The Brits have always had a knack for craft: In the Middle Ages, the country’s highly prized ecclesiastical embroidery came to be known throughout Europe simply as Opus Anglicanum, or “English work.” Today, makers throughout the Isles are encouraging at-home artisanship with kits and classes for learners of all levels.
Eppie Thompson of The Fabled Thread
Eppie Thompson’s love affair with stitchery began with her grandmother, whose samplers inspired her to make one for newly married friends. Thompson is now spreading the gospel with The Fabled Thread. Her line of embroidery and needlepoint kits that make it easy for even novices to create exuberant tapestries, cushions and more. “My designs are all about storytelling,” she says. “I want every piece to be joyful!” thefabledthread.com.
In the early days of lockdown, artist and designer Isla Simpson—whose whimsical, bow-adorned paper goods and table decor have made her a go-to for brands like Aerin and Moda Operandi—decided it was time to pivot. “I could see that more parties and celebrations would be taking place at home,” she recalls thinking; so, she developed an online illustration course. Now fans can learn how to make their own embellished menus, place cards and more using just an iPad and a stylus. islasimpson.co.uk.
Feeling intimidated by the art of arranging? Floral designer Willow Crossley’s bright, breezy approach has drawn admirers from Tory Burch to Meghan Markle. Her seasonal flower boxes include all of the materials needed to create a centerpiece at home. “These aren’t your typical supermarket flowers—I want to introduce something special into people’s lives,” Crossley says. Not in the U.K.? You can still sign up for a live virtual class—just B.Y.O. blooms! willowcrossley.com.
Textile designer Molly Mahon‘s cheery block-printed fabrics and accessories are like Prozac for the home. Her easy-to-use DIY kits let you turn your own textiles, cards and even lampshades into a Mahon-esque patterned bonanza. Choose among wooden stamps shaped like bows, shells, flowers and more and a range of bright, bold paint hues. mollymahon.com.