Saturday, November 21, 2009

Fred Aldous, making Christmas stress free!

As much as everyone loves Christmas, sometimes it can just get a bit too stressful can't it!

What with organising the perfect Christmas Day complete with Dinner for 13, including one gluten intolerant Niece and a Vegan 'Niece's boyfriend'... Aunty Maureen, who hasn't spoken to Aunty Jean for 7 years and Grandad who won't eat anything vaguely unusual these days and will guaranteed demand everything stops for the Queen!

It all gets a bit complicated doesn't it!

Well Fred Aldous thought about this and on our website now you'll find the answer to your gift problems... making that difficult task a little less arduous giving you more time to spend on the million and one other things this festive season seems to throw your way.

Maybe you're working to budget, but still want to buy gifts that are relevant; and will be gratefully recieved, well now you can see at a glance what is within your budget, from £5 to over £25... you're sure to find something that's just right with a lot less hassle than trawling the High Street in the crush, only to find what you've wanted is out of stock. Of course you can always get your chosen items delivered to your door, with our delivery service, that will usually get the goods to you within a couple of days, allowing you more free time to get on with all the other little tasks Christmas throws you.Like writing the cards, decorating the tree

...and what if you haven't a clue what to buy for some people... Well we've thought about that too, you can simply search the most relevant category in our Christmas Gift Guide, which will take you directly to plenty of ideas for the little Princess, the Design Guru, or Eco warrior at home!

Take a look at the new Christmas Gift guide located at the top of our Home page on the Fred Aldous website and see how we can make this Christmas more fun for everyone... especially YOU!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

It's that time of year again!

I guess there's just no getting away from it... Christmas is just around the corner. Shops on the High Street are decorating their windows, and Slade and Wizzard will be on a continual loop in the shopping centres and Malls across the country.

Our Swing card range from Santoro is always very popular and we now stock their new Festive range...with six great cards to choose from, they're almost a gift in themselves; a special way to send Yuletide greetings to friends and family.

Fred Aldous is always a great place to find all the gift ideas you need for friends and family who are crafty; and now we can also supply you with some great greeting cards , wrapping papers, and gift tags

If money's tight as I guess it is for many right now, the right wrapping paper makes your gift look all the more de luxe for very little money; and if you're crafty perhaps you might customize it yourself to make it totally unique, and remember, all these little details can make your Scrapbooking pages look particularly fantastic, so any left over bits and bobs you can get plenty of value out of...

Here at Fred's, each week new deliveries of stock are arriving with great boxed sets and Complete Collection Sets that make great presents... (that is besides the regular kits and sets we offer- see below!) They make a great solution for those arty types who are perhaps difficult to buy for, or, a real treat for yourself! Take a look to see if there's anything to tempt you, and let make sure you Santa know in plenty of time!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Party Animal!

Facebook seems to have become one of life's guilty pleasures, catching up with the latest gossip from your friends, seeing what they've been upto, and perhaps more embarrassingly showing them what state you got in last night, but as well as that it's also a great way to catch up on all your favourite groups, stores and stars.

One of our latest projects has a facebook fan page all it's own!

Utilising our new Laser Cutting services, Fred Aldous and launched the first in the range of animal head masks. The fantastic, PANDA! Quickly assembled into a fully three dimensional mask, it's a fun dress up idea or maybe even something to decorate your home with ... a brand new take on the old stuffed taxidermy mount. The range will grow into a whole menagerie of Lion, Moose, Frog, and many many more; all laser cut, from heavy weight card, and supplied with all the decal stickers to bring the mask to life and 'paws' and a 'tail 'to complete your look!!

The Panda Head page on facebook is the perfect place to show everyone your escapades whilst wearing your very own Panda head! , check it out next time your logged in!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Diana Mini, so many features in such a small camera!

It's our very great pleasure to introduce to you all our very latest delivery from Lomography!

This little baby, has all the great features of it's 'parent', the classic Diana F+, but some charming new abilities all it's own! Being a Lomo camera you get all the usual lens characteristics with the Mini; the ability to superimpose images on top of one another, the exquisite long exposures to capture movement and stunning light effects, and the famous gorgeous saturated colours that make Lomo pictures look so very now, so very retro and so very fabulous!

