Written by Beverley Lennon
I don’t know about you but I am someone who gets bored easily, so finding something to entertain myself on the weekends (or after working hours) has been a struggle over the past 6 years I have lived in Kuala Lumpur.
Most of the time, I find myself strolling around malls and wasting money shopping or cafe-hopping and when I look around me, it seems like it’s an almost embedded culture in the city, after all what do you expect when you’re surrounded by skyscrapers, right?
This led me to do some research and I took some time to think where I could possibly ‘invest’ my money in a responsible way – what if I could pay to learn something within a day? A new skill? A new hobby? That way, I could keep myself entertained, step away from Netflix and do more than just go to the mall!
If that’s something you’re after, you’ll be glad to know that KL is chockablock full of workshops and classes where you can get creative, learn something new and meet new people! Now, I am not just talking about baking or sewing (boooring), but rather unique themed workshops around the city – some you never thought existed (think chocolate making, cup noodle workshops and more!)
And it isn’t as if you need plenty of time and money as these unique themed workshops in KL let you pick up a shiny new skill in just one day, for under RM 100!
Note: All workshops listed below require an appointment!
COVID-19 Note: Due to the current situation, we recommend you to contact the specific workshops to double check on schedules, prices and availability!
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1. Be Charlie at this uniquely-Malaysian chocolate factory! – Harriston Chocolate
The Swiss like to think they make the best chocolate in the world and rightly so, but if you ask me, any chocolate that’s ethically made using local ingredients taste great!
You won’t need to stock up on chocolate from the supermarket after signing up for a chocolate-making workshop at Harriston Chocolate, where you get to learn all about the craft that goes into making your favourite sweet treats from A to Z!
With Harriston’s experts’ guidance, you get to master the fine art of chocolate making – learn all about the raw cocoa bean and how it is harvested and understand every step that goes into putting those delicacies together!
From melting the cocoa, mixing it with locally sourced ingredients, moulding it and finally getting a taste of your very own chocolate, this is a fun workshop for every age (as long as you’ve got a sweet tooth and aren’t afraid of sugar overload)!2. Learn how to put together a little fairy garden – Mossarium KL
If you’ve ever walked past this plant shop in Petaling Jaya, you’ll definitely want to own one of their beauties – the magical-looking terrariums!
Well, it turns out they also run some pretty fun hands-on creative workshops. The green-fingered experts at Mossarium will teach you how to design, plant and sustain your very own beautiful terrarium.
You will be provided with everything from the vessel to the succulents so you can come up with your very own miniature garden!
And while their jars come in many different forms, their workshops also come with some pretty unique themes; I mean, seriously I would not mind getting my hands dirty to create what they call a “Succulent Beach” or “Mystical Forest in a globe”!
You’ll go back home wanting to transform into a little fairy to live in your very own mystical garden!
3. Come up with your own line of dishware! – Beary Potter Studio
Who knew pancakes and pottery could go so well together? In fact, we’re not quite sure what most people come here for – is it for their pancake? Pottery? We think both but the two-hour trial pottery class here seems to be the real deal!
All classes conducted at Beary Potter Studio are casual and social so no stress as you’ll be learning in a relaxed environment without any kind of pressure – it is meant to be a hobby! It’s the perfect place whether you’re a beginner who wants to see what it’s all about or are aiming to take your potting to the next level.
With pottery being in trend lately (it’s the new gardening apparently and not only for grandmas okay!), we see no wrong in wanting to learn the basics of clay and ceramic clocks which goes for as low as RM 90, this includes the cost of materials and you’ll very likely be walking out as a pottery pro and a full tummy too (don’t forget that it is a cafe after all and they serve up some killer fluffy Japanese pancakes apparently)!
Keep yourself up to date on their Instagram page so you can sign up for a workshop of your choice – they have a multitude of options when it comes to stylish and cute creations so you aren’t limited to making dishware only!
4. Go back in time and create your historical batik piece! – Teja Studio
Note: Workshops are currently conducted online only!
There’s so much debate about batik – some say it originates from Indonesia, some say Malaysia but I personally think that batik pieces are unique to every country.
You can even find traditional Sri Lankan batik and it’s like no other – oftentimes, batik across countries differ in terms of design, colours, techniques and patterns (I have heard that Malaysian batik tends to have bolder colours, floral designs and opt out from including animal patterns due to religious beliefs as compared to the Javanese ones)!
Although not local, I find it super interesting and intriguing to do research on the art of batik-making in Malaysia. So why not embrace local arts and crafts by learning how to make it? It’s not only informative but also super fun!
