Crafts for Christmas

This year, come bearing unique gifts from Toledo Craftsman Guild

  • Peach-Weekender-11-28-2013

  • Your choice Friday could be to wade into the commercial morass that is Black Friday, standing in line, sleep-deprived, and traffic-stressed, just to buy the same stuff as everybody else.

    Or this year you could try something dramatically different and — more important — unique.

    For the 30th year the Toledo Craftsman Guild is presenting a massive Crafts for Christmas sale at the Lucas County Recreation Center that allows folks to buy one-of-a-kind gifts that are made by local artisans. The sale is traditionally held the weekend after Thanksgiving.

    “A lot of the items are unique, hand-made, not imported, so you know you’re getting something someone took pride in making,” said Dave Grabarczyk, show co-chairman and publicity chairman for the Craftsman Guild. “You won’t find them in stores.”

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    The sale Friday and Saturday features 100 different members of the Crafts Guild and all of the work is juried. The Guild has 190 members and it was founded in 1972 with 13 members. He said that last year the event attracted about 5,000 shoppers.

    The organization is non-profit and there is no admission charge to the Christmas event. Parking at the Key Street rec center also is free.

    Items for sale will include candles, lotions and scents, jewelry, clothing, wooden toys, a wide array of glass work, decorative paintings, and seasonal wreaths and holiday decorations.

    “You name it, if you can think of it we probably have it in the show some place,” Mr. Grabarczyk said.

    He said many of the artists will personalize items at the sale.

    A retired Toledo Public Schools special education teacher, he started woodworking in the 1980s, teaching himself the craft by trial and error. This year he’s focusing on making jewelry boxes.

    “It’s relaxing, it’s really satisfying when you take a piece of raw wood and you come out with a unique finished product,” he said.

    Crafts for Christmas will be Friday and Saturday at the Lucas County Recreation Center, 2901 Key St. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Admission and parking are free. Members of the Guild will be collecting toys for the Toys for Tots program.

    Contact Rod Lockwood at or 419-724-6159.