We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Read my full disclosure here.
Have you ever seen cute home décor at the store and thought – I wish I could make that?
Well now you can, right here on the South Shore of Long Island! I was so excited to recently check out the new AR Workshop in Bellmore, New York. At their preview night, dubbed the “Aqua Carpet,” I made an awesome rustic looking sign that now hangs in my office. The whole project took only about two hours and I love the piece I created.
Photo Credit: Mommy Poppins Long Island
Momma To Go would like to thank AR Workshop Bellmore for inviting me to their Aqua Carpet Preview night. I attended a complimentary class for purpose of this review.
AR Workshop Bellmore: DIY Home Decor
What is AR Workshop?
AR Workshop is a woman run franchise where you can make your own home décor project. Think wooden signs, farm house décor, lazy susans, canvas totes, and more! There are so many projects to choose from – meaning you can go again and again and create different treasures.
There are about 100 locations in the US – but I am so excited that an AR Workshop is opening in Bellmore. This is definitely the DIY spot this area needs! I attended their recent Aqua Carpet event and had the opportunity to experience a typical class they offer to the public.
AR Workshop Bellmore Aqua Carpet
No red carpet here, aqua is their signature color and this event was totally on brand, down to the Aqua Dum Dums and AR Workshop cookies! Julie, the owner of this AR Workshop location put out a beautiful spread of food and drinks, and I love the warm and inviting atmosphere she created for us first time guests! I know many of us were a little nervous about a DIY project, but the staff was so helpful and it could not have been easier!
As soon as you walk into the AR Workshop Bellmore location, you can tell that you are in a creative space, and a place that pays great attention to detail! For this event, we were given a choice of five different projects. I chose to make a sign saying, Coffee, Hustle, Wine – I mean could anything better sum up my life, honestly?
The Experience at AR Workshop Bellmore
Since we “pre-ordered” our project, each table was set up with our board, chosen design, and all the materials we would need to complete our piece. Our names (Instagram handles actually) were on the butcher paper, so we could find our project and get started.
When I chose my design from the website, I figured we would be making an exact replica of the samples – but creating at AR Workshop is not just copying some pre-made design. You get lots of liberty with the piece to make it in the color scheme of your choice and as original as you wish!
The first step was to sand our wood – be sure to just sand the edges, and not scratch up the wood (learned that the hard way).
Next, we chose what stain we wanted. I wanted a rustic, wood look, in a dark stain, so I chose the BARREL stain. Some chose a gray background, or you could make the background black or white.
We then painted the wood with the stain – putting as many coats as you liked to create your custom design. I put a light coat of BARREL and was really happy with how it turned out. There was also the option to add a “wash” to the stain – which would make the wood look worn, or rustic. There were a few options but I stuck with just the stain.
At this point, we had to put the wood aside to let the stain dry. Next, we moved on to prepping the cricut stencil we would use to paint our design onto the wood.
First, we had to pick out the design (in my case, the letters of the words) with a sharp, pointed, picking tool. We then had to put masking tape over the white space we “picked” out and then peel off the backing of the stencil.
Once the wood was dry, we stuck the stencil on it and this is when it was decision time – what colors to paint the letters? I really stressed about this! There were so many great choices! The staff at AR Workshop was so helpful, showing me samples on the table and talking through what colors might work best together. In the end, I decided on painting the words COFFEE and HUSTLE white, and then the word WINE a Bordeaux color that reminded me of a red wine!
After we primed and painted through the stencil – and honestly this was so easy because you really couldn’t mess up with the way the stencil is placed, we had to let the paint dry and then peel off the stencil from the wood.
In my opinion, this was the hardest part. The design I picked had a gorgeous, but intricate font, making some of the small loops of the letters hard to peel off. I was disappointed that in trying to expose the loops, I smudged the paint a little. But I guess it gives my piece a rustic, homemade look. If I could do it again, I would have chosen one of the other designs with bigger letters and less smaller spaces.
Or I should have asked the staff for help in this step! The staff at AR Workshop Bellmore was so helpful at every step of the project. They were really attentive in taking away the trash and getting us clean paint brushes for every different color we used!
Once our projects were completed, we had to wait for them to dry. It was fun to walk around and see what all the other gals made! Everyone brought their own unique spin to the projects, which I loved!
Before it was time to go, Julie, the owner of AR Workshop Bellmore, drilled some hooks into my piece, so I could hang my masterpiece in my office!
Plan a Visit to AR Workshop Bellmore
AR Workshop is located across from Mill Pond at 2930 Merrick Road in Bellmore.
Plan to stop by with a group, or by yourself! Their calendar is already chock full of great events, including some drop off youth camps for ages 7-14! You can also host a private event –which would be great for a mom’s night, a fundraiser, a birthday party or just to get together with friends! You can even bring your own food and wine to the space and really make a night of it.
I’d really like to do this again maybe with my daughter and/or my mom – they are both the crafty types that would love this experience. Although if I can do it, anyone can – it really was very simple and the staff guided you through every step!
I am very confident I’ll be back to this amazing space to make more beautiful décor to hang in my home.
UPDATE – TAKING MOM TO AR WORKSHOP FOR HER BIRTHDAY
Last week I “gifted” my mom a class at AR Workshop. I printed out a copy of the upcoming class schedule and gave it to her in an envelope. We then chose a day, time and class that worked for our schedule and registered.
We chose a Wednesday morning Moms & Mimosa’s workshop, which was scheduled for 10am to 1pm. We were actually the only two who signed up, so we got a private class!
When you register, you pick your project at that time. That way AR can have the wood and stencils ready for you. Mom choose a Merry Christmas round (which she had turned into a lazy susan) and I did a personalized round (which I made into a tray).
Oh don’t worry, at AR Workshop in Bellmore, they add the hardware to finish your project into a functional piece!
We had so much fun making our pieces, and honestly they came out great. Now we both have a beautiful item to admire, and remember our time doing the class together. I CANNOT think of a better gift for the mom who has everything!
Have you ever done an AR Workshop? Which project would you choose to make first?