Teja Studio does just that – they offer batik-making workshops where you get to immerse in the local culture by going through the whole process of drawing to painting your very own piece (batik kit is provided)!
The two-hour class is taught by a local artisan who has experience and knowledge in local textile – they’ll be ready to pass it on to you so you can go back home feeling a little more Malaysian than before! 😉
5. There’s so much you can do with just paper! – Memories & Co
Turn mere strips of paper into meaningful and unique 3D creations when you sign up for a quilling workshop with Karen, the little lady behind Memories & Co.
Paper quilling is a pretty craft that looks much harder than it actually is – in fact, it is known to be the simplest form of art for beginners and gosh, I keep looking at what you can turn paper into and can’t believe it! And it’s nothing new as quilling is said to have existed since the invention of paper!
One of my goals for this year is to find a hobby besides writing and I think that this holds the top position noright w; I mean, I could even save on gifts if I get to know how to make these beauties!
Throughout your learning session with them, you’ll be guided along paper quilling projects to decorate cards, boxes, gift bags, picture frames, or even 3D stand-alone art pieces – you can keep an eye on their Instagram page to know what creation will be taught at their next workshop! I’d personally go for their miniature plant quilling – these look so cute once completed!
And if you are interested in their masterpieces but don’t fancy giving it a go, you can always support this little local business by buying their personalised gifts and cards for various occasions, all handmade with love!
6. Bring out your inner Picasso – Yorokobi Art
Art and cafe come under one roof at Yorokobi, a venue where it seems easy to become an artist, a place where you can work out fascinating creations of your own, with good food and company!
We all love a good Instagrammable cafe but this has become so cliché lately, so how about an art jam cafe where you can express the real you rather than just fake it out for the perfect #OOTD pictures?
As adults, we often forget about the fun that comes from painting or colouring so signing up for their art jam session is a good way to experience the long forgotten joy that comes with the experience.
They also have sessions dedicated to little ones, so just in case you need to keep them entertained during school holidays or the weekends, this is a great place for them to make new friends and work on their creative skills!
7. Liquid embroidery for the bohemian soul out there – The artsy craftsy
You’ll be two steps closer to fulfilling all of your boho dreams if you get yourself along to one of those craft-making classes at The artsy craftsy – a place where you can create everything magical and whimsical!
Fairies and fantasy come to life as you express yourself on a mere leaf, rock, paper and other natural materials – whether it is to come up with a tote bag, stamps, or even crystals!
But if you ask me, it’s the liquid embroidery workshop that appears to be the most unique – you’ll be introduced to the technique of using fabric paints or dimensional paints. And even if it doesn’t involve any needle or thread, they still call it “embroidery”.
According to the tutor, “embroidery” also means: “embellish, ornament, elaborate or decorate”. It is called liquid embroidery because the technique uses liquid to “embroider/embellish”. Time to get acquainted with something new and express yourself through motifs and colours!
8. Learn how to master the art of calligraphy – DIY KL
Note: DIY KL is now collaborating with spaces and cafes to conduct workshops. Please contact them directly for schedule, availability and location of the specific workshops as these would vary.
Although the guys at DIY KL are famous for their leathercraft workshops, these courses run on the pricey side, so you might as well pick their brains on mastering the art of calligraphy instead. For a small price of RM 85, you’ll leave with the know-how of perfecting those letters to ditch those boring texts forever!
Besides being a beautiful skill to have, calligraphy is super relaxing too. So if you need a break from the stresses of work, this could well be a hobby to keep your mind at peace on weekends! No prerequisite is required so beginners and first-timers are welcome to join.
Due to popular demand, DIY KL also hosts private workshops on weekends (best for one-on-one and small groups) and if you’re booking online, you can even settle it through GrabPay and earn points!
9. Paint your very own customised pouch! – MTMT Studio
We truly love giving support to local artisans and when we stumbled upon the story of Maggie, the lady behind MTMT Studio, we simply couldn’t leave it out of our list!
Maggie is an artist at heart. She’s the painter and founder of MTMT Designs and MTMT Studios and has been painting from a very young age. With so much passion in what she considered a mere hobby, Maggie decided to give up her high-paying job as a marketer to pursue art as a career and this is how MTMT Studio came along!
Fast forward to today, Maggie has been teaching over 250+ students both young and old, instilling creative thinking skills and helping them create original works of art.
One of her most popular workshops is a customised pouch painting where she guides you on what you wish to paint and even provides paint references for inspiration. A unique two-hour experience where you can go back home with a new skill, a brand new pouch, new friends and plenty of good memories! To note, the paint used is waterproof too so you can always wash your pouch!
