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Paper craft koi fish making class with ClassBento
Photograph: Supplied/ClassBento

Melbourne's best online workshops and DIY kits

Learn how to dance or simply sit and paint with wine in hand – we've got you covered

Written by
Claire Finneran
&
Alannah Maher
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There's no better time than lockdown to upskill and lucky for us, many local institutions have opened their virtual doors to help us. Learn how to customise your own jewellery, colour your hair at home, create lino printed postcards and more with these online classes and DIY kits. If you want to turn the fun factor up a notch, pair these activities with some booze ordered from these places that deliver.

Here's our live list of online classes, workshops, and tutorials you can participate in from the comfort of your own home.

Looking for more ways to keep entertained? We have you covered for the best things to do at home.

The best online classes and workshops

Fill embroidery hoops with gorgeous knitted flowers, greenery and bright patterns with these kits by We Are Knitters. Designed for beginners but still fun and challenging enough for intermediate and advanced knitters, you can choose from four designs. The kits come with several skeins of wool, an embroidery hoop and cloth, a couple of needles and the pattern that you'll be following. Check out the designs on the We Are Knitters website

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Unleashing on a creative project and/or pouring a glass of wine are vices many of us are turning to to pass the time. But, especially if you haven’t picked up a paint brush since a high school art class, a blank canvas sitting before you can be a bit of an overwhelming prospect. Thankfully, local ‘sip and paint’ studios are now offering at-home options so you can have an instructor on hand to guide your creative spark (it’s just up to you to keep your wine glass topped up). 

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With many of us spending more time just pottering around the house, there’s never been a better time to try your hand at being a literal potter. Although they’ve had to close their studio doors to the public, a bunch of ceramics studios have adapted their businesses so you can get busy moulding your own mugs, vases and assorted sculptural vessels at home. We've rounded up three to choose from.

Get ready to take jewellery customisation up a notch with this DIY ring making kit from bespoke Australian jewellery company Magpiette. Initialled necklaces and friendship bracelets are so passé, why not level up your symbol of undying love in unusual times by carving rings over a wine time session on Zoom? The kit ($145) contains step-by-step instructions and everything you need to design, carve and sand your own ring into shape from wax, and then send it off to be cast in sterling silver. Whether you’re an experienced jewellery maker or new to the art, this kit looks like a pretty special way to create a bespoke gift for yourself or someone dear to you. You don’t need to be worried about the fit either, with kits available in a range of sizes and the option to order a free ring sizer before you select your kit for added assurance. Get ready to dress up your digits and check it out here.

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Southside hair salon Boda Hair Boutique is helping out all those Melburnians having salon withdrawals under lockdown. The hairdresser is currently selling at-home hair colouring kits with everything you need to refresh your hair including colour, bowls, brushes, clips, gloves and even a 30-minute virtual appointment with one of Boda colourists to make sure you're doing everything correctly. Check them out here

If you’ve ever stared in awe at the intricate embroidery that graces high fashion runways, now is your time to pick up a needle and learn the ropes (or rather, the threads?). French-Australian couture designer Delphine Genin, Australia’s only haute couture art embroidery specialist, is sharing her highly-specialised skills in a series of online classes starting in July. This isn’t your typical inexpensive arts and crafts pursuit, the at-home workshop starts at $290. This includes instructions, a consultation, and your starter kit containing high-end fabric, threads, crystals and art materials as well as a beading/embroidery hoop, hook and needles. Genin trained at the prestigious Ecole Lesage – the Chanel-owned embroidery school in Paris – so you can be assured she knows her stuff. The online course is available from July 20, and you can take a looksee over at delphinegenin.com/school.

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OTT sweets store Goldeluck's is now selling colourful doughnut decorating kits. There's a selection to choose from, including the Minion, Rainbow Fish, the Flower, Olaf from Frozen and a Surfing Tiny Teddy. They're $25 each and you receive two doughnuts to decorate, all of the required toppings and instructions. Maybe binge watch some Nailed It beforehand to make yourself feel better about your wonky creations? Check them out here

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If you’d like a craft project that will result in some fashionable flair for your furry best friend, look no further than this DIY leather bow tie dog collar kit from Melbourne-based canine fashion and accessory brand Moo + Twig. The kit, priced at $69.95, includes a leather collar and bow tie you can decorate with assorted paint brushes and pots of paint (you can choose the colours at checkout, because only you can make the call on whether your pooch is more of a ‘dreamy pastels’ or ‘bold metallics’ kind of fashionista) as well as a monogrammed tag with stainless steel plate. The kit comes in three sizes and you can place an order over at mooandtwig.com

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ClassBento is an online platform for creative, active and food-focussed workshops and classes taught by local expert makers. What's more, they've launched livestreamed workshops to keep us creating at home, complete with a box of crafty goodies delivered to your door (and you'll pay zilch for delivery). There's a plethora of classes you can choose from; scent some soy candles, sculpt a clay planter, brush up on your lettering or craft a round og quarantinis. Check out the program over here

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Parlez-vous Français? Would you like to? The Alliance Française, which has been teaching French to beginners and les specialistes for 120 years, has made the transition online.  There are courses available for teenagers, kids and adults, as well as private tuition and group classes. Classes are taught through a combination of video conferencing and e-learning materials, as well as an app and email subscription to practise. 

Is anybody else in Melbourne feeling déjà vu?

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