Sitting down and creating something with your own hands is magic. From the timeless skill of making your own food to the simple pleasure in life like making a card for a loved one, we love to see each other start, try and succeed – “Look, I did it!” With this in mind, we selected 10 charming craft classes of all kinds to get their hands stuck in.
Baking is often a child’s first memory in the kitchen because we’re invariably helping our mom bake something for us. Cakes deliver an evergreen joy that accompanies us to every kind of celebration.
Julie’s Cake Studio has an intimate knowledge of that joy and they share it with all-inclusive multi-day cake decorating classes in Cape Town. Bakers of all skill levels will enjoy the classes and beginner cake decorators are welcome to hone their sugar flower skills, piping royal icing, fondant work and perfectly smooth buttercream are top-tier skills. Bakers leave the cake courses with a box of tools, including piping nozzles, modelling tools, flower tools, palette knife and more housed in a handy box, depending on which course you attend. At the end of each course, you graduate with your final project and a certificate.
Before you commit to a cake course, Julie’s shorter, four-hour workshops could be an option for you. These workshops include icing and drip effects, cookie decorating, fondant figurines and buttercream flowers. All tools needed for the class are supplied along with ingredients and refreshments. As always with this in-demand cake studio, booking is essential!
When: Various times, see the full list of upcoming workshops here
Where: 22 Roseville Road, Claremont, Cape Town
Cost: All-inclusive two to five-day courses from R3650pp | Four-hour workshops start from R950pp
Create Hobby is a unique sewing school which offers the option of completely customizing a course for you. Create Hobby also offers set courses which range from Beginners courses to Advanced and also Patternmaking. Create Hobby offers classes for all ages and there is an option for everyone.
Class options range from kids sewing camps, group classes and private sewing lessons, and they also offer evening classes. Their lecturers have great patience and have all got industry experience to be able to guide our students through their sewing venture. Whatever your sewing dream is, Create Hobby provides the stepping stones to get you to your own end goal.
Several of our students have used their learnt talent and skills they’ve learned with us to start their own businesses. Create Hobby’s classes are fun, educational and social. Not only can they teach you how to sew, but they also can get you fully kitted out with your sewing equipment, as well as post sale support on all equipment purchased.
Classes you can choose from Level 1 Sewing, Level 2 Sewing, Level 3 Sewing, Project Classes, Private Lessons, Level 1 Pattern-making, Level 2 Pattern-making, Kids Sewing Camps (during school holidays).
Where: Create. Hobby Studio, 142 Lower Main Road, Observatory, Cape Town
Cost: R275pp – R7480pp
There’s nothing quite as sweet as the moment when someone compliments the jewellery you’re wearing and you say “Thanks, I make it myself.” Many of us can be picky when it comes to finding the right piece. Abandon your search and make the piece you’re looking for instead.
The silver earring and gold ring workshops are particularly popular because prospective jewellers get to work with designs and metals to produce personal pieces. The zodiac workshops offer classes that allow you to put more of a visible stamp on your work, making for a great gift to give to someone important.
While you’re scoping her workshops, be sure to check out AuTerra’s range, which founder Ashley Heather designs and creates locally. She makes her minimalist designs by hand alongside her colleague, Gilbert, ensuring that all AuTerra products are made by the same four hands every time.
When: 10am – 4pm Monday – Friday | 9am – 3pm Saturdays
Where: First floor, Old Biscuit Mill, 375 Albert Road, Woodstock, Cape Town
Cost: Silver earring workshop R760 | Gold ring workshop R1500
Cape Town’s long history in artisanal trade means that we love to create here in the Cape. Clay Cafe doesn’t cater for making pottery but painting pottery and having a bite does take a very close second. Set on a 2.5 acre property in the Hout Bay valley, the sunlight pours in and a buzzing ambiance of people doing decorates the space.
The delicious kitchen is sustainably run, as the massive plot is teeming with the fresh produce that decks patrons’ plates. The expansive open-plan painting space has enough tables and chairs – and enough space on the table to comfortably paint and eat – to cater for team building, work functions, large groups or parties and even smaller, more intimate groups – booking is essential for all party sizes.
Guests choose from an extensive range of local clays and ceramics as they arrive, before selecting the tantalising colours. Don’t worry too much about not getting that one bottle of paint you had your eye on, as someone at the table definitely has one! Choose your brushes and pick up some stickers to trace around or live on the edge and go free-hand.
Mark your new work of art underneath as the staff indicates to you and collect it when they give you a call.
When: Open daily, 9am – 5pm
Where: Erf 4080, 177 Main Road – opposite Bokkemanskloof Estate – Hout Bay
Cost: Mugs from R55 | Figurines from R80 | Plates from R70 | Platters from R160 | Jugs and bowls from R80
The 12 Apostles Hotel and Spa is more than a hotel, it’s its own living entity where you don’t need to be a guest to enjoy the extensive range of world-beating offers. Sip from the chalice of luxury and visit the hotel’s revered Leopard Bar, which offers a gin-making experience, gin and canapé tasting as well as craft beer and canapé tasting.
The hotel’s in-house chef freshly makes the canapés each night. You’re welcomed with a glass of gin and tonic that the hotel’s mixologists walk you through during the opening minutes. The Leopard Bar’s gin-making experience explains the botanical influences of Cape gin and then allows you to play with your own blends, mixing local fynbos with other botanicals to create your own private gin.
