865 236944, Monday - Saturday 9.30am - 5.30pm
Independent shop selling fairtrade, ethically sourced, recycled and environmentally friendly (including Ecover refills) products.
Prints and Posters
Sanders of Oxford, 104 High Street
Tel 01865 242590
Specialist print shop, both antique and contemporary, also sells maps, engravings and views of Oxford.
Blackwell's Art & Poster Shop, 27 Broad Street
Tel 01865 333646
Books on the visual arts, posters, cards, calendars and diaries. The main Blackwells sells good wrapping paper.
Isis Creative Framing, 2 Northampton Road, off Abingdon Rd
Tel 01865 247625
Picture-framers making and selling ready-made frames, prints and mirrors.
Covered Arts, Covered Market
Tel 01865 249955
Extremely helpful picture framers, who can advise about the best way to mount and frame almost anything, with the possible exception of politicians. They also have ready-framed art on display.