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Best Places To Create Your Own Christmas Gifts In Pittsburgh

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Christmas is about sharing with others, and there's no better way to express that feeling than to make gifts from the heart. This season, learn how to make unique gifts that include pottery, artwork, jewelry, photography, arts and crafts and novelty items. Visit galleries, hobby boutiques, glass works studios, photography exhibits, art studios, and candle, fabric and card stores to purchase items that focus on creativity on a family budget. These are the best places to create your own Christmas gifts in Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh Glass Center
5472 Penn Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15206
(412) 365-2145

Hours: Tues and Thurs – 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Fri and Sun – 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Glass Center offers a variety of classes, workshops and tours to teach about the glass making process. Enjoy levels of expertise to make beads, paperweights, picture frames, pendants, jewelry and a blown glass workshop to mold and shape a favorite Christmas gift. Certified artisans and instructors demonstrate the intricacies of glass work in their studios, where you may purchase handmade items or take classes to learn how to make glasswares in a well-maintained and safe atmosphere.

Related: Best Places For Glass Art In Pittsburgh

Color Me Mine
5887 Forbes Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15217
(412) 421-2909

If you're into having family fun during the holidays, then Color Me Mine is the place to be to make decorations, paint and design pottery. All of the necessary supplies are available to make a masterpiece that can be shared as a Christmas gift for a long-lasting memory.  Choose packages for children that are arranged on computers to design plates, stamps, mugs, figures and kitchen or garden supplies. The glazing and firing process is perfect for making ornaments and plaques, and the staff is available with expert instruction for creative ways to paint that special holiday gift. Also enjoy specialty nights to make gift cards, gingerbread houses and paint with Santa.

4801 McKnight Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15237-3412
(412) 369-0307

Michael's is a kid-friendly facility that sponsors classes for children to learn scrapbooking, beading, knitting, cooking, bracelet making, pendant making, and arts and crafts. Demonstrations and special events are scheduled throughout the holidays for families to learn how to make frames, wreaths, floral arrangements, baskets, candles, sewing, jewelry and painted decorations. The aisles are packed with crafting tools, hobbies, models, stamp pads, baking supplies, knitting and party favors. Explore a bookstore that features a how-to list of categories to inspire creativity for holiday gift ideas. Make It –Take It programs are a great way to create gifts.

Crystal Bead Bazaar
4521 Butler St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15201
(412) 687-1513

If you're looking for beading accessories and tools, then the Crystal Bead Bazaar will be your one-stop shop. Enjoy a vast selection of beads from all over the world for a unique and impressive holiday gift. The experienced staff will direct you to a variety of stringing materials for necklaces, bracelets and pendants. Enjoy an endless supply of beads in dazzling colors that are made from metal, stones and crystals in all shapes and sizes. Classes in stringing and earring design taught by qualified staff promise perfect opportunities to create one-of-a-kind gifts.

Related: Best Places For Antiquing in Pittsburgh

Katie's Clay Studio
3812 William Flynn Highway, Building 2A
Allison Park, PA 15101
(412) 486-2184

Learn the pottery and clay process at Katies Clay Studio to make an awesome Christmas gift, and get down and mud covered at the same time. Enjoy a variety of projects that can be painted and personalized at the studio or at home. Work with clay and learn how to use the potter's wheel from instruction by qualified staff members. Families may make plates, bowls and coffee mugs that will be perfect gifts under the Christmas tree. The well-maintained studio and design center offers ample space to accommodate classes and special events. The pleasant atmosphere makes for a vibrant and creative learning experience for adults and children.

Build-A-Bear Workshop
The Mall at Robinson
100 Robinson Center Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15205
(412) 788-6530

When the fur stops flying through all of the enticing machines, the final product will be an adorable bear in the hands of a child for a keepsake that can provide a thoughtful Christmas gift. Each bear may be personalized with a variety of clothes in an assortment of colors and styles. The outfits have embroidery and threads to match, and the choices are endless. Even add a message for that special final touch. Personalized lettering and music add to the unique process in choosing all of the available accessories, and that includes a selection of other furry friends.

Gerry Cernicky is a retired health and physical education teacher with 36 years of experience. He is a former teacher of the year and a sports writer for the Vandergrift News. He delivers podcasts, and maintains a website and blog. He currently resides in Pittsburgh. His work can be found at

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