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Get Crafty: DIY Home Decor

by Jill Gleeson
Wednesday Apr 2, 2014

Spring has at long last sprung and that means spiffing up the homestead. But this year, why not indulge that do-it-yourself urge and make your own décor? In addition to saving money, you’ll also be setting free your inner artist.

Even if you’ve never so much as picked up a hammer or threaded a needle, there are special places out there that are itching to mold you into the next David Bromstad or Nate Berkus and help you build your own furniture, sew your own quilt and make all manner of awesome art you’ll be proud to place on your walls.

EDGE discovers five DIY destinations for playing with your inner child with results that are age-appropriate, though the taste level may be in the eyes of the creator.

Rebuilding Exchange, Chicago

At Chicago’s innovative Rebuilding Exchange, not only can you make your own home décor, you can also help the planet by doing it with reclaimed materials. Beginner workshops offered include the four-week Woodworking 101, which teaches students shop class fundamentals as they fashion their own tabletop using salvaged lumber from the Rebuilding Exchange’s warehouse.

For more advanced craftsmen, says instructor Sergio Castro, "We have classes in which you can build anything you can dream. You pay per class until it’s done. My favorite was three tennis court lamps that were repurposed into a chandelier to hang in a beautiful loft. Also, we have the ’Make It Take It’ classes that are typically three to four hours and you can take home very useful things such as benches, framed mirrors and crates, all made from reclaimed wood."

Painting Lounge, New York City

Want to create your own masterpiece to hang on the wall of your home but worried you don’t have a Picasso-esque bone in your body? Check out New York’s Painting Lounge. During each two, two-and-a-half or three hour class, an instructor leads students step-by-step through recreating the evening’s featured painting.

While the artwork replicated is often by a heavy-hitter like Monet, Van Gogh or Warhol, the atmosphere of the class is laid-back and fun. Not surprising, since the Painting Lounge’s Manhattan studio is now sporting a liquor license so students can BYOB. (The Brooklyn location doesn’t yet have its liquor license.) All art supplies are included in the price of the class, including the canvas on which you’ll paint your pièce de résistance.

Creative Art Center of Dallas

No matter what the objet d’art you envision producing for your home, chances are you can get help making it a reality at the Creative Art Center of Dallas. CAC annually serves up more than 500 eight-week classes and one-day workshops for 1,500 students of all skill levels, covering such disciplines as drawing, photography, mixed media, fiber arts, mosaic, sculpture and even stone carving.

According to the Center’s Executive Director Diana Pollack, "A lot of people come here to work on fused glass, metal art and ceramics. It’s definitely a big trend!" CAC’s home, situated on a two-acre site in a former grade school erected by the WPA during the Great Depression, is pretty nifty, too.

Next page for AS220 in Providence and MakerPlace in San Diego.


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