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Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/striatic

The best arts and craft stores in NYC

Start planning your next art project with help from these great arts and crafts stores across the city

By Jennifer Picht
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There’s something about New York that gets the creative juices flowing. Incredible art galleries and crafty flea markets alone inspire us to get our hands covered in clay, hot glue and glitter. Sure, not all of us are bona fide artists once we get behind an easel or a sketch pad, but with the right tools, anything is possible, right? From necessary supplies to cool classes for DIY-ers, these arts and crafts stores are the first stop for channeling your inner Picasso.

RECOMMENDED: Best places for shopping in NYC

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Arts and craft stores in NYC

Beads of Paradise

Shopping Arts, crafts & hobbies Union Square

Magpies will gravitate toward the shimmering host of funky-to-elegant beads (5¢ to $650), which are grouped in terra-cotta bowls and hang in strands from the walls. Sourced from around the world, the global theme continues with ethnic art from Africa ($200 and up) and silk scarves ($18 to $85) from Thailand, which you can purchase along with bauble trimmings such as silk and leather cords (from $3). What’s more, if you’ve mangled the back of your favorite earrings, they offer jewelry repair services.

Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/light_seeker

Blick Art Materials

Shopping Arts, crafts & hobbies Noho

Homebodies can snag accoutrements for a hodgepodge of indoor-friendly projects from this slick bi-level resource. Load up on papier-mâché ($5 and up), plastic beads ($20) and pom-poms ($6). And if what you’re looking for isn’t on the shelves, chances are you can order it from Blick’s encyclopedic catalog.

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Photograph: Courtesy Brooklyn Yarn Creative Studio

Brooklyn Yarn Creative Studio

Shopping Arts, crafts & hobbies East Williamsburg

This spot is packed with locally produced and fair trade yarns, like Hapi cotton made in the Peruvian village of Munani ($11 per skein), brightly colored Socos yarn that’s hand-dyed in Chile ($12 per skein) and a Hacho merino wool ($10 per skein). Plus, newbies can learn how to knit and purl at one of Brooklyn Yarn’s free weekly classes.

Photograph: Courtesy Downtown Yarn

Downtown Yarns

Shopping Arts, crafts & hobbies East Village

In 2001, Rita Bobry decided to close her flower shop and turn her crafting hobby into a profession. Her cozy neighborhood knittery stocks needles, patterns and a multitude of coveted, hard-to-find knitting brands such as Debbie Bliss, Brown Sheep and Frabjous Fibers, as well as Frankie, Bobry’s golden retriever. But Bobry is most proud of her impressive selection of local fair trade options.

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Photograph: Courtesy Knitty City

Knitty City

Shopping Arts, crafts & hobbies Upper West Side

The blond-wood bedecked craft-store-cum-community-center hosts a bevy of workshops and events, including a crochet workshop (Sun 1–3pm; $30, includes 10 percent off materials) of knitters and crocheters who donate their crafts to charity, a Knitty City Book Club (second Thursday of every month, 6–8 pm) and a weekly Wednesday-evening (6–8 pm) dudes-only session—all of which are completely gratis. The space also provides knitting books ($7–$100), needles ($4–$25) and other tools to facilitate your next cable-knit creation.

Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/streetcar-press

Lee's Art Shop

Shopping Midtown West

Across the street from the Art Students League, this ritzy emporium is known for its top-notch supplies for fledgling Pollocks, but its excellent and wide-ranging crafts selection merits a visit by any DIY-er.

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Michaels
Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

Michaels

Shopping Arts, crafts & hobbies Forest Hills

Meet the Walmart of craft stores. This megachain features a well-rounded lineup of tools and supplies for basically any project. Beyond glue guns ($2 and up) and beads, Michaels also dishes up Martha Stewart Crafts homemade card kits (from $20) for stationery hounds and devotees of the domestic diva.

Photograph: Courtesy Nelson Cruz

Mood Fabric

Shopping Arts, crafts & hobbies Midtown West

Sure, Project Runway contestants frequently rummage through this 40,000-square-foot garment district institution to use in their latest sartorial creations, but Mood has always been a resource for both serious and amateur sewers not on reality TV. Its expert staff will help you navigate the mazelike shelves for the right organza, grosgrain ribbon and coconut buttons for that look you’ve been meaning to whip up.

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Paper Source
Copyright Caroline Voagen Nelson, Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nels

Paper Source

Shopping Gifts and stationery Boerum Hill

Whether you’re on the hunt for the perfect wedding invites or the ideal wrapping paper, you'll find what you need in this upscale stationery chain. Stay in touch with one of 500 styles of note cards and envelopes, celebrate a special occasion with artisan-made thank you cards and invitations or nab intricate scrapbooking papers imported from Japan and India. DIY-ers can take workshops ($20–$40) or attend a free demonstration to perfect their crafting skills.

Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/striatic

Purl

Shopping Arts, crafts & hobbies Soho

You can grab knitting supplies and fabric for all your patchwork needs at this huge crafting megastore. Owners Joelle and Jennifer Hoverson and Page Norman have stuffed the brick-walled space with artist Charley Harper’s nature-themed needlepoints ($50–$350), Liberty of London’s brightly printed fabric ($38 per yard) and Knit Collage’s hand-spun sequined and beaded yarns ($35 per skein).

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