DIY: Make classy gifts this holiday season

Gift tags
Gift tags Flickr via Creative Commons

Christmas is coming. The goose is getting fat.

For those wanting to yell at me to, “Back off!” right now – too late. You can get as uppity as you want, with your righteous desire to slow the clock and simply enjoy the sweet, delicious, natural pace of time simply as it passes without having some wiseacre like me ruining the holiday season for you … but the fact is, I already know I’m not the first person to announce to you that the holiday season hath commenced. Ish.

I know this, because three-weekends ago I was in a box mart whose holiday decor was already available for purchase. Little elves and trees and all kinds of green and red items graced a chunk of this store. And believe you me: I was just as righteous and uppity as you are right now, but righteous and uppity and loud IN PUBLIC as I stood incredulously pointing at the store’s faux-Christmas tree SECTION. Already. An entire tree section. “It’s weeks before HALLOWEEN” I squawked to my (slightly-embarrassed) husband in front of untold individuals politely ignoring my cries while they, too, averted their eyes from the travesty that was too-much Christmas decor too, too soon.

The fact is, you can’t un-ring a bell any more than you can un-know that SOME store has already proclaimed its desire for your all holiday shopping business.

Please understand that – as a DIYer – my “Christmas is coming” announcement comes from a different perspective. First, because I am far more amazing and awesome (and far more humble) than the box marts of the world.

And second – and perhaps more importantly – if you are a person that celebrates a holiday that gives gifts to others during this season by MAKING said gifts for other persons, your time to start making those gifts is now. Like maybe even yesterday-now, depending, of course, on the gifts you desire to make.

Not sure your skills are up to snuff? The following is a brief list of area craft studios that offer beginner and project-based classes. This is a mere sampling of what the area has to offer.

▪ Decorate a dessert: If you can bake a box cake, Creative Cakes & More can teach you how to make it look professional. They offer several classes on cake, cupcake and cookie decoration. 4930 East Ashlan Ave. # 107 Fresno, CA 93726

▪ Learn to knit or crochet: With cooler weather finally upon us, scarves are a perfect, basic gift to make and give. Craftopia Studio offers classes on beginning crochet, knitting and sewing. 2225 W Shaw Ave, Fresno, CA 93711

▪ Make a quilt: Longtime residents of Old Town Clovis, Quilters’ Paradise is exactly that: a paradise-like shop dedicated to the art and enjoyment of quilting. Classes range from beginner to advanced, teaching applique, needle art, quilt making and more. 339 Pollasky Avenue Clovis, CA 93612

▪ Refinish a classic: It’s amazing what a little paint can do. Consider upcycling a thrifted classic into a refinished gem. 3 Oaks Studios offers workshops in furniture refinishing and cabinet painting at their Fresno (Pavilion West Shopping Center) and Clovis (Old Town Clovis) locations.

▪ Paint an ornament: The Brush and Easel Gallery not only offers beautiful works of art by area artists, they offer a slew of classes and workshops, affording you the opportunity to create your own masterpieces. 1476 W Shaw, Fresno CA

▪ Make a necklace: Love beaded jewelry? Bella Bead offers a host of classes teaching all kinds of beading techniques. 6650 N Blackstone Ave # 108, Fresno, CA 93710

▪ Paint a picture: Sometimes you just need a canvas and a little direction. The Artist in Me offers group classes for adults and kids, guiding your painting journey, step-by-step. 1085 E Herndon Ave #108, Fresno, CA 93720

Be sure to hop over to for an ongoing list of area classes.