Starting a craft workshop can be a great way to share your own skills, as well as meeting new people in the crafting community.
However, there are specific things you need to consider when setting up and planning your own craft workshops.
What is a craft workshop?
A craft workshop is hosted by a craft tutor to share and teach others about their skill in a certain craft, such as pottery, sewing and many more.
They are great fun for both the tutor and the students, and many craft classes are cost effective and extremely informative, allowing students to experience and learn new and exciting crafts.
You can teach practically any craft, even making them seasonal:
- General Arts and Crafts: Painting, drawing, sketching
- Sculpting: Pottery, ceramics, clay modelling
- Seasonal: Christmas crafts, Halloween, Autumn
- Textiles: Sewing, flower crafts, woodwork, metal crafts
How do I plan a creative workshop?
Workshops are typically limited to just a few sessions, so it’s important you condense your work and teaching to fit the allocated time, without compromising on quality.
It’s a good idea to plan well ahead of time, and split your session up with allocated times for different activities.
Here are some useful tips to get you started:
- Make sure you are proficient in your craft.
To host a workshop and teach others, you must be good at it. Demonstrations are a necessity, so if you struggle with any of the basics, it’s best to get them nailed before your workshop.
- Get insured.
Before even planning your workshop, it is essential you are insured to run one. Without insurance, you may be held liable for any accidents that happen during the workshop, this includes any harm to students and property.
- Know your audience.
As you sell tickets, it may be hard to know who is exactly buying them, but you can make educated guesses about likely participants.
It’s worth doing some research on what attracts people to your craft, as well as what would attract people in your target area. If you have had previous workshops, think back to the type of people who attended. This way you can also see if you have any recurring students.
If it is your first craft workshop, you could join local art forums to discuss the local audience.
- Create a lesson plan.
Workshops do tend to be informal, but they require some form of structure to help with the teaching process. You should ensure there is enough time for each activity, discussions and breaks.
- Prepare instructions and any other materials.
Depending on what you’re going to teach, you may need to have printed handouts with instructions.
You can ask students to bring their own materials, such as pencils or paint brushes, or you could provide them in the first session for the students to continue to bring to future workshops. These could be bought on the day, or added into the admission fee.
- Set up your space.
Workshops can be taught just about anywhere, as long as there is enough room for everyone and there is enough space for the learning materials.
How do I start a craft class?
To start a craft workshop, you will first want to consider what craft you will be teaching and what goal you want to achieve, such as teaching the basics or more advanced skills depending on your own skill level. Remember, you should be adequately competent in your craft.
You should also consider whether you would be teaching a craft workshop by yourself or if someone else would be joining you, whether that be a friend or family member, or a hired professional.
Things to consider:
Moving on to an overview, you should consider what the bare bones plans are for your workshop. This may include noting what supplies you need, where the workshop will be held and the type of audience you wish to attract.
Consider the practicalities of your plan. You need to ensure your workshop space has enough room for people to move around, as well as space for equipment such as easels or pottery wheels.
Based on the number of people you wish to invite, consider how long you want your session to be. Estimating a rough time schedule is useful, but be aware that it will likely change.
In addition, you will need to plan your budget for the workshops. Don’t do rough estimates as you may fall short or not even make a profit. Once you’ve established all the costs for your workshop, you can then move on to deciding on the price of your tickets.
How much to charge for a craft workshop?
When considering the price of your workshop, there are a few things to think about. There isn’t a set price that you should be charging, but you will want to put the ticket prices at a high enough price so that you return a profit.
Factors to consider include:
- The cost to hire the venue;
- Any materials you have bought;
- The hourly rate of your teaching (or the cost of a hired professional) and;
- The area in which the workshop is being held.
You want to be able to sell your tickets, so don’t overprice them as it will deter potential students. At the same time, don’t undersell the tickets as you may not make a profit, and potentially be underselling your skillset.
This is a learning curve and the more workshops you hold, the better understanding you’ll have of organising classes.
How to run a craft workshop
When you start to run your workshop, it may seem like trial and error the first few times. However, there are a few tips that you can use to help you on your way.
- Let creativity lead the workshop: Don’t be too strict on your schedule, it can be more fun to just go with the flow of the workshop. Letting students’ creativity take over may lead to a more successful workshop, and could actually result in students returning for another class.
- Tie workshop goals to your brand or company culture: Whether you are self employed or part of a larger company, it’s always beneficial to somehow infuse your values into the workshop. For example, you could create exercises which use your company’s mission statement.
- Ask for a small commitment: Don’t be afraid to ask for a little bit of homework before the session. This could be something really simple, such as asking the students to consider their favourite thing about the craft. You could also send out a survey a week ahead of the workshop for students to define their goals.
- Try pushing different learning styles: Creativity comes to everyone differently, so you should create an inclusive culture of creativity for your students.
- Encourage reflection: After the session, it’s not only important you reflect on how it went, but your students should too. Once you’ve gathered feedback, you can consider what worked well and what could be altered in future sessions. Keep your feedback questions light and try to make the survey take approximately 5-8 minutes.
If you haven’t moved your craft into a business and are considering doing so, we have an ultimate guide to starting your own craft business.
Do I need a qualification to be a craft tutor?
