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The countdown to Christmas has begun, and it’s time to find that perfect present for a special someone. If hitting up the local big box store for big deals isn’t quite your thing, maybe going the handmade route is.
There are a number of local artisans that are offering workshops for those who like to make their holiday gifts even more special. It’s a great chance to learn a new skill, and it’s much more fun than standing in a long line for a toaster.
If you’re interested in handing out presents with a personal touch, here are several craft workshops in town to get your creative juices going and make your Christmas more personal.
Warning: These workshops tend to fill up fast, so sign up today!
Wreath Making at Root General
First of all, if you haven’t made a trip to Root General yet, get going. It’s got awesome local swag and a great atmosphere, so even if you don’t feel like making a gift, you’re sure to find one here. But for something green and fragrant, consider signing up for a wreath-making workshop with Glory Laurel from Whole Systems Ag and Floral.
This workshop will walk you through wreath making and provide materials and light snacks. You can make a culinary-inspired wreath of rosemary and herbs, or stick with a more traditional holiday theme. The possibilities are abundant, and as a bonus, the materials are sustainable and chemical free.
Art Workshops at Allard’s Art
The holiday greeting card workshop sounds like a fun one to kick off the season. For $45 you’ll get supplies to use and take home, and instruction from Allard’s artist Laura Fraedrich. The classes are ages 12 and up, and you can pre-register by calling Allard’s at (559) 225-1500. Check out a complete list of classes by clicking here.
Creative Fresno Cookie Decorating
Who doesn’t like an artisan cookie? On Sunday, Dec. 10 you can make your own at the Creative Fresno cookie decorating party at Tree of Life. For $5 a person (3 cookies) or $2 for Creative Fresno members, you can create your own cookie masterpieces. To find out more, check out the Facebook event page here.
Join a Gingerbread Wonderland Workshop
If you feel like graham crackers glued to tiny milk cartons isn’t going to cut it this year, head to a Gingerbread Wonderland event.
Gingerbread Wonderland has three events scheduled, and each has homemade, pre-assembled gingerbread houses ready for your creative touch. You can choose from Gingerbread and Santa (Sunday, Dec. 10), Adults Night Out at Common Space (Thursday, Dec. 14), or Gingerbread Wonderland at Tioga-Sequoia (Friday, Dec. 22). Each gingerbread house is $30. Call Chef Caroline at (559) 908-8405 to reserve your space.
Heirloom Christmas Embroidery at Kiki’s Quilt Shack
If you’re looking to expand your Christmas pillow collection (or a loved one’s) and learn a new skill, take an embroidery class at Kiki’s Quilt Shack. You’ll get great instruction and three take-home projects.
The Heirloom Christmas workshops are for beginners to advanced embroiderers. All of the designs at this workshop are by Anita Goodesign and have a timeless vintage feel to them. This particular class is being held Friday, Dec. 1 and Saturday, Dec. 2. The classes go from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and lunch and snacks are provided. If you’re interested in fiber arts but want to try something different, check out the complete list of classes offered here.
Glassblowing with Ballis Glass — SOLD OUT
Although the Christmas workshops are currently sold out, I’m still including this because it’s such a cool opportunity for the New Year. Ballis Glass offers glassblowing classes at the Ballis Boys Studio (to learn more about local glass blower Cory Ballis, check out this FresYes feature on him and his work here).
This activity is for ages 6 and up, and each hour-long class has a maximum of six people. Since only six people can attend each event, they sell out quickly, but Ballis Glass is always adding more. The cost per person is $40 and includes materials. To find the latest classes offered, click here. To buy handmade (though not by you) glass gifts, visit the Ballis Boys Holiday Sale on Saturday, Dec. 16 from noon to 6 p.m. For more information, check out their Facebook Event page here.
If you know of any other opportunities for making gifts in the Fresno and Clovis area, let me know in the comments!