Wise Up: Do It Yourself

5 Places in Portland to Get Your DIY On

Screen-printing to shoe cobbling, soapmaking to soldering, here are the city’s best places to make something with your hands.

By Rebecca Jacobson November 14, 2016 Published in the December 2016 issue of Portland Monthly

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Since its 2011 launch, this 14,000-square-foot communal Southeast Portland workshop has been ground zero for tinkerers of all stripes, from master makers to those taking their first class in welding or woodworking.

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Independent Publishing Resource Center

Portland’s indie publishing mecca is the best place to school yourself in letterpress, screen-printing, and bookbinding. Lowest bar to entry? Stop by the free monthly collage night for some old-school decoupage.

Portland Homestead Supply Co (now closed)

Would-be pioneers should point their wagons toward this Sellwood neighborhood shop, which not only sells a heap of homesteading supplies but also offers classes for DIYers looking to make their own candles and lip balm. Want to learn how to raise chickens? Prepare fresh ricotta? Make your own organic corn tortillas? Ferment or pressure-can everything in your kitchen? You’re covered.

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Rewild Portland

If you nurse dreams of off-grid living—or just want to weave all that invasive English ivy into a basket—Rewild has a class for you. Become a fire-making master, shape deer bones into tools, or craft yourself some cozy felted slippers. 

Trackers Earth

This 12-year-old outfit might be best known for its kids’ classes and summer camps, where young’uns learn to build forest shelters and cook fish over an open fire. But Trackers lets adults embrace their inner survivalist, too, via classes on bow-and-arrow making, shoe cobbling, medicinal plants, ax forging, and animal tracking. Who’s ready for the apocalypse now? 

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