The Bower Workshops

The Bower has a long history of offering hands on workshops – starting at the very beginning with straw bale building demonstrations and working bees throughout construction of our Marrickville premises. Since then we have had many talented staff pass through our ranks, offering tutorials in furniture restoration, basic carpentry, bike maintenance, recycled art and introductory upholstery. Workshops are subject to demand and are usually held on weekends.

Tricks of the Trade Workshop Series

The Bower’s ‘Tricks of the Trade’ workshop series are a great opportunity to familiarise yourself with the latest ideas and techniques for the repairing and upcycling of preloved furniture. No prior skills are required as our experienced facilitators will guide you through the workshop.

Workshops are held at The Bower’s workshop space at 107 Projects in Redfern or at The Bower’s Parramatta store at 10 Hunter Street.

Furniture Painting   tools   Upholstery workshop

Furniture Painting (5 hour workshop) – $70
Learn how to restore furniture pieces to recreate your own favourite circa look, be it French provincial, retro or industrial. The workshop will cover surface preparation, paint application, colours, sanding techniques and appropriate accessory enhancement choices. You will need to bring 2 small items of timber furniture, paint and brushes. Full details are explained in the online booking form.

Caring For Your Furniture (5 hour workshop) – $70
Our experienced woodworkers will be teaching you how to fix wobbly chair and table legs and how to give new life to a preloved piece of furniture. This workshop includes understanding how to repair joints and replace worn out or missing parts. You’ll be taught how to use different tools – both hand and power – and how to select the right tool for the job.

Basic Carpentry (5 hour workshop) – $70
Our experienced woodworkers will teach you all the basics for carpentry construction. You’ll be taught how to use different tools – both hand and power – and how to select the right tool for the job. We supply all the timbers and fixing materials (nails, screws) for you to construct a storage crate/box to take home with you.

Introductory Upholstery (3 hour workshop) – $60
During this hands-on 3-hour workshop you’ll learn the basics for upholstering a flat surface (e.g. a dining chair, a bed head) by creating your own milk-crate upholstered seat base. This workshop includes choosing appropriate fabric, measuring and cutting foam and padding and what timbers to use for creating the base.

Home DIY (2 x 5 hour workshops) – $150

Learn to use basic tools to do general maintenance and repair work around the house. Get a run down in using drills and drivers to hang pictures and mirrors on timber, brick, or tile walls, change taps over on a sink and learn how to fix a leaky pipe, and patch a hole in a wall. Get the run down on a basic home tool kit and where you can get one secondhand, as well as what materials are good around the house, in wet areas, and outside.

Upcycled Style (4 hour workshop) – $70

Learn how to upcycle common household objects into beautiful and functional pieces that you then take home with you. Transform tired everyday objects into useful pieces in this Upcycled Style workshop. Using straightforward techniques, this workshop requires no previous skills and is a great introduction to upcycling skills. 

2018 Workshops
Our workshops are extremely popular and book out quickly. Bookings open 8 weeks prior to the workshop date.

Workshops at The Bower: Parramatta
Basic Carpentry: 5 May, 4 August, 3 November,
Caring for Your Furniture: 12 May, 11 August, 10 November,
Furniture Painting: 19 May, 18 August, 17 November,
Introductory Upholstery: 2 June, 8 September, 1 December
Upcycled Style: 21 April

With thanks to City of Parramatta, Parramatta residents can attend these workshops for the reduced rate of just $25. Enter the code LIVEPARRA at the checkout when booking. Residents MUST show proof of residency upon arrival at the workshop (failure to do so will require additional payment of $45).

Workshops at The Bower: Redfern Workspace

Basic Carpentry: 2 June, 1 Sept, 1 Dec
Caring for Your Furniture: 9 June, 8 Sept, 8 Dec
Upholstery: 24 March, 6 Oct
Furniture Painting: 7 July, 24 Nov
Home DIY: 16th & 23rd of June, 15th & 22nd September, 1st & 8th Dec


Kids School Holiday Workshops

During the school holidays we offer a range of kids workshops at our Parramatta store and Redfern workspace. Workshops are usually announced a month before the holidays start. Subscribe to our mailing list or follow us on Facebook to receive regular updates on these workshops. Workshops are just $10 or $5 for City of Parramatta residents.

NEW!! Scrapyard Musical Instruments
Panpipes and castanets, lagerphones (monkey sticks) and windchimes. Using 100% reclaimed materials, participants at this workshop will create a range of scrapyard musical instruments while applying skills in using hammers, fine motor control and knot tying. Suitable for ages 7 – 12.

Kids Workshops at Parramatta

Recycled Art: 24th April

With thanks to City of Parramatta, Parramatta kids can attend these workshops for the reduced rate of just $5. Enter the code LIVEPARRA at the checkout when booking. Residents MUST show proof of residency upon arrival at the workshop (failure to do so will require additional payment of $5). 

Kids Workshops for Cumberland Council Residents

Kids Recycled Art & Sculpture: 17th April

Tailor-made Workshops

We provide workshops to schools, business and community groups and can tailor-make an activity suitable to your needs. From making insect hotels with scout or school groups, to team building days creating wooden crates from recycled materials, we’ve got all kinds of creative activities!

We’re also the lead provider of carpentry-based workshops with Sydney Community College. Check their website for up-to-date information about our classes which are run at our Redfern workspace, teaching basic woodwork, planter box construction, ottoman making and even how to build a Tiny House.


Cancellation Policy
In the event that The Bower Reuse & Repair Centre is unable to run the workshop, a full refund or credit towards another workshop will be provided.  If you are unable to attend and provide no less than 10 days’ notice, then we are happy to transfer your booking to another workshop. No refunds, credits or transfers will be given for any cancellations less than 10 days’ prior to workshop date. To cancel, please call us on 9568 6280 or email