Welcome to the Craft Arena website!

At Craft Arena we sell needlecraft, knitting, crochet, mixed media, craft supplies, Brother sewing machines, wool, threads, haberdashery, beads, craft books, gifts and textile art. You can access our online shop by clicking the Shop menu item above.

We have a wide range of Brother Sewing and Embroidery machines on demonstration, and offer a full personal consultation so that you get be sure of choosing the right machine for you. We give FREE training on most machines.

We hold workshops and training classes in needlecraft, knitting, crochet, mixed media, printing and textile art design in our large workshop area. You can see details of upcoming workshops and training classes below or see a full list here .

We also showcase the work of local artists and design groups in frequently changing exhibitions in Alchemy, our dedicated Textile Art Gallery.

We publish a regular newsletter containing special offers, details of upcoming workshops and everything Craft Arena. If you would like to subscribe, simply click on the blue icon below. Our newsletters are usually sent out weekly.

We look forward to seeing you in the studio soon.

Craft Arena is upstairs at the Barleylands Craft Village, Billericay, Essex, Studios 49 - 51. We are open 10am - 5pm Tuesday to Saturday, and 10am - 4pm Sundays and most Bank Holidays.

We either use or personally recommend the items we sell. If you have a specific requirement please contact us and we will do our best to help.

Click here to subscribe to our Newsletter!


Craft Arena nominations!

We'd like you to nominate us for two competitions that are running now, the British Sewing Awards and the 2018 International Craft Awards.

We'd love your support - please click on the two pictures below to nominate us. You could win prizes too, just by participating!


The Sensation of Place, a talk by Dr Mark Banting

Friday, 13 July 2018 - 6:30pm to 9:00pm

A selection of Basildon Arts Trust's paintings and prints is being shown in the Alchemy Gallery at Craft Arena during July in a unique exhibition called A Sense of Place & Shape. Entry to the exhibition is free during Craft Arena opening hours.

To support this event, The Foundation for Essex Arts is pleased to present an associated talk by Dr Mark Banting entitled The Sensation of Place.

Dr Banting's talk will focus on a selection of the artworks on display, and will explore how the artists represent memories and feelings of particular places, and the responses these pictures might call up in the mind of the viewer.

Early booking is recommended for this special event as places are limited.


Workshops - coming soon

PE Design Software Training with Lisa: Beginners 24th June

Sunday, 24 June 2018 - 10:30am to 1:00pm

Whether you are new to designing for your embroidery machine, or you need a refresher, this training is for you.

Lisa will show you the basics of using PE Design which will give you the confidence for taking your designs forward.


Hydrangea Silk Panel With Alex Waylett Friday 29th June

Friday, 29 June 2018 - 10:30am to 4:00pm

Discover how to trap real flowers and leaves in your textile work with the innovative use of Bondaweb combined with free machine embroidery.

Working directly on Dupion silk you will be shown several machine embroidery stitches which complement the flowers beautifully.

You will go home with an embroidered panel which will withstand the test of time. Basic free motion embroidery skills are required for this workshop.


Powertex & Mixed Media Clock With Denise Saturday 30th June

Saturday, 30 June 2018 - 10:30am to 4:00pm

For those who have had some experience of using Powertex and mixed media, join us to make this working clock using fabric, inclusions, paint and Powertex. If you do not wish to make a clock, you could use the frame for a picture or photograph.

All materials are provided for you in this workshop, but please feel free to bring your own embellishments to add to your work. This workshop is suitable for those who have used Powertex before.

Although Denise is not an accredited Powertex trainer, she enjoys using and exploring the possibilities of this versatile medium, incorporating different media to expand and extend its potential


Machine Embroidery Group Sunday 1st July 2018

Sunday, 1 July 2018 - 10:30am to 1:00pm

A series of informal monthly sessions to help you get the most from your embroidery machine.

A different machine embroidery technique will be covered each month.

Bring along any challenges or questions you have, and there is bound to be someone here to answer them.


Intermediate Shisha with Mali Thursday 5th July

Thursday, 5 July 2018 - 10:30am to 1:00pm

Take your skills with Shisha Embroidery forward in this workshop with Mali.

Using shisha mirrors, you will be making samples of this beautiful form of Indian embroidery which can then be used in further projects. You will be able to choose from a selection of patterns from which to work.

Materials will be provided, but please bring your own sewing kit (needles, scissors etc.)


Wet Felting With Lisa Marie Olson Saturday 7th July

Saturday, 7 July 2018 - 10:00am to 12:30pm

Step into wonderland with Lisa Marie Olson and learn how to transform sumptuous wool fibres into beautiful felt items.

Handmade felt is irresistibly soft and lovely to work with, and before you know it you’ll be caught up in the magic of this gorgeous material and making beautiful, tactile gifts for you and your loved ones.

In this morning's workshop, Lisa will guide you step by step through the techniques of wet felting to make your own piece of felt fabric which can then be made into a number of beautiful items such as felt flowers, sewing cases, glasses case or even a mobile phone case. You could try making wet felted beads or make a flat piece to embroider or needle embellish.

All materials are provided and no previous experience is necessary.

You can book for both morning and afternoon workshops at a discount here