Get creative, people! From screen-printing and watercolouring to making your own leather pouch and jewellery, get some hands-on action at these cool workshops in Singapore…
If you’ve always taken an interest in Singapore’s arts and craft scene and zealously support handmade, quality goods, here are some workshops in Singapore for you to get your craft on. From creating a mini indoor garden, to jewellery making and watercolour art, designing your own leather pouch, or screen-printing, you’ll be spoilt for choice!
Romance is in the art
We’ve got a couple of V-Day workshops lined up for couple and singles alike to celebrate the month of L-O-V-E. Start off with a handcrafted surprise for your loved one! The folks behind The Rain in Spain and Miss Petal & Bloom are combining forces for Paint a Pot x Paper Succulents — a 3-hour V-Day special helping you turn a plain terracotta squat pot into a work of art, as well as sculpting succulents with premium Italian Crepe Paper.
For a fancy evening, treat yourself and your lovebird session at My Own Valentine Workshop on 6 February where you’ll get to pick up the intricacies in floral arrangements and create your very own hand-tied bouquet with the folks from Ask a French. Nothing like winding down and get crafty while sipping Merci Marcel’s exclusive wines and nibbling through its curated French canapes buffet that includes organic Bayonne ham, gourmet cheeses, bread assortment, and more.
More flower power your way, this time surrounded by nature’s greens, the Singapore Botanic Gardens will be hosting a miniature garden workshop for couples on 10 February. Prepare to get your hands all green (and brown) as you select suitable plants and ornaments for your miniature garden. Don’t be deceived by its size, the skills learned in this miniaturised settings can also be applied to real life garden landscaping — talk about handy!
Cliche as it is, Valentine’s Day wouldn’t be completed without a bouquet of beautiful flowers and a box of chocolates. It’s a date with Post a Posy and Sherry’s Minis as they guide you through assembling a miniature chocolate box from clay and arranging a hand bouquet. You’ll also be able to take these home after the workshop — that’s your gift all sorted.
If you prefer flowers that are low maintenance (perfect for non-green fingers like me), try your hands on crafting crepe paper flowers. The brain behind Miss Petal & Bloom, Eileen, hosts a variety of workshops around paper succulents, from ombre roses and cherry blossoms to coral charm peonies that look like the real deal. And if you’re a fan of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, work those fingers and create your very own DIY Enchanted Rose on 10 February!
Work the dirt
It’s amazing what you can do with soil — including getting your hands dirty to create beautiful ceramics! Singapore-based ceramicist Chloe Tan is no stranger to the scene, having used locally dug clay for her work series, The Supermarket Experience, which is being showcased at SPRMRKT until 20 March. Join Chloe at Ceramic Workshop: Exploring Singapore Soil on 10 February as she guides you through the process of creating ceramic dishes with locally sourced soil using the slab-making technique. Be sure to bring a small sample of clay from the ‘hood of your choice prior to visiting Chloe’s studio!
Get crafty with sustainable materials
Where else to learn about sustainability than one of the hottest hitlist in the city — i Light @ Marina Bay! In conjunction with MAAD and Singapore Design Week 2018, rub shoulders with crafters and makers from across the borders over the first two weekends of the sustainable light art festival in March as they conduct fun-filled workshops. Try your hands on binding sustainable materials into notebooks via hand-stitching techniques with CY Chen, create gorgeous images by drawing structured patterns at the Zentangle workshop by Kit Low, or join Jennifer Mong in using recycled paper to create customised paper seed balls that can germinate into plants. Keep updated by following the Red Dot Design Museum on Facebook!
Make your own Mala necklace
In case you’re not familiar with the term ‘mala’, mala is a beaded necklace that ends with a tassel. The accessory is made with round beads, and is widely used in meditation practice. However, it is also worn to elevate a bohemian or tropical outfit. Create your very own with the help of local jewellery label Wabi Sabi and Me (pictured top). These regular mala-making workshops are pretty damn popular (the next one’s in 3 Februrary!), and with a 15-20 minute in-class meditation, we can see why the workshops are always sold out.
