I get by with the help of my local DIY classes

Pub date April 16, 2012
WriterSoojin Chang

What would the ultimate DIY day look like? There’s heaps of classes you can take in the Bay Area to make yourself more handy and sustainability-minded. Here’s a hypothetical 24 hours using the skills you can cull from those courses — scroll to the end of the article for details on where you can take each class concerned.

It’s Saturday! Wake up to the smell of coffee you roasted yourself (“Home Coffee Roasting”). Pour in your homemade almond milk for a nutty kick. (“Everyday Nut Milks and Cheeses”) For breakfast, you’re having toast with the jam you preserved (“Basics of Food Preservation and Jam-Making”) and fresh honey from your backyard beehive. (“Backyard Beekeeping”) Say hello to the chicken peeping outside, and thank your favorite hen as you enjoy that plate of scrambled eggs. (“Intro to Backyard Chickens”)

Mosey out to your freshly-landscaped garden, picking your way past the brand-new bank of sprightly succulents. (“Strategies in Urban Permaculture”) Admire your new water-saving irrigation system — she’s a real looker. (“Greywater, Rainwater Catchment, Earthworks”)

Time to primp for your day. Wash your body with the soap you made from scratch (“Cold Process Soap Making”) and afterwards, spritz yourself with handcrafted perfume. (“Making Natural Perfumes”) Head to your closet and pick out the fresh new frock you sewed (“Patternmaking and Design”), adorning yourself with those homemade earrings and pendant. (“Stitch DIY Class: Jewelry Making”)

After running a few errands around town, return to your garden to enjoy a cup of seasonal tea. It’s perfectly steeped — no need for artificial sweeteners. (“Tea and Food Pairing”) For lunch, you’re thinking crab ravioli with tomato cream sauce. (“Using Your Noodle”) Sprinkle fresh herbs gathered from your garden onto your plate for that extra kick. (“Starting an Herb Garden”)

Your out-of-town friends have been eating out every day of their trip, so you invite them over for a home-cooked meal. You remember hearing one of them saying that he craved sushi — sounds like the perfect night for nigiri and maki. (“We Be Sushi Workshop”) The handsome wooden table you built last weekend (“Wood and Metal”) makes the perfect centerpiece over which to catch up on each other’s lives.

The evening is going smoothly. Until, that is, one of your guests bumps into a burning candle on her way to the bathroom. The fire spreads quickly, but what do you know, those skills you copped from San Francisco’s firefighters save the day. (“Disaster Preparedness Training”)

Singe avoided, you and your friends get in the car to head to a mutual friend’s art show. Snap — the car sputters out! But you dodge an evening of tow trucks and mechanics’ waiting rooms. That auto repair class (“Essentials of Auto Maintenance”) taught you everything you need to save the day. Again.

You drift off to a deep sleep wrapped in a warm nest of your favorite knitted blankets. (“Knitting 101”) Sweet dreams, most capable person ever. 

“Home Coffee Roasting” May 3, 6pm-9pm, $30–$60. Modern Coffee, 411 13th St., Oakl. (510) 927-3252, www.iuhoakland.com

“Everyday Nut Milks and Cheeses” May 2, 6pm-8:30pm, $40-65. Instructor’s private home in Oakland, www.rawbayarea.com

“Basics of food preservation and jam-making” Fri/20, 6:30pm-8pm, $10. Pot and Pantry, 593 Guerrero, SF. (415) 206-1134, www.potandpantry.com

“Backyard beekeeping” Tue/24, 6pm-9pm, $35. Sticky Art Lab, 1682 University, Berk. (510) 655-5509, www.biofueloasis.com

“Intro to Backyard Chickens” Sun/15, 2pm, $35. Mill Valley Chickens, 106 Lomita, Mill Valley. (415) 389-8216, www.millvalleychickens.com

“Strategies in Urban Permaculture” Sun/15, noon-5pm, $25. Hayes Valley Farm, 450 Laguna, SF. (415) 753-7645, www.hayesvalleyfarm.com

“Greywater, Rainwater Catchment, Earthworks” basics of home irrigation Sun/29, 10am-1pm, $15. EcoHouse, 1305 Hopkins, Berk. (510) 548-2220, www.ecologycenter.org

“Cold Process Soap Making” Fri/20, 6pm-9pm, $65. Nova Studio, 24 West Richmond, Point Richmond. (510) 234-5700, www.thenovastudio.com

“Making Natural Perfumes” May 6, 10 am-5 p.m., $125. Nova Studio, 24 West Richmond, Point Richmond. (510) 234-5700, www.thenovastudio.com

“Patternmaking and Design” Four weekly classes, $175. Apparel Arts, 2325 Third St. Suite No. 406, SF. (415) 436-9738, www.apparel-arts.com

“Stitch DIY Class: Jewelry Making” Sat/14, 2:30pm-3:30pm, free. Indie Industries Castro Store, 2352 Market, SF. (415) 861-1150, 5titch.eventbrite.com

“Tea and Food Pairing” Tue/17, 7pm-8:30pm, $85. Tea Time Room, 542 Ramona, Palo Alto. (650) 328-2877, www.tea-time.com

“Using Your Noodle” 5/1, 6:30pm-9:30pm, $45-60. Marina Middle School,104A, 3500 Fillmore, SF. (415) 749-3495, www.ccsf.edu/continEd

“Starting an Herb Garden” May 5, 10:30am, $39. Common Ground Organic Garden Supply and Education Center, 559 College, Palo Alto. (650) 493-6072, www.commongroundinpaloalto.org

“We Be Sushi Workshop” Sat/14 and Sat/21, 10am-1pm, $65-80. We Be Sushi, 538 Valencia, SF. (415) 565-0749, www.ccsf.edu/continEd

“Wood and Metal” April 23 through July 2, Mon. 6pm-9pm, 10 sessions for $520. The Crucible, 1260 Seventh St., Oakl. (510) 444-0919, www.thecrucible.org

“Disaster preparedness training” Tues/17, 6:30pm-9:30pm, free. Valencia Gardens Community Room, 390 Valencia, SF. (415) 970-2024, www.sf-fire.org

“Essentials of Auto Maintenance” Sat/14, 11am, $60. Metric Motors, 1480 Howard, SF. (415) 295-4486, www.thedistilledman.com

“Knitting 101” Weekly instruction hours Mon. and Wed., 7 p.m.-9pm; Sat., 8:30am-10:30am, $66. Imagiknit, 3897 18th St., SF. (415) 621-6642, www.imagiknit.com