After the experience, you’ll receive a bottle of your gin for safe-keeping or gloating, it’s up to you.
When: Fridays at 5pm, contact for further availability
Where: Victoria Road, Camps Bay, Cape Town
Cost: Gin-making experience R595 | Gin and canape tasting R425 | Craft beer and canape tasting R425
Stir Crazy Cooking School hosts interactive cooking classes and a series of special events, offering uniquely prepared dishes and gourmet menus inspired by the culinary arts.
The Stir Crazy Bistro offers a selection of breakfast and lunch menu items, featuring a first-hand glimpse of chefs preparing dishes for the table. The menu offers a mix of flavours garnished from foraged foods, ethically farmed plant-based and sustainable providers.
Stir Crazy Cooking Theatre also hosts an exclusive Chef’s Dinner once a month, inviting guests to watch Superyacht Chefs in action as they prepare a 5-course dinner.
When: Various dates, 9am to 9.30pm
Where: Stir Crazy Cooking School, 14 West Quay Road, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town
Cost: From R749pp
The Montebello Design Centre feels like a small college or university campus in the way that it’s laid out, one building for ceramics over here, another building for needlework over there. These sections cater for three separate offerings, skills development for artisans, a place to sell work and a place for patrons to come and learn or hone a craft.
Some classes and workshops take place outside of Montebello’s hours, like adult art lessons on Tuesday, which offers a morning class from 9.30am – 12pm as well as an evening class from 6.15pm – 8.45pm. It’s essential to contact class leaders if you’re interested in participating in a class, as sometimes these can be held outside of Montebello’s trading hours but still held on site.
For those more tactile, pop into Montebello Design Centre before booking a class or workshop and get a feel for the space and things you’ll end up creating.
When: Open daily, 9am – 5pm Monday – Friday | 9am – 4pm Saturdays | 9am – 3pm Sundays
Where: 31 Newlands Avenue, Newlands, Cape Town
Cost: Contact class leaders for detailed costing
The Scrapbook caters to all the classic arts and crafts needs. A fun activity for groups and families, scrapbooking imbues rich bodily nostalgia the instant you open the glue and feel it sticking to your fingertips. Over the railway and away from the hustle and bustle of Plumstead Main Road, The Scrapbook carves out a tranquil alcove for itself.
The team, led by Karen Smit, offers a number of workshops including children’s classes, card making and technique classes. The card making class, with Nicki Schwormstedt, is especially popular because of the vintage and mixed media elements it incorporates, including origami.
There is an elemental simplicity to The Scrapbook’s offerings that appeals to both young and old. Whether you’re looking for a space to reconnect with friends or host an intimate birthday party or get together for the kids, this is the place to and these are the professionals who know-how.
When: Open 10am – 5pm Monday – Friday and 10am – 1pm Saturday
Where: 79 Melville Road, Plumstead, Cape Town
Cost: Scrapbooking classes from R150 depending on items used | Art journaling classes from R200 depending on items used | Mixed media classes from R200 depending on items used
Metalwork is an art form that has a deep place South African history, especially in what is referred to as ‘precolonial’ history, when communities across the northern parts of southern Africa were working with metals like copper and gold. Sasha Leon is a goldsmith and jeweller with over 30 years of experience and she continues South Africa’s passion for metalwork by sharing hers.
A UCT graduate in Fine Art, she taught enamelling for 22 years at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology’s jewellery design and manufacturing department before she leaving the tertiary institution to open this business. Sasha Leon Sculpture & Jewellery still imbues Leon’s love of teaching and sharing her passion for sculpting and metalwork through her workshops.
Currently offering a basic jewellery and vitreous enamelling course, she still has her skill and urge to teach. The basic jewellery course includes 10g of sterling silver however patrons need to provide their own sterling silver for the vitreous enamelling course.
When: Contact Sasha for detailed availability
Where: 4 Wembley Square, Gardens, Cape Town
Cost: Vitreous enamelling course R4000 3hr x 4 | Basic jewellery making course R4000 3hr x 4
Ancient Greek pebble art precede mosaics. Trade and information routes saw the art form to enter Asia and the jewel-rich craftsfolk of Mesopotamia put their unique spin on it. Mosaics are increasingly ubiquitous and leave their mark everywhere from public murals in Mexico to public toilets in Grand Parade.
Kerry Atherstone’s discovery of mosaic art form several years ago – recently in mosaic’s almost 5000 history – while at fashion school saw her quickly dive head first into its world. Bit by Bit Mosaic, an arm of Atherston’s business, Mosaic Cape Town, is an extension of her passion for mosaics. Mosaic Cape Town does exquisite household or business commission work in Cape Town but it’s Bit by Bit where the communal magic happens, hosting workshops, community projects and team building exercises.
With a pair industrial pliers to crack tiles and stones, preparing your mosaic is as therapeutic as it is beautiful. Those looking to invest time to create a passion project – like a table or garden piece – are also welcome to engage with Atherston to work out a schedule. Prices do vary so booking and contacting Kerry in advance is essential.
When: 9 April 2022, 9am – 1pm
Where: 1 Westoe Road, Observatory
Cost: Small pot plant, hot pot stand, house number or small bowl/plate for R700 – materials, small project and tools included