Craftercise DIY Sessions:

Could you do with shedding a few pounds … of fabric?

Do you need help getting (your knitting) back in shape?

Join our gym and we gaurentee to give you a good stitch! Meet like minded craft addicts at our craft club and get on with all of those projects that you just dont seem to have time for. Take a break from your day and join our crafty, colourful world!

Bring your own craft. Tea, coffee and snacks included. £3 per session. Every Weds 10.15 – 11.15.

Book tickets here or in store

craftercise DIY craft club

Craftercise Family craft workout

Craftercise family craft sessions

Join us in our colourful craft HQ and share in creation with your small people! We will make a different thing each week, developing skills, having fun and spending quality craft time with your special ones (or you can have an hour and a half break, we dont mind).

This session is open to all ages but if you wish to leave your children with our fully DBS checked craftercise coordinator Melissa then we ask that they are 5+. We have limited space so please make sure you book in advance.

We will be doing the following crafts at the sessions:
6th Oct – Lavender bag making

13th Oct – Bracelet making

20th – Felt decorations

27th – Halloween theme

3rd Nov – Firework/sparkler craft

10th – Remembrance craft

17th – Twig weaving

25th – Make your own advent calendar

Click here to book.

craftercise family club

Clothes swapping party

clothes swap

Friday 5th October 5.30 – 7.30                £5

Fancy refreshing your wardrobe whilst helping the environment? We have teamed up with Bare Bazaar to bring you a clothes swapping party. There will be snacks, refreshments, bracelet making, clothes swapping, 10% off made in Ashford products and more!

Here at the instructions:
1. Gather up your unwanted clothes – clean, good quality clothes and accessories with plenty of life left in them only please
2. Bring them along, we’ll stick them on a rail, then come along, try some stuff on and take it home.
3. Meet people, have a laugh, feel good about your unwanted clothes finding new homes instead of going to landfill, while you take home a new-to-you bag of swag.
Don’t have any clothes to donate? – no matter, come along anyway and just pop an extra donation into the pot!

Tickets are £5 each which includes refreshments. Proceeds will go to the Bare Bazaar and Craftship Enterprise CICs. Buy a ticket through EventBrite (link below) or get your name in the list in store at Made in Ashford.

Book your tickets here!

clothes swapping

Re(f)use plastic project

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Re(f)use plastic project

Friday 5th, 12th, 19th, 26th October 10.15 – 11.15 FREE

For more info click here.

It is national recycle week which got us thinking about our individual plastic consumption. So we teamed up with the Bare Bazaar and Ashford Borough Council to offer a series of free sessions working on a piece of public art created by us from a weeks worth of our plastic waste whilst learning about the impact plastic has on the environment.

What we want from you is for you to save up 1 weeks worth of your plastic waste (after it has had a rinse) and for you to come on down with your rubbish to Made in Ashford on the 5th October at 10.15 – 11.15 and to continue to come on further Fridays to continue the project. All creative skill levels welcome!

Book your place here!


Ashford Snow Dogs

There has been quite a build up, the excitement has been mounting and here they are… THE ASHFORD SNOWDOGS!
ash hound snow dog college

The dogs are out around the trail and you can get maps to locate them from Made in Ashford.

We are so lucky here at Made in Ashford because 5 of Ashford’s snow dogs have been designed by incredible artists who are or have been tenants in our wonderful little shop. These include current tenants Tiny Beegle and Victoria & Robbins as well as 2 of our previous tenants Deborah Woodward art and Circa 1990.

ashford snow dog trail map

There is also the discover Ashford snow dogs app. Where you can log all the snow dogs that you find on the trail by entering their codes into it and you get special rewards including some special prizes that are collected from Made in Ashford! The app includes a trail map and a pedometer to show you how many steps you have taken to complete your trail.

ashford snow dog socks

There is a launch party on Saturday at the bandstand and there maybe a very special snowy guest and his 4 legged friend.

