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Back to School: Arts & Crafts in London

Wheels of thread

Today in our Back to School series we’re de-stressing with some arts & crafts and feeding our creative side with a selection of new hobbies and classes to bring out your inner cat-painting 7 year old.

Remember when your biggest dilemma of the day was whether to paint that cat in your latest school painting blue or green in your Year 2 art class? Today in our Back to School series we’re de-stressing with some arts & crafts and feeding our creative side with a selection of new hobbies and classes to bring out your inner cat-painting 7 year old. Just don’t do that thing where you cover your whole hand in PVA glue just to peel it off. Yes we know it’s fun. No, put the PVA down!

Don’t get stitched up – Learn how to sew
Combining the creative with the seriously useful, learning to sew is an invaluable skill but can definitely seem a little daunting. Enter Sew Over It, the Islington based sewing shop packed full of fabulous fabrics, their own exclusive patterns, and, of course, classes. With 25 different classes to choose from depending on your skill level, you can start off with tote bags and cushion covers, move on to an intro to dressmaking all the way up to creating blazers, curtains, cutting your own patterns as well as knitting and crochet workshops. As their classes are taught in small groups in their gorgeously designed shop, you get plenty of assistance as well as a fun and friendly atmosphere. If you can’t make it to their evening or weekend classes they even offer online tutorials to take you through projects step by step from the comfort of your own home. Once you’re confident you can rent a machine in their sewing café by the hour, with tea and coffee aplenty of course.

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Sew Over It is located at 319 Essex Road, London, N1 2BD
Have a bit of a ‘do’ 
Get crafty at one of our London gems for a great time morning, noon or night, Drink, Shop & Do.  As well as their delicious cocktails and food (their slabs of cake are showstoppers), they’re also ideal for anyone in need of something to do that’s creative and quirky. With a calendar always chock full of options, try everything from sassing up your succulent pots, learning to make an arm knot throw, bedazzle in some naughty nipple tassel making, paper cut-out workshops and even that favourite primary school throwback – papier mache! If you want to indulge the left side of your brain without having to commit to one particular course or class, the ‘do’ sessions here are the perfect solution.

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Drink Shop and Do is located at 9 Caledonian Road, London, N1 9DX
Get gardening in a jar with Terrarium making
With so many Londoners not having access to a proper garden of their own, it’s no surprise that the indoor plant trend is still thriving as we continue to cultivate our own little plant babies. However, if you sometimes forget to water them and you end up with some sad looking succulents then Jar & Fern’s Terrarium workshops will fulfil your plant dreams without the maintenance. Specialists in indoor plants and flowers, Jar & Fern provide the equipment to create your own garden-in-a-jar with your choice of plants, as well as guidance through both the process and how to care for them at home, but as it’s self-watering a Terrarium it covers the low maintenance aspect of plant parenthood whilst still looking beautiful in your home.

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Jar and Fern hold workshops across London - see website for dates

Get stuffed with a Taxidermy Class
Feel like indulging your macabre side? Whether you’ve always have an interest in anatomy, have a soft spot for the stuffed animal exhibits when you visit a museum or fancy something a little bit quirky to decorate your home then why not give Taxidermy a go. The British Academy of Taxidermy offers numerous themed classes where you’re guided through the taxidermy process from start to finish and can take your finished creature home with you. With all the animals being humanely sourced, choose from the easier options of mice and small mammals, to beautiful crows all the way up to puppies. As the classes are so practical we’d not recommend this one for the squeamish amongst you, but it’s perfect for enthusiastic beginners thanks to the excellent level of interaction and guidance from the class leader. If you want to share this new skill with someone special there’s usually even a special yearly Valentines pornographic mouse (yes, that wasn’t a typo) class where you can combine your skills as a couple to position your mice to, erm, very much enjoy their afterlife!

Image Credit: The British Academy of Taxidermy via Facebook
The British Academy of Taxidermy is located at the Islington Arts Factory, 2 Parkhurst Road, London, N7 0SF

Celebrate the human form with a Life Drawing Class
At primary school it would only take the song line “I was cold, I was naked, were you there?” to set the whole assembly giggling like, well, schoolkids. Today we’d like to think that most of the time we’re not fazed by things like that (although Cockfosters will never not be funny) and instead we can appreciate the beauty of the naked form in all its guises. So what better way to celebrate this than with a life drawing class? Balham’s popular venue The Exhibit and its sister site Exhibit B in Streatham Hill both offer informal life drawing classes one evening a week where people of all abilities are welcome. All drawing materials are provided for you, which really makes trying out a new hobby far more accessible and less daunting, particularly as you can enjoy a drink whilst you sketch your masterpiece, making it a great way to unwind after a long day. If unlocking your passion for creativity leaves you feeling a little peckish then why not try their monthly Naked Brunch where you enjoy a life drawing class before tucking into their delicious brunch menu and some bubbles. Go on, you’ve earned it.
Image Credit: The Exhibit Life Drawing via Facebook

The Exhibit is located at 12 Balham Station Road, London, SW12 9SG