Great Places to Create Hand-Made Gifts in Philadelphia

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While “Buy Nothing Day” (known to some as Black Friday) may have already passed, you can continue to embrace its ethics of anti-consumerism all throughout the holiday season. These cash poor times give you the perfect excuse to tap into your inner creativity (and kindergartener) and bring your loved ones the gift of crafts!

If you haven’t been waiting and waiting to show off your knitting skills, Philadelphia offers a plethora of classes to (patiently) teach you any craft you can image. Spool boasts both basic and more advanced sewing and quilting classes, while The Tangled Webb and Loop can lure out your inner knitter. You can whip together some painted pottery or coffee mugs at The Expressive Hand (bring your kids along for even more fun) or make your own pottery at The Clay Studio, which has classes geared towards adults and children.

For folks already endowed with some artistic inclinations, various galleries, museums, and non-profits open up their doors for informal weekly workshops. Photographers can drag out their digital or manual cameras for a variety of courses offered by Project Basho, a gallery space with its own darkroom. For your lover or well-humored relative, you can paint or sculpt a nude figure for their mantel at Fleisher (which, as a bonus, has many free classes!). The Hacktory offers off-beat, and often infrequent, lessons using unique materials to create art and jewelry.

Try getting on e-mail lists for small, local galleries or boutiques brimming with handmade goods to find out about one time only craft courses. With a little digging, you can often uncover quirkier craft ideas, from making your own mosaic a la Isaiah Zagar or building a miniature terrarium.

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