Craft gym

San Francisco designers create communal workshop space
Julie Chai

Call it the quilting circle of the 21st century. As hand-crafted gifts make a comeback, two San Francisco Bay Area product designers have an innovative way for the time-pressed to get their crafty fits: the Craft Gym, a communal space where people can exercise their creativity together in a range of evening workshops.

The concept is ideal for those who don't want to commit to a multiweek course. Crafters show up empty-handed and leave three hours later with a new skill and a finished (or nearly finished) project. Popular items include jewelry, paper lanterns, and fizzy bath bombs.

"It's a bonding thing too. "Crafting can be a lonely pursuit, so it's fun to be around other people," says cofounder Jackie Ortega.

Classes start at $45; reservations required. 1452 Bush St. San Francisco; www.craftgym.com or (415) 702-5700.