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How to Survive... the Shanghai Craft Markets

By Nicole Chia 2019-05-13 10:30:23

Sometimes, no matter how much you try to avoid it, you may run into the situation where your child is pulling at your clothes, begging you to make them an extra special hat for Crazy Hat Day at school. Convincing her to wear a winter knit cap hasn’t gone over very well so you start to browse Pinterest in search of the perfect crazy hat concoction and begin to wonder where you’ll get the materials to make it. Thankfully Shanghai has crafting accessories markets all over Yu Gardens to get everything you’ll need to make your craft a success. These craft markets may even turn the least crafty of us into Martha Stewart herself! Whether you fancy yourself a master crafter, or you just want to make your child stop begging you for that crazy hat, this guide is for you.

1. Head to Yu Gardens for the best craft markets. Keep in mind that there are about a billion buildings there each housing things you honestly don’t need but also can’t possibly live without. But STAY FOCUSED. Visit only the Wholesale Notions Market at Renminbi Lu 388 or the YuYuan Commodities Market at 427 Fuyou Lu near Henan Lu. Try not to walk out with 20 more things on top of what you came in for (although it’s an impossibility) and try not to get lost while you’re in there. After wandering up and down aisles aimlessly and getting distracted by both the parasol and disco ball stands, emerge from the market rubbing your eyes and wondering why it’s now dark outside and who picked your kids up from school. Oops.

2. Don’t pass up the button stores! I mean, how could you when all the button stores have so many shiny things that will no doubt attract you like a moth to a lamp! There are many fun things to find at a button store - mostly buttons, but also cool hat pins, broaches, and many sparkly things that you will somehow find a use for. It doesn’t matter if you don’t need buttons, maybe the crazy hat needs buttons? Or a cool iron-on patch? Or feathers!? Or a bracelet!!? Okay, reel yourself in, you’re getting too excited.

3. Whatever you do, pee before you go to the craft markets! Although you’ve probably experienced worse public toilets before, there’s just something about the craft market public restrooms that will make you never want to return. Thankfully if you run into this problem and have to go, you can quickly buy yourself a glue gun and glue your legs together to give you just enough time to make it back home… maybe.

Always make sure to leave yourself enough time to browse the craft market properly. There is so much to look at you can easily spend a day picking up things you never knew you needed. Sure, you didn’t buy the thing you needed to make your kid’s crazy hat, but you did buy enough rhinestones and metal studs to bedazzle your jean jacket like you did when you were a kid in the 80s. Maybe set aside some of those rhinestones and glue them to a colander with your new glue gun to send your kid off to school with a truly crazy hat. Most importantly, don’t ever let anyone say that you’re not crafty ever again.

Whatever you do, pee before you go to the craft markets! Although you’ve probably experienced worse public toilets before, there’s just something about the craft market public restrooms that will make you never want to return.

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