Dayton Live

 Dayton Live

Check out the Miami Valley’s do-it-yourself crafting venues.

Natasha Baker

You have pinned all the cool home decor you can find on the Pinterest social media app but have yet to try a project. Maybe you don’t really believe you are all that crafty. Or maybe you started pricing all the supplies and thought better of it.

“People love to pin all these great crafts but are too intimidated to try them,” says Chesley Booth, co-founder of Corks & Crafts. “That’s where we come in!”

Dayton is jumping on the do-it-yourself crafting bandwagon with more than 15 local venues and organizations to help you get crafty. Whether it’s your first project or you’re a DIY pro looking for some advice there are knowledgeable crafters ready and willing to make sure you get that Pinterest-perfect piece for your home.

Bringing art to you

Corks & Crafts was started three years ago by four teachers from Northmont High School—three art teachers and a German instructor. Abby Daniels, Bethany Allen, Chrissy Hall and Chesley Booth say their goal was to create a new model for DIY crafters that included functional pieces for the home.

“We wanted to help people get in touch with their inner artists and craftsmen,” says Daniels, one of the co-founders. “To go farther than just pinning a cool piece and find the creativity within themselves to do it.”

The ladies shared that initially they borrowed their husband’s power tools, but now they all have their own and they are willing to share. The group tries every project together first to look for any issues that might come up.

“I am always the voice of reason,” shares German teacher and co-founder Hall. “While a project may seem easy to the three of them I sometimes struggle, which means our customers may struggle, too.”

Once they have a project down they schedule an event. The team brings all of the supplies to the venue. “We bring it all, teach the class and do all the cleanup,” Allen says. Their events take place at various establishments in and around the Miami Valley, including restaurants, churches and community centers.

“People are amazed by what they can do,” says Booth. “We never let them leave with a bad project.”

Corks & Crafts classes range from $25-$50 and all supplies and materials are included. They offer a class a month, but can also be booked for parties.

How about some wine with that painting?

The combination of brushes and vino seems to be a big hit across the area with several locations offering a fun evening with friends. Included in the evening are individual art instruction, a new piece of artwork for your walls and you get to do it all while you enjoy a glass of wine.

Local couple Greg Kennedy and Jessica Mancz had planned to visit Raise Your Brush in Centerville for a while. So the Valentine’s Day Couples Paint event seemed right up their alley.

“We loved the idea of creating individual pieces that combined into a single artwork for us to share,” says Kennedy. “Plus, we are a bit competitive. We are still deciding who did the better painting.”

According to the couple the instructors allowed for some flexibility in things like color choices, but mostly they followed the step-by-step instructions. While the painting project was $40 per couple they also enjoyed the bar and snacks, which do cost extra but help get the creative juices flowing.

Raise Your Brush offers a relaxed atmosphere providing all the painting supplies and assures guests that no experience is needed. They can host fundraising sessions with a minimum of 20 people and will donate $10 per person. Raise Your Brush also hosts bachelorette parties, birthday parties and special occasions.

“We would love to do it again,” says Kennedy. “It was a lot of fun and a new experience for date night.”

Beyond Painting

Looking for something other than paintings and pallet projects? Then check out Cozy Melts. Located in the Fairfield Commons Mall, Cozy Melts offers do-it-yourself pottery, jewelry and candle making. With a comfortable atmosphere and your choice of coffees, teas or hot chocolate, the store features ready-made pottery and the ability to create your own pieces, including clay pendants for jewelry. You paint and glaze your pieces and the shop will fire them in its kiln in a week.

Its popular Woodwick Candles are available to make in the store. Pick a container, wax type, scent and color then pour the candle right in the store. There is a $7 studio fee for all projects with prices on individual pottery ranging from $3.99 to as much as $50. Its pottery room can accommodate large groups so bring some friends.

You don’t want to miss out on this great trend and try your hand at all of these great DIY projects. Let your creativity be free. Find class schedules and more at,, and