A writer sharing travels, experiences, a love of festivals & events. Life is a journey and I hope to inspire others. Visit my blog at https://www.travelwithirenke.blogspot.com
Published November 19th 2017
If you love handmade items then there are several workshops around Sydney for you to take part in and create something special for your door, your table, your tree and more this Christmas. Whether you go alone, take friends or meet new friends, you'll learn new skills and have fun experimenting with different mediums.
A variety of workshops abound for various ages at various prices. Here's what I've found:-
Wreaths & Centrepieces
Christmas wreaths go great on your front door but they can also make great centrepieces for your table. Create With Us have two wreath workshops on 10 December – one is made with succulents ($125) and the other is of the macrame type ($85).
The first one sees a range of colourful succulents provided and teaches you how to assemble your wreath whilst the second one takes you through all the steps and basic knots of macramé, with both being worthy of your door or table.
These workshops are on from 1.30pm-3.30pm with cheese and wine included in the cost. Run at the Cre8tive Art Gallery at 27 Atchison St, St Leonards, hurry before they book out as many other wreath workshops I looked at had already done so.
I, for one, like to update my decorations from year to year combining old and new and a number of places in the city and suburbs provide some new wonder to spruce up both the tree and the house.
Cronulla Library has a free origami class on 9 December where children can learn basic origami folds and techniques before transforming their choice of paper into festive reindeer, stars, Santa Claus, and more. These are all great for the tree with all materials provided.
Starting at 10.30am and finishing at 12pm, you'll find the library in Croydon St, Cronulla.
Another wonderful paper craft to discover is that of quilling and Penshurst Library have a class making pretty festive decorations in the form of angels and gifts using hearts, coils, teardrops, marquise, scrolls and spirals.
The cost is a low $5.20 with all materials provided and it's on from 2pm-4pm, 27 November. Enquiries via 02 9330 9527. Tickets can be purchased online through Eventbrite.
The library is located at 630 Forest Rd, Penshurst.
Darling Harbour is celebrating the festive season this year with a real Christmas tree forest and there's a must-see 6 metre tall Christmas bauble that you can walk through and take photos of. Many a child would love to take it home, however, instead they can create their own bauble in a free Baubelicious Kids workshop on the Convention Centre lawn from 15-24 December, 10.30am-3.30pm. No booking required, just rock up.
Studio Make has a range of 3 hour workshops for children as part of their school holiday art program and in the week leading up to Christmas (18-22 December) there's some interesting festive morning (from 9am) and afternoon (from 12.30pm) sessions that include ceramic ornaments, Christmas story stones, plasters, glitter tree lights, sewn tree ornaments, sand art ornaments, snow globes and reindeer finger puppets. Each session is $55 or you can combine two on the same day for $98. You will need to enrol first before emailing email@example.com your booking. Sessions include morning or afternoon tea. Each one is coded M for Maker Workshops (suitable for 7-14yrs) or MM for Mini Maker Workshops (4.5-6yrs).
Adults are not left out either at Studio Make. A Christmas crochet workshop is available on 13 December for $65 for those feeling crafty. Make some Christmas stars and more in a small group whilst sipping on Champagne and enjoying some nibblies. From 6.30pm-9pm, there will be two options in the class to suit beginners and intermediate crocheters. You'll also take home a goodies bag with everything you need to keep working on this craft. Make your booking here.
If you've been to Studio Make before, then please note they have recently moved to a new location at 9/380 Pittwater Rd, North Manly.
Art Est Art School & Gallery offers a metal work ornament workshop at their location at 67-69 Lords Rd, Leichhardt on 18 December from 9.30am-12.30pm for $60, inclusive of all materials. Suitable for children 7-12 years, they will learn about repousse, a technique used to shape and ornament metal by hammering the reverse side to create a design in low relief.
The school also has other Christmas workshops that include making clay reindeers and Christmas trees, plus more for various age groups. Further information and bookings can be found/made here.
Cards & Gift Tags
Handmade Christmas cards and gift tags are always a lovely gesture and this workshop sees you making them using the lino-cut technique, allowing you to mass produce them. You'll learn all the basics, such as drawing and carving your image, as well as inking and printing before taking it to the next level with watercolours and collage. You can create a large lino-cut or do a few smaller cuts that you can use as stamps (perfect for gift tags), it's your choice. Bring your own image or use one of the many inspiring ones available from Malou Zuidema – your Dutch instructor, illustrator and designer.
