Caboose
Caboose Facebook

All is not lost for metro-area model railroaders: Caboose Hobbies, which closed its doors last year, has been resurrected under new ownership as simply Caboose and relocated to Lakewood, near the Federal Center. Retooled to be more inviting to enthusiasts old and new, with a bigger presence online and on social media, the new Caboose strives to keep an old-fashioned hobby alive, up to date and vital in the age of bullet trains, jet airplanes and rockets to Mars. Whether you're three years old and ready for your first Thomas the Tank Engine toy or an old hand with a cool setup in the basement, Caboose is still the local go-to.

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.

sewbago.com

Hygge fits the crafty hipster crowd like a colorful, hand-knit glove, and that's what this site is all about: the handmade, the cozy, the palpable evidence of human comfort in a loving household. A Danish import as soft as a sheepskin rug, the homey design philosophy plays up cocoa and candles, fresh flowers and a relaxed lifestyle. Denver-based online emporium Hygge Life has it down, thanks to careful research by founders Alexandra Gove and Koen van Renswoude, who've rounded up European handwoven blankets and pillows, fringed kilim-print Turkish towels, adorable baby mocs, candles galore, sheepskins and other Hygge-esque merch, all in one place for your slow, happy approval. Don't worry — we won't bother trying to tell you how the name is pronounced. Skaal!

hyggelife.com

I Made It Workshop
I Made It Workshop Facebook

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.

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.

29 South Fox Street
303-321-7101
inklounge.com

Readers' Choice: Fabric Bliss

Fancy Tiger Crafts

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.

Readers' Choice: Fabric Bliss

The Craft Box
The Craft Box Facebook

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.

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 from May to August; it also has vendor space at Lafayette's second-Friday Art Night Out events, in Old Town from May through September. Live it, make it, love it.

720-580-3240
crafted.life

RAFT Colorado

RAFT Colorado touts itself as a resource for teaching, and that's undeniably true. But it also stocks an amazing collection of weird stuff at ultra-reasonable prices that imaginative instructors can turn into teaching tools — like old coin receptacles from Colorado casinos that make great stacking cups, or VHS tape boxes that can be given new life as pencil containers. The list goes on and on and on, and because donations come in every day, the stock is constantly changing. As a bonus, the staff is filled with creative thinkers who can help educators overwhelmed by the many odds and ends arrayed before them come up with new, out-of-the-box ideas for how to take their classrooms to the next level.

Angelo's CDs

Unlike so many cities around the country, Denver is blessed with a plethora of great places to purchase music on new and vintage vinyl. Too bad the prices at the trendier joints can take some of the fun out of the process. Angelo's isn't on the radar of most hipsters, but it should be. The mini-chain has four stores in the metro area, including outlets in Capitol Hill, at 937 East Colfax; in Aurora, at 16711 East Iliff; and in Wheat Ridge, at 3350 Youngfield. Our favorite, though, is the South Broadway location, in part because of the deals offered on used 45s. The outlet has stacks and stacks of seven-inch wax, with the vast majority of the offerings priced at 99 cents — and if you buy three, you get the fourth one free. It's a great way to feed your vinyl habit without breaking your budget.

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