As the appeal for do-it-yourself projects continues to increase, DIY-themed studios are popping up in downtown Farmington. Here are a few of the latest arrivals.

First, there’s Painting with a Twist where Michelle Lewis, franchise owner of the Farmington location, says they welcome all skill levels including those who don’t think they can paint. “We soon break down the barriers. It’s all about having fun. We take everyone step by step,” she says. “We tell you what paints to use, how far to go and what to do, all to create a masterpiece and have a good time.”

Most bring a friend or significant other. “Date night is really popular for us,” Lewis says. “People so enjoy doing it. It’s very therapeutic.”

She recommends reserving your space in advance by phone or online. “A lot of classes sell out and we close an hour before parties,” Lewis says. “When you reserve ahead of time, your seat is set up for you.” Popular paintings include the Detroit skyline at night. Other choices include a series inspired by Van Gogh’s Starry Night and a variety of paintings with Michigan themes.

The Farmington location can accommodate around 50 people; those 21 and up can bring beer or wine in the evenings, which are reserved for adults.

Weekday summer camps for kids begin soon. Look for discounted family days on weekends. Two-hour classes generally start at $35 including supplies. (248-476-7928;

Across the street, there’s Baker’s Studio, owned by Sue Nebe and her husband Bill. Their new studio is dedicated to paper and multimedia crafting with supplies available for purchase.

Card-making classes include watercolor, die cuts and copic markers. Paper dolls are extremely popular. They can be used for scrapbook pages, gift tags or decorations. As Sue explains, the dolls, a more detailed take on the original concept, can be decorated with glitter, ribbons and more.

Scrapbook classes take beginners through the process of sorting photos, organizing pages, using the right tools and preservation. Multimedia crafting is similar to decoupage, but with materials like cloth, wire, metal and buttons. “You can use paraphernalia like old keys that you find lying around the house,” Sue says. The items are mixed with stamps, inks, etc. to make journals, dolls, wall-hangings and artist trading cards.

Classes range from $15 for a paper doll creation to $65 for multimedia crafting.

Baker’s Studio can be rented for birthday parties and other events and crafters can use the space and tools for a small fee. The No Frills crop class is held each Friday from noon until midnight for $5 and Saturdays are $10 for the day.

Space is limited to 24, so it’s best to register in advance, especially for Friday nights, which are often full. (248-987-2610;

Lastly, there’s Design Sewing Studio, where master tailor Gwen Gordon teaches everything from sewing to alterations. (248-943-2265;

Jeanine Matlow is a Metro Detroit interior decorator turned freelance writer specializing in stories about interior design. You can reach her at

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