New crafts bar catches a trend, opens the creative side of Downtown Summerlin

Courtesy / Edison Graff

Nicole Muñoz works on an arts projects at Corks ‘n Crafts in Downtown Summerlin. Corks ‘n Crafts is like the countless painting-and-wine venues that are scattered across Las Vegas, except for one key difference: instead of engaging in a group paint-along, participants make a wide variety of crafts.

There is rhythmic pounding of hammers intermixed with the usual party sounds of laughter and chatter at Corks ‘n Crafts, a “do-it-yourself bar” in Downtown Summerlin. The loudest guests are busy decorating leather key fobs, while others mingle at the bar or play the available party games.

Corks ‘n Crafts is like the countless painting-and-wine venues scattered across the Las Vegas, except for one key difference: Instead of engaging in a group paint-along, participants make a wide variety of crafts. There are nights for string art, macrame, fabric dying, wood painting and more.

“We mean to give people products they use in their lives, from jewelry to fabric-dyed tote bags to leather journals,” owner Alainah Paul says.

Prices range from about $30 to $65, with options for drop-in crafting and private parties (bridal events have been the most popular). Food and beverages are available for extra.

“We did a lot of research to see what is trending,” says Paul, who collaborated with her husband in creating Corks ‘n Crafts. “Painted signs are very popular. People like the rustic home decor and being able to personalize it.”

Paul says she “dove into the crafting community” and found local teachers who specialize in different skills, such as woodworking. She hired five teachers to be “craft-tenders,” who guide participants along the crafting process. And after being open since July 1, she’s already looking for more teachers because “the response has been overwhelming.”

If business goes according to plan, expect more Corks ‘n Crafts to open around town. “From the very beginning, we wanted to turn this into a franchise,” Paul says. “Corks ‘n Crafts is the first of its kind. There are a lot of maker studios across the country that are very niche into one type of craft, [but we] offer something for everybody—different genders, ages and interests. When slime is popular, we can do slime with kids. Now that macrame is trending, we have macrame classes. Our studio is not boxed into one specific thing.”

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Corks 'n Crafts owner Alainah Paul poses for a photo.

It’s hard to say if crafting ever really goes in or out of style. Yet, the pastime feels especially popular right now. Social media sites like Pinterest and Instagram give creators new outlets to share their work. Creators can sell their handmade creations on Etsy. And web-streaming sites such as YouTube and Skillshare allow for the free-ish exchange of ideas and tutorials (Paul’s eldest daughter is obsessed with YouTube crafting tutorials, which is partially the inspiration for the business).

“People really want to make things themselves, and I just wanted to create an environment where people don’t have to worry about finding supplies or searching online for directions,” Paul says. “I’m making a place where we have everything for you.”

The space certainly looks like a crafter’s dream or a real-life Pinterest board. Some walls are decorated with completed sample crafts while others contain neat compartments for paints, power tools and wood stains.

The Corks ‘n Crafts slogan is painted above a window: “Creating memories … literally.” The 50-person capacity main room and a 20-person private party room are separated by industrial-chic garage doors, which can be opened up.

Originally from Pittsburgh, Paul brings a fashion and art background to her business. “Growing up, [my family’s] house always smelled like sawdust,” Paul says. “Fast-forward all these years later and I’m the one making my house feel like sawdust.”