Our in-house creative gurus have compiled this handy guide of all the arts, crafts and textiles shops in Oxford, including many independent outlets. It's pitched at people who already have an idea what want to do, so absolute beginners might want to start here for simple, creative DIY projects. Even if you struggle with drawing stick men there are things here to tempt you to get creative.
And for anyone whose crafting space has got a bit out of hand, you may like to know there is a professional Declutterer in Oxford who specialises in Creative Spaces, Nadia of Clear the Decks. See her website or check out her podcast for ideas, or book her in to help you unearth the desk, and perhaps clear your creative blocks into the bargain.
Oxford boasts many of these, including independent treasure-trove Honest Stationery (Cowley Rd) and Pen to Paper (London Rd) which will sell you any colour of writing paper and matching envelopes under the sun. Then there are chains: Ryman's on Queen Street is pretty good with enticing arty materials as well as the more mundane officey things. A little further down Queen Street is the now ubiquitous, but ever lovely, Paperchase. WH Smiths on Cornmarket also sells some craft supplies.
If you are looking for books of knitting/crochet/sewing patterns, try Blackwell's Art shop, Oxford Yarn Store, or Masons in Abingdon.
Oxford Wednesday Market, Gloucester Green, Oxford OX1 2BU. Map
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.
John Lewis, Westgate Centre, OX1 1PB.
Decent haberdashery, including fabric, all the sewing basics, and some nice kits. Staff are knowledgeable and helpful, and if you end up describing your project to them at any length they may even ask how it's going next time you go in!
If you want ready-made crafts, art or gifts, these shops will help you out. 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.
Arcadia, 4 St Michael's Street, Oxford OX1 2DU. Map
Tel: 01865 241757
Gifts, wrapping paper, cards, second hand books, prints.
East Oxford Farmer's Market, East Oxford Primary School, Union St, Oxford OX4 1JP (behind Tesco's). Map
Saturdays, 10am - 1pm
Usually has at least one stall of jewellery, cards, textiles etc. Some of the cakes border on fine art too.
Shop @ The Old Fire Station, Gloucester Green/George Street, OX1 2AQ. Map
Tel: 01865 263990; open Tue-Sat 10am-5pm
Fine 'home grown' creations from Oxfordshire/Southeast-based artists, from original prints and jewellery to cards and zines.
Museum of Oxford Gift Shop, St Aldate’s, OX1 1BX. Map
Tel: 01865 252334; open Mon - Sat 10am - 5pm
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.
The Windmill Fair Trade Shop, 104 London Road, Headington, OX3 9AJ. Map
Tel: 01865 236944 Email: [email protected]
Monday - Saturday 9.30am - 5.30pm
Independent shop selling fairtrade, ethically sourced, recycled and environmentally friendly (including Ecover refills) products.
Covered Arts, Covered Market, Market Street, Oxford OX1 3DY. Map
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.