From 6.30pm-8.30pm on 13 December, and at a cost of $50, you'll also enjoy a glass of wine to get you in the festive spirit. The location is the Work-Shop Sydney creative precinct at Cnr Cleveland & Eveleigh Sts, Redfern.
Cookies and a cuppa go hand in hand and decorated they make a sweet gift. In Sydney's Northern Beaches, you can learn the basics of making good cookies as well as the techniques involved in decorating them using royal icing, thanks to Karyn from Sweet N Pretty visiting Little Lane in Warriewood. From preparing to tinting the icing, piping and adding accents to enhance your designs, your sweet art will be the envy of family and friends.
All cookies and materials in this class for $90 are included and adults will also enjoy Christmas tunes and some afternoon bubbly before taking home 12 finished cookies that look great wrapped in cellophane as gifts or in Christmas stockings as fillers, assuming you don't eat them first.
It's on 9 December, from 2pm-5pm, at Studio 4102/4 Daydream St, Warriewood. Tickets can be purchased here.
Gingerbread House Making
A gingerbread house will have everyone gushing at your masterpiece full of colour and can make an alternative dessert option or be broken up into pieces to have with a cuppa.
Studio Make have a gingerbread house class that brings together the cooking and the craft for adult and child to bond over on 14 December. From 6pm-8pm, you will bake, design and decorate your house before wrapping it in cellophane and ribbon to take home.
It costs $65 and if you want to bring an additional child to work on the same house, it is an extra $15 or that child can work on their own house for $60.
Nibblies are included in this class located at 9/380 Pittwater Rd, North Manly. Tickets available here.
Village Church at Annandale also have an evening of sweet fun. On 19 December both adults and children can build and decorate a gingerbread house.
Kits can be purchased for $34.99 and come in various flavours, from traditional gingerbread to chocolate. There's also a gluten-free option as well. They all include the house, board, icing, lollies, cellophane wrapping and ribbons. You can bring extra lollies if you want to. An apron is also recommended.
The evening starts at 6.30pm and includes a Christmas talk, carol singing and a light supper. It concludes at 9.30pm. The address is 122 Johnston St, Annandale and you will need to book as it is one of their most popular Christmas events.
You can also choose to make a gorgeous wreath from a kit as well. Price, date and time are the same.
If candles are your thing or something you've been meaning to get into making, then now is the time to with a festive-themed workshop.
At Hunter Candles in Redfern, learn skills and techniques on pouring and creating your own soy wax candles, take away knowledge on different types of wax, mix scents and get cheat sheets with tips and tricks on making candles at home.
This adult class will be a bit of a celebration with candle giveaways, delicious eats and wine to get you through the afternoon and, upon completion, your candles will be boxed up nicely for you to take home.
It's on from 3pm-5pm on 9 December and costs $150 per person. You can find Hunter Candles at Cnr Cleveland & Eveleigh Sts, Redfern. Bookings online or by phoning 0405 619 923.
Up at Studio Make at North Manly is another Christmas candle making workshop that also teaches the basics of candle making where you'll make soy wax and beeswax candles using Christmas scents, such as candy cane, salted caramel, cinnamon and cloves. A range of colours are available in this class that also includes Champagne, nibblies and other drinks. It's on 30 November at 9/380 Pittwater Rd, North Manly from 7pm-9pm and costs $75. Tickets can be purchased online.
Styling Masterclass – Christmas Feasting
If you've ever been to the Grounds of Alexandria, you'll know that they know their stuff when it comes to styling and decorating a table or an event space. This beautiful complex is evidence itself and now you can indulge in a Christmas Grazing Installation Styling and Wine Night on 6 December for $120 per adult.
Sit back and learn how their interactive grazing tables come about with a live demonstration from head stylist Therese Moussa guiding you through colour schemes, textures and layering. Tips and tricks along the way on making your home festive for Christmas will have your guests both impressed and envious. Wine sommeliers will be on hand to take you through some tastings and provide you with information on pairing wines with various dishes.
Mingle with others in the group and be sure to take some photos so you can re-create the look before you start grazing on all the delicious food on the table.
Starting at 6.30pm and finishing at 9pm, you can find The Grounds at 2 Huntley St, Alexandria (Bldg 7A) with parking onsite. Tickets via Eventbrite.