Do It Yourself

Feeling mentally exhausted from assignments and a long personal to-do list? Then de-stress and immerse in do-it-yourself workshops in the Hampton Roads area.

Potts n’ Paints is a pottery painting, glass fusing, clay hand-building and canvas painting studio. Owner Tammie Moorman originally started Potts n’ Paints in Great Bridge in Chesapeake in 2007 and recently brought it to Virginia Beach in March 2020

Potts n’ Paints hosts different events including ladies’ night, birthday parties, summer camps and technique classes that are not limited to only paint nights. The studio fee that covers supplies and clean-up is $6 and the prices of pottery or other pieces to paint mostly range between $20-$25 depending on the size.

Sophomores Sky Patterson and Kadyn Marker shared their experience at Potts n’ Paints.

“I loved that there was no limit on how long you could work on your piece,” Marker said. “Sky and I were able to talk and paint without any sense of rushing. They have a huge selection of the types of pottery you can paint, as well as painting on canvas.” 

Patterson added, “I definitely will do the clay painting again. It was my favorite thing. I don’t know which one I would do because they have about over 30 different sculptures that you can do so it was really hard to pick. When you go in there, you’ll be shocked to see as much as they have.” 

Due to COVID-19, Potts n’ Paints reached out to people in the local community to spread the word about their business and how they are meeting health and safety guidelines. Seating arrangements are socially distanced and masks must be worn.

For not-so-artsy individuals that are nervous, Potts n’ Paints have technique classes, pieces catered to those artistically challenged and staff that provide assistance along the way. 

The two locations of Potts n’ Paints are 2720 North Mall Dr. Suite near Lynnhaven Mall and 920 S Battlefield Blvd, Suite 102 in Chesapeake. Opening hours are 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Saturday and 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. on Sunday. For more information about Potts n’ Paints, check out their website at

Similarly, Anders Ruff (AR) Workshop in Virginia Beach offers hands-on DIY workshops to create canvas pillows, wood signs, wall hangings, framed signs, chunky knit blankets and more. Take a look at their workshop class schedule for an instructor-led DIY session on Come with friends to split the cost of making a DIY project at AR Workshop on 313 Laskin Road, Suite 101. 

For the not-so-artsy types, try bringing a touch of nature into your dorm room by making a do-it-yourself terrarium. The PlantHouse is a family-owned terrarium workshop and plant store that offers interactive classes on creating an air plant or succulent terrarium alongside an instructor. Terrariums begin at $12. People can also find inspiration for home decor on their blog to personalize their space with their assorted plants and ceramics collection.

The PlantHouse blends plant-based activities and decorative products to customers and offers a way for people to grow a green thumb and foster creativity. It will relocate to 1564 Laskin Road, Suite 192 in Virginia on March 13th. Opening hours of the workshop Monday to Saturday are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. De-stress by taking care of a plant to build a feeling of connection with nature.

Indulge your sweet tooth by becoming a chocolatier for a day at The Royal Chocolate by designing and creating a chocolate bar. De-stress by filling a chocolate mold, choosing personal favorite toppings and decorating the wrapping box. The event is open to everyone and located on 164 Central Park Avenue in Virginia Beach. Opening hours are from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesday through Thursday, Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. 

Get in touch with your coastal side and release creative energy on a mermaid or dolphin sculpture. The Mermaid Factory in coastal Virginia is an art studio and gift shop that creates handmade sculptures. People can make a one-of-a-kind crafted gift using non-toxic acrylic paints, glitter, fabric, shells, rhinestones and charms. 

The Mermaid Factory’s two locations are 919A W. 21st Street in Norfolk and 510 Laskin Road in Virginia Beach at the Oceanfront. Due to COVID-19 health and safety guidelines, it is strongly recommended to make a reservation for one or two people because space for walk-in painters is not guaranteed. Groups of eight or more are required to reserve at The Mermaid Factory.

Unwind and de-stress at a do-it-yourself workshop in Hampton Roads to create something and relax.

By Tiffany Warren