PDX Arts & Crafts Studios Adapt to COVID-19

PDX Parent Picks: Winner & Top 5: Arts & Crafts

This January, you voted in our readers’ poll and shared your favorite people, places, and spaces around Portland. You voted these businesses as your favorite spots for your kids to make art. While most of these businesses had to close their doors, they are still inspiring creativity in little Portlanders and keeping connected with families.


What they are up to now: SCRAP’s mission to creatively reuse materials seems more relevant than ever. And if your kids are tired of raiding your recycle bin for doodads to repurpose, SCRAP’s web store is now up and running for you to order online and pick up in person. You’ll find surprise treasures in their collage, stickers or vintage packs. And they’ve even got a mask-making kit available. They’ve also got new supplies like hot glue sticks and Mod Podge. And be sure to follow them on Instagram to get creative prompts!

Top 5:

Children’s Healing Art Project (CHAP)

Photo: CHAP Facebook page

What they are up to now: Closure due to COVID means that CHAP has not been able to host the art-centered birthday parties that fund their program that provides art materials to children facing medical challenges — and has curbed their in-person hospital outreach to sick kids. The good news is that CHAP is still planning to safely hold summer art workshops for kids and they’ve come up with a creative fundraising idea. The CHAPpyfeet Challenge asks families to make art with their feet (or their feet art!), post a photo in Instagram, donate $10 and challenge friends to do the same. And if you need an idea for a creative outlet, check out the art how-to videos on their Facebook page.

The Craft Factory

What they are up to now: While Multnomah Village’s The Craft Factory had to close its makers’ studio, they are offering a variety of fun to-go kits for pickup centering on robot, fairy house and rocket designs. They’ve also got a virtual birthday party package: You pick up craft kits and then deliver them to guests — and then all guests log in for a video craft party. And if your kids need some inspo for what to do with their kits, check out the shiny creations on their IG feed.

Nic & Fig’s

What they are up to now: This Lake Oswego spot for all things handmade had to cancel its popular classes that taught everything from sewing to making bath bombs to baking chocolate eclairs and decorating cookies. But they have slots open for summer camps. And they’ve been busy posting fun ideas for at-home creativity on their Facebook page.


Portland Child Art Studio

Photo: Portland Child Art Studio Facebook page

What they are up to now: Portland Child Art Studio had to cancel in-person art classes and studio time, but they are offering sliding-scale online lessons utilizing materials easily found at home. And they’ve launched an impressive virtual collection of children’s art. They sent out the prompt “How has this time been for you?” and asked young artists to reflect on the good and bad parts of being isolated during the pandemic. The kids’ artwork they have posted to their Facebook and Instagram accounts is sometimes poignant and sometimes hopeful, but clearly shows that the impact of COVID-19 on children is deep and they are feeling the same worries and heaviness as adults. Visit Portland Child Art Studio’s website to find out how to submit your child’s work for the project.


Beloved North Portland art studio Smartypants closed its doors on March 14. But owner Amber Gauntlett is hopeful that she will be able to safely open for summer camps with modifications such as no shared tools or materials. So with the safety of staff and campers being the top priority, she will give updates when her plans are finalized. 

Denise Castañon
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