This is the time of year when you want to embrace your inner craft goddess and sit down with your junior craft gods and goddesses to crank out some amazing homemade gifts for family, friends, teachers and other special folks. This is also the time of year when you have less time to do this sort of stuff than you usually do and maybe, just maybe, you even wish to be the recipient of said gift. So, what to do? Visit one of the many craft emporiums in NYC where they have everything (materials, know how, time, space, etc.) needed to make the perfect handmade gift this holiday season.
And for more cool holiday activity and gift ideas, check out our Holiday Guide.
161 Hudson Street
As of May 2012, Moomah is only open to the public as a cafe. But you can still do art projects if you book a private birthday party. This fantastic eatery cum craft studio provides a “do it together” table where kids and adults can work on simple yet sophisticated and beautiful things. For the holidays, they are offering aprons and tote bags, frameable collages along with photo, shadow and treasure boxes. And, if it is open, children can visit the exhibit, Funky Forest, a state of the art virtual reality-esque room where they can learn how their actions affect nature, when their projects are complete. They even have DIY gift giving workshops for adults too. DIY Projects start at $15.
Sadly, Scribble Press closed its doors on Father's Day 2013. You can now enjoy bookmaking Scribble Press-style at the Upper East Side Make Meaning.
Brooklyn Bead Box
244 Smith Street
A perfect place to make a little something sparkly for mom, sis or a favorite aunt, this popular beading spot is not a kid specific crafting place but it is kid friendly (and welcoming). Older kids can come in and design the perfect pair of earrings and the friendly staff here will whip it together for them in a few minutes or design and create a necklace at the work table. Little kids (under 5) may want to string some large holed beads or pick up a kit. The best part about this place is moms will get a professionally assembled gift that they will really want to wear. The beads are sorted by color, not price point, and as the staff told me, “kids have expensive taste.” It is best to come with a budget in mind for each gift (earrings can be made for as little as $5) and they will help the kids keep within it. There is no sitting fee either.
1501 Third Avenue
This new creativity center offers a slew of unique, useable and contemporary items for kids and adults to make -- no matter their experience level. If you attended the Mommy Poppins Halloween party you have already seen the customized glycerin bar soaps they offer. Kids can also create beaded stretchy bracelets, hoop necklaces or even a bangle bracelet made out of paper for mom. Candles and paint your own ceramics are simple enough for the youngest giver while kids over the age of 13 can work with glass. Make Meaning offers one shot classes in nearly everything they offer and for the holidays they have special Saturday workshops just for gift giving. The coolest thing about Make Meaning is that you will end up with things that look like they came from a store (and pay about what it would cost to buy them in one). Projects range between $5 and $125 plus a $12 Creativity Day Pass (unless you have a membership.)
Plaster Party Place
96-09 Metropolitan Avenue
Who wouldn’t ooh and ahh over a mug, plate or bowl emblazoned with a little hand or foot print as a holiday gift? Plaster Party Place offers drop in pottery painting for kids but they also have fun events where kids can make a night of it. Paint your own pieces start at $5 and there is a $2 materials fee.
Paint your own pottery is easy, fun and abundant in NYC, read our reviews of other paint your own pottery places here.
This business is now closed.
No, kids can’t fashion themselves a rocket here, at least I don’t think they can. But this funky craft store has drop in craft making whenever the store is open. Kids can choose from their a la carte menu of decorating everything from a wooden box to clothing to a wooden skateboard. There is also jewelry making or sculpting with wax, sculpey or fast drying clay. Spacecraft has lots of scheduled and drop in activities for adults and kids. Walk in Projects range from $5 for decorating a card to $45 for decorating a skateboard.
Find more gift ideas in our NYC Shopping Local Gift Guide, and for holiday fun see our Holiday Guide.