Besides mala-making workshops, Wabi Sabi and Me has a new workshop up its sleeve and we can’t wait to have a go! The Electro-Etching Workshop allows you to turn your playful doodles into jewellery. You’ll be working with brass as the base to make cufflinks, earrings and pendants with your own works of art and custom designs. The 3-hour workshop kicks off on 3 March — sign up fast before it’s all gone!
Learn about leather craftwork
If you love your leather products as much as we do, you’ve probably played around with the idea of picking up basic leather cutting, embroidery, and finishing methods. Paying homage to the stories of ordinary heroes who braved the war as chronicled in the exhibition blockbuster Witness to War: Remembering 1942, the National Museum will be organising a leather craft workshop on 3 February. With the good folks of The General Company, as we as local crafters and designers, you’ll be able to create a customised journal inspired by the artefacts in the exhibition.
Newbies can kick off their newfound skill with Stoneforgold, a team of talented crafters who regularly runs basic leather craft and leather stitching workshops. Other names to add in your black book include Jacob’s Leathercraft (one of our Honeygals raved about their leather workshop at Archifest) and Atelier Lodge, a dedicated handmade leather school where you can attend specific classes for a passport holder, card holder, key holder, or hand pouch.
Discover the world of printmaking
Ever wanted to have your personal creation plastered on a bag or a shirt for the world to see? Turn that vision into a reality with the help of printmaking and image creation via traditional techniques like screen-printing and drypoint! If you’re fond of working on the majestic material of silk, sign up for Artsembly’s The Silkscreen Workshop with Ong Li Jie on 3 February. The 3-hour guided session will not only introduce you to the world of printmaking (specifically, silkscreening), but also allow you to get some hands-on action with a basic design template to create personalised stencil screen fit for A4 papers and a Muji tote bag.
For more printmaking goodness, Singapore Tyler Print Institute offers screen-printing workshops and classes on paper pulp painting, where you’ll be able to create your own prints at the end of the session. Fab local textile label Fictive Fingers is another notable mention. At its three-hour workshops, you’ll learn to design simple motifs, basic patterning along with sustainable practices. Keep your eyes peeled for its next session — these workshops sell out in a flash and you wouldn’t want to miss it!
Unleash your inner William Blake with watercolouring
How pretty is watercolour art? Watercolour designs have been popping up on wedding invites, card, posters, businesses, and even raking in the likes on Instagram. But it’s not just the paint that produces such effects, it also comes from painting techniques and brush control that you can learn at workshops. Art studio Jovial Crafts will be conducting a watercolour calligraphy class from 2 to 4 February at the Twilight: Flea & Feast pop-up, where you’ll learn to work your wrist in blending colours to create gorgeous works of art by just using a brush!
Naiise hosts watercolour workshops (aside from selling rad stuff) like floral watercolouring, life watercoloring and basic watercolouring. Natalie Studio also holds basic watercolour workshops so you can learn how to make stunning watercolour background washes for calligraphy, art journaling and scrapbooking.
Build your own concrete furniture
Can’t get enough of hip, concrete home accessories? Then sign up for a concrete casting workshop at Concrete Everything. Craft a new furniture piece for your living area at the concrete mini stool casting workshop, or create a quirky new addition to your workspace at the marble planter casting workshop.
Stitch your very own bags
Take your sewing skills up a notch and create your very own tote bags instead! Bag maker Beary Naise Co. hosts bag-stitching classes every month with a Japanese cotton tote bag sewing workshop in February. Local crafter Jasmine of Applelulu Crafts will turn you into a bag-stitching pro in no time. Besides creating Japanese-styled handmade bags and pouches, she also hosts sewing and craft workshops at her home studio. If you’re not familiar with needles and sewing machines, don’t fret, these guys will be guiding you along the way!
Something to help you relax at home
Most of the candle-makers here started out just like this: a DIY project to create the ideal candle. Check-in into a class with To Be Calm and bottle up your favourite scents into your very own soy candle. It’s hard not to be interested in aromatherapy and learning to blend essential oils but there are art and science to it. Level up and sign up for classes on blending oils and how aromatherapy can help remedy and heal at various centres like Alps Academy and Soho Nature. Candles of Light also hold perfumery classes so you can have a bottle of your handcrafted scent for keeps.