The Mini uses 35mm as standard, allowing you to get your films processed everywhere you might be, a great advantage when you're travelling around, but what makes the Diana Mini so exciting is the option to use "Half frame" shots. With a flick of a switch you can go from the classic Diana square format to an exciting half frame picture, allowing you to capture twice as many images on the one roll of film, and compose some amazing shots, two different pictures in a single photo, all at no extra expense! In the box you'll find all the info and guides you need to get the very best from all your snaps.

There's the option to choose from 4 focal lengths allowing you to get creative and hands on with your subject matter.... from 0.6m to infinity and beyond! It also features a wide angle lens to you can squeeze everything you want into your frame. You can adjust the camera with a simple switch that allows you to shoot in all light conditions, whether cloudy or bright too, so with that kind of flexibility, and with it being so dinky, handy and compact there's never any reason not to keep it with you. Also included are features like the Tripod fitting, and a Cable release attachment, and the fittings to use the Diana Flash there's so much more scope to control and create with the Diana Mini than ever before!

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Manchester, the place for Creative Craft and Arts

Here in Manchester city centre, Fred Aldous is right in the heart of the Creative arena, supplying, makers, designers and artists in and around the city and beyond.
Right now there's so many events happening here in Manchester, there's the inaugral Free For Arts Festival which is spread across the whole city in venues and locations. Showcasing art by new and upcoming Artists from the city. Along side the paintings, photography, installation there's a whole host of performance pieces being staged in bars and clubs around the city! We even have Sketch City, the local Street Art-Graffiti group in our windows creating Art in the very shop!
Then there's the Great Northern Craft Show at Spinningfields from the 23rd of October till the 25th, now in it's second year, this is a fantastic show that brings some of the higher end craft practitoners selling anything from clothing, glass, ceramics, textiles and jewellery.
If you're in and around Manchester these next few weeks we really suggest that you check out what's going on and around town... and if you see something that's inspired you to get creative, pop along to see us here on Lever Street.

Saturday, September 19, 2009


Digital cameras are brilliant aren't they, so easy to use, so simple... anti this, auto that... taking the perfect picture every time seems a doddle!

But they can all look a little samey unless you're really proficient with all the technical settings, or are a whizz on the computer tweaking filters and manipulating the image!

...and if you're anything like us though you've probably got hundreds of pictures on your computer you never get round to printing them off!

Lomography gives you back the control to take amazing pictures your way! Totally manual, totally cool, totally Lomo!

We've been stocking "Lomo" camera's now for some months and they're proving really popular, whether it's the tiny and compact "Demekin" upto the top the range Lubitel or LCA+ ...there's something for everyone to get involved with and become a budding David Bailey or Mario Testino!!!

One of the key benefits of the range is their simplicity and adaptability, the range is expanding all the time so that you have much more scope to take great looking shots, each one a mini masterpiece, featuring the Lomo-look; super saturated colours, vignetting, dreamy long exposures and the characteristic light effects! With all the accessories you'll want to experiment with too, you might just find an exciting cool new hobby that you could incorporate with other projects you have in mind!

Take a look at our extended range, and see what possibilities could tempt you, see life a new way, see it with Lomography!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Creative Kids are Happy Kids.

Here at Fred's we're often asked what crafts we have to start kids off, encouraging little fingers and teaching them new skills and developing their artistic expression. Whilst we've always tried to cater to this particular market, there are a lot of things that just aren't suitable, be it due to small parts, or sharp components, or nasties that just aren't suitable.

Happily, we've found a perfect solution, "The Little Experience" kits, have been tailored made to get kids started in crafts, and there's lots for little boys and girls to get excited about! All the kits are recommended for children over three years of age, so they're perfect as an introduction, with supervision into a lifelong interest in making and crafting.

The kits incorporate a wide variety of skills, and will give Junior Crafter's a real sense of achievement when they see what they've created! Most importantly they'll acquire abilities that will last them a lifetime.

To make sure that everyone is suited the kits are schemed into age brackets, so nothing's going to be too difficult or any newbie crafter might think too babyish....which is something we all understand is an important factor to little people!

There's a massive selection to choose from too, like the Create It Flowery Jewellery kit, and the Create It Monster Finger Puppets for smaller kids, to the Build It Bulldozer kit or the Stitch it Donkey kit, for slightly older kids to the more involved Knit it Monkey kit or Build It Bird Cafe!and so much more!

Take a look at the full range we stock, and maybe you'll find something that can offer any "Would be Crafters" you know a helping hand into an exciting

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Start a new Craft this Autumn!

