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THE BEST ART & CRAFT WORKSHOPS AROUND THE WORLD

INSIDE: Roam the Gnome’s Guide to the Best Arts and Craft Workshops for Crafty Travelers, young and old.

Do you love to travel?

Do you adore meeting the locals?

Do you live to craft, or sew, or dye with natural materials, or stitch, or paint, or play with mud, or meditate, or SING? 

Whatever your creative outlet, there’s a creative art or craft workshop to join in, in every country you visit. 

Most of these workshops will cater for kids over 5 or 6 too.

Joining in a workshop is a fabulous introduction to the culture of the cities you visit. 

Take a look below at our collection of creative cooking, art and craft workshops in Australia, Asia, Japan, Nepal, India, America, Europe, and the UK. 

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking on one of these links, we may receive a small commission at NO extra cost to you.

kyoto shibori museum with RTG 800

Explore the Best Craft Workshops Around the World!

There’s three things in life I can’t live without.

  1. Travel
  2. Nature
  3. CRAFT.

(I forgot chocolate. The 4th thing I can’t live without)

Crafting with my hands (in the broadest sense of the term) is in my blood, heart, and soul.

I’m not particular or fussy about the handcrafts I play with, but I adore working with natural things that feel good to the touch, spark joy in my heart AND bring pleasure to my eyes, such as:

  • embroidery thread (in particular hand-dyed cotton threads) 
  • wool felt
  • fleece
  • timber 
  • natural fibres including flax, and
  • indigo and plant dyes.

Y stick by dan keck

Image credit: Dan Keck via Flickr CC0 

Nature craft workshops

I have a particular love of Y sticks! 

You can often find me searching the ground to pick up fallen branches to find the perfect Y shape, and I’ve taught MANY nature craft workshops to teachers, early childhood teachers, mamas and kids 6-12 years old using sticks as my resource. 

I use them:

  • to make simple stick dolls for kids
  • as extra decoration in flower vases filled with my favourite Australian natives, and
  • to hang dangly things from. I keep a stash.

Sticks are the most handy useful craft material I know, and they are free!

Proof that art and craft workshops do not need to be expensive, or out of reach. 

PIN best art and craft workshops around the world 800

Best Art and Craft Workshops for Adults List

My travels include opportunities to explore local craft, art, food, design and culture.

Plus, I love wholesome workshops that lead you back to yourself, like:

  • mediation
  • yoga
  • whole food cooking
  • raw food and smoothies, and more. 

There’s a whole world of art and craft workshops just waiting for creative enthusiasts to let down their guards, and give them a go! 

Let’s explore and take a look at all the arts and crafts workshops you can put on your next travel itinerary too! 

shibori dyeing 800

The Best Craft Workshops in Japan

Last year, I visited Japan with four girlfriends (and Roam the Gnome!) on our self-designed Japanese craft workshops tour.

We spent 10 days traipsing from Tokyo, to Kyoto and Osaka to experience the best craft workshops in Japan.

Japanese Shibori dyeing using natural indigo is my most favourite thing in the world.

blue indigo dye by the h'mong people by rory macleod

Image credit: Indigo dye in H’mong villages by Rory Macleod via Flickr CC-BY-2.0 

Indigo dye preparation

I could happily deck out my house and adorn my body every single day with this blue dyed cloth, so this Shibori workshop in Kyoto was a highlight.

Booking a craft workshop in Japan takes you on a different journey to the normal tourist trail and is an inspired way to delve into the local suburbs of bigger cities of Tokyo and Kyoto.

It’s a way to meet the locals, and truly experience what daily life is like in Japan.

Check back soon for a full run down of all the craft workshops we did in Japan. 

japanese wood craft by yuya tamai flickr

Image credit: Yuya Tamai via Flickr CC BY-2.0 

MORE ART AND CRAFT WORKSHOPS FOR ADULTS 

Want to join in a creative workshop for a few hours, a morning, a full day, or a week? 

Perhaps you are planning to relocate for a few months to deepen your practice in a particular art or craft modality, or are looking for arts and craft workshops you can’t learn at home.

Here are some of the best places to learn a new skill or craft around the world. 

usaid handicrafts for sale by jason houston

Image credit: Jason Houston via Flickr CC0 

Best Artisans Workshop Options 

The only restrictions on what you can learn around the world is TIME and MONEY! 

Creative art and craft enthusiasts are never bored, but they may be frustrated by the lack of time to do all the things they want to learn! 

Here’s a selection of some unique craft workshops you can join around the world.

