DIY workshop in Centerville gives customers the ability to craft their own Pinterest-worthy creations

Customers hold up DIY projects that they created at an AR Workshop Centerville event.
Customers hold up DIY projects that they created at an AR Workshop Centerville event.

Credit: Ann Puckett

Credit: Ann Puckett

A DIY workshop in Centerville has been organizing workshops that help inspire creativity in Daytonians for over a year now.

AR Workshop, located in Centerville’s Cross Pointe Center, offers hands-on DIY classes for people, businesses and organizations across the Miami Valley. The business celebrated its first anniversary in October.

Customers have the ability to pick from dozens of DIY projects, like jewelry stamping, home décor signs, blankets, door mats and more.

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The Centerville workshop is one of many AR Workshop franchise locations found throughout the country. Maureen Anders and Adria Ruff created AR Workshop in 2010 after realizing that many felt too intimidated to craft their own dream DIY projects. Since its inception, more than 150 franchise locations have opened across the entire country. Each location works hard to incorporate materials found at local businesses.

Ann Puckett is the owner and franchisee of the Centerville location. Prior to opening her own AR Workshop, Puckett spent a much of her free time crafting DIY projects, wondering how she could make her passion a day job and not just a hobby. The opportunity to make this dream a reality finally came to fruition after Puckett happened to stumble across an article about AR Workshop in HGTV Magazine on the way to her son’s baseball game.

Ann Puckett is the owner and franchisee of AR Workshop in Centerville. The shop offers DIY classes for every skill level.
Ann Puckett is the owner and franchisee of AR Workshop in Centerville. The shop offers DIY classes for every skill level.

Credit: AR Workshop Centerville

Credit: AR Workshop Centerville

“I grew up doing projects with my dad and crafting with my mom,” said Puckett. “I’ve always enjoyed different projects, just building and creating, and it led me along different paths. I actually have a background in computer science. But, after a while, I basically wanted to create a place where folks could come in and build different projects. I had the idea in the back of my head, but it kind of sat dormant for a little while and I couldn’t really make it work, and then I saw this and was like ‘whoa, this is perfect.’”

After finding success in her new DIY business venture, Puckett actually gave a TED Talk for TEDxDayton, sharing her thoughts on why DIY isn’t really about doing it yourself. Her TED Talk will be premiering at a virtual TEDxDayton event, taking place on November 10,12, 17 and 19 at 7 p.m.

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Throughout each month, AR Workshop Centerville offers general and specialized workshops, like date night workshops, chunky knit blanket workshops, canvas workshops and more holiday-themed affairs. The full schedule of events and workshops is available on AR Workshop Centerville’s website. After clicking on their preferred date, customers will be prompted to choose between dozens of designs and projects.

Even for those who do not feel comfortable picking up a paintbrush, a workshop or DIY event at AR Workshop does not feel overwhelming for the artistically-challenged. While at the workshop, customers will be provided with all of the materials for each project. An AR Workshop staff member will be there to provide step-by-step instructions for each participant as they work toward completing their DIY project. Adult projects range from $25-140 and youth projects range from $15-60.

A workshop in progress at AR Workshop in Centerville.
A workshop in progress at AR Workshop in Centerville.

Credit: Ann Puckett

Credit: Ann Puckett

“We’ve seen so many times, where folks have been worried, but then at the end, they’re like, ‘I did this, this is great. I did this myself,’” said Puckett. “And, even if there are a couple of mistakes, like a little bit of paint got outside of the stencil or something like that, we can fix almost anything. We’ve seen the confidence that comes from doing these projects, and just that satisfaction that comes when they try something different.”

Companies and individual customers can also book private parties and events where they are permitted to bring their own beer, wine or small snacks and appetizers to enjoy as they craft. Customers can email centerville@arworkshop.com to book a private event.

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The workshop also hosts a shop where customers can come in and either purchase a completed product, or ask a staff member to personalize their selected product on the spot. The workshop is open to the public from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 6-10 p.m. on Wednesday through Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 1 a.m. on Saturday.

A family posing with a sign that they made at an AR Workshop Centerville event.
A family posing with a sign that they made at an AR Workshop Centerville event.

Credit: Ann Puckett

Credit: Ann Puckett

Throughout the COVID pandemic, the shop has worked hard to come up with innovative ways to offer DIY projects that can be done at home. Customers can now purchase Take & Make DIY-to-Go Kits can be picked up at the Centerville shop and come equipped with supplies and detailed instructions on how to make each project. The workshop has also been offering virtual team building events and other specialty workshops since the COVID shutdown.

As to be expected, the impending holiday season will be ushering in an entirely new set of DIY workshops. Customers can look forward to holiday-themed DIY workshops that give customers a chance to make their own decorated cookies, homemade presents, ornaments, centerpiece boxes and home décor items.

“The holiday season is our busiest time, but it’s also one of our favorite times,” said Puckett. “We not only have people who come in to create projects for themselves, but they also create DIY gifts for others. I think that homemade gifts are the best."

WANT TO GO?

What: AR Workshop Centerville

Where: 101 E. Alex Bell Road Ste. 162 in Centerville

More info: Schedule a session at www.arworkshop.com/centerville.

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