The best shops for art and craft materials

Get creative and start crafting

In an increasingly homogenised world of plastic this and assemble-at-home-designed-in-Sweden that, we're always on the look-out for something completely original - and, Louis Spence notwithstanding, it's always a treat when we find it.

It's good for the soul to adorn your abode with an item which someone has spent hours toiling over; a vehicle for creativity and skill, embellished with the imperfections of material and maker. And that maker could be you.

So head to one of the art and craft material outlets in our list and whatever you fancy turning your hand to: be it painting, sketching, pottery, needlework... whatever... just give it a go.

And who knows, there could even be a new career just around the corner...




Cass Arts
13 Charing Cross Road Covent Garden WC2H 0EP
Region: Covent Garden
Nearest Station: Leicester Square

AIL Says: The original Cass Art started with the mission statement ‘Let’s fill this town with artists’. Since then the company has grown and depending on where you are in London – yes, we’re looking at you Hackney Wick - you might think they’d succeeded. Filled with artists themselves, the shops are as good for materials as they are for good advice on all matters art.

  • ART & CRAFT
  • USERS 10/10
Slancho Gled
66 Chalk Farm Road Primrose Hill NW1 8AN
Region: Primrose Hill
Nearest Station: Chalk Farm (0.1 miles)

AIL Says: Whether a serious pro or a mere dabbler, Slanchogled will have your needs covered. Big project, little project, it doesn’t matter here. There are professional artists’ materials from companies like Van Gogh and Derwent as well as modeling clay, flowers, leaves and fabrics for the craft side of things. Plus they offer a bespoke decoration design service for that special occasion that you can’t do yourself.

  • GIFT SHOPS
Cass Art London
66-67 Colebrooke Row Islington N1 8AB
Region: Islington
Nearest Station: Angel (0.3 miles)

AIL Says: This may not be the birthplace of Cass Art but the Angel space is a mega behemoth of arts and craft materials. Spray paint, oil paint, easels and canvasses almost cover entire floors while there are enough pens, pencils and crayons to colour in, erm, the whole world. Cass Art also have a great children’s section that hosts regular classes on weekends and during school holidays.

  • ART & CRAFT
L Cornelissen & Son
105 Great Russell Street Bloomsbury WC1B 3RY
Region: Bloomsbury
Nearest Station: Tottenham Court Road (0.1 miles)

AIL Says: L. Cornelissen & Son has been in business since 1855. The shop certainly appeals on an aesthetic basis thanks to its history but the traditional artists’ materials you’ll find here are also a draw. It’s like swapping London for Hogwarts; the shelves are lined with bottles and packets of chalky pigments and paints and the curious shop is a fine quaint antiquity. They even sell Dragon’s Blood – although that’s nothing more exciting than a red resin.

  • ART & CRAFT
  • USERS 9/10
Atlantis Art Materials
Bayford Street Industrial Centre Unit 1 Bayford Street London Fields E8 3S
Region: London Fields
Nearest Station: London Fields (0.1 miles)

AIL Says: Appropriately named due to its size, Atlantis Art Supplies is arguably London’s preeminent destination for artists’ materials and tools. The warehouse is possibly Europe’s largest fine arts store with a gigantic amount of floor space filled with canvasses, paper, card, brushes, sponges, graffiti pens and innumerable types of paint.

  • ART & CRAFT
The London Graphic Centre
16-18 Shelton Street Covent Garden WC2H 9JL
Region: Covent Garden
Nearest Station: Covent Garden

AIL Says: London Graphic Centre is the choice of any self respecting graphics student. You’re studying illustration at Camberwell? This is where you come for pens, pads, markers, adhesives and studio equipment. Plus there are Moleskin notebooks and, you know, famous writers and artists used those. Most people will recognize the Covent Garden (the flagship) store but there are smaller outposts across London.

  • ART & CRAFT
Loop
15 Camden Passage Shoreditch N1 8EA
Region: Shoreditch
Nearest Station: Angel (0.2 miles)

AIL Says: At the crafts end of ‘arts and crafts’ Loop is a knitters delight. Located on Camden Passage, Islington, it is a Mecca for all things crocheted. You’ll find yarns aplenty, needles, buttons, magazines, beads, pompom kits and anything else that the keen haberdashery enthusiast could desire.

  • KNITWEAR & TEXTILES
  • EMAIL
Hobby Craft
Westway Retail Park Greenford Road Sudbury Hill UB6 0UW
Region: Sudbury Hill
Nearest Station: Greenford (0.2 miles)

AIL Says: With stores dotted around London Hobby Craft are really invested in keeping you crafty. They stock art materials, haberdashery, yarn and jewellery products. One trip here and you’ll never have to buy anything again – because you’ll just make it all!

  • ART & CRAFT


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