When they’re executed well, handmade gifts can be a great way to show your giftee that you put a lot of time, thought, and care into their gift. But it’s not as easy as the macaroni necklaces or air-dry clay ornaments you may have made as a child. These five art and craft workshops can guide you through a new artistic skill — you’ll have fun while you do it, and you’ll end the class with a handmade gift that the recipient will truly love.
This studio offers a variety of crafting classes. You can craft your own holiday ornament, knit a chunky blanket, or paint a sign on wood or canvas. If you’re going with a friend but don’t want to make the same thing, head to the Sunday “crafternoon,” where participants can choose from over 20 craft projects. 1601 Village Market Blvd. SE, Ste. 116, Leesburg, prices vary
Learn to throw pottery with a 75-minute “try it” class. You’ll learn the basic techniques and create one or two pieces of pottery to be fired when you’re done — you’ll just have to return after the original class to paint your piece. Or, if throwing the clay isn’t your speed, pick out one of the studio’s premade pieces to custom-paint for your loved one. 14511 Lee Jackson Memorial Hwy., Ste. G, Chantilly, $54 plus $8 studio fee, paint-your-own prices vary
This shop highlights local artisans, and it lets you create your own art, too. Check out the etched egg ornament workshop on November 15 to craft an ornately dyed egg using the Ukranian tradition of pysanky or use a Cricut machine to make a personalized tote bag, accessory bag, and a tumbler on November 19. In December, there’s a gnome ornament workshop. 533 Montgomery St., Alexandria, prices vary
A hand-knit (or crocheted) gift is a great way to show the giftee that you put in the time and effort to craft something special for them. Needles in the Haymarket offers technical classes for knitting and crocheting so you can learn the skills then use your own pattern at home, as well as guided workshops like a winter hat class on December 1. 7937 Heritage Village Plz., Gainesville, prices vary
Make a cute, custom plush rug at this studio in Tysons Corner. You’ll select a pattern, trace the outline, pick out your yarn, then use a tufting gun to fill the pattern in. Once you’ve finished your fuzzy masterpiece, you can pick it up from the studio two weeks later. Tysons Corner Center: 1691 Chain Bridge Rd., Tysons Corner, second floor, $20 to reserve a time slot, $58–$256 for rug, plus $10–$45 trimming fee
Feature image courtesy Tuft Tuft
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