In Time for Hanukkah, 'DIY Gift Boot Camp' Teaches How to Craft Quick Gifts

By Meredith Hoffman on November 27, 2013 7:08am 

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 The gifts include terrariums, leather bracelets and glasses.
DIY Gift Boot Camp
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GREENPOINT — This holiday season, even if you've never stitched a thread and your schedule is too hectic for a serious shopping spree, you can create a handmade, personalized present in just over an hour.

A local craft company is leading 90-minute lessons on how to make leather bracelets, charm necklaces, etched drinking glasses and other keepsakes in their first "DIY Gift Boot Camp" this month, and the founders promise students of all skill levels will leave the classes with refined finished products.

"They're all beginner-level...skills you can master in a minute," Brett Bara, who runs Brooklyn Craft Company, said of the classes.

The intense crafting spree will run all day Dec. 7, when visitors can go to one lesson or attend four classes on how to whip up a handful of gifts. The company will provide a teacher and tools, Bara said. 

For the charm necklace, students will be able to choose from hundreds of charms, including cats, dogs, skull and crossbones, and lightning bolts, Bara, 38, said. For the leather bracelets, students will be able to emboss any name or saying they like.

There's also a class making terrariums, a kind of miniature garden under glass, for which the instructor will provide apothecary jars, moss, pebbles and a wide array of figurines.

"You can choose from little couples in love, to a parent and a child, to a guy with a gun holding someone up," Bara said of the figurine choices.

The classes may be beginner-friendly, but Bara carries years of DIY experience with everything from making handbags to decorating wedding cakes.

"My parents were both always really crafty," said Bara. "I've been crafting since I was a little kid."

More details on the boot camp can be found on Brooklyn Craft Company's events page.

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