I chose to create a purple pair of fuzzy dice outlined with a magenta yarn, and my friend created a blue-shaded stovetop moka pot with a bright yellow yarn outline.
Crafty people unite for the soft open of the newest art studio on Mill Avenue in Tempe: TuTugether. With various arts and crafts projects to offer like pouring art, decoden arts, and tufting, there’s plenty for everyone of all ages to try out and enjoy.
When guests first pass by the glass storefront within the popular Centerpoint shopping center, they’re immediately drawn in by the cool, colorful artistic gallery displaying the different art offered. The gallery consists of various colored bears, tufted rugs of all shapes and sizes, and decoden art designed phone cases, pencil holders, and picture frames.
Inside, the studio is vast. On one side is a rainbow array of multi-colored bullet skeins of yarn tacked to wooden sticks along each wall for customers to pick and choose from for their designs, while the opposite side of the shop is filled with large bears, figurines, small phone cases, and other miscellaneous items that guests can select to decorate with either pour-over art or decoden art. Along the back wall are two rooms behind glass. One room is where an instructor from TuTugether teaches you how to tuft carefully using the special gun provided by the studio, while TuTugether workers use the other room to later vacuum, shave, and finish off your completed tufting project.
The tufting process first begins with guests selecting which size canvas they’d like to tuft on. Sizes range from as small as 16 inches by 16 inches for $65 to as huge as 60 inches by 60 inches for $295. The sky is truly the limit at TuTugether. After they teach you the basics on the gun with a thread of yarn and a few careful traces along drawn lines, you’re free to choose your own design either on their gallery of simple examples on their Instagram page or anything easily traceable. I personally recommend a pattern with as few circles as possible—something I had to learn the hard way.
Once you’ve chosen your stencil and traced it using a marker and projector provided by TuTugether, you’re free to grab your first colored yarn from the wall to start tufting your first outline, then the inner colors, and added details if necessary. I chose to create a purple pair of fuzzy dice outlined with a magenta yarn, and my friend created a blue-shaded stovetop moka pot with a bright yellow yarn outline. Our decent-sized designs took around two hours to finish with the occasional help and tips from the friendly artists walking around the studio.
After we finished tufting, a studio worker came over to make sure there weren’t any open spaces left on the rug, then glued the back of the canvas and carefully cut out the design to be taken to the backroom. The studio workers take a few minutes to finish shaving and cleaning up your finished rug in the back and hand you your finished fuzzy products to take home.
Aside from tufting, there are a variety of other crafts guests can partake in at the TuTugether studio. Decoden art is a very unique form of art in its use of acrylic paint and many tiny accessories. Within tiny clear cubbies beside the shelves of rainbow silicone paint bottles are the hundreds of tiny accessories guests can pluck out to paste on top of whatever it is they’ve chosen to decorate. TuTugether offers a variety of cases and shapes to choose from. There’s even a row dedicated solely for nearly every phone case and type you could imagine, even large iPads and tablets. But cases aren’t the only thing guests can paint and decorate; there are also blank hair clips, pencil cases, mirrors, airpod cases, and even a tissue box.
There are even more figures to choose from to paint using pouring art. Pouring art is a much more delicate form of painting. Using a liquid form of acrylic paint, artists concoct an array of multiple colors of their choosing to initially layer onto a canvas. However, at TuTugether, instead of a traditional canvas, guests can pour paint atop a little keychain-sized bear for as little as $12 and an extra large bear for as much as $105.
The TuTugether studio has added a fun new highlight along the popular Mill Ave. The studio is open fairly late for either reservations or walk-ins, but I highly recommend calling in first to gauge availability and how busy it might be at the time. Overall, the experience offered at TuTugether is bonding, enjoyable, and inexpensive for all that’s provided and taught throughout the amazing artistic process that ended in me getting two adorable rugs to hang in my apartment.
740 S. Mill Ave., Suite 120, Tempe
Hours: Monday to Thursday, 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. | Friday, 12 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. | Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. | Sunday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
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