Maybe you were lucky and saw some summer sun but the 'Barbeque summer' we were told to expect hardly materialised, and now the back to school signs are in the shops.

Soon the nights will start drawing in, and Christmas looms dimly on the horizon!

How about this Autumn you take up a new craft? The 'Credit Crunch' has meant that many people aren't spending as much time out, and enjoying evenings at home. A new craft is a great way of passing the long dark evenings, that'll be here before you know it. It's far more rewarding that night after night of telly.

You might have seen that we're collaborating with the Ministry of Craft, (see below) but perhaps you're unable to join us here in Manchester's city centre. Then our extensive range of kits are a great way to try something new. With everything inside that you need to sit down and start crafting with, they're a brilliant introduction to a new and (we hope) exciting hobby!, and the selection covers a really wide range... choose from candlemaking or soapcraft, or perhaps you'd like to teach yourself Lacemaking, Calligraphy or Basketry. There's a great choice of crafts to tempt you with further that really deserve a look! They all include some clear step by step instructions so you aren't left in the dark.

If you've found you've fallen in love with something new, you can usually find everything you need to keep crafting, right here at Fred Aldous. Maybe you might make lots more, to sell at the Fayre's and Craft Sales that pop up in the run up to Christmas!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Fascinating Fascinators

In recent years fascinators have become really fashionable, you'll have seen them everywhere in all the glossy magazines, with the likes of Victoria Beckham, Sarah Jessica Parker and many other celebrities choosing them to adorn the red carpet in their evening gowns and designer shoes. A Fascinator is the fashionable 'icing on the cake'! Chances are they've spent hundreds on their designer versions but you too can now achieve the same glamourous look at a fraction of the price!

We carry all the items you'll need to create your own extravagant confection!

Maybe you've a fancy party, a wedding or a day at the races and don't feel a traditional hat is for you, well with our vast range of feathers, diamantes, and beads you can complement your outfit with a little touch of catwalk panache!

A recent addition to our range is the all important comb base. Clear in colour they'll suit all hair types and blend with practically every look... with the clever addition of some gorgeous plumage from our extensive range and a dab of glue, you'll look every inch the celebrity with none of the expense!

Friday, August 07, 2009

Back to school with Fred Aldous

Have you got a family member waiting on exam results... or maybe it's you yourself, whether it's GCSE's or A Levels, it can be a stress full time.We've got our fingers crossed here, hoping everyone gets the marks they need to get that coveted place at College or University, but more than our best wishes, we at Fred's can offer lots of support to new (and returning) students.

To begin with they'll receive our 10% discount, all year round on production of valid student identification, you can get money off, which really helps, leaving more money for the fun stuff! Often times even when buying goods on offer that discount still applies

Then there's our exceptional range of arts and crafts materials, from the humble pencil sharpener or pencil, to the massive range of artist quality sketchbooks and pads, carry cases and drawing boards, to the stuff like portfolios, paint sets , or the Graphic supplies you're going to have to have.

Chances are if starting a course this September, you'll soon be supplied with a daunting list of equipment that you might be unfamiliar with; we can also help there too, our expert staff will be able to guide you through the maze of options, and help you find exactly what you're looking for, recommending stock we've tried and tested ourselves, so that you can get all the right kit you'll ACTUALLY need, and none of the stuff you don't!

This could just be the beginning of a beautiful friendship!

Ministry of Craft and Fred Aldous,

Crafting is great, we all agree on that don't we?

Whether it's making something to give as a special gift, something that's so much more than just your regular store bought present, or sometimes you prefer to fill you free time with something more rewarding than the telly every night, or maybe it's just a great excuse to get together with your pals and craft together... there are a thousand and one reasons to get crafting, express yourself and enjoy a creative hobby.

If your anything like us, you'll be interested too in learning new skills, finding out in a friendly way how you can pick up a new hobby, acquire a new skill or maybe just dip your toe into a completely different area. There's always something tempting to try your hand at, maybe something you've always wanted to try but perhaps you find going about it is a bit daunting.

Here at Fred Aldous, we're proud to be collaborating with the Ministry of Craft. The Ministry of Craft offer day courses that will support you and guide you towards finding a craft that's new and exciting. With a huge range of projects, aimed at encouraging all levels of Crafter, whether your a total novice, enthusiastic starter, or proficient crafter there's sure to be something that will drive you onwards, support you along the way, and most importantly, have lots of fun!

