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The DIY Lifestyle: How to Learn Everything in Brooklyn

By Elizabeth Wolff | April 25, 2013 3:43pm | Updated on April 29, 2013 7:12am

NEW YORK — "Can't" is not a word often heard in Brooklyn.

If you don't have the do-it-yourself know-how you need, chances are there's a course you can take somewhere across the borough.

Ever dreamed of canning your own food or wondered how hard it would be to weld your own coffee table? There are dozens of short-term classes to teach you everything you need to know to be a self-sufficient urban dweller.

DNAinfo.com New York rounded up the best of DIY Brooklyn.

WHERE TO MAKE THINGS YOU CAN KEEP:

The East Williamsburg workspace and education center 3rd Ward is the leader of the DIY/continuing education pack. It offers a range of classes and studio spaces for woodworking, welding, textile printing and sewing, furniture making and restoration, jewelry making, photography — you name it. 3rd Ward's upholstery class is a favorite among DIY homemakers throughout the city.

For DIY diehards willing to venture outside Brooklyn, Michael Daniel Metal Design, in Long Island City, offers welding classes. The Furniture Joint in Manhattan's East Village also offers upholstery classes.

WHERE TO MAKE THINGS YOU CAN EAT:

The Brooklyn Kitchen in Williamsburg dishes up the borough's best-known cooking classes, but would-be chefs can find culinary classes just about anyywhere. Costs range from approximately $65 to $145 and teach anything from homebrewing and gluten-free baking to mustard making.

WHERE TO WORK WITH THINGS THAT ARE ALIVE:

The Brooklyn Botanic Garden offers more than just horticulture, flower arranging and watercolor classes.

Classes for adults range from fruit pickling to urban composting. Many one-time sessions are targeted to upstart urban gardeners, offering specific courses on community-garden planting techniques and gardening for urban beekeepers. Most classes are affordable, hovering in the $50 to $70 range, with some as low as $5.

Street Tree Care is a free sign-up class that teaches all about tending your block's lovely — but frequently neglected — trees.

A course like Gardening 101 will run $121, but if your goal is earning a horticulture certificate, required classes such as Pest Management will set you back $329.

WHERE TO MAKE THINGS TO WEAR:

Textile Arts Center is the go-to spot for learning specialized textile-related skills. That includes hat making, leather sewing, general sewing, re-upholstery and even shoemaking.

Outside Brooklyn, The Sewing Studio in Chelsea also offers classes.

THE BEST OF THE REST:

Makeville Studio focuses exclusively on the creation of furniture, lighting, and decorative and functional objects. It offers many similar woodworking classes at comparable prices to 3rd Ward, but the basic class — a prerequisite for using Makeville's equipment and shop — is cheaper than 3rd Ward's Intro to Woodworking class ($215 versus $449).

Brooklyn Brainery offers affordable classes, often for $30 and less, in a variety of DIY specialties. Courses include lessons on everything from making kombucha to canning and knitting.

Gowanus Print Lab has made a name for itself by providing the premier screen-printing class. That means if you want team T-shirts, custom stationery or even customized Converse, there are classes that can help you produce them.

Other printing classes arw available at The Gowanus Studio Space, Textile Arts Center, Polluted Eyeball and 3rd Ward.

UrbanGlass teaches glass-making classes from bead to stained glass. The introductory kiln classes teach students how to make bowls and plates.

Skillshare is a community network that allows you to host any class you want, so you'll find scores of random classes offered by New York professionals.