My son and I spent a fun afternoon at Create & Escape DIY Workshops last week. He is 5 and on a big art kick right now, so when co-owner Wendy Lattof, asked about partnering with The North Shore Moms and invited us for a visit I jumped at the chance.
We do a lot of craft projects at home, not all of them successful, so heading to a studio where experienced staff will guide you through the process of each project and make all your Pinterest dreams come true…not to mention clean up after you…was a dream!
Create & Escape DIY Workshops opened at 71 Main Street, in Peabody, five years ago. The idea was born when Wendy and her sister, Debbie Thibodeau, started hosting sea glass workshops at restaurants and country clubs around the North Shore. As their business grew in popularity, they started running out of space to store the supplies in Wendy’s house, and decided to open up a studio and expand their offerings from just sea glass, to include wood signs, canvas, candles, charcuterie, ceramics and more.
My son and I created three different projects. We started out with their signature Sea Glass Resin Art. For this project you can bring shells or sea glass from a recent vacation or choose from the wide range of beach supplies at the studio. My son was drawn to all the different colors on hand, so we decided on a rainbow theme and then he kept adding to the design. Create & Escape offers drop-in Sea Glass Workshops every Saturday at 9:30am-10:30am.
While we were busy with the sea glass, Creative Director Pasquale Minichillo, asked my son what types of things he was into and of course we answered Pokemon. (We are on year three of a Pokemon obsession at my house.) Pasquale disappeared into what I can only describe as his magic workshop and about 30 minutes later returned with three amazing, custom, laser-cut, wooden Pokemon projects for my son to paint – one Charizard and two Squirtles (Cole’s favorite).
One of the unique things I learned about Create & Escape during our visit is that they are independently owned and they come up with all of the projects they offer on their own. Wendy selects each project font with care, Pasquale (a talented artist) can create detailed wooden cut-outs or sketches of nearly any character or pet, and they can even bring handwriting to life to honor a family member who has passed. I got a tour of some of their favorite past projects and it was really incredible to see the unique, personalized work they have helped bring to life over the years.
In addition to painting the Pokemon we also stained and painted this gorgeous Welcome Sign for my house. I find staining wood a little overwhelming and messy, but this was so simple that my son did most of the work. He loved learning all the different techniques and even got into the dry brushing and sanding of paint to create a weathered look.
With the help of Wendy and Pasquale we created six different projects (three Pokemon) in two hours. They kept the projects moving seamlessly, helping when needed but really letting our creativity shine.They offer a hands on approach that makes creating fun & stress-free. I would recommend a visit to Create & Escape DIY Workshops to any family looking for a fun outing. Create & Escape also hosts team building events, craft clubs, ladies’ nights out, open mic nights and school vacation & summer camps for kids. They are open daily from 10am-6pm for walk-ins and scheduled events. Check out their website to see their calendar of open events, book a private workshop with your friends or to buy a DIY kit to go.
Summer Kids Camp for kids ages 4 and up begins on July 1, and runs weekly through the end of August, from 9am to 12pm. Each week is themed and kids will create 2-3 projects each day, plus play games, take a break for snacks, and end the week with a pizza party. Learn more about Summer Kids Camp or sign up at www.createandescapediy.com/products/summer-kids-camp-2022.
Younger kids (and their caregivers) will also enjoy their Toddler Time series at Breaking Grounds Cafe, offered twice a month with new themes each session. For just $20 you get a coffee or latte for the adult and juice, snack, story time & craft for your child.
Wendy is also passionate about the community of Peabody. She grew up in Gloucester but has lived in Peabody with her family for 26 years. She collaborates with her Main Street neighbors, Breaking Grounds Cafe, Nex Mex Thing and Granite Coast Brewing on events and is a valued partner with Bridgewell’s Employment Program, a leader on the cutting-edge of autism services. Create & Escape is constantly looking for ways to give back to the community through product donations, sponsoring local teams and hosting fundraisers.
To learn more about Create & Escape, or book a workshop visit www.createandescapediy.com. Follow Wendy, Pasquale and the team on Facebook @createandescapeworkshops and Instagram @createandescapediyworkshops.
This post is sponsored by Create & Escape but all of the opinions and experiences shared are my own.