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Long Island craft classes offer modern DIY projects

Make gift-worthy home décor items with modern style.

Devyn Ronca of Setauket makes a chunky knit

Devyn Ronca of Setauket makes a chunky knit blanket at AR Workshop in Smithtown. Photo Credit: Debbie Egan-Chin

As the days grow colder and you find yourself spending more time at home, you might consider sprucing it up with some crafts you’ve made yourself. And, if you’re really proud of your craftiness, you might want to give your handmade artistry as gifts this holiday season.

Meryl Bohl, a frequent customer of AR Workshop crafting studio in Smithtown, plans to spread the cheer with some of her creations.

“I’m getting to the point where I might be running out of wall space, so I’ll be starting to gift them,” says Bohl, 48, of Ronkonkoma. There are centerpiece boxes and collages of handmade signs with inspirational messages hung around her home. “I love to see that I made it and that’s s my work up there,” she says.

Next she's taking a chunky knit blanket class, a new addition at AR Workshop that's been selling out sessions.

At Hitch LI’s pop up holiday shop in Massapequa Park, co-owner Joseph DeBello is organizing hands-on craft workshops in the cozy space that hosts a range of handmade giftable items. A recent session focused on oversized paper flowers, which are a trend in home décor (particularly children's rooms).

“There’s all sorts of techniques on how to fold, curl and assemble the paper to make them look like flowers,” DeBello says.

The paper flower classes are tailored to all levels of creativity, from beginning to intermediate, says Emily Mangano, who teaches the class. For Katie Schiraldi, 32, of Massapequa, it was a chance to learn how to make instead of buy — and it got her out of the house. “It gives it more meaning and makes it more special when it’s something you made,” Schiraldi opines. “Especially since I’m putting it in my daughter’s room, so it’s nice to know that it was from me.”                      

Nest on Main Market in Northport has just added a Thanksgiving-themed tablescape workshop where people will learn techniques for setting a beautiful table with a fresh floral arrangement centerpiece.

“The centerpieces that the attendees will make at the class and take home with them would be for them to take as a gift for a hostess/host for Thanksgiving or to use in their own home,” says owner Donna Moschella. “I’ve had some students say this is the first time they’ve made anything they’d like to put in their home.”

Besides coming away with great things for your home or for gifts, an added benefit to the workshops is they’re a great way to chill, Says Bohl, “It’s a great form of therapy if you’re having a stressful day.”
 

A sampling of holiday gift workshops offered around Long Island:

Thanksgiving tablescapes and floral arranging    

WHEN|WHERE 3-5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 18 at Nest on Main Market 135 Main Street, Northport  

INFO 631-651-9173 nestonmainmarket.com

COST $100 includes materials and tastings

Holiday-themed classes     

WHEN|WHERE Painted farmhouse frames 7:30-9:30 p.m. Nov. 17 ($30) and holiday paper flowers 7:30-9:30 p.m. Nov. 29 ($45) at Hitch Pop-up Shop, 1027A Park Boulevard, Massapequa Park  

INFO hitchlongisland.com

Chunky knit blanket

WHEN|WHERE Various dates this month and next at AR Workshop, 83 East Main Street Smithown (631-352-0221) and 273 Main Street Port Washington (516-297-6452)

INFO arworkshop.com

COST $85

Holiday card making

WHEN|WHERE 11 a.m.- 4 p.m. Nov. 17 at Paper Source, 924 Old Country Road, Garden City (646-776-7164) and 440 Wheatley Plaza, Greenvale (516-629-0231)
INFO papersource.com
COST $15

Calligraphy workshop

WHEN|WHERE 11 a.m.- 2 p.m. Dec. 8 at Swell Anchor Studio, 200 West Avenue, Rear, Patchogue

INFO  swellanchorstudio.com

COST $100 ($125 after Nov. 16)

You'll be able to jazz up holidays cards or personalize gift tags after a basis calligraphy class at Swell Anchor Studio in Patchogue.
The three-hour workshop includes all the tools of the trade, says instructor and owner Christie Jones. "They can take home their calligraphy kit so that they can practice at home,” says Jones, adding that she also offers an online class year-round for anyone who can’t get to her shop.

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