DIY Door County: Learn & Create Something Beautiful


Reclaimed helps visitors create their own wood-stenciled signs.

Reclaimed helps visitors create their own wood-stenciled signs.

Door County is a hub for artists of all kinds. Painters, potters, sculptors and even metal workers have their studios here. They glean inspiration from the great Lake Michigan, from the peaceful forests and from the soaring bluffs. Crafters display jewelry, furniture and knick knacks at village festivals. Local artists and artisans are not the only ones who can be inspired by the peninsula’s natural beauty. Visitors can create here as well. Northern Door County is home to several do-it-yourself studios and workshops open to the public, where the amateur artist can create a thing of beauty. Studios operate similarly: drop in or make a reservation, choose a project, opt to customize it to fit your vision and learn from a professional how to use the power tools or painting techniques your project requires. Each studio offers unique projects that could take from just an hour to a whole afternoon. These studios are open year-round, making them a great destination in the chillier months. Be sure to check your chosen studio’s website for fall and winter hours. No matter which you choose, you’re guaranteed a beautiful souvenir and a satisfying experience.

Hands On Art Studio in Fish Creek is a family-friendly art studio that offers myriad projects. Painting a ceramic piece, fusing glass, sculpting metal, painting a scene, throwing pottery or creating jewelry are just some of the options. The studio offers “Adult Nights” on select weekend nights in the summer and fall, where the studio is open to those 21 and over for making art, socializing and listening to live music.

Distance from the Blacksmith Inn: Driveable in 9 minutes (6 miles)

Pre-registration required: Not required, but suggested for workshops

Cost: $5 to enter the studio; $10-40 average project cost

Reclaimed Resale & Workshop in Ephraim has two specialties: high-end home decor resale and “customizable wood stenciled signs.” Tena, one of Reclaimed’s owners, emphasizes that their workshop offers a very one-on-one experience,  Collin, who guides learners through the process of sigmaking—from choosing a design to customizing, cutting, stenciling and staining—works directly with each customer to help him or her love the final product. Collin has helped couples design signs for their wedding receptions, even creating a custom stencil to match their wedding invitations. After a successful first summer season, Reclaimed is expanding its project options to include totes and centerpieces.

Distance from the Blacksmith Inn: Driveable in 13 minutes (9.1 miles)

Pre-registration required: No

Cost: $60 for a basic project, additional fees to customize

Just down the road is another DIY studio. Clink! A DIY Craft Studio offers a range of crafts in a variety of difficulties. Crafters can learn the intricacies of leatherwork, wood burning or string art. Or they can assemble wine rack or stamp a piece of metal jewelry. Project lengths differ, so Clink! encourages finished crafters to sip a beer in the lounge while waiting for friends.

Distance from the Blacksmith Inn: Driveable in 13 minutes (9.6 miles)

Pre-registration required: No

Cost: $20-100

Craft an entire weekend in Northern Door. Check the Blacksmith Inn’s availability for your creative getaway.