From pottery to woodwork and more
If you are shopping for people who have everything this Christmas, then why not treat them to an experience where they can learn new skills and create memories instead? You will also give them something to look forward to when the festive season ends. We’ve picked out 17 craft experiences to gift this Christmas in studios across the country.
1. Woodwork classes for kids
You can bond with the children in your life over a half-day woodwork workshop experience at London’s Blackhorse Workshop. This three-hour session teaches kids a range of basic skills while they build their own wooden toolbox, including marking out, sawing, drilling, sanding and screwing timber. Prices start at £60 for one adult and child.
Would-be printmakers can learn the basics at Bath’s The Makery using traditional lino block printing. A 2.5 hour workshop will teach them how to design and carve a piece before they work in a single colour block or develop their technique to produce multi-layer prints on fabric or card. Prices start at £35.
Friends and family can learn to create art using everyday objects with a paper-cutting lesson at London’s Tea and Crafting. After the workshop, they can either frame their papercut design or scan their artwork for printing wedding invitations, baby announcements or designs for clothing. Prices start at £38.
4. Ceramics for beginners
The Kiln Rooms in London offer one-day taster sessions for beginners through to masterclasses. There will be plenty of hands-on exercises across all the courses including throwing on the wheel, hand building, and moulding and casting. Prices start at £85.
5. Specialist Kintsugi classes
You can add to people’s ceramics skillsets by gifting them a class in Kintsugi (the Japanese way of mending broken ceramics with lacquer and gold). At Hato Press's Kintsugi workshop, they will learn how to use natural lacquer (urushi) and gold to mend a pot while sipping on a complimentary drink. Prices start at £80.
Help them learn how to create a modern, hand-woven shoulder bag at Denman in Oxfordshire with colourful hand-knitting yarns, or use 3D tambour to create Victorian wired flowers. Both three-day courses are £370.
7. Jewellery design
Stööki - featured in our film series What’s Your Craft – teaches people to design and create rings or pendants. The brand is inspired by London’s street culture and their 2-hour jewellery making workshops involves making a 2D design into a 3D ring or pendant using wax carving that is later created in silver, yellow gold or rose gold. Prices start at £17.
London’s Blackhorse Workshop offers classes in making a leather pouch and the basics of traditional saddlery, including leather preparation, hand-cutting, double hand-stitching and hand-burnishing. Prices start at £145 for three days.
The Little House of Patchwork in West Sussex runs classes all year round with prices starting at £12, while at The Makery in Bath, you can get the kids involved and make a unicorn cushion, pencil case, or a zipped washbag for £15.
With embroidery on the rise, let a loved-one create their own work of art at the London Embroidery Studio. One day workshops start at £90.
Visitors to West Dean College in West Sussex will learn to create intricate sculptural animals made from willow. They will sculpt a full-sized indigenous animal, such as a deer, fox, sheep or pig using willow weaving over four days for £432.
12. Decorative furniture making
London Craft Club offers a range of experiences including making a hanging macramé mirror, or jesmonite (a cross between concrete and resin) trinket dishes that resemble terrazzo or marble. It also teaches Pyrography (the craft of scorching wood for decorative effect) to create their own kitchen utensils. All three workshops are £49.
Gerald Adams Woodcarving in Norfolk teaches the fundamentals of woodcarving techniques. Suitable for beginners through to the more advanced. Prices start at £95.
Bath’s The Makery will teach people to transform soft furnishings, like dining chairs and ottomans. Prices start at £80.
15. Needlecraft staycations
If you want to up the impact, then make a weekend of it. Set in the bucolic Yorkshire Dales, Low Sutton B&B offers individual needlecraft tuition, run by owner Judi, who also teaches about Low Sutton wool. Double rooms start from £85 per night. Needlecraft courses start from £20 per person for a half-day session.
16. Pottery retreats
Vinegar Hill Pottery is set in the stables of a Victorian manor in Hampshire, close to the beach. You and your guest can take a day or a weekend pottery course with the owner David who will inspire you with tales of the house’s rich history. Doubles from £80 a night. £95 per person for a one-day pottery course and £395 per person for a three-day course, including food and accommodation.
17. Weekend craft immersion
Not sure what your friends might want to try their hands at? The Studio Farrows based in Somerset caters for all inclinations. The eccentric home of artists Paul and Tracey is an artwork in itself and comes with a studio hidden in the garden. Guests can try as many workshops as they like, including silkscreen printing, lino cutting and printing, painting, drawing, felt making, sewing, and bookbinding. Doubles from £114 a night. From £65 for a three-hour workshop.