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!
Explore your sense of smell
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. 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.
Want a scent for your home? Natural perfumery Light hosts quarterly workshops (next one’s on 28 April) for you to create your signature scent and turn it into a room mist. It also does private workshops if you’re looking for a fun activity with the mates.
Make your own line of jewellery
For the uninitiated, 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. These regular mala-making workshops are pretty popular (keep your eyes peeled for the next workshop!), and with a 15-20 minute in-class meditation, we can see why the workshops are always sold out.
Can’t get enough of vibrant tassels earrings? Make your very own with the help of Wabi Sabi and Me on 24 and 28 April. Learn to assemble a unique motif with leather and paper flowers to match your tassel earrings for a statement look that screams you. With limited spots available, sign up fast at Lumine!
Besides mala-making workshops, Wabi Sabi and Me also has The Electro-Etching Workshop that 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.
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. For vase arrangement, look no further than Ask a French where you’ll also learn about identifying the flowers best for Singapore’s tropical weather and the colours to accompany your vase.
Another favourite is Wonderland for Detailed Planners (you have to check out their gorgeous shop space at Telok Ayer!). These guys not only offer centrepiece flower arrangement courses, but also host workshops in floral illustration, watercolour techniques, unique calligraphy, and vintage bookbinding classes.
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. 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.”
But if you prefer something simple yet playful, check out accessory label WoonHung’s DIY necklace workshop. You’ll learn how to make colourful necklaces using sustainable wood that are handcrafted from Cebu. With unique shapes, this is definitely one to put your creativity to the test!
Make wooden home accessories
Learn to make your very own hanging shelf in 1.5 hours with the pros at Dabble Studio (follow them for updates on more gift and home accessory-making workshops). Build a hanging shelf using natural cord, a wooden plank, wooden beads and a dowel. For more shelf making, check out Ground-Up Initiative’s lineup of workshops. These guys are also known for basic woodworking and making wooden toys for kids!
If you prefer flowers that are low maintenance (perfect for non-green fingers like me), try your hands on crafting crepe paper flowers. The brainchild 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.
Learn about leather craftwork
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
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 conducts watercolour calligraphy classes 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.
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!
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.
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.
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.