Crafts Are Officially Cool Again

Emma Brophy meets the Mumpreneurs behind the 'I Made It Myself Workshops'


Saturday 13th November
12.00 - 13.30 Tea cup Candle Making

Saturday 27 November
14.30 - 16.30 Gift Wrapping

Saturday 4th December
12.00 - 13.30 Tea cup Candle Making
14.30 -16.30 Gift Wrapping

Saturday 11 December
10.30 - 12.30 Wreath Making
14.00 - 16.00 Christmas Cupcake Decorating

Sunday 12th December
10.30 - 12.30 Wreath Making
14.00 - 16.00 Christmas Biscuit Icing

See for details on how to book your place.

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Remember when making things for Christmas meant the Blue Peter advent crown fashioned from wire coat hangers with lashings of gold tinsel? Luckily ‘hand made’ has a grown up feel about it now, and this year it’s all about having a homemade Christmas.

Maybe it’s the recession or maybe it’s a backlash from the materialistic excesses of the last few decades, or it could simply be because a home made gift has a personal touch you just can’t get from the high street. Whatever the reason, crafts are officially cool again.

This trend for making things has been helped by a new generation of contemporary craft workshops. ‘I Made It Myself’ in Chiswick promise to take the hassle out of handmade by providing all the materials and equipment for you, plus they keep you refreshed with tea and cake (and yes it's homemade).

Here you learn new skills from experienced but patient teachers in a relaxed, fun atmosphere and re-experience the pleasure and pride of creating something new - probably last felt when you were at school. After a few hours of crafting, you then leave with a gorgeous item you made yourself. Oh and unlike doing it at home there’s no clearing up afterwards.

The run up to Christmas is a great time to get crafty and make things, whether it’s giving your house some homemade festive touches or as thoughtful gifts. The I Made It Myself weekend workshops for Christmas include wreath making, learning the art of gift wrapping, Christmas cupcake decorating, Christmas biscuit icing, and scented candles in vintage teacups.

Sangeeta Bhaskar and Laura Wilson set up ‘I Made It Myself’ after being unable to find anything like it in West London.

“We only run workshops that we would want to do ourselves. Our teachers use traditional techniques with a modern twist and the great thing is you don’t need to be particularly creative so anyone can have a go and come away with something to be proud of.”

You certainly won’t find basket weaving in a dusty old hall here, the items made are on trend and covetable and the venue is bright and modern in the newly renovated Hayloft Studios in the heart of Chiswick just off the High Road.

Sangeeta and Laura have had extensive careers in TV working as producers for Channel 4 and GMTV. Since having babies, they’ve become fledgling ‘mumpreneurs’ as they master the art of running a business around feed times and nappy changes. But they are looking forward to having a crafty Christmas themselves… And there’ll be no gold tinsel in sight.

Emma Brophy

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November 1, 2010