Here are seven small craft stores to consider on your next run for supplies.
Judy Gula could talk about her craft shop in Alexandria all day – it’s her favorite subject. “We have most things for a lot of people,” she says, especially new and vintage supplies for fiber and mixed media artists. This includes a curated collection of high quality fabrics, India hand carved wooden printing blocks, textile paint, copper tjaps and textile materials created from silk, cotton, wool, of rayon and metal. “Just come with an open mind and ready to be inspired,” she says.
The shop distributes a constant flow of youtube videos, in which Gula – who is a mixed-media artist – and other experts teach various techniques, such as monoprinting on paper using paints and stencils. There is also virtual classrooms on topics such as jewelry making and mastering the Bernina sewing machine. “Our mission is to encourage you to be creative, enjoy it, and be positive,” says Gula. “Because I hear a lot of people say, ‘Well, I did that, but there’s a mistake here. No no no. Just say, “I did this and I love it”. ” 4750 Eisenhower Ave, Alexandria. 703-823-0202. artartifacts.com.
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Last month, Vice President Harris visited this old town of Alexandria “wire universe.” She posed for photos in front of skeins of colorful yarn — dark purple, magenta, turquoise, yellow — and emerged with bags in her hands. “It was very exciting,” says owner Danielle Romanetti, who opened the shop in 2009. Fiber Space focuses on hand knitting and crocheting, and sells hand-dyed yarns and other yarns sourced from from the United States, often women. , small enterprises. “We love sharing stories about the things we carry and why they’re special or unique,” says Romanetti.
The store also doubles as an “Apple genius bar” for those new to their craft. “We make sure people are there to help people with lost stitches or to find a pattern,” says Romanetti. “You can sit down with your project and ask questions,” passing it through plexiglass screens. While the store only allows five customers inside at a time, there is a park next door where customers like to hang out and embroider. 1319 Prince Street, Alexandria. 703-664-0344. fiberspace.com.
VP Harris is making her mark on the DC area crochet scene
Finch Knitting + Sewing Studio
Nicole Morgenthau opened this boutique outside her home in 2013, putting a sandwich board in front to inform passers-by of her new venture. Within months, she needed more space. Finch now occupies a cozy colonial building in downtown Leesburg that centuries ago was a hatter’s shop. Customers come for modern fabrics, all-natural yarns, sewing machines, irons and patterns. “We’re a very organized boutique,” Morgenthau says. “[Our inventory] is heirloom quality, so it will stand the test of time and wear and tear.
Its aim is to celebrate the social aspect of craftsmanship, which was easier before the pandemic. Still, upcoming virtual classes include learning summer sewing basics and designing, sewing, dyeing and polishing a tote bag. “It’s all the details, like getting copper rivets and leather handles instead of fabric,” Morgenthau said. “So it’s really appealing to a younger, modern audience. We try to help people make things they want to buy. 102 Loudoun Street SW, Leesburg. 703-777-8000. finchknittingsewingstudio.com.
This 16-year-old shop in historic Clifton is a scrapbooker’s delight: it’s stocked with distinctive paper of varying sizes, a wide range of stamps, all manner of pens and specific brands of crafting supplies that big box stores usually don’t carry. . Martinez, the owner, reports that guests regularly come from Maryland and Pennsylvania, returning again and again. In addition to a robust scrapbooking department, the store specializes in multimedia journals and books, card making, fine art (such as canvas and painting), and jewelry making. “I try to accommodate whatever people need,” Martinez says. “I have good distributors, so I can get what people want and be able to transport it for them.”
Although attendance is currently limited to four students, there are upcoming courses on creating cards and albums of label books. “It’s a little out of the way — it’s not on everyone’s radar,” Martinez says of the store’s location in Fairfax County. She suggests taking a day trip and visiting the cute new shops and restaurants that have popped up in Clifton. 12644 Chapel Road, Clifton. 703-298-7688. goldenshillpapercrafts.com.
Rhonda Medina’s in-laws ran an e-commerce store specializing in photo albums and scrapbooks, and she remembers always urging them to grow. So when it took over – and rebranded Inspire Supplier – it expanded its focus to include hard-to-find supplies for all manner of makers, including designers, contractors and photographers. Still, the Arlington-based online store certainly maintains its expertise in photo albums and scrapbooking.
On a recent Thursday night, Medina recounted spending the day helping bed and breakfast owners find the perfect skinny binder for a guestbook. “It’s my creative outlet,” she says. “I can’t compete with Michael’s, but I can do custom solutions, and I’d love to hear what people can’t find and would like to have at a local craft store.” Just before the pandemic, Inspire Supplier moved into offices in a WeWork building in Crystal City which has since closed. For now, the best way to order is to call or visit the store’s website. 866-772-7200. inspiresupplier.com.
This must-have from Dupont Circle has all the supplies knitters and crocheters could need, from basics to crafts. On a recent weekday, a shipment from a freelance dyer in Japan had just arrived and the shelves were stocked with haberdashery (the small tools and accessories used for knitting). But owner Jessica Boudreau Hardin doesn’t necessarily expect customers to buy anything. She invites everyone to seek help from her staff, who are all professional knitters or crocheters. Because of the staff’s expertise, customers often bring advanced models, and “you can be sure we’ll be able to answer those questions for you,” she says.
Before Covid-19, there were regular events – like Thursday night knitting nights, where artisans brought their projects, snacks and drinks – that fostered a strong sense of community. “People could sit and hang out. People made friends,” says Boudreau Hardin. “We have a strong group of regulars and people who consider themselves part of our little family. It is a very beautiful environment, colorful and bright. 1732 Connecticut Avenue NW. 202-714-5667. loopedyarnworks.com.
The Rockville Woodworkers / Woodcraft Club
If you started woodworking during the pandemic, consider visiting this great Rockville store. Among its offerings: lumber and slabs, plywood, veneer and turning material ideal for uses such as making pins, baseball bats and balls. There is an in-house carpentry and fabrication studio, and customers can plan and find anything they need for custom projects. Recently, for example, some have ordered leather floors, says Mallory Kimmel, education programmer and events manager. “There are all kinds of really cool and funky things going on,” she says.
In addition to the retail section, the store has a strong educational component, including three classrooms for in-person learning. Upcoming courses include box making; resin art — which is particularly trendy; and start spinning the bowl. There are also courses for young people and you can book private lessons. “A lot of these classes teach skills that you can then take home to your home store,” Kimmel says. “Our focus is both project-based and technical.” 11910-L Parklawn Drive, Rockville. 301-984-9033. woodworkersclub.com.