7 reasons to attend York Dolls House & Miniatures Fair

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26 February 2020
Image credit: Ken and Linda Batty – Al'Turn'Ative Proportions.
Miniatures enthusiast? What better way to spend your day than with a room full of fellow enthusiasts celebrating the wonderful world of dolls houses and miniatures?! Cue York Dolls House & Miniatures Fair. 

The bi-annual event takes place in the historic and beautiful city of York, held at York Racecourse and offers a jam-packed day full of miniatures galore. Not sure whether to attend or haven’t been to a fair before? We asked some of our talented exhibitors to share their knowledge so you know what to expect (and what you’ll miss out on if you don’t attend!). 

Here are seven reasons to attend York Dolls House & Miniature Fair (and if that’s not enough, hear from some of our subscribers, too!).

1. Bringing the dolls house and miniatures community together

“You will be able to see craft people from all over the country – not just local.” David Bishop – Little Houses Plus.

“Shows are great for the community because it brings everyone together to share their passion about all things miniature. I love to know how my customers are styling their dolls houses and what period they are specialising in. It’s just fascinating.” Arlette Shelton – Arlette’s Miniatures.

“Dolls house shows are great for bringing the miniature community world together with like-minded collectors. Visitors come back time after time making the shows an enjoyable day out - it’s like having one big happy family.” Sharon Blackburn – Sharon’s Mini Knits.

“Shows bring groups and the community together. It’s a hobby that needs to be shared with other like-minded people.” Mike and Jenny Kelm – Kastle Kelm Miniatures.

Kastle Kelm Miniatures characters

Image credit: Mike and Jenny Kelm – Kastle Kelm Miniatures.

“There's nothing like meeting people and putting faces and voices to names. Just the sense of being in the halls full of other people enjoying the same hobby as you - there's a oneness, a belonging, a satisfaction of being a part of it all!” Kath Holden – Delph Miniatures.

“Whilst many groups of miniatures enthusiasts will gather online, it is not the same as meeting in person and sharing the wonderment of all the tiny items on display. I know for a fact that the York Dolls House Fair not only facilitates these get togethers for the local community, but also the wider community with folk coming down from Scotland and up from the south of England.” Jane Harrop.

“We always like the shows for the chance to interact with our customers - discussions and friendly chats are great face to face rather than online!” Kath Holden – Delph Miniatures.

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2. Get new ideas for your dolls house and miniature projects

“Sharing ideas and what each other are making or buying is all part of the fun.” Mike and Jenny Kelm – Kastle Kelm Miniatures.

“By not attending you miss out on meeting talented artisans that can give you some great ideas and advice with your current projects, whether you’re new to miniatures or have been collecting for many years.” Tracy Walton – Tracy’s Miniatures.

Tracys Miniatures rocking horses

Image credit: Tracy Walton – Tracy’s Miniatures.

“You’ll meet and mix with people with your interest and get ideas from each other. We do questions and answers on dolls house wiring as we’re dolls house wiring specialists.” David Bishop – Little Houses Plus.

“Not only do the exhibitors show what they have to offer but most offer friendly advice on Dolls House DIY.” Caroline and Richard Mansell – Crab Pot Models.

“Attendance at dolls house shows in general means meeting like-minded people in an environment where information and advice can be exchanged on many different topics.” Ken and Linda Batty – Al'Turn'Ative Proportions.

3. Stock up on kits and supplies from your favourite artisans 

“We do high quality dolls house accessories, plus we’ll also be showing our new eight channel multi-function remote control unit.” David Bishop – Little Houses Plus.

“We sell 1/12th, 1/24th and 1/48th scale kits. Generally, all you will need is tacky glue, wood stain and/or acrylic paint to create authentic period furniture and accessories to furnish your dolls houses. We also sell kits like our 1/12th scale artist’s table and 1/48th scale pocket shops which are projects in their own right and don’t require a dolls house setting. Each show brings a new range of kits, so come and say hello, and let us inspire and unleash your miniatures making creativity.” Jane Harrop.

“I make quality, handcrafted, upholstered furniture for the discerning collector in 1/12th and 1/24th scale. I’ll be exhibiting various styles of furniture from Tudor through to Modern. Handbags, too!” Arlette Shelton – Arlette’s Miniatures.

Arlettes Miniatures handcrafted miniature sofa Image credit: Arlette Shelton – Arlette’s Miniatures.

“I specialise in 1/12th mini-knitting in a modern era. All my mini-knits are unique and can be custom made to order. I also supply mini knitting needles in three popular sizes which are bespoke handmade. I supply Venne cottons which are ideal for mini-knitting. I also supply hand sculpted 1/12th baby dolls which can be dressed in my mini-knits - so I have a one stop shop, and something to suit everyone at affordable prices.” Sharon Blackburn – Sharon’s Mini Knits.

