DIY culture is rapidly growing in the era of Etsy shops and independent boutiques popping up on every corner. These unique classes can help you learn a skill you always wished you had
Address: 1704 Queen West
Price range: $69
Target customer: The entertainer
From birthday parties to getting job experience or simply just wanting to hone that (very) important skill of making the perfect cocktail, Bare Bones’ cocktail-making classes have you covered. It’s is one of the more affordable cocktail-making classes in the city, but will still teach you the imperative skills and provide the ingredients for a cocktail of your choice as well as fun party tricks, like how to sabre a champagne bottle. Classes are located out of the Dumbo Snack Bar in Roncesvalles, and courses range from private workshops to party groups depending on what you’re looking for.
Address: 1106 Queen West
Price range: $220-320
Target customer: The lovebirds
Wedding season is approaching and why not DIY your own or someone else’s wedding bands instead of forking over three months of your salary? At these silversmithing workshops, you can choose from silver, white gold, rose gold or yellow gold for your rings. The six-hour workshop teaches you how to craft your own rings from scratch and also provides the option to add a stone and customize each ring. Classes run every Sunday, but it’s advisable to sign up well in advance. This class is truly a labour of love.
Courtesy of Graven Feather
Address: 3 Alpine
Price range: $65-85
Target customer: The crafty gift-Giver
The Graven Feather art gallery also has a studio space where you can get crafty and impress everyone with your letterpressing skills, which can be turned into cards, prints, coasters and more. This Junction studio recently relocated from Queen West earlier this year. The studio caters to a range of skill levels, from beginner printmaking to experimental, as well as specially booked one-on-one classes. In addition to gift-making, this class is also useful for creating professional branding and products for businesses.
Address: 163 Sterling
Price range: $160+
Target customer: The DIY fashion designer
The sewing and leather FUNdamentals classes are the base of The Make Den’s addicting array of classes and are a gateway into the rest of the studio’s DIY sewing and leather classes. DIY clothing, according to The Make Den owner Irene Stickney, is becoming a lot more popular for people who don’t tend to see clothes they feel comfortable in for their bodies reflected in the mainstream clothing market. A lot of young queer people attend their classes, Stickney says, and create their own clothes. Sewing FUNdamentals will give you the basic materials and skills which you can then use in their other classes like the popular lingerie classes, creating things like bras and body harnesses. Having been at their Sterling location for only two months now, this crafter’s haven will teach you so much more than just how to sew.
Address: 111 Queen’s Park
Price range: $275
Target customer: The experimental potter
Right across from the Royal Ontario Museum is the Gardiner museum, which offers a variety of pottery and ceramic classes, including the popular Raku pottery class. Raku is a style of Japanese pottery that has a unique firing process where the pieces are fired with sawdust and leaves. Attendees can expect to be taught various hand-building and wheel-throwing techniques. The classes really promote breathing and centering yourself and clay as a medium, and all classes are guided by an experienced pottery instructor with years of training.
Courtesy of OCADU Zine Library
Address: 100 McCaul
Price range: Free
Target customer: The budget crafter
A free workshop promoted for OCAD students but open to anyone interested in zine-making, these classes are student-run and organized. All materials are supplied and the classes have been known as a great way to meet like-minded people and get into the world of zine-making. The zine library is a great source of inspiration and the class can lead to an opportunity to join zine fairs around the city. Other great free classes offered at the zine library include bookbinding and publishing.
Address: 1233 Queen West
Price range: $225
Target customer: The green thumb
Crown Flora’s beautiful terrariums are one of their most popular items and you can learn how to make one of these plant habitats yourself at their Parkdale location. The class includes a geometric vessel handmade by a local Toronto artist as well as a glass orb and all materials. You will also learn about various plants to put in your terrarium and how to care for them. Join a group class or book your own private class. The workshops based on demand and usually hosted two to three times a month. If you master this one, be sure to try out their floral-arranging workshops, flower-crown-making workshops and mounting for staghorn ferns.
Courtesy of RE:Style Studio
Address: 19 Waterman
Price range: $235-$470 Target customer: The homemaker
Have a pesky house project to finish or just want to create something new? This studio specializes in furniture reupholstery and offers classes to help you DIY anything from pillows to chairs to couches. These classes are more sparse, occurring about once a month, but they do host private and group classes upon appointment. Evening and full-day workshops are offered and participants can expect to bring in their own projects they’ve been working on from home or start one from scratch.
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