Virtual Craft Classes: Where to Find the Best Online Art and Craft Courses

Virtual craft classes have become the perfect way to pick up new skills without leaving home. Even before the pandemic, I was a fan. I love to learn, but often found in-person classes too expensive or inconvenient. Over the past year I’ve spent a lot more time at home than usual, and I’ve heavily relied on online art and craft courses maintain my creative practice and learn new skills.

In this post, I’ll share with you how I decide if a class is worth my time and money. I’ll also share with you my experience with all the different platforms I’ve tried so far. I hope this will help you on your own creative journy!

This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase something from these links I may make a small commission at no cost to you. See my full disclosure policy for details.

Note: This post was updated February 1st 2024.

What to Look For in Virtual Craft Classes

There are four main things to consider when looking the take an art or craft class online: cost, access time, supplies, and aesthetic/Instructor. While I’ve come across few truly bad courses, I have learned overtime that considering these four elements is the best way to figure out if I’ll feel like my money has been well spent.

Cost of Online Craft Classes

Classes typlically range from 10$ to 200$, though it is possible to find courses that are both more and less expensive. As far as I can tell, there isn’t a large correlation between price and quality. Given the low cost of video equipment these days, it’s possible for almost anyone to make really good content. However, I’ll sometimes splurge on an expensive class if I really like the teacher or if they’re teaching a skill that I can’t find elsewhere.

Craft Course Access Time: Subscription vs. A la Carte

Most online art and craft courses are available on an a la carte basis, though some services are subsciption only. With a la carte classes, unlimited access is the norm. Classes with time-bound access usually are available between one month and one year. Limited-time subscriptions may seem like a bad deal, but they do have some bennefits. These classes can sometimes include greater access to support from the teacher, allowing for real feedback. I also find having a time limit motivates me to actually finish the classes I purchase.

Subscription access to online classes can also be a great deal, especially if you have a lot of different hobbies. Typically, subscription platforms for art and craft classes make you sign up for a full year in advance, though occasionally there are platforms that allow for month-to-month viewing. Overall cost per-month is usually between 5$ and 15$. Keep an eye out around holidays for deals.

Buying Supplies for Online Classes

Especially when you’re new to a craft finding supplies can be difficult. When you’re new, how do you know when you’re getting a good deal and when you’re buying inferior supplies that will only make your life harder?

Over the years, I’ve come to appreciate the simplicity of a good kit. I like knowing that the supplies I’m using will work with the project I’m learning. During the worst of the pandemic I wasn’t leaving the house at all, so, I’ve very much appreciated not having to order from multiple different websites.

However, kits can be expensive. Also, if you’re familiar with a craft or art form, you may have most of the tools you need already. Sometimes, it’s also nice to be able to pick out the exact colors you like. Or you may have a materials preference. Knitting and crochet kits in particular can be difficult. Vegan crafters won’t buy anything with wool, but many other’s (myself included) avoid synthetic fibers.

Class Aesthetic and Instructor

The instructor for a virtual craft class can make or break the experience for me. However, I’ve found that quality of instruction isn’t generally an issue. Especially when a professional class creation platform is involved I’ve found that courses usually deliver in terms of accessibility of content.

As long as you read through the course description throughly before buying, you should be able to accurately judge if the class goes into enough detail. And a quick watch of any preview video will let you know if you find the instructor off-putting on video for any reason.

What is important is that you vibe with the type of art that the instructor is making. If the colors and aesthetic of the instructor aren’t something that you love – or can at least respect – then in my experience it’s much harder to get through the entire course. It’s not impossible, it’s just harder. But when I look at an instructors work and think “oooo! I want to make that so bad!” then I know I’ve found a good match.

3D pink and white embroidered flowers on a purple textured silk background. Sewn based on on of Craftsy's virtual craft classes.
My completed project from a Craftsy stumpwork class.

Craftsy

  • Price: $-$$
  • Access: A la carte (lifetime) or subscription (yearly)
  • Supplies: BYO

Craftsy has long been one of my favorite sources for virtual craft classes. The platform has courses on quilting, garment and accessory sewing, embroidery, knitting, crochet, cooking, baking, cake decorating, drawing, painting, photography, writing, paper crafts, jewelry making, gardening, woodworking, and more. These online art and craft courses can range from basic, introductory classes meant for beginners to really niche advanced content.

Some of my favorite classes have been in the later category. Celeste Chalansani’s Stumpwork: Raised Embroidery Essentials is a great introduction to 3D embroidery if you already have the basics of embroidery down. And if you’re looking to expand on your garment sewing skills, couture sewing classes by Susan Khalje and Allison Smith are fantastic!

