Our Most Popular Craft Workshops in 2023

There’s no doubt that crafting and handmade items have increased in popularity over the last few years. This is partly as a result of lockdown and many people having more time on their hands. The wellness benefits of creativity are becoming widely accepted alongside the environmental advantages of locally handmade items, especially when natural or recycled materials are used.

Different crafting trends come and go and, as we approach the year end, I think it’s interesting to see which of our craft activities have been the most popular this year. In the six plus years we’ve been running workshops we’ve seen different trends emerge among which crafts are popular. There are some subjects that have remained popular, some that are less sought-after and new ones that have fast become favourites.

I find it fascinating that many of these crafts have been around in one form or another for hundreds of years. We continue to enjoy them and create beautiful, unique and practical pieces.

Based on the number of people attending each workshop, these were Coastal Craft Collective’s five most popular craft workshops.

Our star attraction:

In first place - stained glass. Sue Jones of Lymelight Glass Studio teaches the copper foil stained glass method. You can learn the basic techniques of cutting glass, grinding edges smooth, copper foiling and soldering. She runs half-day taster sessions and full-day workshops suitable for beginners and those who already have some experience. Some people really get the stained glass bug and keep coming back!

A close second:

A close runner up, Sue also runs our sea glass jewellery sessions. These also use the copper foiling and soldering techniques. In each two and a half hour session, everyone makes two pendants using pieces of sea glass and pottery found on local beaches. A perfect craft to try by the sea!

Coming in third:

Lino Printing takes the third spot. Alison Bowskill has been leading lino printing workshops with us since we opened and it’s always been towards the top of the table! Alison has a real talent for teaching people to transfer their designs and ideas to print. We are regularly asked for a next stage class, so this year introduced two colour lino printing. It’s suitable for beginners and those who have attended Alison’s lino printing workshop or have other experience.

Taking the fourth spot:

New to us in Autumn 2022, our cyanotype workshop is number four. Cyanotype is a photographic process using UV light to expose prints - also known as sun printing. Textile designer, Jayne Burton shows you how to use natural materials like seed heads, flowers and leaves or cut out shapes to lay on treated papers. You then expose them to UV light, ideally the sun or, on a rainy day, a UV lamp. Cyanotype is becoming better known and it’s amazing the results you can achieve!

In fifth place:

In fifth place is lampshade making. In this two-hour class, Jayne introduces you to the simple techniques and tools needed to make a 20cm drum lampshade. You will learn about pattern placement, attaching fabric to the laminate backing panel, rolling onto the rings and finishing off. Armed with these basic skills, many find they are then able to go on to make more lampshades at home using kits.


Close in popularity to the top five are crochet, driftwood creations, Indian block printing and fairy light shades


Although in the UK overall, more people knit than crochet, we have had many more requests to learn to crochet than to knit. Mandy Stead teaches small groups at her crochet for beginners classes so that she can give everyone plenty of time. She also hosts social crochet & knitting groups on some Tuesday and Sunday mornings. For those who want to explore different aspects of crochet, Mandy’s introducing a new class to develop your crochet skills from February. 


Looking forward to 2024, of course different experts have varying opinions on what art and crafts will be most in vogue. There are common themes around sustainability, recycling / upcycling and traditional crafts. Some of the most commonly mentioned activities are resin crafts, macrame, weaving and macraweave (a combination of macrame and weaving!). No surprises that our workshop plans include these crafts! 


Whatever 2024 brings, I hope we can all enjoy ourselves getting creative.