What will cause Grandma and Grandpa to ooh and aah even more than seeing their precious grandkids all decked out for the holidays? Those little fingers holding a thoughtful handmade gift! From sewing to painting to card making and baking, we’ve unwrapped eight places where your little artists can create to their hearts’ content—all without spilling glitter all over the dining room table!


Photo: Courtesy of My Little Print Fabrics 

My Little Print Fabrics 
Give little makers the gift of learning to sew and get the reward of two sweet handmade gifts, wrapped and ready to put under the tree. Sound too good to be true?  At My Little Print Fabrics in Rancho Penasquitos owner Jennifer puts love and passion into every project she teaches, and families respond by coming back again and again to learn from her generous hands.

This holiday season, Jennifer is hosting sewing and crafting workshops for kids ages 7 and up who want to try sewing for the first time or gain a little bit more experience to make some sophisticated projects. Little crafters can create a cell phone or tablet stand, a glittery pouch, scarf, necklace, and more. During the three hour class, kids will have time to make two unique presents, wrap them, and enjoy hot chocolate with new friends.

Insider tip: If classes appear full online, contact the studio. Jennifer may be adding extra workshops if there is a demand.

When: Fri., Dec. 16, 3 p.m.-6p.m.; Sat., Dec. 17, 9 a.m.-noon.; Mon. Dec. 19, 9 a.m.-noon
Cost: $55
Via Caballo Rojo
San Diego, Ca 92129
Online: mylittleprintfabrics.com/holidayworkshop-2016

Photo: Cherie Gough

Ceramic Cafe
Drop in anytime and choose from countless items ready for little fingers to paint lovingly for gift-giving: mugs, serving platters, and even baby’s hand and footprint keepsake impressions that Mom can paint. Choose your paints, take your time, and bring your patience.

Insider tip: After school is usually less busy than weekends. Paint about a week in advance of when you’ll want to pick up. Gift cards make a unique stocking stuffer for that little Picasso.

Two Locations: Del Mar and La Mesa
Online: ceramicafe.com

The Hot Spot Pottery Painting and Candle Making
You’ll want to get in on the fun in this cozy studio with hundreds of items to paint. Try your hand at vases, pet dishes, banks, jewelry boxes, and more. Or get creative with candle-making. Choose your shape and fragrance, add glitter and in no time, a perfect gift is ready for giving.

Insider’s Tip: At The Hot Spot, employees will fire your creations overnight so they’re ready to pick up the next day. Score for all you last-minute mamas!

Cost: Average price of a project is $20

Liberty Station Barracks 14
2770 Historic Decatur Rd.
San Diego, Ca 92106
Online: thehotspotstudio.com


Photo: Art Produce Facebook Page 

Art Produce 
Art Produce in North Park serves up art with a side of passion for creating community in its creative space. Each Saturday in December, the gallery will host drop-in Make It Yourself Workshops. All materials are included and professional educators will eagerly lend a hand to teach and help little makers create beautiful projects. Mark your calendar for these fun events: Dec. 3 for Holiday Card Making, Dec. 10 for Garland and Popcorn Treats, and Dec. 17 for Holiday Gingerbread Decorating and Wheel Throwing.

When: Saturdays in Dec. 2-4 p.m.
Cost: Suggested donation $5-$10. Pay what you can.
3139 University Ave.
San Diego, Ca 92104
Online: artproduce.org


Photo: Jaime S. via Yelp 

Mint Studio
This beautiful, newly-opened art studio in Carmel Valley will host a Children’s Craft Market where kids decide on a project that fits their style. With the help of artists, they’ll follow their creativity to make a beautiful, meaningful gift such as a painted tile or unique ornament.

When: Sun., Dec. 410 a.m.-noon
Cost: Varies based on project  $5-15

Love the idea of your kids experiencing that holiday cookie decorating tradition but cringe at the prospect of your own kitchen with sticky fingerprints all over the cabinets? Send the little minions off to Mint Studio’s Kids Cookie Decorating Workshop and enjoy an hour of peace while they get crazy with the sprinkles.

When: Dec. 9, 4:30-5:30 p.m.
Cost: $30

Ready to get your hands glittery? Mint offers numerous creative opportunities for adults, too. Some of the beautiful gifts to create include holiday bath bombs and wreaths. Check the calendar and let your artistic self shine.

Pacific Highlands Ranch Village
5965 Village Way, Ste. E105
San Diego, Ca
Online: themintstudio


Photo: Courtesy of Pachis

Drop in on a Saturday morning in December from 9 a.m.-noon and let the kids have some fun with Family Art where they’ll create some winter themed art. Art instructors guide kiddos through their open-ended creations. All materials are included.

December 10th from 4-7 p.m. enjoy Liberty Station’s Holiday Block Party  and stop in to Pachis to participate in holiday-themed family art projects and art class demonstrations.

Need a place for creative kids to play over the holiday break? Pachis Winter Art Camp is offered during Winter Break for children aged 5-10 years. The sessions offer up a fun, creative week in the studio where your kids will make winter-themed art pieces: drawings, painting, sewing, mixed media projects, and more. Many of the projects make great gifts for family and friends.

Pachis is also open during Winter Break for children to stop by and create holiday gifts during Open Art Studio and Art Exploration if you’d rather not commit to a week-long camp. Click here to find their schedule.

Insider’s Tip: Kids over 5 can be dropped off on Family Art days.

Liberty Station
2820 Roosevelt Rd #102
San Diego, Ca 92106
Online: mypachis.com

Lakeshore Learning 
Don’t forget Lakeshore as a great resource for kids’ crafting sessions where Saturday mornings are filled with free fun for kids while you can shop. Mark your calendar for these cool crafts: Dec. 10 create a super cute treat holder and then fill it with cookies for a sweet friend. On Dec. 17 littles ages three and up can make a Snowman Photo Frame as a special gift to hang on the tree.

Two Locations: Mission Valley and San Marcos
When: Saturdays, Dec. 10 and 17 , 11 a.m.- 3 p.m.
Cost: Free
Online: lakeshorelearning.com

We know you’ll be at Michaels shopping to pick up stocking stuffers, decorations, party supplies, and more. Why not drop the kids off in the crafting room while you shop or schedule some family time to create a terrific gingerbread house or wrapping together? Talk about killing two birds with one stone.

When: Saturdays, Dec. 3 and 10, 10 a.m.-noon and 1-3 p.m. Check calendar for schedule.
Cost: $2 and up depending on craft
Online: michaels.com

Where do you plan to get crafty this holiday season? Did we leave a place out? Tell us in the comment section below!

— Cherie Gough