Here are some pictures of some of the dogs we have seen so far:

We know that you are going to love the snow dogs so much so we are selling some official souvenirs from  the Ashford Snow Dogs trail. We have figurines, paint your own snow dogs, key rings, magnets and tea towels!

snow dog figuresashford snow dogs tea towel

It has already been such an exciting experience. I watched Danielle Williamson of Tinybeegle be interviewed by the BBC about her experience painting Ashford college’s Ash-hound. She is also just putting the final touches to a special window in store, dog themed of course! Lots of people have been talking about it and doing the trail already.

tiny beegle snow dog interview

Here I am at Made in Ash-hound with the guy behind all of this, Chris Dixon along with the Pilgrims Hospice. A massive well done and thank you to Chris and the Hospice as well as the brilliant team of artists. I know how much work and hurdles they have over come to make this happen for our town.

Chris dixon ashford snow dogs selfie

Enjoy your Ashford Snow Dogs experience.

Free kids craft activities in Made in Ashford this Summer


MAKE at Made in Ashford is a series of free craft activities this summer holiday that you and your children can drop by and enjoy in store.  What better way to inspire the next generation of local makers and designers than to get them making!

We are open 10 – 5 Mon – Sat and MAKE is on every day.
We have make your own paper bunting! make1 ee


The very popular colour in a sticker (or two).

Design and make your own keyring.

make keyrings free craft

I have loved seeing all of the little designs the children have been doing and so many key rings are being made as presents for mum or dad. This one was for his parents anniversary present <3!!!

Please note:
The materials and instructions are provided by us but you may need to keep an eye on your little one and help them if they need it. Also although we have the materials for loads of children to do them in the event that their are hoards of local children descending upon us to colour in their stickers these activities are limited.

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Meet the maker window demos

We have just finished our a series of meet the maker live window demonstrations. Lots of you enjoyed watching how we created our products and having a chat with us.  Over the course of 2 weeks we had appearances from Miss Polly had a Dolly, Grafts, Mulberry Glass Art and Aye Aye.

Here are some of the pictures of what we got up to:

Ben from grafts stamping spoons.

Sue from Mulberry Glass art painting vases.


Miss Polly had a Dolly was making her beautiful dolls in store.

And Melissa from Aye Aye was making lots of headscarves!

What is on in Made in Ashford and the town centre this week?

There is a lot going on in Ashford for the next couple of weeks leading up to create festival and we have put on some events too.

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We will be having maker demonstrations so you can see how your favourite made in Ashford businesses create their products. It gives you a chance to meet them, ask them questions and buy their creation that have been made before your very eyes.

Friday 14th July – Polly Had a Dolly

Saturday 15th July – Blazing Needles

Thursday 20th July – Mulberry glass Art

Friday 21st July – Aye Aye 

Not only are there these wonderful meet the maker live demonstrations we will also be running a colouring competition in honour of Two Tone the fish for the Create festival platform. Children (and adults) can colour in and decorate a fish and our favourite will win a two tone in a jar from Raindrops and Rainbows. 

The Create platform is a week of events leading up to the free music festival held in Victoria Park Ashford (where we will have a stall if you fancy going)! See what is going on below:

Friday 14th July – 23rd July
Two Tone community art project in the town centre including a secret fish themed surprise at Emporia. Locally decorated two tones in the town centre window displays. Made in Ashford two tone colouring competition and meet the maker days in Made in Ashford.


Doodle studios in park Mall. Watch the doodle man doodle all over a Park Mall shop (next door to Made in Ashford).

Two Tone art exhibition in Stag Coffee shop. 2-tone designer John Sims, aka Teflon, best known for his work with The Specials and The Selecter, curates a mini exhibition of his iconic, black and white, rude boy art work from early 80’s. Take the opportunity to take in the show, along with good coffee and cake.

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Ashford Tales – an alternative look at the history of our town.

Sat 15th July – Ashford Street entertainer day!

Thurs 20th – Teflons 2 tone ska train at stag.

Fri 21st July – David Bowie tribute at Revelation St Mary’s

Sat 22nd – Create festival!!!!
Sun 23rd Mr. Harpers birthday picnic.

For more info on all of these events click here.

Meet the Maker with Kate Baker Mosaics

Our next Meet the Maker here at Made in Ashford with Kate Baker Mosaic Muse:

How did you start making mosaics?

I bought the book “how to mosaic in a weekend” by Martin Cheek as we were renovating together our first house together since marrying in 1997, and I’d decided to mosaic an orca on the bathroom wall in Faversham.


What is your favourite piece you have made?