Based in Chorlton and Central Manchester, with courses run by loads of passionate, inspiring and knowledgable tutors, you are sure to have a great time, and you'll take home the fruit of your days labours!

Click on the link or take a look at our home page and see what they courses on offer... with a huge range of options; from Textile crafts, Digital photography, Mosaic, Screen-printing, Jewellery making, Floristry and Home decor your bound to find something new and interesting that might just open up a whole new world for you!

Perhaps you might like to book a Crafting day as a gift for someone you know, I'm sure a day like that would be VERY welcome by crafty friends and family.

We're hiring!

Ever since our earliest beginnings, way back in 1886, Fred Aldous has been proud to call itself a "family business". Generations later we still feel the same way, confident that our close knit, friendly team feel a part of our family. It's a system that worked for over 120 years, and one we're commited to continuing.

At the moment we are looking to find a new member of the "family" One of our instore experts, Rachel is moving on, to what promises to be a new exciting life in London, and we wish her every success, but that leaves us with a vacancy to fill.

Are you Craft 'mad', customer focused and a keen team player? Perhaps you've heaps of knowledge about art materials and can share that with our customers and you're dedicated to providing a great shopping experience in our Manchester store. Here at Fred Aldous, every day is different, every challenge new and exciting, you'll receive full training in all aspects of the job; it's hard work; but we think you'll find it's also fun!

Do you think you have something to offer? if so you are invited to apply for our Full Time, Permanent Position.

To be considered, simply drop off a C.V at the counter or email it to Paul@fredaldous
Successful applicants will be invited for interview in the next couple of weeks, so don't delay!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Super Sizzix Sale Spectacular!

Are you familiar with Sizzix? Are you a card maker or scrap booker? Well then you need to be! Sizzix machines have been around for quite sometime now, and here at Fred's we are offering an exceptional discount of upto 34% on the full range we carry!

Sizzix machines include the top of the range "Big Shot" to the smaller more compact "Sidekick", and when using the appropriate dies, you can custom create all the decorative motifs you need for you card craft projects... not only do you get perfectly cut shapes every time, but the dies add exciting dimension to the pieces really making things stand out, you can even texturise paper and card to add extra special effects! You can use them with all your favourite cards, card stock and papers to create fabulous decorative details that will make your cards look professional. The only problem you'll have will be choosing from the exciting range of designs!

We really suggest you take full advantage of this fantastic off and stock up whilst they're at this great value price... at these kinds of prices we don't expect them to hang around for long.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

New Laser Cut mirrors available online & in-store. Designed by Clare Birtwistle, all the designs are made on our laser cutter. Priced at £15 each. Lots more laser cut products coming soon.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


Here at Fred Aldous we've always tried to source exactly what you want...going the extra mile to make sure our valued customers get just what they need for their projects.

One of our most popular requests was BUTTONS! Month upon month people requested we stock buttons,. Unfortunately we couldn't seem to pinpoint the right range of buttons, one that ticked our criteria, obviously; fantastic quality, great value, breadth of range and availability of supply... if any company fell down in just one area, we felt we had to keep looking. Only that way can we offer a product that is truly suitable!

Dill Buttons finally came through, with a wide range of over 300... (313 in fact!!!), a fantastic range of metal, wood, acrylic buttons, in a gorgeous range of colours that will harmonise beautifully with all kinds of themes, from rustic folksy looking big buttons, to sophisticated diamante pearl buttons, funky bright tradtional buttons in juicy shades, to skull and crossbones metal buttons, there's something for everyone.

...and of course you'll all realise just how useful buttons are... obviously you can use them as buttons, perhaps you're updating a favourite garment; a quick dyeing in the washing machine and a new set of buttons is a simple and canny way of achieving this.

Or maybe you're a jewellery maker, and want to wire some chunky buttons together for a striking necklace, or make some funky earrings. The card makers out there aren't left out either, buttons make great motifs for card embellishments, and with such a wide range of colours you're sure to find something that ties in with your favourite papers and cardstocks, Scrapbookers too can achieve interesting pages with the addition of a few strategically placed buttons...the options are endless.

Come and see and perhaps you'll find the button of your dreams!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Pictures paint a thousand words

Have you been to a special occasion this summer, maybe a family barbeque, a relation's wedding or perhaps you and your friends have just had a great time together. Chances are there'll be some photo's to mark the occasion.

At Fred Aldous now we can turn your photo's into beautiful quality prints, either onto canvas, or onto high quality artist paper.