You can:

rangoli flower painting by mckay savage

Image credit: McKay Savage via Flickr CC BY-2.0

Learn Traditional Crafts from around the world (Cultural Art classes and Craft courses) 

We’ve also listed the crafts that a certain city or country is well known for, in case you want to explore further. 

You might be inspired to join in one of these traditional crafts on your travels, or plan a trip around a trio of craft classes!  

  • kite making, or beautiful mandalas and rangoli art in India 
  • watchmaking in Switzerland
  • patchwork quilting in America 
  • Guatemalan glass blowing in Guatemala
  • learning Arabic calligraphy in the UAE
  • making Spanish ceramics in Spain
  • Zellige tiling in Morocco
  • Faroese knitting in the Faroe Islands
  • Balinese horn carving in Bali 

ceramic workshops by quinn norton

Image credit: Quinn Norton via Flickr CC0 

Art Classes and Local Craft Workshops in Australia

Pottery and Ceramics in Australia

  • Northern Rivers Pottery Supplies, Lismore
  • Red Door Studio, Fernleigh
  • Byron School of Clay, Byron Bay
  • The Clay Barn, Bangalow
  • North Coast TAFE
  • Byron Community Collect 

The Australian Ceramics Open Studios weekend is the time to visit studios of local potters and ceramicists, and purchase original ceramics and pottery pieces. 

Visit North Coast Mud Trail for details. 

Eucalypt Homewares, Melbourne.

Make a ceramic vase, Christmas decorations, dinner plate sets, or planter pots.

(Morning, whole day, and six week sessions available) 

Chalk Art in Australia

Monique Chalk Art School

Craft Workshop Collaboratives – Never Stop Learning

Work-Shop Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney

The Craft Parlour – Gold Coast

aboriginal weaving by Sgt. David J. Hercher 800 wikipedia

Image credit:  Sgt. David J. Hercher via Wikipedia CC0

Aboriginal Craft Workshops

Take a look at these Aboriginal arts and crafts.

In these Aboriginal workshops, you may be able to learn or join classes:

  • how to make and play the didjeridoo, and learn about Aboriginal music
  • paint your own boomerang or canvas
  • Aboriginal dot painting workshops in Australia
  • Aboriginal weaving
  • Aboriginal sand painting
  • Aboriginal ochre painting, painting techniques and symbolism
  • Aboriginal games
  • Aboriginal dance including welcome ceremonies
  • Aboriginal art and culture workshops to learn about smoking ceremonies, cleansing ceremonies, how to identify animal tracks, Aboriginal bush tucker and medicine,  and more

Aboriginal Workshops for Fashion

Our tip is to try and find Aboriginal art fashion workshops.

There is a new movement in Australian fashion to embrace Aboriginal indigenous design into mainstream fashion.

The colours, and patterns, and styles are out of this world beautiful! 

Fans of big, bright and bold fashion should jump on these trend quick smart! 

aboriginal art by bob sutor taronga zoo via mertie flickr 22334840541 ATT REQ

Image credit: Mertie via Flickr CC BY-2.0

Visit these Aboriginal Art Galleries and Associations to find workshops

  • Maruku Arts in Central Australia
  • Injalak Arts in Darwin
  • Djurandi Dreaming in Perth
  • Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Jellurgal Aboriginal Cultural centre in Burleigh Heads on the Gold Coast
  • Janbal Gallery in Mossman Queensland
  • Culture Connect in Cairns Qld
  • the Australian Design Centre in Darlinghurst, Sydney

Maori Art & Craft Workshops in New Zealand

Try your hand at Maori weaving, Maori art and Maori carving of both local timbers and New Zealand greenstone. 

Rotorua is a good place to start. 

READ MORE: The best places in New Zealand to see and join in MAORI weaving, art and carving. 

buzzy bee fabric

More New Zealand Crafts

You can also join in art and craft classes throughout New Zealand.

There’s particular towns in New Zealand that draw the creative community too, so be sure to visit. 

Hot tip: Find some fabulous Kiwiana fabric featuring the famous Buzzy Bee

READ MORE: The Best Fabric Stores in Auckland and New Zealand

bali silver jewellery by namealus flickr

Image credit: Namealus via Flickr CC BY NC-ND 2.0

Art and Craft Workshops in Bali 

Silver jewellery

Workshop tours and lunch, Monday to Friday.