Take your skincare regime to another level
If buying soap straight from a store won’t do for you, sign up for soap-making classes held by SoapLah and Rough Beauty where you can learn to make scrubs too. Plus, you can get started on that all green beauty regimen for 2018 with workshops by Frank Skincare as you learn about facial oils for your skin type and perhaps even be game enough for an organic makeover.
Get creative with art jamming
All the rage with would-be painters, art jamming might just be the thing for you. Cups N Canvas on Selegie Rd offers three-hour art classes for $60 a pop. Also check out Art Jam Studio, where you can choose to daub solo or pay for brush-holding guidance. If you’re chasing art-making materials for a DIY painting session then we recommend hunting down Overjoyed on Short St – the art supplies store frequented by art students in the know, from across the road at LASALLE.
Design your very own flower pots
Pots are boring on their own, so why not shake things up by painting some cool designs onto them prior to stuffing them with plants or using them for decorative purposes. The Rain in Spain is the brainchild of artist Mei Po who runs a Paint a Pot workshop twice a month besides selling her hand-painted wares. Join her for a creative session and give your terracotta pot some personality with one-of-a-kind designs.
Explore your sense of smell
If you love perfume, it’s time to take control of your personal scent; forget about buying off the shelves – create a bespoke fragrance that’s entirely made for you and only you, and you’ll own an instantly identifiable scent. Experience bespoke perfumes with Je T’aime Perfumery, grab a partner and sign up for its couple perfume workshop (you can also go solo). Oo La Lab — olfactory experts who specialise in fragrance design and mixology services — also hosts fragrance design and mixology sessions (aka ‘Chemistry of Oo’) where you can craft your own unique 20ml Eau de Parfum, name it and take it home. Check out how our beauty guru Nafeesa Saini and photographer Darissa Lee created theirs.
Be playful with polymer clay
Remember those fun times you had with playdough as a kid? Rehash those memories (and take those skills up a notch) with a polymer clay workshop. At Tinkle Art Room, you’ll learn to create the most detailed clay creations – the outstanding work put out by previous students include sculptures of sushi, monster milkshakes of multiple components, cakes and animals. But because we just can’t get enough jewellery in our lives over here, we have our eyes on the workshops with local jewellery designer Longue Vue. Workshops start at $150 to learn how to create your own necklace and earrings (pictured above), and you can also pick up skills in foiling, marbling and more.
Work with crystals
Semi-precious gemstones and minerals are not only pleasing to the eye, but many swear by their positive effects on wellbeing too. Want to learn more? Join the Alternative Store at Haji Lane for a foundational crystal workshop where you’ll work with three specific crystals and find out how each stone provides a variety of insights to each exercise. By the end of the session, you’ll be all set to start your very own crystal collection!
Flower selection and arranging, home styling and Instagram skills
Charlie Cameron, stylist and blogger of Lottie is Loving and interior stylist and founder of Floweret Co, Kate Gallagher have come together to launch The Assembly Hall: a community for adults to pick up creative skills. The workshops start from $79 for a two-hour course and are already super popular!
Basic jewellery making
Love gemstone jewellery and want to try your hand at designing your own? Check out Liz’s B’s Basic Jewellery Making Workshop (pictured top), where you’ll learn basic techniques such as wiring, and how to work with gemstones and beads from one of Singapore’s fab independent jewellery designers. All tools and materials are provided so the only thing you need to bring along is yourself. Honeycombers editor Selina checked this one out herself, and loved putting together an onyx necklace and tasselled earrings. Her thoughts? “It helped that Liz herself was a patient teacher, even with my complete lack of coordination.” Her words, not ours!
Go the extra mile with silversmithing
If you prefer the craft of silversmithing, head to Fat Anvil Studios. At the beginner workshops, you’ll learn traditional silversmithing methods like soldering, annealing and texturing and take home rings or pendants. But if you’re looking to learn how to craft your own jewellery, sign up for the six-day course – it’ll encompass piercing, filling, soldering, texturing, finishing and stone setting, as well as workshop safety precautions. But if you’re looking to get really serious, the Jewellery Design and Management International School offers comprehensive courses which includes professional equipment, precious metals and more in its fees.
