Los Angeles is well known for its strip malls and freeways, but there are also great independent shops where you can find all things crafty both supplies and handmade goods. Because the city is so vast, weve divided it up into specific areas to help you maneuver through those famous freeways.
12109 Ventura Place, Studio City
Kit Kraft is truly the last of its breed, in its current location since 1954. Owner Mike Sitkin and his daughter run this craft and hobby shop that his parents opened in 1946. They carry a wonderful selection of fabric paints, glitter, enameling supplies, adhesives, shrink art, beads, and more, and much of its vintage. Its also a great place to get supplies for your childrens art and craft projects.
Handmade Galleries L.A.
14556 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks
Based on an antique mall concept, Handmade Galleries rents out spaces to independent crafters, artists, and designers. The selection is constantly evolving, so you never know what you might find. On my last visit, I spotted a sock monkey made from argyles and a tote bag made from a tapestry depicting John F. Kennedy.
Silver Lake/Atwater Village
4014 Santa Monica Blvd., Silver Lake
I finally found a shop that holds all of the wonderful things Ive seen on my favorite craft and design blogs! They now also offer classes and supplies.
The Little Knittery
3042 Glendale Blvd., Atwater Village
When shes not performing in her band, The Pity Party, owner Julie Edwards teaches classes on knitting, crochet, and needle felting. You feel more like youre at a friends house than at a store. She also stocks a wide range of yarns, supplies, and patterns.
Food match: A local favorite, Viet Noodle Bar is decorated with stacks and stacks of art and literature books. The organic chicken pho and the turmeric rice are delicious. 3133 Glendale Blvd., Atwater Village. vietnoodlebar.com
502 Chung King Court, Chinatown
Fifth Floor gallery features ceramics, jewelry, and even doghouses made by artists. On view during my visit were Sewn Machines (plush typewriters) and Shaggy Shank (a steak-shaped rug).
720 Spring St., Downtown
Make sure you allow yourself enough time to root around here. Its mainly a supplier to milliners and costume designers, filled with vintage trim, notions, flowers, feathers, and more. Irene Arroyo bought the shop in 1982 from the original owners, who opened it in 1939, and has not had to restock since.
Food match: The world-famous Cliftons Brookdale Cafeteria is not to be missed. Choose from cafeteria fare (jello)and eat in the redwood forest-themed dining area. Downtown at 648 S. Broadway. cliftonscafeteria.com
1621 Vista Del Mar St.
Design and decor author Kaari Meng started French General in a barn in upstate New York, then moved to New York City, and eventually to a little Spanish bungalow on a tiny side street in Hollywood. On Saturdays, Meng teaches jewelry classes in an inspirational room lined with jars full of beads and trinkets.
8303 West Third St.
OK has long been known as the go-to place for design and contemporary craft in L.A. Youll find the work of artisans from the United States, Europe, and Japan who work in techniques like glass blowing, basket weaving, and wood sculpture.
6671 Sunset Blvd.
Collectors on a budget come here to find affordable art. Past shows have featured the found embroidery collages of Maggy Rozycki Hiltner and handmade birds by Ann Wood. All of their openings are kid-friendly, with a table set up for crafting.
Food match: It doesnt get much more Old Hollywood than this. Musso & Frank Grill is famous for its martinis. Try the chicken potpie and Caesar salad, served to you by very classy waiters. 6667 Hollywood Blvd. (323) 467-7788
Crafters to Visit
Los Angeles is home to great crafters, artists, and designers. Many of them work in studios open to the public during visiting hours. Please email for an appointment.
An accomplished artist, Aguiñiga weaves, felts, and makes furniture and jewelry. Her nature-inspired work is amazing, in particular her Texture Forest, which she installed at the San Diego Childrens Museum. Aguiñiga is also focused on community activism. In her native Tijuana, she helped build a community center using trash from the United States. She currently maintains a studio in Atwater Village.firstname.lastname@example.org
When you first look at the works of Aaron Kramer, you have no idea that they began life as wooden salad bowls, coffee stir sticks, or street sweeper bristles. Working in his studio in Venice Beach, he breathes new life into discarded objects. My favorites are his boats (the former salad bowls) that can be mounted in multiples on a wall. Make no mistake, Kramer might use junk in his art, but because hes a meticulous craftsman, the resulting objects are clean and email@example.com
A few years ago, Ted Vadakan and Angie Myung channeled their creative energies into making limited-edition wallets that featured the work of artists such as Jill Bliss, Lisa Congdon, Camilla Engman, and Betsy Walton. Their goal is to make art accessible to everyone, and theyve now branched out into apparel, stationery, housewares, design objects, and firstname.lastname@example.org