The company, however, has been through a bit of a rough patch in recent years. After growing a dedicated audience of loyal fans, the platform was sold to NBC and rebranded as BluPrint. Attempts to rebrand and shift the content from high quality tutorials to more infotainment content failed, and the company was set to close down completely in 2020. However, TN Marketing purchased Craftsy at the last minute and has been working to relaunch the site ever since.

That means three things: first, while supplies and kits were offered in the past, the platform is now strictly bring-your-own-supplies. Second, as far as I can tell, there isn’t a lot of new content coming to the platform. Third, there are some great deals on subscriptions right now that give full access to the amazing back catalog. While usually priced at about 80$ a year (about the price of a Netflix subscription) I’ve seen offers as low as 2.49$ for an entire year.

The Crafter’s Box

  • Price: $$-$$$
  • Access: A la carte (lifetime)
  • Supplies: Kits and supplements

While the main draw of The Crafter’s Box is their monthly curated kits, access to their virtual craft workshops can be bought separately and at any time. There is also a video only option for their more expensive premium workshops. Because they’re meant to be used with the kits, these video classes are all very project focused, but they can also be a great way to learn new skills.

The Crafter’s Box classes cover a wide range of topics including soap making, spinning, printmaking, quilting, paper crafts, painting, natural dying, embroidery, cross-stitch, wood working, knitting, and weaving. New classes are added at least once a month, so it’s worth checking back regularly.

Some of my favorites have been Mindy Schumaucher’s Tiled Block Print with Gradation and Ksenia Naidyon’s Cozy Knit Cabled Socks. Both of these classes use supplies that should be easy to source on your own if you can’t get the dedicated kit. I go into more detail on this platform in my full The Crafter’s Box review.

The main downside to The Crafter’s Box classes is that they’re presented as one long video. This means that it can sometimes be difficult to keep your place or to go back and look at a specific section again. However, it’s worth the hassle too get to learn directly from so many amazing artists.

Flat lay style photograph of pink, white, red, and gold yarn with assorted macrame tools on a white background. All items are from one of The Crafter's Box online art and craft courses. The legs of a white cat can been seen in the upper left corner.
Flat lay style photograph of pink, white, red, and gold yarn with assorted macrame tools on a white background. The legs of a white cat can been seen in the upper left corner.

Domestika

  • Price: $-$$
  • Access: A la carte (lifetime) and subscription (one free class credit a month, plus access to a rotating set of open courses)
  • Supplies: BYO

I first tried out Domestika because they were being heavily advertised to me on my IG feed. After trying out a few classes I’m honestly really glad I did. This internationally focused course platform has classes in a wide variety of areas including crafting, illustration, digital art, animation, interior design, architecture, marketing, photography, videography, calligraphy, and typography. The crafting specific course cover sewing, embroidery, bullet journaling, macrame, crochet, woodworking, furniture, jewelry, cake decoration, ceramics, and more.

The coolest part of the Domestika platform is that they work with artists from all over the world. This means that classes are hosted by people from a wide variety of backgrounds. Some of my favorite classes have been Alex Hillkurtz’s Architectural Sketching with Watercolor and Ink and Gimena Romero’s Introduction to Blackwork Embroidery.

Instructors teach in whatever language they’re most comfortable with and subtitles are provided in other languages, usually English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish. Lately, some courses have also had the option of a dubbed English soundtrack as well.

While the content varies widely, each course is structured in the same way. First, the artist introduces themselves and talks about their background and creatives influences. Then they introduce the materials and basic techniques. This is followed by some sort of project before a wrap up video. There also are usually additional written resources.

My only complaint about Domstika is that there’s no all-access pass. However, they recently improved their membership plan, Domeskita Plus. Now, you get one credit for a free class each month, plus access to multiple weekly open courses. These open courses include just the video content, not the supporting materials, but I find I still get a lot out of them. It’s not quite as good as having an unlimited pass, but it’s very much worth the roughly 80$ a year I paid.

School of SweetGeorgia

  • Price: $$-$$$
  • Access: Subscription (monthly and yearly)
  • Supplies: Some kits and a wide range of fiber arts supplies

The School of SweetGeorgia is an online learning platform and community that focuses on fiber arts like weaving, spinning, dyeing, knitting, and crochet. The school was founded by Felicia Lo of the hand dyed yarn company SweetGeorgia Yarns and the author of the book Dyeing to Spin and Knit.

