Best Places To Create Your Own Holiday Gifts In Charlotte

November 23, 2012 9:00 AM

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(credit: Thinkstock)

(credit: Thinkstock)

holidaygifts Best Places To Create Your Own Holiday Gifts In Charlotte

(credit: Thinkstock)

It’s time to start thinking about that Christmas gift list. This year, let the kids deck grandma’s halls with a handmade holiday gift infused with creativity and love. It’s not as quick as buying a gift at the mall, so be patient and flexible. Putting creative thoughts into action offers opportunities to build mastery, self-esteem and explore new ways of thinking. Here are five Charlotte locations to get the whole family’s creative spirit brewing.
christmasgiftscbssewing Best Places To Create Your Own Holiday Gifts In Charlotte

Handmade gifts (credit: Catherine Lash)

Small Hands Big Art
8025 Ardrey Kell Road, Suite 103
Charlotte, NC 28277
(704) 246-8271

Price: from $35
Ages: 4 and older

Small Hands Big Art is a child’s art studio located at The Fountains in south Charlotte. It offers classes, workshops and open studio times with age-appropriate projects in painting, drawing, collage, clay and printmaking. A holiday season schedule could include photo embellishment, hand-crafted ornaments and visions of sugar cookies hand-decorated with colorful, sparkling confections. Last year, a PJ party featured gift making inspired by the film “Polar Express” and Charles Dickens projects. The studio director will facilitate the projects from start to finish, enabling the kids freedom to express their creativity. The little ones will come home completely messy, bearing a one-of-a-kind creation of love.

Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc.
6801 Northlake Mall Drive
Charlotte, NC 28216
(704) 494-4403

Price: $10 to $25

Build-A-Bear Workshop was founded in 1997 and operates more than 400 stores worldwide. It’s more than bears, though. Pick from more than 30 varieties of furry creatures including zoo animals, bunnies, dogs, cats, Hello Kitty and Angry Birds. The kids will move through eight animal-making stations: Choose Me, Hear Me, Stuff Me, Stitch Me, Fluff Me, Dress Me, Name Me and Take me Home. There are possibilities galore in customizing and personalizing for your gift recipient. If grandpa is a veteran, dress the animal in a service uniform. Dress and accessorize the bear in Christmas attire and it will make a beautiful centerpiece for the holidays. Or, dress the bear to match the color scheme of a room. The bear will go home with a birth certificate and a carrying case.

nutcrackergiftsaaaa Best Places To Create Your Own Holiday Gifts In Charlotte

Nutcracker party (credit: Catherine Lash)

Dish It Out
7828 Rea Road
Charlotte, NC 28277
(704) 544-4848

Price: $6 per hour, per person for studio time/$1.50 to $50 for pottery piece

Create heirloom holiday gifts at the Dish It Out pottery painting studio in the Stone Crest Shopping Center. Design and paint a holiday plate, ornament or pick from its vast supply of pottery pieces. Consider scheduling a “Nutcracker Ballet” party in which  guests may paint nutcracker figurines, plates or ball ornaments. A stocking and candy cane are two new ornaments for this year. Hand prints on plates, ornaments or mugs are popular gifts for grandparents. The studio will glaze and fire these treasured pieces of art, to be picked up at a later date. Make a mosaic masterpiece using 36 colors of chips for picture frames, mirrors or plaques. Family reunions are popular here during the holidays, or make the homemade gifts at home with a party-to-go in a box. Pottery, paint, brushes and color chart are included in the box; return the pieces for glazing and firing.

Related: A Guide to Holiday Giving with Goodwill Industries

sewinggiftcbs Best Places To Create Your Own Holiday Gifts In Charlotte

Ribbons and trimming (credit: Catherine Lash)

Sew Fun Parties

Holiday Sewing Workshop
8155 Ardrey Kell Road
Charlotte, NC 28277
(704) 254-9111

Date: Nov. 30 –  4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Price: $15 per person ages 6 and older

Sew Fun Parties is conducting a holiday sewing workshop. Learn new skills, sewing terms, basic seaming and how a pattern works. The skills acquired will last a lifetime, and the project is the gift. Kids, and that includes boys, will design and sew a gift bag. Each participant will use a speed-adjustable sewing machine perfect for those with no experience. The price includes high-end cotton fabric, ribbons and other trimming. It also offers group sewing sessions for adults, Girl Scouts and Y-guides. For those needing extra individual attention, private lessons are available for $40 per session. If your child has a December birthday, schedule a sewing party, and each participant will go home with a unique present to gift.

matthewsholidayhaus Best Places To Create Your Own Holiday Gifts In Charlotte

Matthews Holiday Haus (credit: Catherine Lash)

Matthews Holiday Haus
159 N. Trade St.
Matthews, NC 28105
(704) 844-7098

Matthew Holiday Haus sits just 20 minutes from uptown Charlotte. Back in 1902, this 110-year-old building was a mercantile store. There’s always a warm feeling and a good smell as the customer walks through the front door onto the original wooden floors. Customers in and around town visiting grandchildren make it a point to stop by before returning home. If the artsy scene’s offerings are not your idea of a homemade gift, let the kids select and personalize one of the shop’s hundreds of Old World ornaments. Fill a cheery basket with an ornament, Crabtree and Evelyn products, Christmas napkins and tea. If the gift recipient is a sports fan, select from its hard-to-find ornaments and personalize with a sharpie. Get there early, though, they sell out every year. Buy and personalize a charming mug, then fit it with a candle and Christmas tea.

Related: A Guide to Holiday Giving with Hopematch

Catherine Lash engagingly connects with people. She has learned that interested listening and thoughtful questioning are the means through which collaboration creates a story. She grew up traveling the world and learning military life in an Air Force family of seven. She currently lives in Charlotte, North Carolina with her husband and three kids. Her work can be found at

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