Seattle DIY School for Adults Teaches Crafts and Self-Confidence

If you’ve ever watched NBC’s craft competition show, “Making It” and thought you could never do it, then you’d be wrong. At least that’s what Kiya Schnorr says. She is one of the teachers of Seattle works – an adult craft school that provides the tools and expert know-how to learn something new and come away with something to cherish.

During a recent mini crown making class, Schnorr said she has never seen a creation go sideways. “People always ask me, ‘You mean you’ve never seen ugly crowns? And I say, ‘No, I didn’t.’ “

Granted, Schnorr has said that working with imperfect supplies found in nature is more forgiving than other craft materials, but in his eyes every wreath that leaves the store is a work of art.

Kiya Schnorr shows off her wreath-making skills.

Jeffrey Totey

Other teachers, like Robin, echo the same sentiment. Robin teaches the basics of bulk greeting card printing and when attendees find errors in their finished prints, she is quick to point out any flaws found in some of the store’s display items and tell attendees how. she’d rather see a few “mistakes” here and there instead of a perfect greeting card found in a card store. It’s all part of the manufacturing experience.

All of The Works teachers offer clear advice on how to create the task at hand without micromanaging participants. And it only takes a few minutes to see how dedicated they are to empowering others because they believe that art and fellowship not only go hand in hand, but it is this shared experience that is important.

Robin to explain the process of bulk printing greeting cards.

Robin to explain the process of bulk printing greeting cards.

Jeffrey Totey

Kellie Phelan founded The Works and settled down about three years ago. She told SeattlePI that initially she taught stripping and knitting classes. Phelan is a lot busier now, but she still manages to find time to teach her specialties every now and then. Today, the store offers a greater variety of classes with a strong team of creative people teaching cooking tips, flower arrangement methods, and crafts.

“People have said to me, ‘I feel like I just got into Pinterest,’” says Phelan. And she is not wrong. Unlike a cluttered craft business, The Works is a bright, bright and welcoming space where the sky is the limit for creativity.

The DIY school is a business owned and operated by women and, unsurprisingly, most of the clientele are too. Even so, most men will feel right at home here. The place is meant to serve as a creative outlet for adults, but children are not off limits. In fact, Phelan says everyone is always welcome, bar none.

Kellie Phelan, Founder of The Works Seattle.

Kellie Phelan, Founder of The Works Seattle.

The works

The Works was just barely catching its pace when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. And like so many other local businesses, Phelan and company had to learn how to pivot. If the students could no longer come to The Works, the teachers would only have to go to the students. Instead of thinking outside the box, they turned the concept inward by thinking inside the box and creating DIY home kits.

DIY Boxes, which can be shipped anywhere in the country, contain some amazing kits that look deceptively small, but are actually packed with good stuff. For example, the cookie decorating kit contains piping bags, tips, cookie cutter, meringue powder, food coloring, baking paper, and step-by-step instructions. Each box also provides access to an online video tutorial, recipes (for yourself to use after mastering the dozen cookies), and even a playlist of personalized cookie kits to inspire you.

The Works Cookie Decorating Kit.

The Works Cookie Decorating Kit.

Jeffrey Totey

The kits, which range in price from $ 30 to $ 60, offer essentially the same experience as the classes offered inside the store. But now that The Works has started welcoming guests for in-person classes, artisans have a choice.


The Works Seattle is located at 151 12th Ave. To learn more or to schedule a class, visit their website or call 206-475-5974.



About Tracy G. Larimore

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