This time of year, with spring cleaning in the air and the world growing anew, it's difficult to not work ourselves into a Pinterest-induced rut. After trying to scheme up affordable methods of beautifying our homes into blog-worthy spaces on our ownsomes, we've decided to turn to the pros. Indeed, DC also happens to be a-bloom with a myriad of different workshops to help our crafting dreams come true. Whether your homework of choice involves dreamcatchers and airplants or screen-printing the day away, there are a plethora of places to get your learn on.
Topaz + Arrow
Twigs: not just for birds' nests, according to Topaz + Arrow, whose March Workshop will, for $37.50, teach attendees to craft charmingly rustic jewelry holders out of branches, leather, and hooks. If this sounds very hipster-craft-blog-ish, that's Topaz + Arrow's pretense. The minds behind the operation bill themselves as, "a monthly, DIY workshop series that infuses the handmade into a curated and creative lifestyle."
But the workshops aren't merely hot glue and wire-wrapping. Topaz + Arrow has netted lux sponsors to feed and water budding DIYers – think Boulevard Brewing, Creme Yvette and local baker Teeny Pies – and runs its events out of 52 O Street's Ulysses Room. Later workshops will dabble in lighting and decor (cherry blossom-themed for April in DC, naturally), handmade dreamcatchers, and air-plant accessorizing. Leaving us to wonder: why buy our way into an apartment fit for an Urban Outfitters catalog when we could craft one ourselves?
Wild Hand Workspace
Photographer/curator Victoria Milko and lifestyle gadabout Morgan Hungerford West
run Wild Hand Workspace, one of a number of upstart local boutiques, projects, and businesses that have settled into Brookland's new-ish Monroe Street Market. The studio is part gallery, part events space, part Room of Requirement: need to style a photoshoot or run a workshop? Do it at Wild Hand, which boasts a wash of natural light, high-tech gadgets (AppleTV, Sonos sound system), and reclaimed barn wood tables.
Wild Hand's 2014 calendar is still in the works, but based on its last blowout event – SWANK, which featured jewelry by ten on-trend, minimalist designers on a large-scale wall installation---whatever Wild Hand puts on display will employ Milko and West's finely honed styling and curation talents.
Pyramid Atlantic is the DC area's O.G. community arts space. Holed up in downtown Silver Spring, the nonprofit – formed in 1981 and backed by federal, local and donor funding – stands on three pillars: artist development, arts education, and community engagement. For us, that means: paper mill, print shop, artists in residence, letterpress studio, bindery and a bevy of classes – for us to absorb that wealth of knowledge and make our own paper, wood type poster, or boxes and books.
Pyramid Atlantic's space is also home to the legendary noise festival, Sonic Circuits, which puts on year-round shows of experimental, oddball music. For non-noiseniks, improvisational theater troupe SIA's schtick is live-acting personal stories told by its audience. Meaning: for a mere $10 we can watch professional actors play out that time that jerk we dated dumped us via Gchat! (On second thought, we could just stick to woodcutting.)