While buying something is generally easier than making something, there’s something extra special about a handmade gift. When you’ve made something all by yourself using your own hands, the recipient knows there’s a lot of thought and care that went into that.
In Concord, there’s no shortage of venues you can go to if you’re looking to make something special for someone special on your shopping list this year.
Many of these options could easily appear in the Last-Minute Gift Guide – you can get gift certificates for all of the following places – but for those of you out there who do like to get crafty around the holidays, this list is for you.
The Place Studio & Gallery: Appropriately located at the Concord Community Arts Center on Thorndike Street, The Place Studio & Gallery is a good spot to hit up if you’re looking to make something to give as a gift.
The Place offers drop-in art-making, in which anyone can show up and start making something, such as a canvas painting, glass painting, ceramic painting, decoupage and alcohol ink creations. If you prefer something more structured, there are many classes you can attend that will both teach you something and let you walk out with a creation. Upcoming classes include Needle Felted Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” on Wednesday, Alcohol Ink Gift Workshop on Monday and Seasonal Double-Sided Wood Signs on Dec. 21, just to name a few. Go to theplaceconcord.com/class-calendar to sign up for a class – just make sure you sign up by noon the day before the class to ensure you have a spot.
Kimball Jenkins: Kimball Jenkins always has a lot of art stuff going on – as they should, given that they’re an art school and gallery. One thing they offer that’s a fun way to make a gift is called Colors & Cabernet, a paint-and-sip experience.
Kimball Jenkins used to host Colors & Cabernet every weekend, but it hasn’t been as popular lately as it once was and is now offered on an appointment-style basis. Basically, there’s no calendar showing what paintings will be offered on certain dates. Instead, anyone interested in doing it (preferably groups of at least four) can call 225-3932 and set up a date and time. If you go to kimballjenkins.com/colors-cabernet, you can browse through the options for what you want to paint. Since there’s no set schedule, you can request to paint any design you like.
Classes are $40 per person, and you can (and should) bring your own drinks and snacks. It’s a fun way to make a nice gift while enjoying en evening with some friends and/or family.
Art Plus: Art Plus, located above Stove Barn on Loudon Road, is an art supply store that offers a variety of opportunities to create things. While this is a great store to shop at for any artists on your list, if you are the artist, it’s also a great place to go to make something – just not right at this moment.
The store just held a card-making class on Dec. 1, but that was the last one of the year. Next on the schedule is called Beach Library Pocket Photo Album Class, but that won’t be until after Christmas.
However, if there’s someone in your life who is just crazy about art, you can get them a kit, of which there are many varieties, and let them make whatever they want. They may even make something for you, the gift-giver, if you’re lucky.
Golden Gese Quilt Shop: If you’re handy with a needle and thread, Golden Gese Quilt Shop is a good place to check out.
The Liberty Street quilt and quilting supply shop has endless materials and patterns for all your quilting needs. It also offers a few classes/crafting opportunities a year.
This year, for one day only, the store is celebrating its 32nd anniversary on Saturday by hosting an ornament-making class. Anyone who wants to participate can just show up to Golden Gese, buy a kit and head down to the back of the store and get to work. You’ll get to make three ornaments during the class, which are sure to make great gifts for anyone who puts up a tree.
You’re Fired: Okay, so this one actually was on the other list, but it truly does belong in both places. While giving someone a gift card to You’re Fired so they can go in and make their own trinket is a solid idea, a potentially better one is to go in yourself and make something to give as a gift.
If you choose this option, just make sure you give yourself enough time – it typically takes about a week for You’re Fired to finish off your piece after you’ve painted it.