8 San Francisco Art Classes to Keep Your Hands Busy
Fidgety, anxious or a known nail biter? If this sounds like you, you’re likely always looking for a way to keep your hands busy. In the SF area, these art classes will help you unleash that energy in creative and constructive ways. Here are our picks for hands-on art classes in The City.

Know when to fold ‘em

Remember the myth that making 1,000 origami cranes will bring you good luck? Don’t worry—you won’t have to make 1,000 paper cranes to master the art of origami. Simply take this class, where you’ll explore the art of Western and Eastern origami under the tutelage of an origami master. Learn how to form delicate and beautiful single-piece sculptures, all while relaxing and easing your mind with this traditional technique. Who knows? With enough practice you may end up with your very own flock of critters and creations (or a lifetime of good luck).

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Smith it good in metalsmithing 101

metal

Care to play with fire? Looking to manipulate metal? In this introductory metalsmith class, you’ll gain the technical know-how to make beautiful metal jewelry. From soldering the metal to manipulating its shape, size and design, your new creations will feel personalized and inspired. Take this class at Hunters Point Shipyard Artists, the largest artists colony in the country, for a one-of-a-kind, authentic experience.

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Seamlessly stitch together a new quilt or an old sweater!

stitch
create
relax
skill
technique
project

If you like to keep your hands busy, this may be the perfect activity for you since your hands will have to keep up with a high-powered sewing machine! Don’t worry about falling behind—the instructor will walk you through the machine’s various settings and functions, including machine threading, bobbin winding, tension setting, and maintenance. Soon enough, you’ll seamlessly stitch together a new quilt or a homemade sweater.

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Grow a garden from thin air

plants
flowers

Undisputed fact: space is limited in SF. So much so that having a backyard big enough for a large garden is a rarity. That’s why vertical gardening is so attractive to native San Franciscans. This vertical gardening class shows you the ropes to creating a DIY vertical succulent garden that starts from above the ground and grows high into the sky. You’ll still get your hands dirty as your instructor teaches you the tricks of the trade that will have your garden flourishing.

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Sculpt your ceramics technique

crafty
artsy
creativity
DIY

Sick of creating those run-of-the-mill pottery pieces like ashtrays and bowls? Get your hands dirty with this pottery and sculpting class that encourages you to follow your creative instincts. Grab some clay and refine your skills to create clay-based sculptures under alongside a friendly instructor. You may leave with a more “experimental” piece than you had in mind, but that’s all part of the adventure. Maybe you’ll reinvent the wheel by the time you’re done!

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Pencil, charcoal & conte drawing class

crafty
artsy
creativity
DIY

Drawing talent is not something anyone is born with; like any skill, it can be learned. If your drawing skills consist of stick figures and symbols, why not stretch your creative muscles by taking an intro drawing class? Working with pencil, charcoal and conte, your instructor—a professional artist himself—will teach you to appreciate the artistic elements. You’ll even sketch real life models to fine tune your on the spot drawing skills, which will consist of so much more than stick people when you’re through with this class.

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Get down and dirty by making your own pottery

Ceramics
Wheel
Glaze
Clay

As much as you love shopping at Pottery Barn, you prefer the feeling of having created something a little more unique for your home. Why not learn how to make some pottery pieces of your own? Welcoming amateurs and artists of all skill levels and talents, this class teaches its students the fundamentals of pottery techniques that have been practiced for thousands of years. Under the instruction of an experienced and helpful artist, you’ll learn how to make beautiful, handcrafted pieces using an authentic pottery wheel in no time.

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TGIFurniture Fridays

DIY
finishing
carpentry

For this four-hour class, you’ll need to bring in a small, portable piece of furniture that needs a bit of elbow grease and a lot of love. It could be a chair, a jewelry box—whatever your heart desires. From there, you’ll get to work fixing up the piece under the guidance of studio and boutique artists who will teach you all about restoration and working with older pieces. Restoring something to its former glory, in only one day, is incredibly rewarding so grab your piece, grab some paint and leave the same day with a transformed piece of furniture.

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