Book in advance. 

batik fabric by mikaku flickr

Image credit: Mikaku via Flickr CC BY NC-ND 2.0

More Bali craft workshops

  • Batik (try Deking Batik class in Ubud or Ubud Batik)
  • Silver smithing
  • Ubud Botany interactive 
  • Bali massage training at Sekar Jagat Spa class in Nusa Dua
  • Gamelan music and dance
  • L’Atelier Parfums et creations for a perfume making class
  • High Flyers Bali Trapeze school
  • Merta Rauh fruit and vegetable carving
  • Canggu jewelry classes
  • Bali soap class (Try Monica craft in Denpasar) 
  • Bali Barista centre for coffee making
  • Mask carving
  • Natural dyeing (try Threads of Life Natural Dye studio in Ubud)

Visit these Bali Art classes

  • Agung Rai Museum of Art
  • Pondok Pekak library and learning centre, Ubud –  morning and afternoon workshops
  • Gaya Ceramics Arts Centre in Ubud
  • Bali Purma Art and Workshop

tibetan dancers by chris walker flickr

Image credit: Mikaku via Flickr CC BY-ND 2.0

Art and Craft Workshops in Nepal

Nepal is on my bucket list.

I can’t wait to try wood carving and felting, and visit these places too: 

  • Nepal Cooking School 
  • Sunapati Thanka Painting school
  • Sunrise Jewellery making classes in Kathmandu
  • Pokhara Nepal dance lessons

japanese weaving

Art and Craft Workshops in Japan

Our number one country to visit for elegant traditional crafts. 

Try your hand at:

  • Japanese pottery making in Arita or Kaga.
  • food sample making in Kappabashi or Gujo in Gifu. 
  • handmade paper making
  • origami paper folding
  • Japanese calligraphy
  • Manga comic illustration
  • Japanese glass making (Japanese blown glass or glass etching) in Otaru, Hakone and Karuizawa. 
  • Edo Style glass cutting
  • tenugui towel making
  • making udon or ramen noodles in Japan
  • making a Japanese bento box   (check out 7 bento classes you can do in Tokyo)
  • washi paper making 
  • traditional tea ceremony in Japan
  • music box making at Orugoru-do in Otaru
  • Japanese painting classes
  • Soba noodle making
  • Tatami mat makiing
  • Japanese weaving (like we did)
  • Daruma doll making
  • Kokeshi doll making (Tohoku and northern Kanto areas)
  • Japanese indigo dyeing 

READ MORE: The Best Fabric Stores in Tokyo

japanese ceramics workshop by na0905

Image credit: Na 0905 via Flickr CC BY-2.0

More Creative Workshops in Japan

Visit the Setouchi Artfest triennale exhibition to see the works of both Japanese and non Japanese artists around the islands of Japan including Awashima island. 

Furano cheese factory in Hokkaido offers cheese making workshops. 

Hida no Sato Folk Village in Takayama hosts weaving workshops, as does Ryukyu Mura village themepark in Okinawa. 

Takasaki in Gunma is the place to paint your own daruma doll.

Japanese crafts villages

Visit these Japanese craft villages too.

  • Ainokura Village for washi paper making 
  • Kyoto Museum of Traditional Crafts
  • Takumi no Sato craft village 
  • Music Forest Museum at Kawaguchiko 

craft making in thailand by michael swan

Image credit: Michael Swan via Flickr CC BY-ND 2.0

Art and Craft Workshops in Thailand

Bangkok

  • Leather making at Craftsmangus
  • Embroidery at Needle Work 
  • Ceramics at Charm-Learn Studio Thailand
  • Thai Silk weaving at the Loom
  • Soap making at Bangkok Soap Opera
  • Custom silver jewellery at Shannta, at the Bangkok Art and Culture centre
  • Thai cooking classes
  • Thai massage

Visit Olive Creative Laboratory for all kinds of creative workshops

Chiang Mai

  • Fruit carving at Chiang Mai Boom
  • Jera Traditional thai massage
  • Leather workshops at Suranat Leather studio
  • Thai batik classes at Chiang Mai Batik School
  •  Cloth dyeing and weaving at Cotton Farm
  • Thai weaving at Hill Tribe weaving class

Visit ART PLAY contemporary art studio for kids too. 

kolam flour painting by mckay savage

Image credit: McKay Savage via Flickr CC BY-2.0

Traditional Art and Craft Workshops in India

Kolam rice flour painting

The most beautiful art in India, arguably the most common form of painting in the world, is the Kolam.

Kolam is the art of making abstract symmetrical mandalas using rice flour.

Find a Kolam workshop in Pondicherry in South India. 