No, you do not need qualifications to be a craft tutor. However, there are training courses available which you can complete to gain teaching skills if you feel they would be worth your time.
Understanding the different techniques and methods of how people learn may be a beneficial skill to have. This may help your teaching style, and encourage you to communicate more effectively with your students.
Some students may expect a high level of expertise in your lessons, so it’s important you are ready to answer any potential questions that may arise. Having some form of training under your belt will aid you with this.
How to structure a craft workshop
Depending on what craft you intend to teach, each workshop will have a different structure to it. You may need to factor in more time for demonstrations or discussions if your workshop is very hands on and practical, such as wood carving.
Generally speaking, whatever craft, you should make a rough structure of the workshop so everything flows smoothly from one section to another.
Always start by having a small introduction session to talk about yourself and your craft. You could then move onto warmups, group icebreakers or even discussing the homework you may have set.
Alternatively, once you have introduced yourself, you could dive straight into the craft demonstrations and explanations. However, you should always explain to the students the plan and goals of the session.
Here’s a small guide to help:
- Introduce yourself, and anyone helping with the workshop
- Discuss the plan of the day and what goals you hope to achieve
- Have a group discussion and talk through any homework that was set
- Introduce your craft and what skills you will be teaching
- Demonstration and interactive activity (this could be walkthroughs and step by step guides)
- Larger project introduction and initial start
- Lunch break
- Continue with project
- Review and discuss outcomes
- Session cool down with potential Q and A
Craft workshop and craft class insurance
It is essential that you have the right level of cover in place when teaching crafts. If you are working directly with the public, you will need specific insurance in order to protect yourself and your business against injury or damage which could result in legal action or even large claims.
Here at CraftCover, we can provide you with craft workshop insurance, which covers your business, goods and premises as a third party when teaching craft-related classes to the public. This cover can be incorporated with your standard policy, meaning you will be fully covered when making and selling goods, as well as teaching your craft.
Our insurance at CraftCover is fully comprehensive, meaning you can get all the cover you need under one simple policy, through one monthly payment.
Without insurance, you may be held liable if a student has an accident which causes damage to themselves, your goods or your property, as well as if any damage is caused at a third party’s premises. This could be costly, and therefore hit you and your business with a huge financial burden.
How do you promote a craft workshop?
In order to make the most of your workshop, you should be promoting it as much as you can. A great place to start is by involving local arts and craft community programmes and communities. This could be through the likes of Facebook groups or forums, in which you could simply share a post about the details of your craft workshop and how to buy tickets.
Using the right social media is key. You can easily promote on Instagram through the use of stories and posts, as well as targeting 18-30 year old audiences if that is your desired student demographic.
You could also use physical flyers alongside posting in groups on social media. You could ask local cafes and shops if they would be willing to put your flyers on display, as well as posting them through letterboxes potentially around the venue you wish to hold your workshop.
How do I host an online craft workshop?
If you are unable to have a physical craft workshop, you could teach your workshop via the likes of Zoom, or on another video calling platform. You would simply need to advertise your workshop as an online event, and once payment has been made by the students, you can send an email out with a link to the Zoom meeting.
There are a few things that you may need to adapt, such as how you share instructions and content, which could be as simple as sharing your screen. You may also want to plan interactive sections, polls and breakout rooms for easier discussions between students.
To show the plan of the lesson, simply write it out on the email with the ticket so students know ahead of time what to prepare for the virtual craft class and are set up with a microphone and camera if necessary.
Where should I host my craft class or workshop?
Where you host your craft workshop is really important, and you need to ensure the premises suit your desired needs.
Ideally, you should choose somewhere which has a lot of space and room for the crafting to take place. You could rent an art studio or warehouse, but just ensure there are adequate facilities on site.
Depending on whether you are providing food, or asking the student to bring their own lunch, you will need to consider a venue which is close to the likes of cafes or shops. Many cafes may be able to rent out, or even have their own creative workshop space depending where you are.
Finally, the venue must be accessible. Try and ensure it is reachable by public transport, as well as having a car park nearby. You don’t want to make it a mission for students to find the workshop venue.
The legalities of hosting a craft class
As a craft workshop organiser, it’s important to be aware of your legal obligations.
As previously mentioned, it is vital you have some form of craft workshop cover. Here at CraftCover, we can provide that for you with ease. The last thing you want is to be held liable for an accident or damage which has happened to a student or property.
You should also have Public Liability Insurance. This will cover claims against students injured or adversely affected as a result of the activities during the workshop. Check out our Public Liability Insurance to find out how CraftCover can protect your craft business.
If you are working with children or vulnerable adults, you must obtain an up to date DBS check.
In order to avoid any copyright issues, you must get permission from your students to use their images for any promotional use. Under the Copyright, Design and Patents Act 1988, any original work must show ‘artistic craftsmanship’ and are protected by law. As a tutor, you must also ensure you avoid infringing on other craft makers’ intellectual property rights.
If you are selling crafts as well as teaching them, you may want to also read up on the legalities of selling handmade goods.
Craft Workshop Insurance from CraftCover
If you are considering starting a craft workshop, it’s essential you are insured as soon as possible. We can provide a fully comprehensive insurance package to cover all your craft needs.
Feel free to read more about our Craft Workshop Insurance, contact us via email or call us on 0345 463 3003.