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The best make it yourself kits, courses and workshops for creative souls

Do you know someone who just loves to make? It doesn’t matter what it is, they can’t wait to get stuck in to learning a new skill. Then this gift guide for the creatively minded should help you nail their Christmas presents quick smart and earn mega brownie points for buying such a thoughtful gift.

Read on for workshops, courses and kits to make the creative soul in your life’s heart sing. After all, there’s nothing more rewarding than looking at something you’ve made and thinking ‘I did that!’ (come on, it’s not just me, is it?!

Stitchless Bag Kit & bag making courses, Leather Needle Thread

Designer and leatherworker Esther Keen of Leather Needle Thread runs workshops from her Bristol studio where you can make everything from a backpack to your own trainers. I attended her Make a Leather Bag in a Day class last year and made an absolute beauty of a tan leather bucket bag. I’m so pleased with it and I still can’t believe that I actually managed to create something so lovely (I’m not the handiest with a sewing machine). You can check out the details of her forthcoming workshops here.

Happily, Esther has also just launched a couple of bag making kits with everything you need to create your own stitchless bag design. This is such a great idea if you don’t live locally or don’t have the time to attend a course. The kits are currently 20% off so I’d recommend checking them out ASAP while you’ve still got time to snag yourself a bargain.

Puppet Kit, Young Double

Now onto something for little ones. I’ve just ordered a couple of these puppet kits for my kids and I know they’re going to love them. Super cute and completely unique, these are just the ticket for working on over the holidays when you’ve a spare afternoon and you just can’t face another Christmas film. Just look at that little face!

The hand screen printed puppet bases come with fabric, buttons and trimming to transform them and you can choose between natural and bright fabrics. They’re so much fun. You can find the puppets alongside knitting and crochet kits (and lots of other delicious items) on Young Double’s website.

Make A Necklace Kit, Stitching Me Softly

As well as selling her own beautiful necklaces, hats and booties, crochet supremo Emma Bassey from Stitching Me Softly also offers make it at home kits for the yarn enthusiast in your life.

I treated myself to a gorgeous burgundy number last year and it’s perfect for wearing with your winter woollies. However, if you’d rather DIY it, then her kits make the perfect gift. There are a few different ones to choose from, but I really like the look of the Ultimate Necklace Kit which lets you choose frame options (including some kick ass glitter ones) and the three cord colours that you’d like in the kit.

Lampshade kits and workshops @hannahrtextiles (Hannah Redden)

If you like the idea of making something for your home rather than yourself then check out Bristol-based interior and textile designer Hannah Redden.

Hannah runs a variety of lampshade making workshops and you can even buy a gift voucher for a workshop if you’re not sure which date your recipient can make. If you’re not local and still fancy the idea of making your own shade, then try one of Hannah’s kits instead. Select from small, medium or large drum shades and combine with the fabric of your choice for a totally bespoke piece. How lovely! You can purchase the lampshade making kits from Hannah's website here.

Jewellery Making Workshops

Naturally of course I’m going to recommend my own jewellery making workshops. You didn’t think I’d pass up that opportunity did you?! If you’re creatively minded (or even if you’re not), making your own silver jewellery is such a fun and relaxing way to spend an evening. We always have a great time and the designs people produce are just wonderful. You really don’t need any experience, just the will to come and have a go. I guarantee that you’ll be amazed by what you can create!

You can choose to make a ring or a pendant (or two smaller layering necklaces) and the cost of the class includes all materials, tuition, the casting of your piece in silver and a cheeky glass of fizz.

Booking a place on a course makes a great gift for someone (particularly if you’ve left things a bit last minute!) or maybe as a little treat for yourself. I can even provide a voucher so that you’ve got something to give the recipient on the big day. Places are strictly limited and usually sell out quickly so take a look at the dates for my upcoming Bristol jewellery making classes and get yourself booked on (all take place at Kiln Workshop) or drop me a line about arranging a private party at the venue of your choice.

Happy creating!

Elin Horgan designs and creates handmade jewellery in her Bristol studio. Elin’s beautifully simple handmade jewellery is carefully crafted and designed to be worn every day. You can read more about Elin’s work and the ethos behind her understated jewellery brand on her About Elin Horgan Jewellery page.

If you’d like to enquire about a specific product or discuss a custom piece of jewellery, please have a look at the Bespoke Handmade Jewellery page or email


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