Seattle DIY school for adults teaches crafts and confidence

If you have ever watched NBC’s crafting competition show, “Making It” and thought you could never do that, then you’re wrong. at the minimum that’s what Kiya Schnorr says. She’s one of the teachers at The Works Seattle — a DIY school for adults that provides the tools and expert know-how to learn something new and leave with something worth treasuring.

During a recent mini wreath-making class, Schnorr said she’s never seen a creation go sideways. “People always ask me, ‘You average you’ve never seen any ugly wreaths?’ and I say, ‘No, I haven’t.'”

Granted, Schnorr did say that working with imperfect supplies found from character are more forgiving than other craft materials, but in her eyes, every wreath that leaves the shop is a work of art.

Kiya Schnorr showing off her wreath-making skills.

Jeffrey Totey

Other teachers, like Robin, echo the same sentiment. Robin teaches the basics of block printing greeting cards and when participants find mistakes in their finished prints, she is quick to point out the flaws found in some of the shop’s characterize items and tell participants how she prefers to see a few “mistakes” here and there instead of a perfect greeting card found at a card shop. It’s all part of the crafting experience.

All of the teachers at The Works offer clear guidance on how to create the task at hand without micromanaging participants. And it only takes a few minutes to see how dedicated they are to empowering others because they believe that art and fellowship not only go hand in hand, but it is this communal experience that is important.

Robin in explaining the time of action of block-printing holiday cards.

Jeffrey Totey

Kellie Phelan established The Works and set up shop about three years ago. She told the SeattlePI that during the early days she taught classes on pickling and knitting. Phelan is a lot busier now, but she nevertheless manages to find time to teach her specialties now and then. Today, the shop offers a larger variety of classes with a substantial staff of creative folks teaching culinary tricks, flower arranging how-tos, and crafts.

“I’ve had people say, ‘I feel like I just stepped into Pinterest,'” says Phelan. And she’s not wrong. Unlike a cluttered arts and crafts business, The Works is a light, bright, and welcoming space where the sky is the limit for creativity.

The DIY school is a female-owned and operated business and not surprisingly, most of the clientele is too. already so, most men will feel comfortable here. The place is meant to serve as a creative outlet for adults, but children are not banned. In fact, Phelan says everyone is always welcome, no exceptions.

Kellie Phelan, founder of The Works Seattle.

The Works

The Works was just hitting its stride when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. And like so many other local businesses, Phelan and company had to learn how to pivot. If the students were no longer able to come to The Works, the teachers would just have to go to the students. Instead of thinking outside of the box, they turned the concept inwards by thinking inside the box and creating at-home DIY kits.

The DIY boxes, which can be shipped anywhere in the nation, keep up amazing kits that look noticeably small, but are truly crammed complete of good stuff. for example, the Cookie Decorating kit contains piping bags, tips, a cookie cutter, meringue powder, food coloring, parchment paper and step-by-step instructions. Each box also comes with access to an online video tutorial, recipes (to use on your own after you master the dozen cookies) and already a custom-curated cookie kit playlist to inspire you.

The Works cookie decorating kit.

Jeffrey Totey

The kits, which range in price from $30 to $60, offer essentially the same experience as the classes offered inside the shop. But now that The Works has begun welcoming guests back for in-person classes, crafters have a choice. 


The Works Seattle is located at 151 12th Ave. To learn more or to schedule a class, visit their website or call 206-475-5974.



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