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Craft Unique Gifts at These Festive Brandywine Valley Workshops

Photo by Adobe Stock / LIGHTFIELD STUDIOS

Need a unique gift idea? Craft décor and festive presents at these holiday-themed workshops around the Brandywine Valley.

The winter months don’t have to be blue. In fact, the holiday season is the perfect time to cultivate your inner artist. Even if you don’t have the time to take up a new hobby, you can always dip your toes into something new at a workshop. Below, you’ll find a handy list of seasonal DIY workshops offered by local businesses.

Inland Bays Garden Center

More than just a plant and garden supply store, the Inland Bays Garden Center focuses on environmental advocacy and restoration. “We really need to make a difference in what we plant now, [and] not just plant for beauty—planting for a purpose, planting for our native insects, bees, birds and wildlife,” says Cheryl Rehrig, the Garden Center’s co-founder. “Everybody needs to chip in and do something.”

The center hosts a variety of workshops throughout the year, but this December, Rehrig’s favorite is on the schedule: the tabletop tree workshop. “When you’re finished, it looks like you have a miniature tree, about a foot and a half or 2 feet tall. It’s incredible,” Rehrig says. Alison Webb, a 1985 American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD) inductee, will be on hand to help visitors realize their crafty seasonal visions by helping them to arrange a miniature tree of cut evergreens, mostly boxwood. Bringing your own miniature holiday decorations for your tabletop tree is encouraged; sharp clippers and a paring knife are required. Refreshments and materials will be provided; the cost is $60.

Inland Bays Garden Center crafting workshops

At the Inland Bays Garden Center, you can combine a variety of greens to craft festive holiday décor. Photo courtesy of Inland Bays Garden Center

Another popular workshop being offered this season for $45 is wreath-making with “master wreath maker” Don Duca. Juniper, fir, holly, magnolia, pine and more will be used to craft this festive holiday staple. It’s BYOR (bring your own ribbon), and Duca will teach you how to make the perfect bow for your wreath. Complete with carols, hot cider and gingerbread, this workshop will be a feast for the senses. The workshops, Rehrig notes, are “a fun way to get people into the Garden Center during the off-season.… It’s also a chance to meet people and socialize and explain what our mission is in the long run.” (Note: The workshops are for adults.)

38320 Muddy Neck Road, Frankford, DE, (302) 539-1839

LaFate Gallery

Join award-winning folk artist and gallery owner Eunice LaFate for a whimsical “Unique Wine Glass Paint Night/Day.” Use the provided dishwasher-safe glass paint to create a treasure for your mantelpiece or dining room that you’re sure to cherish for years to come, or gift it this holiday season. In addition, use vibrant acrylic paints to decorate a holiday card for a loved one. All materials will be provided, including glasses and wine. Contact LaFate to schedule your paint event. The price for this workshop is $45.

227 N Market St, Wilmington, DE, (302) 656-6786

Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library

Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library workshops

Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library hosts Wonderful Wednesdays. Photo courtesy of Riedel: The Wine Glass Company

Throughout December, Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library hosts Wonderful Wednesdays from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., offering a perfect holiday escape for you and yours. You can tour the lavishly decorated, historic Winterthur mansion, sip cocktails, make s’mores, listen to live jazz and more. In addition, Winterthur offers holiday workshops on Wonderful Wednesdays. On December 14, American Heritage Chocolate leads a “Taste and Learn!” chocolate tasting workshop. On December 21, try your hand at soap-making with “The Art of Handmade Soap,” led by Miche Scott Handmade. Finally, on December 28, Crumb & Cow hosts a New Year’s Eve charcuterie wreath workshop.

5105 Kennett Pike, Winterthur, DE, (302) 888-4775

Newark Arts Alliance

On December 16, add a little coziness to your Friday night happy hour with Terry Foreman, a local artist and executive director of the Newark Arts Alliance, who will teach you to make felt ornaments. In this adult class, guests are encouraged to experiment with materials—and libations. Bring your own drinks if you want to spice up your felting. $32 for members, $35 for nonmembers.

276 E Main St, Suite 102, Newark, DE, (302) 266-7266

Related: Ways to Give Back in the Brandywine Valley This Holiday Season