“Crafternoons” have become increasingly popular in London and rightly so. It’s a fun and original way to spend an entertaining evening or afternoon without paying the earth. So get that paintbrush and sewing kit ready and try out one of these lovely London options.
172 West End Lane
Tube: West Hampstead
Cost: £5.95 studio fee, products from £3.50
This quirky little ceramics studio is the ideal place to spend a few hours getting creative. Choose from a selection of glass, ceramic or wooden products (T-shirts and glass mosaics make personal and unique souvenirs) and then get to painting—it’s a surprisingly therapeutic activity than shouldn’t just be reserved for kids!
Once you’ve finished, Art4Fun will fire your piece for you and you can come and collect it a few days later. Note: A bottle of wine can make for a particularly creative Friday night, when the studio is open until 10 p.m.
The Jolly Gardeners
61-63 Lacy Road
Tube: Putney Bridge
Cost: £5 per person
Head down to this fun-filled pub on a Sunday afternoon to eat, drink and… make sock monkeys! Yes, that’s right, Sunday really is “Sock Monkey Day” at the Jolly Gardeners. After choosing your socks, you’ll receive a detailed instruction booklet and all the necessary sock-monkey accessories.
It certainly makes for an entertaining and silly afternoon, but be warned: Sock-monkey making may not be as simple as it sounds—(at least one group of grown men (or women) will try desperately for hours to sew eyes onto their new colorful cotton friends. Go with commitment and a bit of spare time!
21 Seymour Place
Tube: Marble Arch
Cost: £35 and up
A slightly higher-end option, Homemade London is a little haven slap-bang in the center of the city. Classes are taught by excellent designers and range from a full day learning to sew to wiling away an evening making lampshades.
Chocolate lovers can indulge in a champagne-truffle-making class, while fashionistas will thrive at the “upcycled” jewelry social evenings. Classes don’t come cheap, but you’re guaranteed to go home with a new skill, which many a Cheapo may argue is priceless.