10. Create cute 3D artwork at Malaysia’s first fabrication cafe – FabU Cafe
Note: Workshops are currently on appointment only!
Workshops, crafts and arts aside, FabU Cafe is known for the cute 3D-design pancakes they serve – a range of abstract and other cartoon characters are on offer!
But when tech and crafts enthusiasts unite at FabU Cafe – Malaysia’s first ever fabrication cafe that provides digital fabrication services using professional equipment like embroidery, 3D-printers and laser-cut engraving machines – you’ll see them coming out with the most unique creations including beautiful jewellery sets, embroidered clothes and more!
Giiiiiirls, it’s time to grab your besties for an unusual weekend away from the malls – this is where you get some hands-on action, craft something unique for yourselves and pig out at the cafe all at the same time!
11. Make a matchy-matchy bracelet for your dress – Pinnacle Jewelry Workshop Company
Whether it’s for a wedding or any other party, nothing helps complete an outfit like accessories do. So, you look through your jewellery box to find that one piece that will totally bring up that rose gold dress you’ve got on.
But you realise something: you don’t have the exact piece you are looking for (cryyyyy)! Chances are, it might take you ages to find that perfect accessory in a shop, or very likely you won’t ever find it, so why not make it yourself?
Leave with a piece to call your own when you sign up for a bracelet workshop at Pinnacle. Conveniently located at Bangsar Village, this is where you get to make simple and elegant agate-stone jewellery for under RM 100! Not only is it affordable but think about it – you get to create customised jewellery that is truly one-of-a-kind, to match your outfit! And who knows, this could be the debut of your own jewellery line!
If you only have one day but are willing to spend a little more than RM 100 to pick up a shiny new skill, the following unique workshops might interest you too!
1. The one and only women woodworking workshop in KL – Adi & Aida
Have you ever wondered what goes into making those perfectly-crafted wooden furniture you see in stores? Well, why not try it first-hand at a workshop with Adi & Aida!?
You could be making furniture for your next dream home right here as they provide woodwork workshops for women and couples! How’s that for staying away from Netflix and chill this weekend? 😉
Nothing like a unique item in your home, right? And it gets even better when you are the one who made it! Of course, they start lean with a 4-hour introductory workshop where you’ll only be taught how to make smaller items but who knows, it might become a hobby you end up enjoying so much that you’ll come back to hop onto even bigger projects with their 6-hour workshops!
2. Make your own kawaii Pooh Tsum Tsum flower bouquet – Callifloral
I know, putting some flowers together may seem easy… but why are bouquets so expensive then? Well truth is, it requires some dedicated amount of time and planning to make a beautiful flower arrangement and in reality, it is a much more complicated art form than you think!
But once you get hold of the basics, the whole process becomes pretty simple – it’s soothing and calming, a hobby that can even be therapeutic for many, so why not give it a go and book yourself a spot at Callifloral? They offer various floral arrangement workshops, including a cute Pooh Tsum Tsum Bouquet Workshop!
Throughout the class, the team at Callifloral takes time to guide you through and develop basic fresh flower preparation skills. Even your Pooh characters will be made from natural flowers!
Other techniques that will be taught include colour spraying for flowers, step-by-step assembling and wrapping (using Korean-style wrapping methods), and also how to take care of your flower bouquet once done!
Personally, I find it super useful that they even advise you on where to source for flowers and flower tools in KL!
And don’t record this as an activity dedicated to girls only, just about anyone can take up a class of bouquet arrangement at Callifloral so guys, why not make one for your sweetheart? A handmade bouquet will surely score a lot more points than even the expensive ones!
3. It’s time to grow your green thumb – KL Garden Workshop
Note: Workshop is currently paused due to COVID-19.
Live the lush life right at KL Garden Workshop where Vera teaches you how to grow your own food! The goal is that you take her years of practical knowledge to help you succeed in your own garden! The two-hour introductory workshop goes for RM 220 and is inclusive of a garden kit worth RM 60!
And while most classes are suitable for beginners, they also offer longer gardening workshops (3-month duration), including visits to farms!
Occasionally, they organise seasonal workshops like their Christmas Herbal Beauty Workshop where you get to learn how to handcraft herbal beauty for the body, with safe, effective herbal mixtures and natural ingredients!
Now don’t you lapse back to your mall-hopping and cafe-hopping weekend! Do something different and exercise your creativity with your friends! Tag them below to inspire them too!