A new year brings new ideas, and maybe perhaps a few new resolutions. This year I want to get out to as many local businesses as I can and really dive into what they offer their clientele. And I can’t think of a better (or more fun) way of doing that than attending a few local creative classes and/or workshops.
Whether your New Years resolution is to meet new people, hone your creativity, or just try something different, I have a feeling any of the following creative classes will help you meet those goals.
Local Creative Classes
Using natural handcrafted soaps is all the rage these days. Even better if you are the one making it! There are a few businesses on Vancouver Island who can help you do just that.
Length of Class: Approximately 3 hours
Class Size: Maximum of 6 students per class in order to provide time for questions and one-on-one help.
Cost: $90.00 (plus GST) – non-refundable and due at the time of registration
What to Expect:
Each student makes 3 pounds of quality handmade soap, which cuts into approximately 14-16 bars to take home.
You get to choose a favourite scent from the selection of essential oils and fragrance oil, as well as an exfoliant (for example cranberry seeds, loofah, orange peel, etc.). You also have a choice of ten different natural colourants like clays, oxides, and ultramarines (you choose 1 colour to work with).
The class consists of 30 minutes of theory, with the remaining time left for soap making. No experience is required, and all supplies are included. All you have to bring is your creativity!
Length of Class: 2.5 hours
Class Size: From 1 – 4 people
Cost: Beginners class is $60; Advanced class is $50
What to Expect:
Each student will make a 4 pound batch of soap, which is equivalent to approximately 21 bars to take home.
Starting with rainwater and olive or coconut oil, these soaps are made from the best natural ingredients available. You also get to choose from the many essential oils, clays, and botanicals to make a custom soap to your liking.
Island Rain Natural Soap has both a Beginners class and an Advanced class available. The Advanced class is for anyone who has already taken the beginner class and wishes to make more soap.
Length of Classes: 1.5 – 2 hours (depending on class)
Cost: Soap Making 101 is $78.75 (2 hours); Just Make Soap is $68.25 (1.5 hours)
What to Expect:
The soap that comes from Vancouver Island Soap Works is vegetable based with no animal products. They also use local plant material and natural clays. Ingredients that are both good for you, as well as good for the environment.
They have two soap making classes available:
- Soap Making 101 – where you will learn the art of soap making and design, and create 4 lbs of handcrafted soap (enough for you to bring home 18, one-inch bars).
- Just Make Soap – this class skips the theory and gets right down to the business of making soap. You’ll create 4 lbs of handcrafted soap (enough to bring home 18 one-inch bars).
A great way to try out something new is in the kitchen. And I can’t think of a better place to start than learning from a professional. If you are interested in learning a new skill, take one of these popular cooking classes. There is bound to be one near you!
The London Chef offers a variety of cooking classes. Whether you are a novice or a seasoned cook, this premier cooking school will help anyone hone their kitchen skills. Students have their own cooking stations and will cook alongside the chef in real-time.
They offer private classes and an assortment of varying public lessons, as well as dining events.
Cook Culture offers a variety of cooking classes for every interest and skill level. You will find everything from learning the basics in the kitchen, to tackling Rustic Italian. They offer hands-on instructional classes, where the chef guides you in making the courses; as well as demonstration classes, where you get to sit back, watch, and learn.
Location: North Saanich
Learn how to cook authentic Thai food from a master cooking instructor. The great thing about taking a class with Kallayanee is that you will benefit from free cooking support whenever you are trying to cook your new recipes at home. She is just an email away, and willing to help!
A variety of cooking classes are available at Deerholme Farm. They have both hands-on classes for smaller groups, as well as larger demonstration classes. You will be working with the finest local ingredients, and each class is under the expert guidance of Bill Jones (author of 9 cookbooks).
With years of experience as a bakery owner, a pastry chef at the Fairmont Empress, and head of the Professional Baking and Pastry department at VIU, Martin Barnett now inspires others through Seraphina’s Oven. It is here that Martin, along with other talented associates, teaches classes at this community home-based bakery. There are a variety of Bread, Pastry and Confection workshops.
Location: Bowen Complex – Nanaimo
Nanaimo Parks and Recreation offers a variety of cooking lessons through their activity guide. Whether you want to learn how to cook Mexican, Thai, Japanese, or Punjabi, they’ve got you covered. And their prices are extremely reasonable too!
Cake and Cookie Decorating
Location: Michaels – various locations.
Learn the art of cake design and cookie decorating. Learn how to make buttercream and royal icing, and work with fondant and gum paste to create amazing designs and details on cakes and cookies.
Learn how to make delicious, fun and fancy cookies in the comfort of your own home.
- Ladies night, “Paint Night” style
- Kids’ get-togethers
- Parents and kids classes
Each class is customized to your specific needs and skill level. As well, each class includes necessary materials, set up, and a box to take home your delicious finished works of art.
Cost: For a two-hour class: $50.00 per participant, with a six-person minimum. No max, provided there is ample space for everyone to work comfortably.
Travel to your location is included in the price, as long as you live in the Mid-Island area (Bowser to Nanaimo).
Decorative Furniture Painting Workshops
Have you ever wanted to paint a piece of furniture but were afraid to do so? The following workshops will help you conquer that fear by showing you all the tips and tricks needed to make that piece of furniture better than ever!
The workshops held at Abbeylane are led by one of the leading professional decorative finishing companies on the North Island. During the workshops, Brenda will teach you everything you need to know about painting with Cottage Paint – a chalk/clay based paint made in Canada.
Location(s): Courtney and Nanaimo
Learn about decorative painting in a hands-on workshop using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint™. While under expert guidance the workshops held at Red Living will help you learn the basics about Chalk Paint™ (Chalk Paint™ 101), or you are welcome to bring in your own piece for one-on-one coaching.
Location: Qualicum Beach
Revived Vintage has a variety of classes on decorative paints. There are Milk Paint workshops, Chalk Paint™ workshops, Refinishing classes, Make and Take Project classes, and Jam Sessions which focuses on skills and techniques.
Using Country Chic Paint, the ladies at Island-ish will help you create something beautiful! There are lots of workshops to choose from. Learn the basics of using Country Chic Paint in an Intro Demo; learn how to paint your kitchen cupboards; bring your own piece and learn the steps to refurbished furniture painting; or, make a rustic home decor sign using a popular Island-ish saying, or your own monogram.
If you are wishing to learn everything about decorative painting, this is the place for you! From an Intro to Furniture Painting, to more advanced classes that show you how to stencil and emboss, Reloving Furniture has a huge variety of workshops available. They even have classes available for children.
If Annie Sloan is your favourite Chalk Paint™, and you live in the Greater Victoria area, then the workshops provided by A French Touch are for you! Not only will you learn the basics of how to use this decorative paint, but also some stunning paint finishes and techniques that will take your furniture to the next level.
The classes at The Old Attic will help you turn your restored furniture into the ever-popular French Country and Shabby Chic style. Bring in your own piece and an Island representative for Cottage Paint will help you turn that old furniture into something you love!
So, have these ideas ignited a creative spark yet?
If after reading this list you feel I have missed a Vancouver Island business that provides any of the above mentioned creative classes, please let me know in the comment section below.
If you are looking for even more ideas, make sure to read our post: Fun Friend Meet-ups on Vancouver Island
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