Damselfly Flutter. It’s the first glass fusion I ever made and it’s combined with mosaic in its background. Glass fusions are made by cutting pieces of coloured glass and layering them and when the piece sits in the glass kiln they melt together. Damselfly Flutter became so important because it was made during a 7 day masterclass with the author of the book I’d read and it came at a time when I’d injured my back and was unsure of my future. The piece marks the start of what became my new career. Part of it I used to create my brand colours and logo too. It was gifted to my father for Father’s Day in 2012, when I found out he had cancer. I’ve been asked to make another as a commission but I’ll never make another one of this design.


How long do they take to create?

Depending on size and complexity and frequency of tile cuts, a minimum of 4 hours up to a maximum of 3 weeks, was my longest to date. Designing, cutting, sticking, drying and then grouting and finally cleaning all adds up.


Where do you source your tiles?

Mosaic trader online, plus mosaic supplies

kate baker mosaic muse studioonline. Venetian milifiori from Effectre, Murano Island. Glass from warm glass and hearts


from Sweden. Vintage and broken crockery from many kind friends and café owners who have chipped their vases, cups, plates and teapots.


How long have you been a part of made in Ashford?

Since May 2016


Tell us a bit about your made in ashford experience:

I’ve found it a very supportive shop with the friendly companies within it all at different stages of retail. It’s been great to have my work in the public eye and arrange it in the shop environment.

I enjoy being in the shop, meeting the public, helping to manage it when on rota and getting to see which of my products are popular.

What support do the council give your business and the shop?

The council have very fair licence fees. The team have helped with online advice, social media training and promotion through Love Ashford.


kate baker mosaic muse

What are the next steps for your business?


I’d like to sort out my website and Etsy shop and build the number of galleries my work is in.


When/where are your up coming workshops and events?

I run beginner workshops throughout the year…people get in touch after meeting me at an event I may be at, or seeing me at open studios. It’s surprising how many people have fav pieces of crockery they’ve always intended to make into a mosaic, but they never get time. I’m here to help them learn the skill and the rest is up to them.

My calendar and current workshop dates are below.


 Find out more abut Kate Baker Mosaic muse by popping in to Made in Ashford or on to her facebook page here.

Polly had a Dolly – Meet the Maker

Me working in my workshop making Waldorf dolls

What made you start Polly had a Dolly and how long have you been making dolls?

I have made dolls as long as I can remember – starting off making doll clothes as a natural progression from childhood doll play – and moving into creating rag dolls from kits with my mum.
Once my eldest daughter arrived I wanted to make her a special doll, one sewn with love especially for her. I then wanted to make another for my second daughter and thus I had reignited my passion for dollmaking. 


An opportunity came up in our village, Staplehurst, a pop-up shop for a few weeks and I was invited to be part of it. I was a dressmaker at the time and it gave me the push I needed to start making my dolls professionally – which meant CE marking them. Thankfully, with help from CE groups, testing houses and Blazing Needles,


 I worked through the process relatively easily and could offer them for sale! 


What do you think the benefits are of children playing with dolls?
Dolls are different to teddies, cuddlies and blankets. Our need for doll play in our development goes back thousands of years and is linked to natural childhood development. Steiner education has taught me a lot about how important it is for children to have a special doll.
How every child engages with their doll is different, some like to parent the doll – to take care of it and treat it as a baby, others need someone to take on adventures, others need someone who they can share their secrets with when all is quiet. Every child is different, and every doll should be too. Each one of my dolls is unique – and I can make dolls to order to look just like your little one.
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What materials make up one of your 


As all my dolls are CE marked the components have to be tested in a lab to ensure they meet very high British Standards and comply with EU law.
I use a wide range of materials from Liberty fabrics, to super soft plush and specialist doll making fabrics. Every one of my dolls is filled with 100% British lambswool because:
  • Wool has natural antibacterial qualities
  • It has a weight to it making the doll feel substantial and lifelike
  • It absorbs your body heat which feels so reassuring and comforting
  • It is naturally fire retardent so it won’t be a danger to a child
  • Its eco-friendly – renewable and biodegradable
Come in store and give a doll a cuddle to feel the difference!

