Handmade Holiday: Where to Make Gifts from the Heart

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While there’s nothing more treasured than a thoughtful gift made by your own little elves’ tiny fingers, there is something pretty magical about a dining room table clear of holiday projects and sticky frosting. From perler bead Santa belts to hand-painted ceramic ornaments, we’ve unwrapped a list of six places and events where your artists can create a holiday masterpiece. Aside from doing something creative together, the following activity spaces offer you a little gift too–a glitter-free house.

Glitter, Glitter Everywhere

photo: Michelle K. via flickr

The Craft Factory
Upon arrival, kids (or their chaperoning adult) will sign in on a punch card, punch the time card at the time clock and get to work. They will choose a craft base (first one is $12), and then pick up a blue bucket and fill it with all the embellishments they need to craft a truly unique holiday gift. They bring their base and treasures to a table where they assemble it using a low heat glue gun and the help from a chaperone for those under the age of 13. Santa says to leave at least an hour for crafting time, more if your elves are focused enough to make multiple gifts. Additional craft bases are $6 each, and you pay on your way out, so last-minute add-ons are a-okay.

Drop-In Hours,  Thurs. & Fri. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sat. 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Toddler Time Fridays for 3 and younger, Dec. 11 & 18, 10 a.m.-11 a.m., $5/ornamental craft
Gingerbread Saturdays: Dec. 12 & 19, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., Cost varies
Grandparents Crafting Day: Dec. 19, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., 2 for 1 special

Where: 7832 SW Capitol Hwy, Suite B (Upstairs)
Online: craftfactorypdx.com

craftphoto: Stacy Coplin

Michael’s Arts and Crafts
Michael’s as is a crafter’s wonderland on its own, but did you know they also have low cost and free classes for creating holiday themed pieces and works of art fit for holiday bow? Check out their site, then register for any one of their many December crafting events, like making a perler bead Santa belt.

When:  Dec. 12, Make a Perler Bead Santa Belt
10 a.m.-Noon, $2

7705 SW Nyberg St.
Online: michaels.com

The Most Treasured Gifts are Made By Hand

photo: Mimosa Studios

Mimosa Studios
Choose from over 200 pieces of unfinished pottery always available in the shop, or from holiday mugs, tree shaped pieces, and a variety of other ornaments for you to personalize. They have a huge variety of paint colors available, as well as idea books, stencils and tools. Once you’ve finished your masterpiece, leave it with them in the studio to glaze and fire, and it will be ready for pick up within 4 days. Magnets, ornaments and small tiles start at $5, going up to figurines, vases and mugs from $12 to $30+ and many more options.

When: Mon.-Fri. 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

1718 NE Alberta St.
Online: mimosa-studios.com

My Masterpiece Art Studio
Your first step when entering the studio is to pick out an art package, which includes all your base mediums to get you creating with a cost ranging from $8 to $18. Whether your package inspires sculpting with clay, painting with acrylics on canvas, drawing at the light box table, printing or creating with paper, wood collage or a fabulous mix of all of these, you’re little winter crafter will end with multiple works of art to fill the hearts of anyone on their gift list with joy.

When: Open studio, Tues.-Thurs. 1 p.m.-6 p.m.; Fri. & Sat. 10 a.m.-6 p.m.;Sun. 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

7905 SW Cirrus Dr.
Online: mymasterpieceartstudio.com

portland child art studiophoto: Portland Child Art Studio via Facebook

Portland Child Art Studio
Armed with all their creativity, artists are free to roam about here. The cost for entering this world of arts and crafts is $10 per child, and they are welcome to explore painting, drawing, sculptures from recycled materials and other crafts, including making works of art with clay. There is an extra $5 firing fee for clay, with a maximum of three clay pieces per artist. Children ages 2 & up are welcome and should be accompanied by an adult at all times.

When: Open studio, Fri. 10 a.m.-1 p.m. & 2-5 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

1819 NW Everett St. Suite 204
Online: portlandchildart.org

Portland Children’s Museum 
For a trip that combines burning some energy with checking one more gift off your holiday list, pay a visit to the Clay Studio at the museum. Children are welcome to play with clay anytime, and they can get the pieces fired for an extra firing price beginning at $3. Pieces that are fired are ready for pick up 2 weeks after submission, so be sure to plan ahead.

When: Clay studio open 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

4015 SW Canyon Rd.
Online: portlandcm.org

—Stacy Coplin

Where is your favorite place for festive creations during the holiday season?  Tell us in the comments!