Ceramics Cafes and Craft Cabins in Essex

Do your children love to get crafty? If you don't want the mess in your own home, or you are looking for something different to do on a rainy day then why not head to a ceramic cafĂ© or craft cabin in Essex? These venues offer a range of activities from painting pottery (that is then fired so it's all shiny and washable) to deco patch and foam clay. I have included a few venues outside of Essex too which might be close enough to visit.

A table with painted ceramics, under glaze in bottles and paintbrushes at a ceramic cafe in Essex
Guide to where to go pottery painting or to do crafts in (and close to) Essex

At some ceramics cafes you pay a price per person for paint and firing and the price of any items on top, others include this cost in the price you pay for the items. If painting with glaze then you will need to come back on another day to collect your item after it has been fired, this can take a week or so depending on how busy they are. 

Blue Owl 

Nayland Road, Great Horkesley, CO6 4AH
A pottery painting studio & coffee shop, open Wednesday to Saturday 10am - 4pm.
You need to book your table, choose your pottery and pay before visiting, this is all done via the website. You can add additional items, gifts, snacks and drinks when you are there if you want to. Items range from £8 to about £30, the figurines which tend to appeal to children cost £12 to £15. These costs include glaze and firing so there is nothing extra to pay.
Parking available.

Ceramics On The Hop

Studio 2, Rumsey Row, Writtle, CM1 3YA
Open Wednesday to Saturday 9.30am - 5.00pm although group bookings can be agreed outside these hours. Phone or text 07967 404951 to reserve a table. They don't sell food or drink, but you are welcome to bring your own if you want. 
There is a studio/ firing charge of £5 plus the cost of the item. Items range from £6 to £40, with standard figurines £7 to £12. 
Free street parking available in the village. 

The Chameleon

2 Market Place, Great Dunmow, CM6 1AT
A cafe where you can paint ceramics with either acrylic paints or under glaze. Figures for children to paint are around £15. The cost of the items includes paint and firing. There is a £10 deposit per family booking.
Open 10am to 4pm Sunday to Thursday and 9 to 4.30pm on Saturday. 
Contact on 01371 873788 for bookings or hi@thechameleoncafe.co.uk.
Small amount of street parking available, alternatively the nearest is Chequers Lane Car Park

The Clay Cottage

Lubbards Lodge, Hullbridge Road, Rayleigh SS6 9QG
The Clay Cottage has a large selection of ceramics you can paint and they also have an area where you can make your own pottery (including a pottery wheel). The cost of items includes paint and firing. You also get free hot and cold drinks while painting and they have a shop if you want to buy snacks.
Open 9.30am to 6.pm Monday to Friday and 9.30 to 1pm on Saturday. The rest of the weekend is reserved for parties. It can be very popular so if you want to visit at a peak time call to book a table. They also have workshops during the holidays where you can drop children off for a couple of hours. Check out their Facebook page for information.
Contact on 01268 786162 to book.
Clay Cottage is on a small industrial site and there is free parking.

A ceramic cafe with a long shelf full of different shape ceramics you can paint
Clay Cottage has a wide range of ceramics to paint

Craft Cabin 

Unit 4b Clock House Farm, Cavendish Lane, Glemsford, CO10 7PZ
From ceramic painting with acrylics to sand art and colouring there are lots of craft activities to keep children entertained.
Open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday 9.30 to 5.00.
Call on 01787 736618 to book.

The Craft Cabin E4 and CM23

57 Station Road, Chingford, E4 7BJ 
27 Hockerill Street, Bishops Stortford, CM23 2DH 
The Craft Cabin has two sites offering a range of arts and crafts activities. They used to have a site in Sawbridgeworth (CM21) which moved to Bishops Stortford in December 2021, so while neither are in Essex I felt they were still close enough to the border to be worth including. They do have a firing range of ceramics you can paint, but they also have a large range of "take home on the day" crafts including: paint, deco patch, foam clay, design your own jute bag or teddy making. The "artist fee" covering use of paint etc is £3.50 with items starting at £3.
Open Monday, Wednesday and Sunday 10 am to 2 pm, Tuesday and Friday 10 am to 5.30 pm, Saturday 10 am to 4 pm and closed on Thursdays.
You can prebook a table on:  0208 524 4600 (Chingford) or 01279 902 018 (Bishops Stortford).
Nearest car park to Chingford 5 minutes walk away (the road next to COOP)

The Craft Shed

35 East Walk, Basildon, SS14 1HA
A relaxed venue to paint pottery and other crafts including foam clay.
Open Wednesday to Saturday 10am to 5pm. Booking required at peak times and for workshops. You can book via their website and reserve a table for £5 which will be taken off your bill. You can also contact them on 07731 819595.