The price is a little on the higher side, at 24$ for a single month and 247$ for a full year. However, if your focus is fiber arts it is well worth it. Not only do you get full access to all the classes in their catalog, but you also get access to an active and involved community with multiple live online meetups and livestreams each month. The team at SOS has done an outstanding job of building and maintaining community on their platform, which significantly increases the value of a membership.

There are kits available for some of the classes on their retail site SweetGeorgiaYarns.com. The site also sells a wide variety of fiber arts tools and supplies including yarn, patterns fiber, looms, and spinning wheels. It should be possible to get almost everything you need for a SOS class from their online shop.

A white piece of paper with 21 samples of yarn dyed in a triangle shaped gradient with yellow, cyan, and magenta making up the three corners. Dyed as part of a virtual yarn dyeing class from the School of Sweet Georgia.
This dye triangle was a suggested activity for one of the School of SweetGeorgia’s online classes.

Create Academy

  • Price: $$-$$$
  • Access: A la carte (lifetime) and subscription
  • Supplies: BYO

While I haven’t tried Create Academy personally, I have a feeling it won’t be long now before I give in. The beautifully shot and produced videos and strong brand aesthetic are exactly my vibe. I’ve been stalking the block printing class by Molly Mahon in particular for a long time now.

The thing that may just send me over the edge is that they’ve recently added a subscription model (about 260$ for a year). That gives you access to the full catalog for about the cost of 2-3 courses. That feels a little steep to me, but the production value on the sample lessons is so high that I think it’s likely worth it.

One thing to keep in mind is that Create Academy does have a smaller catalog of classes than other platforms. They also tend to lean towards lifestyle type crafts such as home decorating, gardening, and food, rather than art classes. But they seem to be adding courses at an increasingly fast pace, so the value included in the subscription will definitely increase as time goes on.

CreativeLive

  • Price: $$-$$$
  • Access: A la carte (lifetime) and subscription
  • Supplies: BYO

After, as usual for me, seeing adds all over my Insta for months, I just gave in and got a subscription to CreativeLive, also known as The Creator Pass. What finally pushed me over the edge was the 50$ off coupon that they were pushing for their 12th birthday.

I was a member for a year, and in that time I really enjoyed exploring their courses. Classes are generally filmed in front of a live audience, so they feel a lot like going to see an in-person lecture. The classes also tend to be on the longer side, so they got pretty in depth. I particularly liked Design Surface Patterns From Scratch with Bonnie Christine. With over 14 hours of content, that class alone was worth the cost of my subscription.

It’s worth noting, that the classes on this platform do tend to skew more towards art and self development than craft. So before subscribing take a look through the catalog to see if the classes they offer match your learning goals. But if you see even two classes that peek your interest I think it’s worth subscribing!

Class 101

  • Price: $$-$$$
  • Access: A la carte (limited, usually 3-4 months)
  • Supplies: Kits available for some classes

Class 101 is a South Korean based website has also been pretty heavily advertised on my IG feed (yes, I do have a problem!) and at first I was pretty excited about it. The online art and craft courses offered looked like they were modeled more on undergraduate level style, semester long-classes than the weekend workshop format most other sites use. And with a price point of about 100$ a class, they still seemed like a good deal.

Ultimately, however, I was disappointed in Class 101. The content just wasn’t in depth enough to justify the cost, especially given that access to most classes is limited to just a few months. Additionally, the English language version of the website was kind of rough. I’d sometimes end up on Korean language pages or pages that had only been halfway translated.

Unless there is a specific teacher you’re really interested in, I don’t think Class 101 is worth the cost. Not only are they much more expensive than other platforms, but you also get access for a very short period of time. I’d look at more affordable platforms first, before trying out Class 101.

Master Class

  • Price: $$-$$$
  • Access: A la carte (lifetime) and subscription (yearly)
  • Supplies: BYO

While not a dedicated art or craft site, courses through Masterclass cover creative topics like photography, fashion design, interior design, and cooking. The one thread holding all the classes together is the high profile of the instructors. All classes are taught by celebrities in their respective fields. Because of this, the classes tend to be more inspirational than informational. They mostly feel like attending a keynote speach at a conference, rather than a course.

The classes are offered either a la cart with unlimited access or as a one year subscription. Unless you’re the sort of person who likes to watch things over and over again, I’d reccomend choosing the subscription option. Yes, it’s usually about double the cost of a single class, but it gives you the freedom to watch the entire library. I bought a subscription to watch the Anna Wintour class, but I ended up getting way more out of Kelly Wearstler’s interior design course.

