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A new crafting concept has come to the Upstate. AR Workshop, a boutique, do-it-yourself studio has opened two locations, one in Taylors and one in Spartanburg. The studio offers the opportunity to make really cool, customized decorations for your home, using wood or canvas. Some popular projects are the centerpiece wood boxes and plank wood signs.

“We have all kinds of things,” said Anne Marie Brooks, Spartanburg owner. “We have canvas bags, pillows, Lazy Susans and most anything to hang on the wall. Our picture hangers are fun because they allow you to change out the photos as you like.”

One of the things that is a little different about the process at AR is that each person attending a workshop can choose a different project. You might have one person working on a centerpiece box, another working on a porch sign and still another working on a plank tray. There are instructors at each table to guide the project from start to finish, but you get to do the work.

“We have the raw wood and stencil in front of you,” Brooks said. “You use the power tools and paint and stain your project.”

Workshops are listed on a calendar online on the company’s website, www.arworkshop.com. Just look for your location. You can also book a private party. The studio has a lounge in the back to hang out after creating and you can bring your own snacks and beverages to enjoy while you work.

The finished products are amazing, so amazing that I wondered if the average person could really make something so professional looking. “You can,” Brooks assured me. “You don't need any special crafting skills, just enough confidence to say, ‘Woo hoo! I’m powerful. I can do this.’”

AR Workshop is located at 2830 Wade Hampton Road Suite 35, Taylors, and 512 East Main Street in Spartanburg.

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