Creative Biscuit

61 George Lane, South Woodford, E18 1JJ
Another one not in Essex, this time in East London. This is a lovely little cafe for ceramic painting that also does food and drink, they do fab brownies. 
£4 charge per person for paints, glaze and firing plus the cost of any items you paint which range from £4 for a small tile, animals figures cost around £10 and items go up to £40 for their largest item.
Booking recommended weekends and school holidays, but if you are travelling some distance call ahead at any time on 0208 532 2824 to ensure they have space.
Open Monday to Wednesday 9.30 to 5pm, Thursday and Friday 9.30am to 6pm, Saturday 9am to 6pm and Sunday 10am to 4pm
No onsite parking, but there are a few spaces available on the road or there's a pay and display parking a 5 minutes walk away. George Lane is split into two sides divided by the Central Line, Creative Biscuit is on the side away from the main high street.

Essex Pottery Studio

Greenstead Green Farm, Halstead, CO9 1QY
Located in a studio opposite the Nursery School field down by the farm track.
Offering pottery painting and use of clay and a wheel.
Open 7 days a week 10 to 4pm. They can also open in the evenings by arrangement.
Cost of firing and paints included in the cost of the items.
To book email: contactus@essexpotterystudio.co.uk or call 01787474406.
Onsite parking available.

Glass & Craft

Kersey Mill, Hadleigh, Ipswich, IP7 6DP (Suffolk rather than Essex)
Crafts include glass painting, ceramic painting, bear building fun, deco patch, wood painting, fabric fun, sand art and mosaics. Refreshments available.
Booking recommended and can be done via the website, by phone (01473 517 404) or email (info@glassandcraft.co.uk).
Open 10am to 4pm Tuesday to Saturday and 10.30am to 4pm on Sundays

Lets Go Potty

6a Hemnal Street, Epping, Essex CM16 4LW
£5 studio charge per person (covering any number of items painted). Items start at around £6.
Food and drink available. Fresh cakes delivered daily.
Open Tuesday to Saturday 9.30am to 6.00pm, ​​Sunday 10am to 4pm and closed Mondays (except in school holidaysO)
Call to check availability on 01992 578 112
Some street parking in the area, but it's mostly permit parking so often easiest to park at Cottis Lane car parks which are a short walk away.

Peacock Pottery Barn

Units 33-35 Barleylands Craft Centre, Barleylands Road, Billericay, Essex CM11 2UD
Formerly Hazle's Pottery Barn they offer pottery painting and other activities including working with clay, teddy making and foam clay.
Pottery painting has a £6 studio fee per person (covering paint, glazing etc) and items start from £7 . Items should be ready to collect a week later.
Booking required (can be done via the website or call 01268 270892). 3 sessions per day - 10:00am, 12:30pm and 3:00pm. Each session will last for 2 hours. Open Tuesdays to Sundays 10 til 5pm and Mondays during school holidays.
Plenty of free parking a short walk away.

Pink Parrot Pottery

Carpenter's Farm Shop, St Mary's Road, Great Bentley, Essex CO7 8NJ
Offers pottery painting and various workshops. Hot drinks and snacks available.
Items take 12-14 days to be fired which is longer than many of the other venues so factor this in if you have an occasion in mind you want them for.
You can book sessions via the website for Fridays and Saturdays or call 07738258131.
Parking available.

Pots of Art

Phoenix Rose Garden Centre, Cattlegate Road, Crews Hill, Enfield, EN2 9DP
Located towards the back of the garden centre behind the cafe. Pots of Art have several studio's (including St Albans and Hitchin) but the Crews Hill one is closest to Essex. 
Lots of child focused crafts are available (including pottery painting) and they also run messy play sessions. There is no studio fee, just the cost of the items you choose.
Booking often not required, but call to confirm on 020 8366 4965. 
Open Monday to Friday 10.00am to 5.00pm, Saturday 10am to 5.30pm and Sunday 10.30am to 4.30pm
Free onsite parking.

Ceramics cafes and craft cabins in Essex
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Information as accurate as possible, but please contact the venues for confirmation, booking and any other important information.

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