Whether you want to celebrate a Crafty Christmas or a Homemade Hanukkah, there are plenty of classes in Oakland and the East Bay to help you with your holiday giving.
Some that I found:
Beads can be used to create earrings, necklaces, bracelets and holiday cards in a series of workshops at Blue Door Beads. One class even features wine and a pizza dinner for a more social crafting experience.
For the gift-giver looking to make something warm, Article Pract is a shop with yarn supplies and features knitting and crochet classes for beginners and advanced students. Upcoming lessons will show you how to make a moebius cowl, some warm socks or a simple shawl.
A great source for classes or gifts, Piedmont Yarn and Apparel, sells a block of 10 one-hour classes for just $70. In addition to teaching crochet and knitting, they also feature felting, spinning and weaving lessons.
Many of the classes at A Verb For Keeping Warm are actually labs - where multiple students work on a skill or get questions answered in a hands-on setting. Knitting, crochet, sewing and quilting are all popular classes.
The Crucible is well known for teaching metal arts like welding, but many of their classes also are a perfect match for the holiday season. Paper gifts, jewelry or even ceramics are just a few of the things you can make for the special people in your life.
For even more community support on projects new and old, consider joining the Church of Craft. This group meets Sundays at Rock Paper Scissors Collective and has an email list with updates and reminders. Classes are free, but donations are encouraged, and bringing a potluck food dish to share is a part of the tradition.
If you have a passion for patterns or want to learn how to hem, alter, or copy clothing, then Better Living Through Sewing can help you out. Its North Oakland shop has been teaching sewing skills for 15 years.
Even more sewing and quilting classes are available at Sew Images. In addition, this shop also teaches embroidery, courtesy of the Bernina sewing machines with needlepoint software.
Piedmont Sewing School includes sewing classes for youth and teens and shows students the more complex nuances of sewing knits and sweaters. They also offer custom and private classes on request.
Tailoring shop Cai Yun's Style in Downtown Oakland focuses on what you will make: a pillowcase, an apron, a tote bag, ready-to-wear skirt or pajama pants. All of these and more could make personalized gift-giving easier.
Although it doesn't offer classes per se, The East Bay Center for Creative Reuse has many supplies that can be used to make innovative gifts. The store staff has many crafty ideas that you can make at home either before or during the holiday season.