More traditional Indian arts

  • Flower Garland making
  • Saree wearing workshops
  • Mehendi henna tattooing

peranakan brooch making in george town malaysia by oxlaey

Image credit: Oxlaey via Flickr CC BY-2.0

Art and Craft Workshops in Malaysia

There’s lots of crafty workshop options in Malaysia too, including this Peranakan brooch making in George Town. 

Petaling Jaya

  • Craft at No.7 
  • Craftiviti workshops 
  • The Weekend Workshop 

Kuala Lumpur

  • The Craft Crowd workshops
  • Midori Studio in KL for very cute arts and crafts workshops

colorful lanterns by steven ridgway

Image credit: Stephan Ridgeway via Flickr CC BY-2.0

Art and Craft Workshops in Vietnam and Cambodia

Try these craft making courses. 

  • Lantern making in Hoi An (The Lantern Lady) 
  • Water Puppetry
  • Authentic Bat Trang pottery

There’s LOTS of cooking schools in Vietnam too, such as the Green Bamboo Cooking school and cafe.

In Cambodia, visit

  • the Fair Trade village
  • Gemological institute of Cambodia 
  • Khmer Ceramics centre
  • Rehash Trash sustainable workshops
  • Champey Academy of Arts
  • Angkor pottery center
  • Nataraj Yoga

You can also try your hand at rice farming in Cambodia.

handmade om cushion by milada

Image credit: Milada via Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

Art and Craft Workshops in America

There’s plenty of weekend art classes and live-in weekend workshops around the United States. 

The best thing to do is pick and choose what you’d like to learn, then do a search to find a local workshop. 

Try art and craft workshops for adults including:

  • paper craft workshops
  • wood turning
  • cheesemaking in Wisconsin (learn about kefir and kombucha too)
  • furniture making
  • leather crafting classes
  • herbal workshops
  • cupcake workshops
  • circus workshops
  • acroyoga workshops
  • armory workshops
  • barber workshops
  • textile workshops
  • barre workshops
  • concrete workshops
  • Tiny House workshops
  • health workshops

calligraphy workshps by katrina.alana

Image credit: Katrina.Alana via Flickr CC BY-ND 2.0

More art classes in America 

  • fancy handwriting and calligraphy classes
  • drawing workshops
  • mosaic art classes
  • screen printing
  • ceramic workshops
  • film workshops (in particular, acting workshops or actors workshops) 
  • Nikon or Canon workshops
  • encaustic workshops (using pigments mixed with hot wax that are burned in as an inlay)
  • glass art classes
  • floral workshops
  • metal art classes
  • adobe workshops learning adobe illustrator, adobe indesign, adobe photoshop, adobe lightroom
  • shoe making in Brooklyn

Why not gather a group of friends to join in some residential craft courses together, and make a weekend of it? 

Google the workshop type to find local classes near you. 

Hot tip: When travelling through Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, North and South Dakota, Wyoming, and Alaska, search out local indigenous people offering Native American handcraft workshop opportunities too. 

big magic creativity workshops

Creativity Workshops 

America is FULL of crafty creatives, and some of them offer Creativity workshops.

Elizabeth Gilbert, of Eat Pray Love fame, and the book “Big Magic” is one of America’s leading creativity teachers. 

If you are interested in joining a creativity class, check out her website to find her upcoming tour dates (including workshops) 

blacksmithing workshop by mariusz cieszewski

Image credit: Mariusz Cieszewski via Flickr CC BY-ND 2.0

Art and Craft Workshops in the UK 

Here’s a few craft workshops in England to try:

  • Crochet retreat weekend hosted by Frank & Olive 
  • Evoke your inner Blacksmith in Aberdeenshire and try blacksmithing, iron and bronze casting and ceramics
  • Learn traditional British crafts such as basket making, willow work and coppice craft at the Woodlands Skill Centre
  • Learn to weave in Shetland, Scotland

cake decorating at amorette disney bakery at disney springs via WDW page

BEST DISNEY WORKSHOPS

For those of you who are DISNEY fans, you’ll be thrilled to know you can book into Disney craft workshops and other creative Disney workshops at both Disneyland, and Walt Disney World!

Fancy learning how to make THIS Mickey Mouse cake?

You can!  

Plus, there’s a whole bunch of online Disney classes too.

Take a look at our best Disney Workshops guide here!

(Also includes tips on how to study or work at Disney. )

sacred valley awamaki weaving tour by mckay savage

Image credit: McKay Savage via Flickr CC BY-2.0

Looking for more creative things to do?

Correct at time of publication on Roam the Gnome. Please check with venue for updates. We apologise in advance if there have been any changes we are unaware of. All prices in US dollars, unless otherwise stated

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