AR Workshop is a national company with locations around the US and the Cincinnati location is located right off Hyde Park Square next to US Bank. They offer DIY classes, parties and retail.
The classes are a lot of painted sign classes but also have pillow cases, wall hangings, boxes, framed art and more. I would love to do every class they have!!!!
They also have a bunch of holiday-themed signs! Seriously – these things are adorable!!! These would make great gifts for folks that love holiday decorating or for yourself. The quality is impeccable!
So how does it work?
First you check out their calendar and figure out which project you want to make. From there – you’ll choose which specific item you want to make. Nearly every item is personalized – so you when you purchase your class online – you tell them the personalization that you want. It was really easy.
Then you show up and get crafting!!!! Be aware – street parking is premium right there – so show up early or prepare to walk a block or so. I know a lot of folks were parking in US Bank parking lot after hours – (I’m not telling you to do that or not! Park at your own risk.)
I had really liked the canvas wall hanging – and it seemed like something I wouldn’t really be able to do very easily on my own. I’m pretty crafty – so I figure if it’s a class that I would normally pay for – I should do something I can’t do on my own.
Once you get there – they have the projects all laid out at the tables. If you’re signing up with friends – you can note that in your registration so you get seated together. From there – I was able to pick out the stain I wanted (since I was doing the canvas wall hanging) from the choices you see on the left. Then they gave us some keyrings of wood samples with the paint colors on them so we could choose from those.
I am so indecisive and always need help! Plus – I saw this really cool finished project that had hombre text and loved it! The staff at AR Workshop was so helpful – they consulted with me and helped me choose colors for the different parts of the wall hanging and which part would look the best with that hombre effect! Very helpful!
From there – we got to work. The folks at AR Workshop print out your personalized design on this blue sticky sheet. Then each person goes through and pulls up the pieces that will need to be painted. We then stick the blue sheet to our fabric (I did the wall hanging, my friend did pillows). After that we tape over the areas to make sure they’re stuck really well. The whole goal here is to make sure that it’s down on the fabric as tightly as possible to keep paint from seeping under. We then painted our areas and while that dried – I stained the wood.
While it dried – I also walked around to see some of the other projects – you can really see them coming to life! They’re super cute!
Here’s a particular one that caught my eye – I’m not really a holiday decorator. We don’t have a lot of space to store things out of season – so I just keep the holiday stuff to a minimum.
Here are some other finished projects. The one on the left is one a girl at my table did. This was her second time with AR and I have to say – I was IMPRESSED! You’ll notice how PERFECT her lines are! There was no paint that seeped under the design – every letter is perfection! All hail the friend of the Satchell family that made this pillow!
Mine is on the right – and you can see – I kind of had some bleeding spots. The workshop leaders said that wood is more forgiving than canvas – but she had a trick for me too! She brought over some paint that is the color of canvas and I touched up most of the spots that bled. Now is it perfect like the one on the left? No. But when you hang it up and just walk by it – IT’S FINE!!! I think I just didn’t know what I was doing as much and didn’t take the time I should have.
My advice is to take your time – really focus on getting the blue flat and stuck to your surface. The better that is – the better your project will turn out.
Am I still happy with my imperfect wall hanging? Hell yeah! I love it!!!!
After my hanging was done – she helped me put the wood pieces on so it could hang. We had a staple gun issue so she went to her workshop and grabbed a nail gun and voila – it worked! I like that even when something went wrong – I had multiple staff members there to help me out. That’s impressive knowing that the class was FULL. Everybody got personalized care.
So here I am with my final wall hanging. She said I could take an iron to this once everything was fully dry to flatten out some of those puckers.
The funny thing is – I didn’t realize until after I had already painted everything on – those were our wedding colors! I was having such a hard time deciding and then I gravitated towards that light/bright blue (like my sweater) and the hot pink – and then it hit me – those were our colors! Awwww.
My friend Erin did state pillows – one for her and one for her hubby – they turned out fantastic!!!! I mean I think an Iowa pillow would be much better – but I can’t fault them for where they were born! 😉 They also had dog pillows that I was DYING to do – I could have one for each dog! They were so cute!!! But alas – that will have to wait until I visit another day.
All in all – we loved AR Workshop and think that – while a little pricey – it’s super fun. (1 pillow is $45, 2 pillows $65 and the wall hanging is $60.) The quality of the finished product is excellent and I think that’s the thing – if you are wanting to do something like this and you want to be sure it’s done right and worthy of being hung in your home (or that of a loved one) – it’s worth every penny. They consulted with me, helped me at every step along the way and that made a lot of difference!
Their classes before the end of the year are filling up quick – she told me that most of the classes are full by the time they happen – so I would say – take a look at the schedule and book it out in advance. You can also bring wine and snacks if like to enjoy while you’re working. It was a really fun night for Erin and I to hang out – it’s much more fun with a friend for sure. Plus – you can help each other out while you’re working on the project.
I hope you guys check them out! Oh and – if you want to have a party – reach out – they’ll help you! You can book a whole class for your group with just a little notice! Enjoy your crafting!!!