Creative Crafty Options

By Catherine Galioto ~

If one of your goals is to nurture your creative side, be more artistic, learn a new skill or simply make things by hand, there’s no better time to flex your maker muscles.

DIY is all the rage, and if you feel compelled to make a sign out pallet wood, knit a scarf, or paint some wine glasses, you don’t have to look far to find like-minded folks to help you.

Around Monmouth and Ocean counties here on the Jersey Shore, a lot of great opportunities exist to sign up for a class, head out to a special event, or drop in to open craft time – things several niche local businesses are offering now. Whether it’s paint, ceramic, jewelry, fiber, paper or wood, pick a medium and enjoy a new skill or handmade piece.

Paint Nights
Grab a brush in one hand and a wine glass in the other. The trend of “paint and sip” evenings –where you bring some spirits and have the Muses guide you in making a painting, with help from an instructor – shows no signs of drying out. There’s evening niche businesses providing all you need for this fun. Pinot’s Palette is a popular option, hosting wine and painting parties at locations all over the nation. Locally, there are studios in Wall, Brick and Red Bank; check out: for more info.

Hot Sand Asbury Park is a glassblowing studio that allows the public to drop in to make a unique gift, or to sign up for a class, and make a piece of glass art. You can make pint glasses, paperweight, jewelry and more in special workshops and more. 732-927-5475, 550 Cookman Ave

The Pink Elephant Pottery Studio, 607 Lake Ave. in Asbury Park, offers up a fun time with clay, with special events such as “Galentine’s Day,” date nights, classes and birthday parties, but there’s also glass fusion, candle making and mosaics. You can build pieces by hand or try the pottery wheel. Prices range from $26 and up. Contact 732-229-7800.
There’s also Color Me Mine in Toms River (, 732-864-9300), A Time To Kiln in Red Bank:(, 732-450-9525), Wish Upon a Jar in Point Pleasant ( 732-451-2601), Van Go Pottery Painting in downtown Toms River (facebook @vangoghpotterypainting, 732-998-7249).

Pop Up Events
Serenity By The Sea Too is an artisan marketplace in Belmar that also often offers some neat events that focus on crafts. In the past there’s been crochet nights, paper making classes and more. There’s also The Working Artist gallery in Belmar and The Art Den in Point Pleasant. Crop A Cabana, in downtown Toms River, focuses on scrapbooking and other papercrafts but also has many other special events as well as open “studio” time.

Monmouth County Parks system also has regular events that focus on specific craft. For example, Thompson Park Creative Arts Center in Lincroft has open ceramics time for $6 per hour. For a complete list of upcoming events, visit

Creativity soars whether you are looking for an afternoon of creative fun or a new lifetime hobby, with plenty of options above to match your level of commitment and interest. Time to explore!

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