Painted Presents

Hand Painted Pottery
Painted Presents

Remember when getting fingerprinted sounded like a really cool activity (when you were five)? Play it up with your kids this holiday season with a gift-generating field trip to one of Calgary’s four paint-your-own-pottery studios.

Kids of all ages (even newborns) can put their paws to work on unfinished pottery (also called bisque) to create holiday gifts soaked in sentimentality that are perfect for their personal fan club (Grandma, Auntie, even special teacher).

We love painting pottery with kids because it’s the perfect blend of easy, accessible and aesthetically pleasing (even messy looks good). Once fired, many ceramics are usable and useful and we know nothing pumps up kids’ self-esteem more than seeing their special creation put to special use by a special person (rather than sitting on a shelf). With that in mind, we recommend choosing an item with a large surface area and no extra parts, such as a coffee mug or plate.

Once your child hits school age, they will likely want to have a say in what they paint. Let them go to town with their own design (you might still want to help with any lettering). Pottery studios have a wide array of stencils and stamps available to help them along.

For the younger set, the easiest course of action is to paint that little palm (or foot) and press it on the item. Pencil in the date, your child’s name and perhaps the name of the recipient and voilà—instant work of art. For an elegant look, try a single coloured mug with a different coloured hand or footprint (our fave is a black print on a white mug).

If setting your kids loose in a store full of breakable trinkets sends chills up your spine, think ‘to-go’. Three of the four studios in the city offer either rental kits or paint for sale to accompany their unfinished pottery. The good news is that you still have time to get to the studio and get printing (or painting) before Christmas. Here are the places to visit this holiday season.

Color Me Mine
Coffee Mug Cost: $12 – 25 (plus $9 studio fee for adults)
To-go Option: Yes. Save the studio fee and get 10% off unfinished pottery. Purchase paint for $4 per bottle.
Last Day to Paint Christmas Gifts: December 20

Fire Escape
Coffee Mug Cost: $9 – 19 (plus $9 studio fee for adults)
To-go Option: Yes. Minimum cost $48 (includes supplies for eight items) plus cost of unfinished pottery for four days.
Last Day to Paint Christmas Gifts: December 20

The Clayground
Coffee Mug Cost: $19 – 42 (studio fee included)
To-go Option: Normally offered but temporarily unavailable.
Last Day to Paint Christmas Gifts: December 12

UB the Artist
Coffee Mug Cost: $14 – 18 (plus $8 studio fee for adults)
To-go Option: Yes. Cost is the same as painting in-house.
Last Day to Paint Christmas Gifts: December 16

As the old saying goes, you can paint your mug and use it, too (or gift it to Grandma).

How to Find

Color Me Mine
334 14th St NW
(403) 249-4FUN

Fire Escape
1509 8 Street SW
(403) 245-4064

The Clayground
#226, 12100 Macleod Trail SE
(403) 225-2056

UB the Artist
41 High Street SE
(403) 264-2022

Find More on Sharesavvy

Colour Me Mine
Kulinary Kids

Tested by Heather J., Calgary
Tagged under calgary, holiday, gifts, craft
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First published 2009.12.10

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