Skillshare

  • Price: $ – $$
  • Access: Unlimited
  • Supplies: BYO

Skillshare is a subscription only website that houses a wide range of virtual craft classes. Classes on Skillshare tend to look a little less polished than on other platforms because the teachers are 100% responsible for production. However, the courses are generally made of up nicely organized, short bites of information, which makes them easy to understand. And because it is subscription based, if you don’t like one class you can just move on to the next (which I always love!)

I subscribed to Skillshare for a few months a while back and found the library of content to be extensive. When I last checked the price, the yearly rate (about 99$) was a much, much better deal than the monthly rate (about 29$). Teachers earn money based on the number of students they refer to the platform and the amount of time users spend watching their content each month. This makes it an attractive platform for many who are new to teachers or those with smaller followings.

YouTube

  • Price: Free
  • Access: Unlimited
  • Supplies: BYO

You can find video lessons and courses about how to do almost anything on YouTube. However, because it is a free (add supported) platform that anyone can submit videos to the quality control is… not great. As a professional seamstress, I’ve seen some absolutely terrible advice given out on sewing YouTube. And even when the information is good, often poor production quality makes the content unwatchable.

However, there are some really amazing creators on YouTube and the information is available for free. Generally, I look to YouTube if I want to see a particular technique I’ve been reading about in action. It also is sometimes useful if you’re looking for an answer to a specific question.

If you’re new to a craft, one of the best ways to figure out who to trust on YouTube is to spend some time on a relevant subreddit (reddit.com message board). If a particular channel is repeatedly recommended it’s usually a good bet. I used this technique recently when I needed to repot my orchid. The r/orchids sub lead me to Miss Orchid Girl who had the exact information I needed.

A watercolor painting of daisies surrounded by assorted painting supplies, including a handmade ceramic pallet.

Patreon

  • Price: $-$$
  • Access: Subscription (monthly, per creator)
  • Supplies: BYO

If you find a creator on YouTube or another social media outlet that you like, it’s worth checking out if they have a Patreon. Many creators will post additional tutorials, upload templates, answer questions, and provide other resources for subscibers. Memberships are typically in the 4$-20$ a month range, with no long-term commitment.

A great example of a good Patreon account is the watercolor and bullet journal artist Shayda Campbell. She puts a lot of her content out on YouTube for free, so you can easily judge the quality of her work before you subscribe. As a Patreon member, you get add free links to her videos along with a variety of other bonus content.

The biggest downside I’ve found to Patreon subscriptions is that they generally are about continuous content, rather than a specific class. Additionally, subscribing to multiple Patreon’s can add up quickly. I try to keep my overall expenditure to about 20$ a month, which means that sometimes I have to drop creators I really like. However, since almost all of the money ends up going to the creators I definitely feel good about the subscriptions I do have.

Direct From The Artists

  • Price: $$-$$$
  • Access: Variable, typically a la carte (lifetime)
  • Supplies: Variable

Recently, I’ve noticed some creators are selling courses directly on their own websites, without being attached to any platform. These are often on pretty specific topics, like Emily Jeffords’ class on oil painting with natural pigments. Most of the time, these use a course management system like Teachable to deal with the backend technical stuff, while the content is fully controlled by the instructor.

Unlike Patreon subscriptions, these usually are a one-time payment in exchange for long term access to a structured course. The enrollment period can be continuous or limited, depending on the instructor. Independent courses tend to be higher priced than most other courses, though I’ve seen mini courses for as little as 5$. However, it’s also not unusual for classes to cost 200$+ because each instructor sets their own rates. Supply kits are sometimes available for an extra cost. These can be pricy, but it also allows you to get a feel for the exact materials the artists you admire use.

In spite of the cost, these can be a really great way to learn from amazing creators. Many also include private Facebook groups or other ways to interact with fellow students and instructors. The best way to find these classes is to spend some time on social media looking for creators you like. If they have a class, most will promote it through their link-in-bio if nowhere else.


Do you have a favorite place to watch virtual craft classes? Or a great tip on how to pick a good class? Let me know in the comments!

Pinterest image showing a portion of raised embroidery in a hoop. Overlaid are the words Virtual Craft Classes Where and how to fin the best online courses for learning craft and art skills
Pinterest image of a watercolor illustration of daisies surrounded by assorted painting supplies. Text above: DIY. Text below: How to find the best online art classes.