If you’ve ever watched the likes of Kirstie Allsopp making a homemade gift or decoration on TV, you’ll have seen the absolute joy and satisfaction that comes from completing such a task.
So this Christmas why not turn your hand to making something lovely for your home or family or friend – and have fun while making someone’s day?
Here’s a list of some of the crafty workshop sessions taking place across the Winchester district, which you can join in to make this year a handmade Christmas. Get those preparations underway early!
Or read on for stores across the Winchester district selling Christmas supplies to help you make cards, wrapping paper, wreaths, decorations, food gifts and anything else you might need this festive season.
24 November, 1 and 5 December: The Barn at Avington has a luxury wreath making event. With complimentary refreshments and treats!
26 November: Winchester City Mill is hosting a wreath making workshop. Make yours on a sophisticated willow ring.
27 November: Jane Austen’s House has an online embroidery class, to make a Christmas Robin design. Book by 20 November to guarantee on time delivery of materials!
27 November: Create a festive wreath, with an award-winning florist – at Chawton House, decorated for Christmas.
28 November: Perfect your photography skills, also at Chawton House, with in house photographer Clare Lewis – then capture moments of joy this Christmas to turn in to visual gifts at a later date!
29 November: Also at Winchester City Mill, learn how to make a yule swag. This is a unique winter decoration for your door or inside the home.
01 and 02 December: Wedding and events florist Judith Searles will be providing tutorial at Lainston House for their wreath making sessions. With afternoon tea!
4 – 31 December: If you pop by Winchester City Museum on a Saturday, you can make traditional Victorian paper chain Christmas decorations to take home. Or on 21 and 23 December, join a Christmas craft session to make a mini Santa!
5 December: Meet the creative minds behind Chawton House’s festive installation celebrating homemade, traditional craftwork, The Twelve Knits of Christmas – the knitted figures and handcrafted displays that cover the House this season.
9 December: If you’d rather embroider a wreath than make one out of greenery, flowers, and fruits, Chawton House is hosting a workshop, with embroidery artist Abigail Rose who will help you embroider a wreath of mistletoe, holly and berries.
9 – 11 and 18 December: Head to Bombay Sapphire Distillery with friends for a Christmas cocktail mixology class with one of their gin experts. With hot and cold cocktails, gin samples, light bites and mince pies.
20 December: Make a yule log at Winchester City Mill – in time for the Winter Solstice the next day.
Online: Follow step by step instructions how to make mini stockings on the Made in Winchester website – perfect as tree decorations or gift tags.
Please check websites for event availability and to book tickets.
Alternatively, if you’re a keen crafter or fancy going it alone, and making a gift or decoration from the comfort of your own home, consider popping in to haberdashers Closs & Hamblin, located in the High Street (and visiting their website), for tapestry, cross stitch, knitting, crochet, macrame, and needle felting kits – suitable for a range of ages and abilities.
BellaCrafts, in Kings Walk just off Winchester City Centre High Street, stocks a wide range of arts and craft supplies, monthly subscription packages (should you develop a passion), and Christmas-specific items like ‘decorate your own’ bauble and tree decoration kits, and festive stamps, stencils and glitter – everything you need to make your own Christmas cards and wrapping paper, deck your tree, and make a wreath. The Winchester centre also has a wreath making workshop on 12 December.
Or if cooking is your thing and Christmas is a time for making foodie presents for loved ones, Dinghams, in The Square, has all the tools and gadgets you need to help you in the kitchen, or host a dinner or drinks party. Plus, check out Hampshire Farmers’ Markets across the district, for local and seasonal produce to help you make delicious presents.
Also check out P&G Wells in College Street for arts and craft books – if you’re lacking inspiration!