We're always looking for fun places for kids to get crafty. Doing art in a dedicated space (that isn't your living room!) is a win-win and painting your own pottery takes your DIY crafts to a whole new level. It's fun, anyone can do it and you get to take home something special at the end.
At these studios the clay or plaster is pre-formed into shapes (or plates, mugs, etc.) and kids get to decorate their chosen object with non-toxic ceramic glaze or paint. If you choose a ceramic that needs to fired in a kiln you'll have to wait a few days to pick it up, but some painted projects can be taken home as soon as they dry. Some of these pottery studios also offer beading, mosaics and more so we’ve indicated that as well.
Most studios offer birthday parties and a paint your own pottery party can be lots of fun, so check their websites for prices and more information.
Color Me Mine – Tribeca
92 Reade Street
Helpful staff here offers kids stamps (yep, you can stamp with ceramic glaze!) and tips as they enjoy painting their chosen ceramic piece. There are more than 400 pieces to choose from including specialty items just for holidays, too.
Created By You – Staten Island
63 New Dorp Plaza
This Staten Island spot offers a variety of ceramic pieces to choose from and all the cool bells and whistles to decorate with from stamps to sponges, contact and transfer papers. Knowledgeable staff will show you how to use them and the finished product is glazed and fired in a kiln making it food safe. They also offer canvas painting and host parties. Make syure to download a coupon before you head out. Last, but not least, Created By You offers very affordable art classes for kids: Just $35 for a six-week session!
Little Shop of Crafts – Upper West Side
711 Amsterdam Avenue
Unlike many studios, the Little Shop of Crafts doesn't charge for studio time so you'll never feel rushed. The atmosphere is very laid back and the staff is helpful. Choose between classic paint-your-own ceramics or plaster tchotchkes (animals, figurines, whatnots), as well as mosaics, T-shirt decoration, woodcraft, frames and "Create a Cuddly" stuffed-animal making (the animal gets a decorated T-shirt, too). They also offer party packages, classes and workshops for kids.
Wistful pizza plate at the The Painted Pot. Photo courtesy of the store.
The Painted Pot – Brooklyn
339 Smith Street in Carroll Gardens
8000 Third Avenue in Bay Ridge
200 Seventh Avenue in Park Slope
Stop by to glaze your own bisque pieces (more than 500 to choose from) or paint your selection instead (more than 60 paint shades)! You’ll also find a variety of figurines and banks (piggy and oink-free) for painting. Helpful staff will assist kids with ideas and techniques upon request. They offer pottery wheel and clay classes as well as other craft options like beading and mosaics.
Plaster Party Place – Forest Hills
96-09 Metropolitan Avenue
This popular Queens party spot offers a variety of plaster pieces to paint and take home the same day. A large party room is available whether or not you want to add a crafting component. If you'd rather party in your own home, you can stop by and pick up party kits for each of your guests, too.
The Craft Studio – Upper East Side
1657 Third Avenue The Paint Table at this UES spot is open seven days a week and wee artists can choose from a variety of projects to tackle from scarves to flower pots to footballs and everything in between. Prices start at $16.95 per piece and a variety of specials will keep you coming back for more.
Oliloli – Forest Hills
103-23 Metropolitan Avenue
Another Queens studio, Oliloli bills itself as a place to spend time with family while using your imagination and unleashing your artistic skills. During open studio time, you can glaze your own ceramic, fuse glass (ages 12 and up only) or make a clay impression of your little one's hand or foot. Pieces require a 10-day turnaround for firing.
Baked in Brooklyn – Williamsburg
242 Wythe Avenue
Take note: This spot requires reservations for groups of four or more, but once you're inside, you can choose from a wide variety of ceramics to paint, everything from doggy bowls to piggy banks and basic kitchen wares. You'll pay for both the piece you select, plus a $9 paint fee then are free to decorate to your heart's content. All pieces will be finished in the shop's kiln before they are ready to pickup about a week later.
For other cool venues for gatherings and parties, check out our NYC Birthday Party Guide.
Top photo courtesy of Baked in Brooklyn.
This post originally published in March 2010.