“Visitors need to come to our stand if they have a sense of humour! We don't just make fantasy items like the fairies, gnomes, wizards and witches - we also have Mike’s grandad’s items which are all handmade and unique to him as well as my jams and preserves, too. I also make many different characters.” Mike and Jenny Kelm – Kastle Kelm Miniatures.

“You’ll be able to see how beautiful my horses are and see the size that would fit your project or if you have an idea for a commission you have the opportunity to discuss your requirements in person.” Tracy Walton – Tracy’s Miniatures.

“We do a lot of ooak (one of a kind) miniatures that don’t make it to online sales so the show is the only place to buy.” Caroline and Richard Mansell – Crab Pot Models.

Image credit: Caroline and Richard Mansell – Crab Pot Models.

“I’ll be exhibiting my mini hats for the discerning collector, all handcrafted using intricate trimmings and beautiful fabrics including Liberty prints. New this year are my miniature hobby horses!” Janet Crozier – Janet’s Miniature Hats.

“Al'Turn'Ative Proportions feature distinctive 1/12th and 1/24th scale handcrafted miniatures made from local or exotic woods, Corian, acrylics, and resins. Standard/Table and Art Deco style lamps (our specialty miniatures) and many other collectable items.” Ken and Linda Batty – Al'Turn'Ative Proportions.

Miniature table and art deco style lights by Al'Turn'Ative Proportions

Image credit: Ken and Linda Batty – Al'Turn'Ative Proportions.

“We always try to have something new for visitors to see, and there's always the unusual to see on our stand!” Kath Holden – Delph Miniatures.

4. Support talented artisans and their businesses

“Attending shows supports artisans producing a massive range of miniatures, it also a great way to get ideas and inspiration.” Tracy Walton – Tracy’s Miniatures.

5. Great facilities in beautiful York!

“The show has many unique bespoke exhibitors and is a well organised event with easy access and free parking.” Sharon Blackburn – Sharon’s Mini Knits.

“The exhibition is set on three levels, with a café and extra seating for the chance to have a relax or to sit and show off those special purchases to their fellow hobbyists.” Jane Harrop. 

Pocket music shop by Jane Harrop

Image credit: Jane Harrop. 

“Very often visitors will incorporate the fair with a weekend in the lovely historic city. If ever there was a place to give you some inspiration for your miniatures, it’s the Shambles in York.” Jane Harrop.

6. Attend workshops and free talks 

“Enthusiasts have the chance to take part in a small workshop or attend a free talk during their visit.” Jane Harrop. 

7. Choice, choice and more choice!

“The York show has a wonderful selection of exhibitors to tempt both collectors and makers of the dolls house miniatures hobby.” Jane Harrop. 

“There are so many artisans there and many that don't do other shows. It’s a friendly show with loads of sellers from all over the country. If you don't come you miss out on seeing all the new sellers and chatting to them about what they’re doing.” Mike and Jenny Kelm – Kastle Kelm Miniatures.

“York is a fantastic show in the heart of Yorkshire with over 80 talented artisans with a whole range of miniatures.” Tracy Walton – Tracy’s Miniatures.

“York dolls house and miniature show is the best in the North of the UK; not attending means you well miss out on the many top exhibitors of the craft.” Ken and Linda Batty – Al'Turn'Ative Proportions.

“Looking at a stand at a show like York is a whole different thing to browsing a website - you see so much more!” Kath Holden – Delph Miniatures.

Morgue and autopsy table by Delph Miniatures

Image credit: Kath Holden – Delph Miniatures.

“The York show in particular will appeal to any miniaturist wanting to purchase rare, collectors items for their dollhouse hobby. A vast assortment of miniature items are on display and it makes a fascinating day out.” Janet Crozier – Janet’s Miniature Hats.

And if that hasn't convinced you, here's what some of our subscribers had to say...

Reasons to attend York Dolls House & Miniatures Show as told by YOU!

“I visit every single show I can because there is always a good deal to be had. I like to have a list of all the things I need because otherwise I completely forget what I came for and get distracted by pretty things!” 

“I really like fairs because you are in a building surrounded by like-minded people who just ‘get’ you and your interest in miniatures. It’s nice to remind yourself that other people love the same hobby – it’s a great way to make friends!” 

“Shows are the best! I look forward to them for months and drag my poor husband around (and make him carry all the bags)! It’s a great place to spend a day enjoying looking at miniature works of art – what’s not to love?”

“I can’t get out much so I like to make a special planned effort to visit at least one show a year, which I really look forward to. I like them so much because of the atmosphere and community spirit that surrounds the love for a particular hobby. Plus, it’s good to stock up the doll’s house and get inspiration!”

For tips on attending a fair (from how to prepare through to tips for the day of the show… and even afterwards!), take a look at craft fair tips for visitors: your complete event checklist

Looking for an amazing miniatures fair where you can catch up with like-minded people, shop until you drop and enjoy ogling at dolls houses? Come to the York Dolls House and Miniatures Fair in November!

For full details and to book your place, visit the booking page.

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