Best Holiday Craft Gift Ideas From DC Artists

December 17, 2012 8:00 AM

(credit: Thinkstock)

(credit: Thinkstock)

(credit: Thinkstock)

If you’re desperate to avoid the madness known as holiday shopping, then consider giving the gift of art. The D.C. metro area features a multitude of arts and craft studios that provide everything from painting and pottery classes to glass fusion and welding. Consider one of these best holiday craft ideas from local D.C., artists and save yourself from the massive headache known as the mall.

Handmade Jewelry
Happy Anvil Jewelry Studio
10222 Dale Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
(703) 509-9202

You don’t have to fork over your life savings for beautiful jewelry. Create wire-wrapped pendants, sterling silver bracelets, beaded necklaces and other custom jewelry pieces courtesy of Happy Anvil Jewelry Studio. Host a party at your house or book a party at the studio. Studio owner and jewelry designer Dena Ellison provides private and semi-private jewelry construction instructional classes as well as all tools and materials. Happy Anvil Jewelry Studio also provides simple jewelry repair and restringing as well as custom jewelry pieces for weddings and other special events. One particular pendant from the studio won the 2011 One-of-a-Kind contest.

Glass Bowls
Washington Glass School and Studio
3700 Otis St.
Mount Rainier, MD 20712
(301) 277-0021

DIY fans will love getting hands on this beautiful gift idea. At the Washington Glass School, participants learn the fundamentals of warm glass sculpting. Learn key glass basics, such as fusing and kiln casting, as well as how to make everything from bowls and plates to sculptures. By the end of the class, each participant will make a variety of items they may take home. The Washington Glass School also provides a variety of other arts and crafts courses including glass fusion, welding and life casting. The school also provides an open studio for artisans who are already familiar with open casting and glass fusion.

Related: Best Places to Buy Local Art For Less Than $100 In D.C.

Old Furniture Factory

6 W. Loudoun St.
Round Hill, VA 20141
(540) 338-5050

Deliver that bouquet of flowers in a beautifully handcrafted clay vase made by you. The Old Furniture Factory in Round Hill provides a variety of art activities including pottery wheel classes. Learn an array of clay skills and techniques including how to use a pottery wheel, sculpt the perfect cylinder and apply glaze. Beginner, intermediate and advanced courses are offered in the mornings and evenings and range between five to eight weeks in length. The cost of each course includes all materials, professional instruction and studio space. The Old Furniture Factory also provides customized schedules as well as one-day classes and workshops upon request.

Comic Books
Round Hill Arts Center

35246 Harry Byrd Highway
Round Hill, VA 20141
(540) 338-5022

Ignite your child’s imagination, and create a really cool holiday gift, courtesy of the Round Hill Arts Center comic book class. Kids ages 12 and older will learn how to create their own comic book hero as well as key comic book art techniques including page composition, lettering, inking and how to use a computer to edit their work. The two-day course takes place at the Round Hill Arts Center and is hosted by Aislin and Nora Kavaldjian, who also taught a similar (and popular) course last summer. According to the sisters, comics or graphic novels are a surefire hit with kids and teens.

Related: Best Places to Start Your Holiday Decoration Shopping In D.C.

Uncork’d Art

1054 31st St. NW
Washington, DC 20007
(888) 317-1047 ext. 1

The D.C. area is known for its majestic monuments, museums and statues. There’s no better way to capture the beauty of the area than in a painting. Sign up for a Just for Fun session at Uncork’d Art and let your inner Van Gogh spill onto the canvas. Paint a D.C. winter wonderland, recreate Van Gogh’s Starry Night, or craft your own work of art. The best part, each session includes a complimentary glass of wine. All art supplies as well as professional instructions are provided. Uncork’d Art also provides a six-week Art and Wine Appreciation course in which participants learn painting techniques as well as enjoy a variety of wines. No experience necessary.

Susan Diranian is a freelance writer living in Ashburn, VA. She is covering Travel & Outdoors. Her work can be found at