As gung-ho as we might be to DIY the day away, sometimes it’s smart to learn a few skills first—ideally from experts who can offer guidance and tips along the way. Here are a few places in Maine where you can take a workshop and gain skills you’ll be able to use long after class is over.
Maine Adult Ed
Maine has more than 80 local adult education programs, from Fort Kent to Kittery, offering classes and one-time workshops in a range of areas, including auto mechanics, welding, painting, soap making, basket weaving, woodworking and more. FMI: maineadulted.org.
As part of Engine’s efforts to promote the creative economy in Biddeford, the organization at 128 Main St. hosts workshops for kids and adults throughout the year. Previous workshops have included salt and albumen printing, needle felting, encaustics, sun prints and band saw boxes. See the website for upcoming workshops, and check out the FabLab, where you can make just about anything with the 3D printer. FMI: feedtheengine.org.
Maine College of Art in Portland is known for its incredible arts programs for students, but the school also offers continuing studies classes and workshops for youth and adults interested in a particular area. Fall continuing studies classes include book arts, ceramics, drawing, sewing, metalsmithing, sculpture, photography and more. FMI: cs.meca.edu.
Home Depot is more than just a great place to spend a Friday night. The stores also offer regular DIY workshops (including “do-it-herself” workshops specifically for women). Workshops range from installing window treatments to home security and tiling. FMI: homedepot.com/workshops.
Need tools? Try the Maine Tool Library
If you’re working on some serious home repairs or a fun DIY project and find yourself in need of tools you don’t own, head over to the Maine Tool Library at 224 Anderson St. in Portland. You can borrow all kinds of tools, safety equipment and appliances here, much like you would check out a book from the library. The inventory runs the gamut, from power tools and pipe cutters to hedgecutters, clamps, work lights and a cider press. Membership costs $50 a year, then you’re welcome to check out however many tools you need. The Maine Tool Library is a project of the Resilience Hub and is open 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. FMI: portlandmainetoollibrary.org.
ALSO: For hands-on help, check out the Resilience Hub’s “Repair Cafe” event on Thursday, Nov. 2, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. There will be several “repair stations” set up around The Resilience Hub and Zero Station, access to tools and a team of volunteer “repair enthusiasts” to help out.