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One of my favorite kinds of gifts to give and receive are the ones that aren’t things, but rather experiences. Classes, retreats and workshops are a great way to give someone the inspiration, time and space to further explore their crafty side. We often get caught up in cute and fun “stuff” around this time of year, but putting funds toward these experiences can be even more rewarding and could offer someone just the resources they need to kick off a whole new crafty endeavor.
I’m including a range of craft classes that are primarily online, but be sure to check your local independent fabric, needlework or yarn shops for their class offerings and gift certificate for classes. I’m also including some art and craft-based retreats and vacations, as well as workshops geared toward creative independent businesses. There is no way to cover every experience offering in one blog post, so if you have more to suggest, please leave them in the comments!
gift guide experiences craftsy Gift Guide: Crafty Experiences (Classes, Retreats & Vacations)
Online Craft Classes at Craftsy
Craftsy offers a wide range of craft classes by some of your favorite crafters, including Vickie Howell, Linda Permann, Betz White, Gretchen Hirsch and more. Courses use professional videos, patterns and instructions and can be taken at your own pace. They’ve also started offering smaller, project-specific workshops that work similar to a craft-along. Gift certificates are available for courses.
gift guide experiences crafty chica cruise Gift Guide: Crafty Experiences (Classes, Retreats & Vacations)
The Crafty Chica Art Cruise
The pictures and reports I’ve seen from Kathy Cano-Murillo’s Art Cruises always make it look like a crafty vacation dream. Crafting at sea with the Crafty Chica? Exploring the Mexican Riviera? An on-board craft room that’s open 24/7? Yes, please! This wold be great fun to do with friends.
gift guide experiences squam Gift Guide: Crafty Experiences (Classes, Retreats & Vacations)
Squam Art Workshops
I’ve been reading about Squam Art Workshops for years, and they look like amazing experiences. An art retreat in the woods with people from all over the country sounds absolutely heavenly to me.


gift guide experiences crafty pod classes Gift Guide: Crafty Experiences (Classes, Retreats & Vacations)
Online Crafty Business Classes With Diane Gilleland
Diane Gilleland of Crafty Pod offers several great crafty business and publishing online classes, covering things like publishing crafty e-books and teaching online craft classes. Gift certificates for courses are available.
gift guide experiences lizzy house Gift Guide: Crafty Experiences (Classes, Retreats & Vacations)
Textile Design + Printing with Lizzy House at PNCA in Portland, Oregon
I’m always wishing I lived in Portland because of all the great art and craft events they have going on there, but the PNCA offerings especially make me dream of moving to the Pacific Northwest. The latest workshop is a great textile design and printing class with fabric designer, Lizzy House.

becky stern headshot Gift Guide: Crafty Experiences (Classes, Retreats & Vacations)

Becky Stern

Becky Stern is director of wearable electronics at Adafruit Industries. Her personal site: sternlab.org


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