Best Craft Classes 2018 | ReCreative Denver | Best of Denver® | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Denver | Westword
Courtesy ReCreative Denver Facebook page

Whether it's out of a need for cheaper art materials or just the joy of making something from nothing and helping the environment along the way, recycled objects, fabrics, art supplies and random junk have all become the essential nuts and bolts of modern assemblages and art in general. Call it an environmental statement or whatever you like, the trend does help the earth — and hardscrabble artists — by default. ReCreative aids both causes by collecting and selling such materials for a fair price, but it goes a step further by also providing communal makerspaces with tools to share, low-rent studios, gallery space and an artist marketplace. Classes cover all ages and skill levels and include Woodworking for Women, Intro to Sewing and a Kids Studio.

Readers' Choice: Fancy Tiger Crafts

Thompson's Hobbies and Crafts has staying power. When we gave the store Best of Denver awards during consecutive years way back in 1988 and 1989, it had already been around for decades; it was founded in 1965. And if anything, it's even more of a treasure today — an antidote to chain-box-store conformity. In addition to an incredible variety of hobby and art supplies offered at extremely competitive prices, Thompson's is also the place to go for modeling kits, dollhouse accessories and the sort of what-the-hell-is-it items that supercharge the creativity in the crafty among us.

1585 Wadsworth Boulevard, Lakewood


Readers' Choice: Meininger Art Supply

Best New Home for an Old Denver Business


Caboose Facebook

In 2016, it looked like the end for Caboose Hobbies: The store lost its lease, suffering a now all-too-familiar fate for many older Denver area businesses. After decades in the model-train biz, owner Duane Miller decided it was the end of the line, but customer Kevin Ruble saw a better future and snapped up the storied retailer. The new location may be farther from the city center and a much smaller space than the expansive Broadway shop, but Caboose (Ruble dropped "Hobbies" from the moniker) has the same amount of inventory and still attracts model-train enthusiasts from across the county.

Rosehouse Instagram

When owner and chief herbalist Lynn Flanagan-Till opened Rosehouse a year ago on South Broadway, she had big shoes to fill as the successor to the well-loved boutique Ironwood, which previously occupied the same space. She not only took over the shop, but she's also left a singular footprint of her own on the retail block, turning it into a place where unusual plants mingle with botanical art and handmade herbal teas, oils, extracts, natural beauty products — and other unexpected treasures. Whether you want to pick up a poisonous angel's trumpet plant or a nice, beautifully potted — and safe — mini-succulent garden, Rosehouse is waiting for you to step into its living apothecary and visit for a while.

Readers' Choice: Decade

Courtesy Lawrence and Larimer Facebook page

John and Keonna Chapman launched Lawrence and Larimer as an online boutique for men and women with stylish street flair, but it was only a matter of time before they went brick-and-mortar in an East Colfax storefront in the Bluebird District. Inside, you'll find graphic tees, bomber jackets and sweatshirts for both sexes, exclusive lines and dope headwear for the discriminating hip-hop head. Get comfortable and get with it at L and L.

Readers' Choice: The Green Solution

Mauricio O. Rocha

One person's trash is another's treasure, especially if it's stylish. This consignment shop has several locations, but the one in Cherry Creek North stocks an impressive amount of designer clothing and accessories for women, and at a fraction of the original price. Rags carries iconic pieces from classic brands like Lacoste, Coach and Louis Vuitton, making this a fashion haven for the thrifty and chic. Smart shoppers swing by Rags before shelling out big bucks at the Cherry Creek mall around the corner, because the shop proves that even if you're on a budget, you don't have to look like it.

Readers' Choice: Revampt

Westword file photo

These days, when you don't even need paper boarding passes, much less tickets, to get on a plane, having a U.S. Post Office in an airport might seem like a quaint relic of the past. That is, until you realize that you forgot to sign that contract that needs to be mailed before you head to Japan. Or that you're still carrying around your parents' anniversary card because you didn't have a stamp. That's when this post office will come in very, very handy. (It even has cards, if you forgot to get one for your parents in the first place.) And then there are those edibles you forgot to hide in the luggage you've already checked...though you know it's illegal to send marijuana through the mail, right?

8500 Pena Boulevard


Readers' Choice: Taspen Organics

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Yes, sushi at Walgreens! Finally, a place where you can buy cough syrup, greeting cards, underwear and a spicy tuna roll. This location went from blight to bright a few years ago and today is the flagship in the chain, a wonderfully clean, streamlined space that looks like it shared a designer with nearby pot shop Euflora. It's a handy stop in the morning when you need a bottle of aspirin for that big meeting, and a welcome one just before midnight when you realize you're out of milk for the morning's coffee. And then there's the sushi, made fresh daily by actual sushi chefs manning the counter in the front of the store. Don't be afraid!

801 16th Street


Readers' Choice: Uniqlo

Courtesy Denver Art Museum

The Denver Art Museum has a lot of impressive collections, but the array of merch in the gift shop might be the most impressive of all. The airy, first-floor retail space is a complement to the institution's current exhibits as well as its permanent displays, offering everything from postcards, puzzles and big, glossy coffee-table books to housewares, jewelry and arty clothing inspired by the work on the walls. With trinkets and treasures that fit modest and big budgets alike, the DAM's gift shop is a great place to score art-minded — and Denver-centric — items.

Readers' Choice: Denver Art Museum

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Pete's Fruits and Vegetables has served the Hilltop neighborhood for more than three decades, and it remains as relevant as ever for shoppers after a true local market experience. Under the watchful eye of two generations of the Moutzouris family, Pete's spins out top-quality produce, local packaged products (Sweet Action ice cream, the Real Dill pickles, Tender Belly bacon), an on-site butchery and prepared meals with a Greek flair. Worth browsing for its endless delights, we're particularly enamored of its feta bar, its bacalao (salted cod) and its Greek pastries. The baklava that's sold at the register is nearly impossible to pass up. Pete's just appended a liquor store onto its space, an especially good source for — what else? — Greek spirits and wines.

5606 East Cedar Avenue


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