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You have lots of different designs, what are your favourite 3?
I am a prolific creator with a head full of ideas – and I don’t think I could choose my favourites as they are all my creations! However, based on feedback from parents, the children’s favourites are:
• My Penny dolls, I hear countless reports of them being sneaked into school in pockets, they are so small and baby like and their closed eyes are a calming influence.
• My Martha/ Matthew dolls are very popular with older children – these can be made in your child’s image with skintone, eye colour and hair colour to match – their own mini me. They are the perfect size for adventures.
• My cuddle dolls seem to be the most popular bedtime companion – their super soft plush fabric make them very tactile and comforting.

All these dolls are available in Made in Ashford.

What do you enjoy most about owning handmade business?

I enjoy the flexibility – I can be around for my children after school and attend Sports Day and Carol Concerts without having to check with anyone else first! I also love the collaboration with other artisans and makers and working together.

You are part of a lovely network of creators and makers in Staplehurst, can you tell us a bit more about your group?


We have a lovely support group

StudioShots - 14in my village called Staplehurst Makers. We set up initially as a spin off from a business networking group, we split into our own group as we recognised the specific needs of a handmade business, the isolation it can bring, and the tendency of creatives to suffer from anxiety or  depression. We met in each other homes, around 8 times a year and keep in touch via a private Facebook group. If you would be interested in joining us please visit our Facebook page

Who your top 3 small bushiness?
Alix at the Little Red Hen Jewellery has been enormous support and influence to me right from the start of my doll making business, she has always encouraged me to try new things and gives me honest feedback.
Becca at Blazing Needles inspires me daily through her dedication to her craft. Her needles really do blaze and she always knows what the next trend is going to be!
David Gall is a coffee roaster in our village – St Apple Hurst Coffee – he has such tireless energy and is always visiting farmer’s markets around Kent. His coffee is amazing and he bring along his machine to our Staplehurst Makers meetings, delicious!
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Where else do you sell?
I have my own website, which you can purchase my dolls through ( and also sell online on Etsy and Handmade in Kent.
I am currently part of an amazing pop-up shop in Canterbury called Whitefriars Food and Craft. I also attend a select number of fairs around Kent (see my website to find out more).

What are the future plans for Polly had a Dolly?
I’m currently very excited about developing ideas to help us as parents engage with our children through doll play and going to get my girls to help me work on this during the summer holidays.
Once my children are a little older I want to branch out into teaching people how to make dolls, and selling my patterns and kits to make them.
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Meet the Maker – Katy and the Bear

katy and the bear logo

Come and meet the lovely Katy and the Bear in the next in our series of meet the maker blogs from Made in Ashford.

Firstly who is the Bear?

The Bear is my quirky, creative, chaotic, disorganised, foul-mouthed and ever-so-slightly grumpy partner in crime.
Where and when did you start your business?
My business started in 2010 in Dubai after I quit my full-time job as a graphic designer to travel the world. I wanted a portable and flexible online business and so the company was born.katy and the bear poster
Where do you work now?
I have a small home office in Great Great, I’m lucky enough to stare out the window at trees and fields all day.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Travelling the world – I moved abroad when I was 17, and have only just returned back to Ashford. I have always doodled in sketch books and collected photos on my adventures and I always look back through them

What is your favourite print?

Personally, I’m a fan of the cheeky ones. “Don’t let the Ba****ds get you down” always motivates me.
500x500Give us your 3 best Father’s day card quotes:
“Dad, You Rock” – simple and to the point works for my pappa bear.
“As far as fathers go, I could’ve done a lot worse” – even if your dad is annoying, there’s always Darth Vader out there
“Dad, you’re cooler than Batman” – is there a bigger compliment?
What new ideas do you have up your sleeve?
I’m going to launch a totally new product in the next month and I’m so excited! Watch this space y’all!
As one of the newest additions to made in ashford what do you think of the shop?
I absolutely love the shop – as an Ashford resident newbie, it’s given me access to new friends and an opportunity to get out and meet new people. What the shop is doing for local makers

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and artists is incredible.
Returning back to my home town after 17 years away has been a weird experience…I am eager to see how Ashford town centre grows in the next few years and realises the amazing potential that’s here. I’m actually supporting 


other small business and start-ups with my graphic design and photography services by offering low-cost branding packages to get them on their feet. I think it’s so important to support the small, local companies – I think it’s what gives a community it’s identity.
Where else can we get your prints, cards and postcards?
You can buy any of my art online at or in the Canterbury Makers store in Whitefriars, Canterbury. Oh and  I’m also on Facebook and Instagram.