In collaboration with 'The Art Surgery' we have cutting edge technology that can transform your photo into a work of art, worthy of hanging on the wall.

Rather than have your memories tucked away in an album somewhere why not share them with your friends or give a special gift that's totally personal!... and it couldn't be eaiser, either by following the directions via the link on our website's homepage, or by bringing your image in to the store in photo form or digitally on CDrom, or Memory Stick and choosing from a range of finishes, and custom sizes.

We can even frame your picture, in a stunning variety of frames that will complement your home, and your picture.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Ever Changing.....

Here at Fred Aldous we're always thinking up ways we can help you get the most from us, and from your Craft. Whether you're a regular shopper or an occasional visitor we hope you always find at Fred's just what it is you're looking for.

At present we're currently undergoing a new store layout in our famous "Aladdin's Cave" basement shop. The aim is to show you the full range of goods we sell and hopefully present them in a much more ordered fashion, displaying all the Textile Crafts together, the Jewellery and Cardmaking in designated areas that allow you to choose your items easily, and perhaps introduce you to some items you are unfamiliar with or didn't know we stock! With over 25,000 different products there's bound to be something that you might have missed...

The changes should be completed within the next week, so pop along and see how Fred Aldous is changing! Or if you're one of our thousands of internet customers come and see how it's all done; there's bound to be something to tempt you, and our knowledgable staff are always on hand to offer their expertise and advice.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Manchester Art Crawl - July 2009

Fred Aldous is helping to host 'Manchester Art Crawl'; part of the fringe festival 'Not Part Of', which runs alongside Manchester International Festival. This interactive event opens up the centre of Manchester, leading visitors through a series of temporary gallery spaces ranging from Deansgate to the Northern Quarter.

We are excited to be part of this event and are opening our sub-basement to exhibit the work of 6 up-and-coming local artists, which will include animation, sculpture, installation and photography. Come to the preview on Thursday 9th July between 17.30 and 20.00 or visit the exhibition which runs from Friday 10th-Thursday 16th July 2009.

Please see the poster below for more information.

Click image for a larger version

For directions to our show and contact information click here

Friday, July 03, 2009

Branching Out - Laser Cutting

We have just bought ourselves a big shiny laser cutting and engraving machine which we are hiring out to everybody and anybody. We can cut all sorts of materials to a design specified and also engrave onto almost any material. Follow the link > >Laser cutting and engraving more information

Friday, March 27, 2009

Must See - Instore Sizzix Demo

Sizzix will be in the Manchester, Lever Street store from 10am-4pm on Saturday the 4th April 2009 demonstrating the launch of our new Sizzix product range.

Everyone is welcome to come down to the store for the demonstration.

There will be an introductory 10% discount on the full range of products.

There is also a huge range of greatly reduced sale stock out in the shop too.

Let us know if you have any questions.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Fred's helps out others abroad

Each year we sponsor the "shoe box appeal" with charity donation boxes containing a range of the products we sell here at Fred's.

This charity works tirelessly each year sending hundreds of gifts to less fortunate children in developing countries around the world.

Look at some of the happy faces amongst the children this year as they opened the shoe boxes donated by us and other UK companies.

Here's an extract from a nice email received this year.........

"Hi Fred Aldous Ltd,
We have just been sent the photos of some of the children opening their shoe boxes at Christmas. The charity also went to many villages, orphanages, hospitals and other places in need but these were the photos that i was sent for this year.As promised i have sent them for you to see.I have also added the wrapped boxes before they were sent.I am told that the children absolutely loved their boxes.Some of the children had to be convinced that they could keep them as they thought they had to give them back again afterwards.

Many thanks once again for your kind donation.

Kind regards - The shoebox Appeal"

We would be very interested in hearing about other charities that we may be able to help along side the shoe box appeal. Please let us know if you have any comments on this subject.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Lomography Galore!

We have recently added a new range of Lomography gear to the shop and the website. There's plenty of cameras to choose from, large and small Diana and fisheye.

There's an introductory offer of 10% everything in the Lomo range. Lenses, Photo clips and film etc.

Take a look on the website or better still, pop into the shop and take a look at the display.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

January Sale Items In The Shop

We have lots of sale items in the Lever Street shop at the moment for any of you who get the chance to come into Manchester in the next week or two. There's sketch books, easels, punches, mosaics and a whole lot more plus our normal range in the downstairs section too.

If you can't remember where we are click here for a map to Fred Aldous