Be a Maker

Shop Class for Grown Ups, It's a Thing!If you’re the kind of person who spends time cruising home improvement websites and daydreaming about building a deck, you’re probably itching to turn all those inspirational photos into reality. There’s nothing quite like a good DIY project to make one feel confident, competent and ready to take on the world — or at least just show off a project.

Get Some Skills

But what if you don’t have any skills? If you long to live the DIY life but don’t know the difference between a chisel and a flathead screwdriver, you have some catching up to do. If your school cut shop class in favor of AP courses, you’re not alone. Fortunately, you can fill in the gaps by taking shop class as an adult. Here’s where to look for a course to build some skills:

  • Home Improvement Centers: Big box stores have everything you need for your next project — including a class to get you started. Many are on the weekends, and you can learn how to do anything from building a bookshelf to installing a ceiling fan. These are typically free, but you may have to pay for materials. Check out the Home Depot, Lowe’s,or your nearest hardware store for options.
  • Community Education Courses: Many municipalities have an adult education program that is packed with night classes that appeal to hobbyists. Look for a shop class for adults offered at your local high school or trade school. Your local library may have course catalogs or information on adult ed. options in your area, or you can do a Google search to see what’s available in your town.
  • Community College: Many community colleges offer continuing education courses in areas of interest for adults as well. These may or may not be for credit, but a good, comprehensive course on woodworking or basic home repair is a great place to start your education.
  • Woodworking Schools: This might not be the best option for beginners, but if you have the basics down, you may want to investigate courses that dig deeper into specific skills. There are woodworking schools across the country where you can learn the finer points of cabinetry, furniture making and more. Check out this list to find one near you.
  • Makers Spaces: An Internet search can help you find a privately-owned ‘makerspace’ in your area. Oftentimes, these business operate with a membership model, similar to a gym. Some of them even have online schedulers to reserve your space at a machine, as well as classes to help you learn how to make all sortsof things. These businesses have already made some pretty hefty investments in big machinery, so you don’t have to. Here are some examples of these spaces in Baltimore, MD and Savannah, GA. Is there one near you?

Whether you’re a total newbie or you’ve been bitten hard by the home improvement bug, odds are good that you can find a shop class for adults near you. Sign up for a course today, and you could be building something truly amazing before you know it.