We’ve Dubbed This San Francisco Block “Do it Yourself Row”
Haight street is known for its vibrant history in San Francisco but there’s one particular block on Haight that we’ve decided we’re going to start calling “Do it Yourself Row” (DIY Row). On this block, you’ll find numerous DIY art schools for all ages along with containing the supplies you’d need to assemble the perfect gift.
Let’s walk this creative block together, shall we?
Starting at Central and moving west we will first have to grab ourselves a coffee at Ritual before your little walking tour.
Our first stop is San Francisco’s legendary DIY Art School:
Workshop SF: 1310 Haight St
Art classes designed for ages 21+, “Drink Beer, Make Stuff” has been a long-time motto at Workshop.
Workshop has been around for decades, having started up in 2009 by co-owners Kelly Malone and David Knight (known by most simply as “DK”). I wouldn’t be surprised if you’ve already heard of them as they have had pop-up DIY events at places such as Treasure Island Music festival, numerous craft shows, and have taught countless coworker cohorts for corporate team building. Over the pandemic, Workshop moved onto The Haight and have since become a neighborhood staple.
When you take a class at Workshop, you’re being taught by local DIY experts “all of whom have just a pinch of badass in them,” according to Workshop. I’ve taken numerous classes at Workshop and can attest to every one of them being super unique and fun.
“We create a fun, inclusive, hands-on learning experience, and will introduce you to a talented, local Bay Area instructor who will ensure you leave class with a new, creative skill and perhaps even a mantle-worthy DIY project of your own doing!”
Next Stop on our walking tour through DIY Row:
A Rad Yarn Shop called Firebird Yarns – 1322 Haight St
You know I love a great yarn shop. This Haight street yarn shop is another gem that everyone should know about.
Firebird has been around for the last 4 years. They specialize in indie yarn brands and hand-dyed yarns. Their in-house yarn collection has a vibrancy that will make you develop a solid crush on Firebird but you may just fall in love with them forever when you learn about some of the names behind their color ways… such as, “Do You Want to Live Forever?”, “Hot Lipz”, “Meeting the Children of Doom”, or “The Riddle of Steel”.
Beyond their yarn, They even have their own pin-up art collection which they release along with a naming contest.
“We commission one every year for the shop anniversary; they’re illustrated by Stephen McDermott (his insta is great but nsfw). We’re up to 4 guys- Firebird turned 4 in September- and while they’re not modeled on anyone specific, we do get people saying “this one looks like my husband!” quite often. 😂 Our pinup guys are inspired by vintage pinups, particularly the ones where a woman is knitting or working with yarn (or some of her clothes are unraveling… 😳),” says owner Kathryn Bernard.
Needless to say, the shop’s humor, and endless creativity will make this one of your favorite niche shops in SF.
Learn more about Firebird Yards here: https://firebirdyarns.com/
We have a couple more stops on our tour. The next stop is for the parents and kiddos:
Maker Studio Kidz – 1334 Haight St
How cool is it that, within half a block from each other, there’s both an adult DIY School and a DIY school for kids! Maker Studio Kidz tells us “We are reimagining education through creative expression, storytelling, and empowering STEAM importance for future generations of curious creative minds.” STEAM stands for Science Technology Engineering Art and Math. STEAM focuses on hands-on learning with real-world applications.
Maker Studio Kidz hosts classes for all kids – from drawing, painting, tinkering, to sewing. Classes offered are for ages 5-18+ depending on the subject matter. You’ll see sensory classes for younger audiences and sewing classes for teens.
Sign your kiddo up for a class
DIY Kits are available on the Maker Studio Kidz site, too.
After leaving Maker Studio Kidz, we will speed walk past Candy’s, an adorable candy shop, just because I’m a candy-aholic and I can’t help myself but stop in if I’m nearby. We’re on our way now to the last two stops, small businesses where you can create a wonderful gift for someone using the items within each of the shops.
Twisted Thistle Apothecary – 1391 Haight Street
Encouraging a friend or family member to relax more can be done by helping them create a special at-home ritual. Pick up a crystal, tea blend, and salt soak from Twisted Thistle as the perfect trifecta that will most-definitely bring serenity.
Their website hints at potential future workshops but there aren’t any currently listed. I’d keep an eye out on the Twisted Thistle IG or website if you’re interested in those types of offerings.
Twisted Thistle has 2 locations – one in Oakland and SF
Shop scents, tarot, healing herbs, and more at Twisted Thistle
Our last stop is every plant lovers dream store:
The Mellow – 1401 Haight Street
This is the perfect place for us to end our tour. The Mellow focuses on indoor plants and when you walk in you’re instantly enamored by the sheer amount of adorable plants that surround you. You can snag everything you need to DIY the perfect gift for any plant-lover.
I met the co-owner of The Mellow, Lorena, years and years ago through the DIY community. Because of this, I’ve taken a couple of classes from her in the past and can attest to her patient, kind and fun personality while teaching you about plants and flower arranging. I’m so happy to see that she’s still offering classes at The Mellow. You can take classes which teach you more about plant care, floral design or even how to make your own holiday wreath.
The Mellow also offers coffee these days as well as some smooth jazz tunes via an intimate concert series that they have dubbed The Mellow Sessions. Since opening, they have expanded into 2 other spaces within SF, Pac Heights (on Fillmore) and The Mission (on 21st).
Take a Plant Class at The Mellow Height
Events hosted by The Mellow Sessions
This month, we’ll be featuring even more special places within The Bay Area where you can DIY gifts, find more sustainable gift options, and support local small businesses during the holiday season.