As warm weather approaches, it’s time to get serious about planning summer vacation. And while that idea may conjure images of white sand beaches and crisp blue water for some, there’s a growing group of makers for whom it’s more likely to mean a sewing machine or a new set of crochet hooks.
All around the country, expert sewers, weavers, quilters, embroiders, gardeners and crafters of all sorts are teaching workshops, classes and programs that make for awesomely creative getaways. So whether you prefer to wander the quaint streets of a quiet waterfront town or enjoy a bustling city, there are crafty vacations available to suit your style. We rounded up a few of our favorites, so mark your calendar and save those pennies!
If you’re creative, have kids, and love to mix and mingle with similarly minded families, Crafting Community is the event of the year. The registration fee includes a two-night stay for a family of three at the always hip Ace Hotel in Palm Springs, three meals a day, and more than 20 workshops.
“Meeting like-minded families who put the electronics away and created beautiful art together was such a draw for me,” says Tara Peyrache of Los Angeles, who has attended the event three times with her family. “All of the activities and artists they bring to the event really allow everyone to tap into their own creative expression—I didn’t know I could be artistic in that way, ” she says. Plus there’s the sunshine of Palm Springs, unlimited pool access, story time under the stars, fitness activities, and even an ice cream social with Jeni’s divine flavors.
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(Photo: North House Folk School)
Located in the northern-most part of Minnesota in the small, waterside town of Grand Marias, the North House Folk School is a good example of how the crafting world has come full circle. Old-world techniques—including boat building, weaving, log cabin building, meat preserving, bread baking and basketry—are suddenly cool again, which makes their year-round multi-day workshops a destination for makers of all ages.
“Crafting in community with a diverse group of people was the best part,” says Margarita Mac of Minneapolis, Minnesota who attended a recent Birch Bark Weaving workshop. “Having three teachers support us was a treat—we got to learn from so much combined experience,” she says. Be sure to eat at the hyper-local Angry Trout Café if you go, and to stock up on smoked fish at Dockside.
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(Photo: Brooklyn Craft Company)
Whether you’re in the city for a day or a week, adding a workshop or two at the Brooklyn Craft Company in Greenpoint to your schedule is always a good idea—especially if you can make it to their Summer Craft Camp on June 21. The company, which is run by author and DIY expert Brett Bara, offers classes in sewing, needle crafts, paper crafts, dyeing, jewelry-making, cake decorating and more. Craft Camp combines all of that with artisanal snacks, music, and good company. Don’t have a trip to NYC in your budget? Shop for one of their DIY kits and bring the experience home to your house.
(Photo: Craft South)
Fabric designer, pattern maker and sewing extraordinaire Anna Maria Horner can do no wrong when it comes to creative pursuits—which makes her latest endeavor, Craft South, one to watch. Part showcase for emerging talent, part workshop space for those wanting to learn a new skill, Craft South adds a whole new depth to Nashville’s creative side. Horner often teams up with other experts for workshops, including designer Heather Ross.
“I wanted to have devoted time with my daughter, who was 7 at the time, and to hopefully pass along some of my lifelong love of crafting to her,” says Kelly Roberson of Des Moines, Iowa who attended a workshop with both Horner and Ross last year. “I loved watching her embroider under the guidance of Heather’s hand,” she says. Check out their current classes and workshops.
(Photo: Penland School of Crafts)
Situated in the stunning Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, Penland is where to go if you’re truly serious about honing your craft. They offer workshops in one-, two-, and eight-week durations in everything from printmaking and letterpress to textiles, wood, clay, drawing and more. Teachers come in to run specific workshops and the duration of each one allows participants to dive deeply into the subject. You can choose to stay on campus with full room and board or to stay in an area hotel or B&B. Think of it like going back to college, but getting to focus on only the fun stuff.
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