Arts and Culture

Six Places for Arts and Craft Lovers in Denver

Denver is a craft-lover's wonderland.
Denver is a craft-lover's wonderland. Bruce Turner, Flickr
Sure, Denver's a hub for outdoorsy types, music fans, art lovers, craft-brew bros and cannabis connoisseurs. And the Mile High City has people who prefer to huddle inside and create arts and crafts covered, too.Here are six of our favorite metro-area resources for craft lovers, culled from our Best of Denver edition.

click to enlarge Sewbago brings sewing classes to you. - MARKUS GROSSALBER, FLICKR.
Sewbago brings sewing classes to you.
Markus Grossalber, Flickr.
Best Sewing Classes on Wheels

Sew as you go: Sewing teacher Tish Gance created Sewbago, a mobile version of her HISS Studio (a previous Best of Denver winner), and now she’s taken her show entirely on the road, bringing sewing classes directly to private parties or parking lots and street corners all over the metro area. Gance’s classic ’72 Winnebago Chieftain is outfitted with sewing machines (you can also bring your own) and space to accommodate three students at a time; classes include such basics as Introduction to Sewing and the Doomsday Class, where you’ll learn to sew on a button, fix a hem and other skills needed to make it through the zombie apocalypse. Course registration closes 24 hours ahead of each class; visit the website for more information.

Update: Sewbago is now closed. The store posted the following on its webpage:

To all our students, friends, supporters and family who gave us the courage to be the first Mobile Sewing Studio in Denver! Unfortunately, we didn't receive enough class sign ups to support the Sewbago, and will be resuming classes in a brick and mortar location.

It was a GREAT run, and many wonderful memories were created with the Sewbago. The past year and a half will forever remain in our hearts as a fun and exciting adventure, we hope you will join us for the next chapter at HISS Studio in our new Lowry location.
click to enlarge DUSTIN GAFFKE, FLICKR
Dustin Gaffke, Flickr
Best Place to Build It Yourself
I Made It Workshop
617 22nd Street

Got a hankering to hammer nails into something? Now apartment dwellers and other Denverites lacking tools or pinched for space can bang away all they like at I Made It, a fully outfitted community woodworking space that you can use for a per-project fee. Familiarize yourself with the shop and its tools during an orientation session, then book shop time if you choose to take on your own pet project (with one-on-one help as needed) or take a class (projects vary from cutting boards to coffee tables). It’s all no muss, no fuss, and you can leave the sawdust behind.

click to enlarge VIVIANDNGUYEN_, FLICKR
viviandnguyen_, Flickr
Best Craft Classes
Ink Lounge
29 South Fox Street

Craft workshops are a mixed bag, and sometimes all you have to show for your time and money is a misshapen ashtray or, worse, a plate you painted with the same design everyone else tried. But everyone can use another T-shirt, especially if it’s one you printed yourself. Ink Lounge, a working screen-printing studio run by pros Stu and Nicky Alden, encourages teamwork during a couple of hours of good, messy fun that leave you with up to eight shirts (or tea towels, totes, pillow shams or whatever). Workshops are tailored to all age groups, plus parties or private lessons, and you go home with something you’ll use again and again.

Best Craft-Supply Store
Fancy Tiger Crafts
59 Broadway

Since Fancy Tiger opened its doors on Broadway more than ten years ago, Jaime Jennings and Amber Corcoran have built it up to be the gold standard of Denver craft stores, bringing a modern DIY spin to the handiwork of the ages while also creating a safe space where the new crafting community can meet. Fancy Tiger is your one-stop shop for design-savvy fabrics; the latest yarns, patterns, notions, books and kits, and an ongoing slate of classes where you can put your purchases to work and improve your crafting skills.

Best Craft-Supply Store on a Budget
The Craft Box
16399 South Golden Road, Golden

Yes, there is such a thing as a thrift store for craft supplies. Golden’s Craft Box gathers its wares at estate sales and from individuals liquidating collections of fabrics, yarns, rubber stamps, card stock and more, then offers it to you for quilting, sewing, scrapbooking, card-making and just about any other kind of crafting you can think of. An appointment is necessary if you’re aching to rid yourself of your own crafting scraps, but be prepared for a wait list; once the staff gets to your pile, they’ll compensate you for whatever’s salable and donate the rest to charity. Instead of a big box, try the Craft Box the next time you’re looking for cheap craft supplies.

Christopher Bulle, Flickr
Best Online Crafting Resource
Crafted Life

Crafted Life no longer operates a brick-and-mortar in Lafayette, but you can still find it on the Internet, where beginners can purchase DIY kits with all they need to knit an octopus or embroider a mermaid, and more seasoned crafters can find supplies for embroidery, knitting, needle felting, sewing and other crafts of choice. And just to make sure those living the crafted life in real time have an outlet for their handmade goods, Crafted Life hosts a series of craft markets in Old Town Lafayette every last Saturday of the month in the summer; the last one is August 26. It also has vendor space at Lafayette’s second-Friday Art Night Out events, in Old Town through September. Live it, make it, love it.
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