The capital has a mania for making things this Christmas. There’s a class for everything from decorations to cards, gifts and flowers, delivered in style by top creatives. The movement is full of enthusiastic teachers in big stores, markets and boutique homeware shops. So get out there, and get stuck in.
Just opened in Islington is Sew Over It — you can’t miss the lilac shop front in Myddelton Street. Sewing superwoman Lisa Comfort has a branch in Clapham already, with café, kits, haberdashery and more. Check out a raft of Christmas courses. You could run up some decorations, or a bow tie, or even a pair of frilly knickers. Visit www.sewoverit.co.uk.
Also in Islington, at gift shop Smug, hand-make a dozen decorations, a clutch of cards and a stash of wrapping (November 23, 1.30pm, £18). Or fold origami stars from beautiful designer papers (November 30, 1pm, £18). Call 020 7354 0253 or visit www.ifeelsmug.com.
The Turpentine is a vibrant hub in south London, combining a shop and workshop space (33 Coldharbour Lane, London, SW9; www.theturpentine.com; 020 3302 7860. Their Christmas workshops are conveniently in the evenings, with friendly teachers. Materials are included – and “all abilities are welcome”. Christmas wreath-making (£40) is on 25 or 26 November. Use natural foliage plus some special decorations for that personal touch.
On 27 November, you can print your own Christmas cards. For £25, you will cut your own stamp from lino - then you can block print as many cards as you want. Make your own Christmas decorations (£30) is on 2 December. Techniques include stamping and embossing using a special clay which needs three days to dry/harden, after which you can collect your work. Finally, there’s an evening “masterclass “for ambitious wrappers on 9 December (£25), using basic papers and vintage pages, plus stamping and printing.
Billed as a “craft salon”, Homemade London is run by Nicola Barron in an airy Portman Village boutique near Marble Arch. Christmas action includes sequined bauble sessions (November 28, December 4-5, £35). Or make crackers, hand-cut paper cards, or block print napkins. A grand Christmas craft party is on December 18, £25 (www.homemadelondon.com).
Hackney’s supreme crafter, Barley Massey, has all-year workshops at her quirky gallery/shop in Broadway Market. For Christmas, learn lino printing with artist Jane Smith (November 29, £30). Snip Christmas tree bunting at an all-day demo for Brother sewing machines (December 4, free). Or knit canine bootees with the authors of Outrageously Adorable Dog Knits (December 10, free). Call 020 7275 8043 or visit www.fabrications1.co.uk.
At Debenhams, designer Ashley Thomas will waltz you through a handmade Christmas on Friday from 5pm. And there are free meals for kids on Saturday and Sunday, with biscuit decorating, face painting and toy demos. Check Twitter for updates @debenhams.
At John Lewis, head for haberdashery on the fourth floor for Christmas crafting on November 29, stocking making on December 6 and decoration making on December 11 (www.johnlewis.com).
Heal’s is doing Christmas wreath-making workshops in W1, SW3 and Kingston, £40 (www.heals.co.uk/event) — and don’t miss a free Christmas party with all the trimmings on November 27, at all branches.
Say it with festive flowers, tutored by interior designer/florist Zita Elze. Her classes, though pricey, fill up fast, with an intensive pre-Christmas schedule in Kew, on multiple dates. Visit www.zitaelze.com or call 020 8940 0040. Shape a wreath for £189, or a spectacular 6ft 6in garland mounted on ribbon for £210, or do table decorations for £180.
Share Jo Woodward’s exquisite contemporary style in a one-hour session at Boxpark and leave with a wreath — a snip at £25, December 8, 13, 15 and 20 (07834 270125; www.columbiacreative. co.uk). Write cards with a flourish in SW11 with illustrator Rebecca Cahill Roots. Christmas calligraphy evening, Tuesday next week, £25 (020 7924 2931; www.bettyetiquette.co.uk). Or make a winter artwork with artist Stephanie Wilkinson at a free drop-in “taster” class at Teddington Baptist Church on Saturday. Call 07876 015238 or visit www.stephaniewilkinson.co.uk.
The National Trust radiates good cheer. Morden Hall Park on December 6-7 and 13-14 offers a Christmas market and workshops for kids on candles and pompoms. Book a session with Father Christmas, £8 (020 8545 6850; www.nationaltrust.org.uk).
The Saturday Market project is an offbeat, arty outfit promoting skills with kits, materials and workshops. Learn to make traditional Finnish straw decorations on December 12-14 at the Barbican Christmas Market. And they’ll demonstrate the arcane art of wax crayon-making at Heal’s on December 13 (www.saturdaymarketproject.co.uk).
London’s Christmas markets offer workshops galore. Cockpit Arts has jolly Christmas Open Studios in Holborn (November 28-30) and Deptford (December 5-7).
Fashion-knitter Row Pinto helps children make decs, souping up her knitted fabrics with buttons, jewels and gems for free (020 7419 1959; www.cockpitarts.com).
Crafty Fox runs free Christmas markets in Dalston, Brixton and Peckham with 250 designer-makers plus fun craft sessions. Visit www.craftyfoxmarket.co.uk.