Here’s Where You Can Make Handmade Gifts This Holiday Season

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By Haley Huchler

There’s nothing more thoughtful than a handmade gift. These are the type of holiday surprises you’ll want to keep forever — mittens knit by your sister, a painting from your nephew, a hat crocheted by your best friend. Handmade gifts are one-of-a-kind treasures that no one will ever forget. So why not go homemade this year?

Just because the gift is homemade doesn’t necessarily mean you have to make it in your home. If you need some inspiration or assistance in creating perfect gifts this holiday season, check out these places in Prince William that offer help in crafting the perfect handmade gifts for all. Classes designed with the holidays in mind will guide you through the process of making a custom gift, whether it be a pair of knit socks or a polymer clay ornament. With these classes and studio spaces, creating thoughtful handmade gifts this year will be a breeze.

ARTfactory

ARTfactory offers numerous opportunities to learn how to make handmade gifts with ease. A matting and framing class on Dec. 3 will teach you to mat and frame art and photos on your own. Participants will learn how to cut a mat, which tools to use, and where to buy supplies. With this simple class, you can frame a family photo for grandparents or mat a child’s artwork for an aunt or uncle. A winter break art class in polymer clay opens endless opportunities for small gifts: keychains, backpack charms, ornaments, fridge magnets, jewelry, and more! Artist Sophia Tamilio will guide participants in creating tiny morsels of art. This class could be perfect for creative children who want to design fun trinkets for their friends or siblings.
Check out virginiaartfactory.org/classes-and-workshops to sign up.
9419 Battle Street, Manassas
703-330-2787

Creative Brush Studio

If you’re just seeking a calm place to get out of the house with your paints and brushes, try Creative Brush Studio’s Open Studio offerings. This is the perfect solution for those who don’t want nosy family members spying on their in-progress handmade gifts. Artists can come to paint independently on their easels for a reasonable fee per visit. Easels are first-come, first-served, but artists also have the option to sign up in advance by calling or emailing to reserve an easel. Artists can also purchase an Open Studio card to pay in advance for four open studios and receive the fifth one for free. Open Studio is available on Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Artists must bring their own supplies.
8951 Center Street, Manassas
703-335-8005

Fun With Canvas

This local paint studio offers public painting classes. This December, check out their Reindeer Fun for
Kids event on Dec. 10, where children can create an adorable reindeer painting that might make the perfect gift for grandma or grandpa. A Kids Paint Class on Dec. 11 will guide children in creating a fun holiday craft that could also serve as a great stocking stuffer for a friend or relative.
Check out funwithcanvas.com/events to sign up.
7008 Tech Circle, Manassas
540-272-2436

Needles in the Haymarket

Needles in the Haymarket is a craft store that specializes in crochet, knitting, needlepoint, spinning, and cross-stitch. This December, holiday gift classes will be offered in knitting, needlepoint, and crochet. Knitting options include a class on how to make fingerless mitts and a one on how to knit socks. Needlepoint classes include a class for cross-stitching an ornament and a class on how to make a mini needlepoint ornament.

For those who love to crochet, classes include how to crochet a balaclava, how to crochet slipper boots, and how to crochet a cowl and matching beanie. Sign up by visiting the store’s website or giving them a call. The website includes information on each class’s skill level requirements and what participants will learn. Regular classes on learning to knit and crochet will also run through the holiday season for those who want to de-stress with some crafting.
7937 Heritage Village Plaza, Gainesville
703-659-1062

AR Workshop Bristow

AR Workshop Bristow offers a variety of unique DIY home projects for all ages.

AR Workshop Bristow is a home decor DIY studio that offers classes for people of all ages, from 4 year olds to 95 year olds. Owner Mary Stiehm said, “We make small projects, we make big projects, everything in between.” AR Workshop Bristow’s studio classes are unique in that you can make any project in any class.
Every participant picks their own individual craft to complete. Some of the crafts offered for this holiday season include a project where you can create a trio of festive gnomes and one where you can paint a decorative sled. Stiehm also said that Christmas ornament workshops may be offered on weekends, and a chunky knit blanket workshop will be offered for those who want to create a warm blanket for those cold winter nights.
10290 Bristow Center Drive, Bristow
703-479-7096

Haley Huchler is a regular contributing writer for Prince William Living. She can be reached at hhuchler@princewilliamliving.com.

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