Life In The Craft Room, in Farmington Hills, offers a number of crafting classes, including holiday prep projects, weaving, knitting, crocheting and sewing.

Life In The Craft Room, in Farmington Hills, offers a number of crafting classes, including holiday prep projects, weaving, knitting, crocheting and sewing.

Photo provided by Kimberly Vallance

Beginning crafters take the first step

By: Maria Allard | Metro | Published November 9, 2022


METRO DETROIT — Holiday craft show season is starting.

While many people are seasoned crafters — making homemade crafts for years and even selling them — there are still those out there who have never used a glue gun, painted a ceramic Santa Claus or hand-stitched a button.

They would love to make a Christmas wreath for the first time or create a snowman figure from scratch, but they’re intimidated. If you’re a new crafter concerned or anxious that your project will not turn out as planned, Kimberly Vallance wants you to keep this in mind:

“All of art was a mistake at one point. Without those mistakes, we would not have art,” said Vallance, the owner/creativity coach and a teacher at Life In The Craft Room LLC in Farmington Hills, which welcomes both seasoned and brand-new crafters. “People get intimidated when they watch a video on YouTube or TikTok (from) people that have been crafting forever. Give yourself some grace. We’re all practicing crafters. Worry about being perfect another day.”

Life In The Craft Room offers a number of crafting classes, including holiday prep projects, weaving, knitting, crocheting and sewing. While students are all learning a new craft, they also socialize with and help each other out.

Vallance suggests all beginning crafters own the following three supplies: a good pair of scissors, Elmer’s glue and a pencil, either lead or mechanical.

“I just want people to come in here and enjoy the atmosphere. They don’t have to come in with all the ideas by themselves,” Vallance said. “I like to see that student who gets that light in their eye and says, ‘I can make it.’ That builds their self-esteem and confidence. The sky is the limit.”

For Halloween this year, Center Line resident Megan Cilia dug into her creative side to make a creepy cemetery display for her front lawn. She even won a third-place award from the city for her creativity.

Cilia made her own tombstones out of wood using a saw, a rotor and a sander. The tombstones included a play on words with different names, including “Joe King” and “I. Emma Spook.” She painted the gravestones and let them dry.

She had other decorations on-site. It was quite a process, but she was pleased with the finished product. Something she learned is that you have to find time in the day to work on your crafts. She’s hoping to make crafting a hobby.

Andrea Fields, the owner of NeedleArtists and Crafters, started crafting when she was 9, with her mother as her first inspiration.

“My mother was a gorgeous seamstress,” said Fields, and this put her on her own creative path.

Fields’ NeedleArtists and Crafters offers beginning, intermediate and advanced sewing classes, crocheting, embroidery, latch hooking and more. Fields always looks forward to welcoming new crafters, including children, as well as veteran crafters.

Fields recently moved her business from downtown Farmington to Redford, and she loves to help first-time crafters “find their way and welcome them to the fun side of crafting.”

“I teach classes in the medium they want to learn. Everyone should know the basics,” said Fields. “I like to teach people to read the pattern. Once you know that, you will be able to make anything you want.”

Once crafters have mastered the fundamentals, “They are able to be more relaxed and do what comes natural to them,” Fields said. “When people are successful at the basic things, they become more comfortable.

“How can we dispel the fear of crafting?” Fields said, adding that many people will say to themselves, “I can’t do this.” But, according to Fields, remember, “what you create is not supposed to be like anything anybody else has ever done.”

NeedleArtists and Crafters holds classes the second week of every month at the Costick Activities Center, 28600 W. 11 Mile Road in Farmington Hills. One recent project was a gnome wreath. In November, the goal is to make paper bag luminaires, and the December project is snow globes.

For more information on Life in the Craft Room, visit or call (248) 266-1496.

To reach the Costick Activities Center, visit or call (248) 473-1800.

For more information on NeedleArtists and Crafters, visit or call (248) 266-0749.