Craft Weekend Retreat 2024

If crafting is your thing, this weekend will be absolute heaven. Two days of fabulous craft projects, with everything laid on for you. And all taking place in a beautiful spa hotel.

This really is about having unadulterated fun, with no responsibilities. Come with a friend, or book for yourself and meet lovely people who share your enjoyment of a good ‘make’.

There’s loads of varied content and skills to learn (details below), but this a relaxed retreat with a flexible schedule. You’re welcome to take a break and enjoy a dip in the pool whenever you wish. This is time for you.

In addition to the core activities there will be some little surprises added in along the way, as time permits. There will also be a weekend activity that you can pick up and put down in those quieter moments. One thing’s for sure, you won’t be bored!

The venue

East Sussex National Hotel

The 4-star East Sussex National Hotel is set within 1,100 acres of quintessential English countryside, and features two peaceful golf courses. Don’t forget your swimming costume if you want to make use of the Horsted Health Club and Spa.

Every bedroom has stunning views of the estate, en suite bathroom (shower and bath), TV, Wifi, tea- and coffee-making facilities, complementary toiletries, iron and hairdryer.

The cost shown is based on sharing a twin room, but if you’d prefer a room to yourself it’s just £60 more.

All your meals in the excellent hotel restaurant are included too.

A sociable space for crafting

Our dedicated retreat room is large, light and airy, and filled with the happy hum of conversation. You’ll have your own workspace, with plenty of room for your projects.

A chance to try out new techniques

The emphasis may be on fun, but you’ll still be picking up skills that you can return to when the retreat is over. You’ll be exploring paper crafts, paper making, leather craft and needle felting.

We’ll demonstrate each project clearly, and will be on hand to make sure you feel confident with the techniques you’re using.

Please note that the exact projects are subject to change – we’ll let you know if there are any amendments.

What level of ability is the retreat for?

No special skills are required for this retreat – we assume no prior knowledge. The projects are achievable for anyone who enjoys working with their hands. It’s no problem if you do have experience of any of the techniques – you’ll get to enjoy a lovely project, and develop your skills and confidence further.

What do I need to bring? What equipment is provided?

For most of the activities there’s nothing you need to bring along, other than bags of enthusiasm.

For the Drum lampshade project please bring your own piece of fabric. Sizes required are;

min 645mm wide x 220mm tall for the small size

min 970mm wide x 255mm tall for the large size

Light to light/medium weight fabrics only. Please do not bring any thick or upholstery fabrics.

Your weekend in detail

Day 1

Arrival at 9:30 for a 10am start.

Our first project is bang on-trend: Punch needle hoop art. We are delighted to welcome the lovely Lucy Rowan to join us for the morning. Lucy will show you how to use a punch needle tool, explain about different yarn choices and show you how to transfer your design to get ready for the fun bit.

Depending on timings, we may start the mystery weekend project before lunch.

A hot and cold buffet lunch will be served between 1 and 2pm.

The afternoon is has a paper theme as we will take undertake a variety of small projects from contemporary card making with 3d elements, quilling and collage.

The day is flexible so there will also be time in the afternoon to continue with your punch needle project.

Tea, coffee and cordial will be available throughout the day.

A three-course dinner will be served in a private area, following which you can relax in the bar or enjoy the hotel facilities.

Day 2

Start your day with the hotel’s full English or continental breakfast, served between 7am and 9:30am. You’ll have access to the retreat room from 9am, with time to work on the bonus weekend project if you choose. Or treat yourself to a lie-in.

At 10am, we’ll start our second day with an introductory book making session. Following on from the success and interest is a small teaser project at our 2023 retreat we want to show you more ways of creating your own unique books. We are all enjoying the chance to deliver personalised gifts and nothings says that more than simple treasures encased in a handmade book.

We’ll enjoy another buffet lunch at 12:30.

Your afternoon will be focused on a very satisfying project and something that you can take home and put to good use straight away. We will be showing you how to make your very own drum lampshade. There will be a choice of sizes 20cm or 30cm. Both can be used as either a table light or pendant. ( We will ask you to confirm your choices nearer the event). Being able to make your own shade can totally personalise and transform a room and for this reason we will be asking you to bring your own piece of fabric for this activity. Sizes required are;

min 645mm wide x 220mm tall for the small size

min 970mm wide x 255mm tall for the large size

Lightweight fabrics work best. Please do not bring thick upholstery fabrics. This will be the perfect way to end a weekend away.

Your retreat will draw to a close at 4pm.

Please note that these details are subject to variation, but they do give you a good idea of what to expect.

Meet your tutors

We’ll be on hand for help and guidance whenever you need it.
Sarah Brangwyn
Owner of Made and Making, Sarah has been sewing all her life. Her passion is helping others to gain the same level of enjoyment from mastering these creative skills. She’s known for her infectious enthusiasm, her endless knowledge and for her knack for explaining things clearly, leading to lots of ‘aha!’ moments. You may well have seen her recently in as a guest designer on the TV sewing channel Sewing Street.
Louise Cray
Louise can turn her hand to all kinds of crafts – dyeing, felting, weaving, crocheting, stitching and patchwork – and is currently a bit obsessed with hand sewing hexagons! She loves sharing her techniques by teaching an assortment of craft courses. She also works behind the scenes, keeping both Made and Making contemporary craft centre and Sarah Brangwyn Retreats running smoothly.
Lucy Rowan
Lucy is a textile designer and maker specialising in weaving and punch needle. She has been featured in many publications including Mollie Makes and Elle Decoration. She is the author of 3 craft books and you can often find her hosting workshops in the South of England passing on her textile skills.

Terms & Conditions

Prices are per person.

50% deposit is payable at time of booking. The balance is due one month before the event. 

If full payment has not been received three one month before the event we reserve the right to reallocate your place.

The price includes:

  • one night’s accommodation at the East Sussex National Hotel. 
  • all activities and materials
  • buffet lunch and three-course evening meal on day one
  • breakfast and buffet lunch on day two
  • refreshments served throughout each day
  • free use of the health club 7am to 8pm, including pool, spa pool, sauna and steam room. (Treatments at the award-winning Horsted Spa can be booked separately.)
  • free parking
  • free Wifi throughout the hotel.

If you’d like to extend your stay, you’re welcome to book with the hotel independently.

Refunds & Cancellations

If you change your mind, or are unable to attend for any reason, please let us know, in writing, as soon as possible.

We will give you a full refund if your place can be taken by someone else. If this is not possible then we regret that no refund will be possible.

In the unlikely event that we have to cancel the retreat you will receive a full refund.

Do you have more questions?

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