Tacoma’s Tinkertopia is a craft supply store like no other, and it would be a great rainy day destination with your kids this week.
If Willy Wonka opened a store for artists it might look like Tinkertopia. The owners call it a, “Creative Reuse Center,” and it’s filled with a dizzying array of recycled materials looking for a new lease on life. Henry was in heaven wandering from bin to bin looking for materials for his, “Inventions.”
Most items are sold in bulk by the bag, though some, “rare and ancient,” items are individually priced. There are also pre-packaged kits available for purchase. I will warn you that it is easy to get caught up in the moment here (I didn’t know I needed an old piano key, but maybe I do.…..). Henry had no problem filling up the 9.95 bag, and, yes, a lot of it looked like stuff from our junk drawer (to my unartistic eye). He ended up with a large, fuzzy piece of fabric, a flag of Japan, some funky orange vinyl that was labeled, “Lifeboat fabric,” and some assorted odds and ends. He honestly hasn’t done much with any of it, except for the fuzzy fabric, which is one of his most cherished possessions-so, worth it, I guess
The oldest got a, “Thatched Roof Cottage,” kit which came with everything but glue. It was around 7.95, and it kept him busy and off his electronic devices for more than an hour, so I definitely considered that a good buy.
You can take your finds home to your own workshop, or use Tinkertopia’s space for 7.00 an hour. They also host birthday parties, and from the looks of their calendar, these are already a hit with creative Tacoma kids!
Tinkertopia is right downtown in the heart of the museum district and near kid friendly restaurants. Everyone involved in it is super friendly, and it’s definitely a local business worth your support. They also take donations, so if Grandma has a stack of greeting cards she can’t bear to see just thrown away-problem solved! If you’d like to plan a visit, you can check out their website here. It explains the by-the-bag pricing, and I think it gives you a good sense of the place. This month, there are also Tinkertopia workshops at area libraries. They are listed in our fall events guide (Just click on that fun graphic in the sidebar). If your little artists and inventors make something wonderful, I’d love to see a picture!