Ditch boring texts for fancy calligraphy
Think your handwriting’s a lost cause? Prove yourself wrong with a calligraphy class. Head to The Workroom‘s Modern Calligraphy session to perfect your penmanship; you’ll familiarise yourself with a pointed nib, and learn how to write the alphabet using basic strokes. You’ll even leave with a beginner’s kit for pointed pen calligraphy. Prefer working with a brush? Souldeelight’s Brush Calligraphy class will teach you the basic premise of a simple thin upstroke and thicker downstroke.
Get your hands dirty with ceramics
Crafting your own clay sculpture or ornament can be extremely therapeutic and an absolute relaxer after a long week of work. Hit up Goodman Ceramics Studio for their extensive range of pottery programmes – from clay mug (for a basic introduction to ceramics), plate making, pottery painting, to hot glass bead making. Looking to advance your skills and pursue ceramics as a serious interest? Check out the sculpture and ceramic classes at Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA).
Assemble a terrarium
A spot of greenery can do wonders for brightening the crib, and terrariums make an excellent choice with their low maintenance factor. You won’t need to have green thumbs to craft this gorgeous mini glass garden either! Green Banana, regulars at Public Garden flea markets, stocks an extensive catalogue of pre-designed terrariums and accessories and also offers basic terrarium-making classes. Another option for terrarium lovers is The Plant Story, which lets you customise workshops based on your group size, budget and availability.
Bind a book
With the emergence of machines and mass-production for efficiency, bookbinding by hand is a thing of the past. When it comes to top-quality bookbinding, Bynd Artisan is an absolute master of the craft. This 75-years-old company conducts workshops such as long-stitch bookbinding ($150), and even medieval bookbinding ($200) if you wanna appease your inner Game of Thrones geek. But if you prefer something more basic, opt for Dddots. A bookbinding course here is priced at $500 for three four-hour sessions. You’ll be able to access tools and equipment, as well as create your very own book project.
Letterpress for a vintage feel
Learn more about the basics of letterpress, an age-old print technique, and personalize your own name cards while you’re at it. The talented folks from The Gentlemen’s Press hold workshops, which will take you through the fundamentals of typography, typesetting, layout, and the printing process. Alternatively, PapyPress (from $138) hosts private sessions for those who prefer a one-on-one approach on setting up and operating the letterpress machine. You’ll also get to create your signature letterpress design!
Rubber Stamp Carving
Learn how to carve your own adorable rubber stamps, which are perfect for printing on greeting cards or pattern making. Targeted for beginners, The Workroom runs rubber stamp carving workshops ($95) where you’ll use sharp tools to create shapes and designs onto rubber. Learn carving and stamping techniques, and even how to prepare and maintain the stamps. End your sessions with some take-home materials as souvenirs.
Polish your sewing skills
If you haven’t read our round-up of sewing classes in Singapore, get on it! Whether you wish to pick up the basics, try your hand at designing your own apparel, or dream of being on the next Project Runway, we’ve got you covered. Fans of local bag label Uyii will also be glad to know that they also offer beginner sewing classes ($100) and accessory making (kiss-lock clutches workshop – $69) workshops as well.
Why blow big bucks on bouquets when you can arrange your own? With a whole host of florists in Singapore offering flower arrangement courses, it’s a toughie choosing the right one. The ever-amazing Karen French holds flower arrangement classes for beginners and intermediate level students, and will teach you how to whip up a fab bouquet in no time. Another favourite is Wonderland for Detailed Planners (you have to check out their gorgeous shop space at Telok Ayer!), who not only offer centrepiece flower arrangement courses, they also host workshops in floral illustration, watercolour techniques, unique calligraphy, and vintage bookbinding classes.
If you haven’t heard of tatting before, we don’t blame you. It’s practically a lost art in Singapore, but we think it deserves a place in the spotlight once more. It’s about using shuttle and thread to form lace patterns and designs, which can be used for jewellery, table runners, charms, and home decor. UniQ creations are one of the few folks in town who conduct tatting classes, and you can catch them at the monthly MAAD Pyjamas flea markets.