A common conversation in the virtual Stylist HQ this week has been: “How will we spend this lockdown?” While some are planning on bedding in and taking Netflix for all it’s got over the next four weeks, others are adamant that they will learn a new skill and get productive.
Neither approach is right or wrong of course, but if you are feeling a little apprehensive about being stuck indoors without much to do, then taking a crafty class online could give you something to focus on.
As well as being a great time filler these virtual workshops will help you flex your creative muscles and could leave you feeling inspired to take up a new hobby. You might even discover you have a hidden talent to nurture.
Here, we’ve picked out some of the loveliest online workshops, from candle making to pottery, to try at home this lockdown. What’s more, we’re aiming to highlight small, independent brands who not only have amazing products but are being forced to pivot their offering at this difficult time of year and are in need of support.
Make your own candle at home with Earl of East’s online workshop
Earl of East is a boutique home fragrance brand, born out of east London’s Hackney with a chic, industrial aesthetic. Their candles not only smell fantastic but they look great too, coming in an amber glass jar with minimalist packaging.
In this workshop you can try your hand at making your very own Earl of East candle with the help and guidance of an expert instructor. After activating your Virgin Experience Days voucher and prior to your workshop, you’ll receive your candle kit, carefully made up by the studio team in Hackney. This will contain all the ingredients you’ll need including the fragrance you have chosen, plus equipment and your customised candle label.
The kit includes: 300g soy wax, amber jar vessel with wick and lid, 20ml blend of botanical oils, extra wick for additional use, whisk and jug, personalised label, safety label, peg, personalised gift message.
When it’s time for your session, simply jump on Zoom and you’ll be treated to all the tips and techniques to create your very own scented candle.
Next classes: Select after voucher purchase
Woven placemat workshop
La Basketry is an online homeware store inspired by the generational tradition of basket weaving in Senegal. It sells both baskets, homeware, DIY kits and materials for both functional storage and stylish decoration, working with a group of women living in a small, rural village in Senegal to help empower them financially.
You can learn how to make one of these joyful woven creations in an online course for beginners with La Basketry’s co-founder Tabara N’Diaye. The interactive workshop will take place via Zoom for one hour and 45 minuyes, in which you will be guided through some of the basics of weaving a coiled placemat using jute twine.
It’s possible to book onto the class without receiving materials as you’re free to source your own, or for an extra £10 everything you need for two placemats in pink and blue will be sent to you. Materials are sent a week before the workshop, except a pair of scissors and measuring tape/ruler which you will need to provide.
Next classes: 26 November, 2 December, 9 December
Virtual wreath making workshop
Shilpa Reddy Flower Design is a London-based luxury flower designer known her modern approach and visionary creations. Especially for Christmas she is holding several online wreath workshops throughout December, so that you can learn to not only craft a wreath for your door but to style it beautifully as well.
The workshops will take place on Zoom and you’ll be sent a link in advance so that you are able to access the class. If you’re unable to join on the night or a little late in getting started, don’t worry because you’ll be sent a link of the recording post-class.
Your wreath kit will be sent to your home and will include eveyrything you need including a wire wreath ring, floristry wire and sustainable decorations such as dried whole and cut fruit, cinnamon sticks, berries and pine cones.
Next classes: 19 November, 26 November, 3 December, 10 December, 17 December
Virtual pottery masterclass
Pottery is most definitely having a moment. From the oh-so-cool independent ceramists on Instagram to the self-care element of crafting something with your hands, we’re loving every aspect of pottery right now.
If you fancy sculpting something yourself, then give this free class from Anthropologie a go. The lifestyle store has teamed up with new-on-the-scene at-home pottery kits Sculpd (we’ve tried them, by the way, and can vouch for their brilliance) to talk beginners through the tricks and tips of creating something at home from air dry clay.
The class will be run by Sculpd’s resident potter Ellie and you’ll be guided into creating two or three Christmas pottery pieces, with plenty of clay left to carry on your pottery exploration after the workshop.
All you need to do is order yourself a kit from Sculpd by the 2 December to take part. They are priced at £39 each and include instructions, two large packs of air-dry clay, sealant, white paint and tools such as paintbrushes and a sponge for smoothing.
Next classes: 9 December
Images: Getty / courtesy of brands