21 NJ Art Studios Offering Drop-in Classes and Take-Home Crafts

Have a mommy-and-me day at Color Me Mine in Summit or Ridgewood.
Have a mommy-and-me day at Color Me Mine in Summit or Ridgewood.

Like the idea of crafting with your kid but cringe at the thought of paint and glitter all over your house? New Jersey is home to various drop-in art studios offering your spontaneous painter, potter, glassmaker, and jeweler the chance to get crafty. These creative spaces let you skip the mess at home while catering to your budding artist's creative impulses.

Read on for our roundup of 21 art studios and craft places in New Jersey. If you're feeling brave enough to craft at home, we've got plenty of ideas on this list of 100 awesome art projects for kids.

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Keep in mind, the pandemic has forced some art studios to limit capacity, so please click through to individual websites for up-to-date information about reservations and safety protocols. Many studios are still offering take-home kits as an alternative.

Drop-in Art Studios in North Jersey

1. Art Kids Academy – Lyndhurst

Live-streamed virtual Saturday art school classes allow kids ages 4-14 to create drawings, paintings, collages, and sculptures as they learn about master artists and fine art from the world.

2. Arts & Creations Pottery Studio – Woodland Park

Open seven days a week, call ahead to reserve your spot at this inviting art studio where you can choose from 500 ready-to-paint pottery pieces. Opt for traditional glaze and fire or acrylic paint so your tiny artist can take home their creation the same day. Canvas, mosaic, and sand art projects are also available.

3. Bazaar Star Beadery – Ridgewood

As seen on Bravo's Real Housewives of New Jersey, this beautiful, well-stocked store allows you to make your own wearable art. Shop the sea of loose beads in all shapes and sizes sorted by color, and string them together to create a one-of-a-kind design. Crimp the ends and add a clasp to wear your necklace, bracelet, or earrings right out of the store.

4. Color Me Mine – Summit and Ridgewood

Work off some creative energy and make a gift for grandma at this popular pottery painting place. A $10 online reservation fee holds your table and is applied to your order total when you come in to paint. Select from a wide variety of pre-made ceramic items, then add your artistic flair during your 90 minutes of in-studio paint time. Pieces are glazed, fired, and ready to pick up in seven days. Additional locations include Toms River, Voorhees, Denville, Edison, Freehold, and Hamilton.

5. Doin’ Dishes – Montclair

This paint-your-own-pottery place offers a wide variety (as in 150!) of DIY-painting options, starting at $8, plus take-home kits are also available. The 90-minute sitting fee is $10 and includes all paints, glazing, and the firing of your piece. Swing by Wednesday afternoons for a mommy-and-me special—while you paint your piece, little ones 5 and under stay busy painting a small tile for free. After-school specials for older kids include a select pottery piece plus one hour of paint time for $24. Reservations are recommended.

6. Express Yourself Studios – Maplewood

This cute and cozy space plays host to Studio Saturdays and Family Art workshops every weekend (pre-registration is required). Virtual art classes and take-home kits are also available. School break mini-camps, birthday parties, and summer art workshops are also offered.

RELATED: 30 Easy Paper Crafts for Kids for an Arty Day at Home

Fire Me Up in Cranford offers pottery painting
Paint a plate or a variety of other projects at Fire Me Up! in Cranford.

7. Fire Me Up! – Cranford

Young Picassos fall in love with this spacious studio that offers oodles of bisque pottery pieces to choose from. Walk in, choose a piece, and start painting. Older kids can try glass fusing. Prices start at $8, but the average item is $20-$30 and prices include all materials, studio time, and kiln firing.

8. Glassworks Studio – Morristown

Fire up your little one’s creative passion at this make-your-own glass fusing studio. Kids as young as 3 can learn how to combine various glass forms to make a unique and colorful piece to call their own. Projects start at $25 and the admission fee is $5 per person for two hours of glass fusing instruction, project guidance, and support. Reservations are recommended.

9. Mud Clay Studio – Madison & Boonton

Play with clay any day at this modern studio space. For $30 per project, you’ll get two pounds of clay to create a handmade sculpture. Summer clay camps for kids and teens teach both hand-building and wheel work. Curbside Clay kits are also available for pickup. A new Montclair location is scheduled to open in June 2022.

10. Oh! Canary – South Orange

Stop by this beautiful art studio for a creative drop-in playgroup on school holidays. Artists 2 1/2 years and older can paint, sculpt with play dough or clay, make a take-home project, and get their tiny hands dirty in the sensory play dough table during each 2-hour Open Studio session. Summer camp and take-home art kits are also available.

