Going to craft fairs and into craft stores can be a major let-down for the "untalented."
Folks who haven't mastered the use of a glue gun to make a decorative wreath or can't stencil a few flowers on an unfinished bench or toy box shake their heads in dismay in the presence of such artistry.
But fear not, local stores are welcoming novice craftsmen into their circle.
The Rag Shop Fabrics & Crafts in the Cromwell ShoppingCenter in Glen Burnie, Crafts & More on Ritchie Highway in Pasadena and Ben Franklin Crafts, also in Pasadena, offer demonstrations or classes for those who want to learn tricks of the trade.
Aspiring crafters can master seasonal decorations for the home, whether it be for Halloween or Christmas, learn floral arrangements and try new crafttechniques.
And once you perfect your craft, you can rent a tableat one of the million craft fairs in the county to make some extra cash.
Children also can get involved by making crafty creations in their own workshops.
"We run craft workshops here every week," said Ira Addleman, store manager at the five-year old Rag Shop.
"Theyare very popular. We have all-day demonstrations on Saturdays as well as the Tuesday and Thursday classes.
"People love to come in andmake things. We have samples of the items at the craft desk and ladies can see what is going to be made in the month ahead," he adds, citing that 90 percent of his clientele is women.
Addleman says the workshops run year-round, and in the summer the store specializes in children's crafts.
Registration forms are available at the craft desk in the store. Drop-ins also are welcome.
Crafts & More crafts coordinator Laura Peake says the store's classes are scattered throughout the month at different hours.
"We're trying to find different times for people -- for the working people or those at home," says Peake.
"Some of our teachers are professionals and have their own businesses," she adds.
Upcoming classes and demonstrations include how to make Christmas bears, a witch on a broom, an angel on a broom and Tole painting, which is very popular, says Peake.
Also offered are demonstrations on how to paint on and make your own designs on T-shirts, sweat shirts and cardigans. Class fees range from $12 to$30.
The store features discounts and demonstrations for senior citizens on Tuesdays.
"We're trying to get them out of the home andgive them something to do," says Peake.
The store hasn't been able to find teachers willing to work with children, says Peale. But shesays they are still looking.
They also will be offering early morning classes for mothers who, after getting children off to school, may want a break from the home.
"We are looking into classes that would be of interest to men, such as acrylic painting, and other things they may want to learn," she adds.
Even Ben Franklin has gotten into the act. Known nationwide as a 5-and-10 store, these days the store is catering to craft-making clients.
The Ben Franklin in Pasadena on Fort Smallwood Road offers craft demonstrations at noon on Tuesdays and 7 p.m. on Wednesdays.
"We have them for those who work and those who don't work," says Barbara Hardesty, merchandiser and craft instructor at the store.
Demonstrations include wearable arts, mop dolls and floral arrangements.
Ben Franklin would like toincorporate children's crafts into their schedule, but hasn't found much interest.
Here are a few demonstrations offered at Ben Franklin this month:
* Tuesday, Oct. 15 and Thursday, Oct. 16 -- Paper twist basket.
* Tuesday, Oct. 22 and Thursday, Oct. 23 -- Pilgrim doll centerpiece.
* Tuesday, Oct. 29 and Thursday, Oct. 31 -- Santamop doll.
All demonstrations are free and open to the public.
The Rag Shop offers workshops for adults and children. All Tuesday workshops begin at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. All Thursday workshops beginat 10 a.m.
Here is a list of some taking place this fall:
ADULT CRAFT WORKSHOPS
* Tuesday, Oct. 15 -- Make a pumpkin centerpieceusing a grapevine wreath and different types of fall flowers.
* Thursday, Oct. 17 -- Decorate a wreath with a Lollipop Scarecrow, ribbon and maple leaves.
* Tuesday, Oct. 22 -- Create a witch on a broom with curly hair, cape and spider web.
* Thursday, Oct. 24 -- Make a tablecloth using turkey-printed fabric, enhanced with a slick and metallic fabric paint.
* Tuesday, Oct. 29 -- Decorate a wreath with a plush bear, ribbon, gold poinsettias and holiday picks.
* Thursday, Oct. 31 -- Make a Christmas sweat shirt using flowers and leaves. Outline with a gold metallic paint.
CRAFT WORKSHOPS FOR KIDS
If your children are between ages 7 and 12, and you are looking for a fun and inexpensive way to keep them busy or introduce them to making crafts, bring them to the Rag Shop at 10 a.m. Saturdays for educational and entertaining projects:
* Saturday, Oct. 19 -- Paint a pumpkin on a sweat shirt and decorate with a black cat.
* Saturday, Oct. 26 -- Decorate a glow-in-the-dark pumpkin face any way you want.
Prices range from $4 to $5 for supplies.
FREE SATURDAY DEMONSTRATIONS
Trained craft demonstrators will teach techniques from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturdays.
* Saturday, Oct. 19 -- Jewelry making.Learn techniques using clay, plastic, rhinestones, pearls and beads.
* Saturday, Oct. 26 -- Learn how to decorate and design photo frames with decorative foil and fabrics.
The Rag Shop Fabrics & Crafts is located in the Cromwell Shopping Center, 7385-J Baltimore-Annapolis Blvd., in Glen Burnie. Information: 787-1525.
Crafts & More is located at 8109 Ritchie Highway, Pasadena. Information: 761-1337.
Ben Franklin Crafts is located at 8571 Fort Smallwood Road in Pasadena. Information: 255-7232.