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5 to Follow: To Learn Fun, Creative Skills in DC

By / November 15, 2018

Washington, DC is known for being a town of intellectuals, and that’s partially thanks to the proliferation of skill-based classes available in the nation’s capital. Throughout the city, there are a variety of DIY, food making, and other creative workshops that allow the public to learn new talents and meet locals at the same time. Whether or not you feel comfortable holding a sewing needle, paint brush, or microphone, the following five venues in DC will teach you how to express or challenge yourself in new ways.

For the craft aficionado: Shop Made in DC

Dupont Circle

Look out for: Paper flower classes, craft nights, brunch, holiday card printing workshops, watercolor classes, and jewelry and punch needle embroidery workshops. Follow Shop Made in DC on Eventbrite to stay in the know about every future class.

Why: This 2017-opened retail space is the first store ever dedicated to products made in Washington, DC by local creatives. The Dupont Circle location is home to over 100 products, ranging from jewelry and home decor to a cafe with local coffees, beer, and pastries. Every month, the Shop Made in DC hosts varied, diverse workshops by locals.

Jen Eun

For the artful workshop fanatic: Distill Creative

Park View

Look out for: Friendship bracelets workshops, vision board and block printing workshops, macramé plant hanger workshops, and cocktails combined with crafts. Follow Distill Creative to reach your Pinterest goals ASAP.

Why: When it began, Distill Creative was known as cocktails+craft and took place in the living room of one of the founders. Nowadays, the creative workshop group provides creative consulting services as well as workshops in New York City, Southern Carolina, and Washington, DC. While collaborating with local brands, Distill Creative offers an assortment of classes, from block printing to learning how to set your intentions with the help of a vision board.

For the curious foodie and etiquette enthusiast: The Watergate Hotel

Foggy Bottom

Look out for: Manners and mimosas etiquette courses, chocolate truffle making classes, flower crown classes, and whisky and beer tasting parties. Follow The Watergate Hotel to make Emily Post proud.

Why: The Watergate Hotel is known for its scandalous past in the nation’s capital, but lately it’s been a perfect venue for expression. In June 1972, it was the site where five intruders were caught in the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee, leading to the resignation of President Nixon. Since the hotel reopened in June 2016 after its renovation, it has transformed into more than just a pretty venue. It is now a killer spot for drinking cocktails, beer, or wine as well as learning about cooking, baking, and proper dining etiquette. Every few months, the hotel partners with local chocolatiers to offer exclusive truffle making classes. Etiquette classes with notable experts cover topics like body language tips and do’s and don’ts of planning and hosting a party.

For the person with the skills and the street cred: Artjar


Look out for: One thing and one thing only: graffiti art classes. Sound up your alley? Follow Artjar to learn more about the next spray paint-focused class.

Why: Street art has transcended its traditionally grungy past, earning price tags that can extend to the six figures and beyond. Thanks to Artjar, the public can learn to express themselves through spray paint. In these classes, learn basic drawing techniques as well as graffiti art letter formations and techniques. Included with each class is a short walking tour. Past clients of Artjar have included the Smithsonian, Nike, CIA, and BMW.

For the person who always wants the last laugh: Stand-Up Studios


Look out for: Lessons on how to be a great MC or stand-up comedian. Follow Stand-Up Studios on Eventbrite to get one step closer to your 15 minutes of fame.

Why: Stand-Up Studios is the place for you if you think you’re funny, want to be funny, or are simply interested in becoming a better public speaker or storyteller. This popular DC comedy venue offers skill-based classes as well as private coaching for those of all ages. Come and support the arts by viewing a comedy performance or even becoming a part of one.

Want more? Follow us on Instagram and Facebook for ticket giveaways and more of the best happenings around DC.


Michelle Goldchain is a Washington, D.C.-based journalist, photographer, podcaster, YouTuber, and visual artist. Her bylines have been seen in Washington City Paper, DCist, Curbed, Eater DC, Racked, Recode, Vox, and Whurk Magazine. She is the founder of the newsletter and podcast, Capital Women, which is focused on women in D.C. She is also the co-creator of the YouTube show, Artsplained.

More articles by Michelle Goldchain

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