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If you build it by hand, they will come: Etsy craft fest hits DUMBO • Brooklyn Paper

If you build it by hand, they will come: Etsy craft fest hits DUMBO

Carolyn Bersnak and Megan Smith send their greetings from the de-facto DIY capital of the world at the DUMBO Hands-On craftacular.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

The de-facto DIY capital of the world hosted a hands-on crafts fair from the globe’s leading purveyor of all things twee.

Etsy, the Brooklyn start-up that has become the hipster answer to eBay, drew hundreds of creative consumers to the archway beneath the Manhattan Bridge for an expo of recycled, refurbished, retrofitted, and reinvented goods.

And their nifty designs and inventive ideas spoke to the DUMBO denizens.

“These crafters have a way of finding beautiful but very accessible projects to do,” said Alexandria Sica, executive director of the DUMBO Business Improvement District, which joined forces with Etsy to stage the first-ever “DUMBO Hands-On” on June 26.

Attendees learned how to make greeting cards, personalized sweatbands, and even masks — with the instruction of neighborhood businesses.

The Brooklyn Roasting Company taught java lovers how to transform a used coffee can into an ice cream maker — a contraption that would typically cost around $50 if purchased in a store.

“A cylindrical can could be used for just about anything,” said Brooklyn Roasting Company president Jim Munson. “Most people just bring them back to us and have them refilled, but people use them for piggy banks, or make them flower-pots, I’ve seen some used as maracas.”

The impromptu ice cream machine drew a large crowd and plenty of fans with its delicious coffee-flavored taste.

“Who knew you could make something so great just by shaking a giant can?” Sica said.

Chris Martin and Lauren Ballinger of DUMBO BID hosted the Etsy event that followed the motto, “Brooklyn’s finest!”
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

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