11. Painting Pottery Cafe – Englewood

Open daily by reservation only, you can paint pottery, create mosaics, or learn how to mold and fire your own clay at this artistic cafe. Spice up your kids' after-school routine with Tuesday and Friday afternoon art classes. The 3,000-square-foot studio includes three private rooms perfect for birthday parties.

12. Pottery Paint & Love – Teaneck

Make a gift from the heart at this quaint art studio. Pick it, paint it, fire it, and voilà: You'll have a one-of-a-kind masterpiece anyone will love. After your piece gets professional glazing, it goes into the kiln for a day. Once it cools, the Black-owned studio hand polishes your item and bags it up for you to take home (usually within a week). Open by reservation only, text to reserve your spot or to order a take-home art kit.

13. Ready to Paint – Chatham

While this bright, sunlit studio remains closed to the public, painting kits are available for free contactless delivery to the local area or can be shipped directly to your home. Once you're done painting, you can drop off your project at the studio, where it will be fired in the kiln and ready for pick-up in eight days.

14. Sunshine Pottery & Paint – Englewood

Express yourself at this unique studio that offers mosaics, glow-in-the-dark canvas painting, string art, and jewelry making in addition to more than 600 pieces of pottery to paint. Reservations are required for a 75-minute painting session. Take-home art kits are also available. Ever tried painting in the dark? Sunshine's black light canvas painting parties are sure to wow your birthday boy or girl.

RELATED: 50+ Genius Cardboard Box Crafts and Activities for Kids

Hot Sand is a drop-in art studio offering glass-blowing workshops in Asbury Park, New Jersey
Kids can learn the art of glass blowing at Hot Sand right on the Asbury Park boardwalk.

Drop-in Art Studios in Central Jersey

15. Hot Sand – Asbury Park

This cool glassblowing space offers activities for kids of all ages. Children 9 and up can blow their own glass pieces, such as an ornament or drinking glass. Younger artists can create a quick cast imprint of a hand or shell into which hot glass is poured or a sun tile arrangement of colored glass heated and fused together in a clear square. Reservations are required for each person and activity.

16. A Time to Kiln – Red Bank

No patience to wait seven days? In addition to pottery painting, this charming studio provides projects to make and take home the same day. Choose from acrylic painting on canvas or wood or make a mosaic. Little ones can stuff a cuddly critter, dress it up in an outfit or T-shirt, and leave with a new friend. Take-home art kits are also available.

17. Around the Corner Art Center – Freehold

Plates, mugs, and vases, oh my! This studio offers plenty of pottery pieces to choose from. Prices start at $5. If your little one would rather create a masterpiece to hang on the wall, pick a 16-by-20 canvas traced with the picture of your choice for $24, which includes supplies and unlimited studio time.

18. The Clay Pot – Spotswood

At this professional pottery studio, you only pay per piece (from $10); there's no additional charge for studio time or firing. All of the pottery is handmade on one of the store's nine potter's wheels. Stop by a week or two before a holiday to paint a limited-edition seasonal piece for someone special. Reservations are required and the $20 deposit is applied as a credit toward your final purchase.

19. That Pottery Place – West Windsor

Eat or drink from your very own hand-painted mugs, glasses, or dinnerware painted by your favorite mini artist. All the ceramics, paint, and glazes are food-safe, non-toxic, and lead-free. You pay for the pottery plus a one-time studio fee that covers glazing and firing; the studio fee is 50% of the price of the pottery. Call ahead to reserve your spot, but walk-ins are welcome for 90 minutes of studio time. Take-home pottery kits are also available.

Drop-in Art Studios in South Jersey

20. All Fired Up – Collingswood

With more than 400 pieces to choose from, this cozy space includes a vast selection of everything from piggy banks to animal figurines. Little painters can tap into their creative minds as they decorate their ceramic pieces with paint, stencils, or stamps. After they design it, the studio glazes it and fires it for free! Story time is held select Wednesdays and Saturdays, and take-home pottery kits are also available.

21. Paint-a-Treasure – Haddon Heights

Why wait when you can take your painted pottery piece home the same day? Paint-A-Treasure's no-fire, fast-drying acrylic paints go on like glaze, and kids can finish off their piece with glitter for even more bling. Walk-ins are welcome but reservations are strongly recommended.

This post, originally published in January 2012, has since been updated.

Photos courtesy of the studios

Turtle Back Zoo Holiday Lights
Turtle Back Zoo - 5:00 PM Pick
South Jersey Holiday Light Show
Bridgeport Speedway - 5:00 PM Pick
Bergen County Winter Wonderland
Van Saun County Park - various times Pick
Parent and Me Playtime
Plainsboro Recreation and Community Services - 9:00 AM
Antique Toy Train Show
South Jersey Museum of American History - 10:00 AM
Neighborhood Guides
Activity Guides