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Better Today: Arts and Crafts Center

Vikki Dalton, 325th Force Support Squadron Arts and Crafts Center manager, stands at the front desk of the Arts and Crafts Center on Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., Sept. 24, 2019. The Arts and Crafts Center offers a wide varies of personalized items and crafty classes. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Bailee A. Darbasie)

Vikki Dalton, 325th Force Support Squadron Arts and Crafts Center manager, stands at the front desk of the Arts and Crafts Center on Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., Sept. 24, 2019. The Arts and Crafts Center offers a wide varies of personalized items and crafty classes. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Bailee A. Darbasie)

Vikki Dalton, 325th Force Support Squadron Arts and Crafts Center manager, stands at the front desk of the Arts and Crafts Center on Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., Sept. 24, 2019. The Arts and Crafts Center offers a wide varies of personalized items and crafty classes. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Bailee A. Darbasie)

A set of painted wine glasses sit in the classroom at the Arts and Crafts Center on Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., Sept. 24, 2019. The Arts and Crafts Center hosts wine glass painting, jewelry making and essential oils blending classes each month. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Bailee A. Darbasie)

Vikki Dalton, 325th Force Support Squadron Arts and Crafts Center manager, stands at the front desk of the Arts and Crafts Center on Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., Sept. 24, 2019. The Arts and Crafts Center offers a wide varies of personalized items and crafty classes. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Bailee A. Darbasie)

Vikki Dalton, 325th Force Support Squadron Arts and Crafts Center manager, organizes cases of jewelry beads at the Arts and Crafts Center on Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., Sept. 24, 2019. Jewelry making classes are held every month by Dalton at the center. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Bailee A. Darbasie)

Vikki Dalton, 325th Force Support Squadron Arts and Crafts Center manager, stands at the front desk of the Arts and Crafts Center on Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., Sept. 24, 2019. The Arts and Crafts Center offers a wide varies of personalized items and crafty classes. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Bailee A. Darbasie)

Vikki Dalton, 325th Force Support Squadron Arts and Crafts Center manager, works on cutting a board for a framing project at the Arts and Crafts Center on Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., Sept. 24, 2019. Personalization offered by the center can include laser or standard engraving and sublimation. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Bailee A. Darbasie)

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- The base’s Arts and Crafts Center is a staple in the Tyndall community. From memento mugs to going away plaques, units across base flock to the shop to purchase items for creative needs.

“Our job consists of creating personalized items to either honor someone’s accomplishments or provide them with a unique keepsake,” said Vikki Dalton, 325th Force Support Squadron Arts and Crafts Center manager. “We’re typically a pretty busy shop since everyone comes to us for their quarterly and annual awards.”

However, when Hurricane Michael devastated Northwest Florida, Dalton didn’t know what was going to happen to the center.

“The whole base, including our shop, was down after the storm,” recalled Dalton. “It was a rough period where we didn’t know what was going to happen.”

With little to no permanent party Airmen on Tyndall after the storm, the shop faced a dry spell of barely any orders.

But now, nearly a year after the storm, the Arts and Crafts shop is back to creating all of their available products.

“We’re open for business and still in the same location,” said Dalton. “I think our biggest struggle right now is getting the word out that we’re fully functioning. It’s been slow but we’re getting there.”

Due to the influx of new permanent party members, the shop has been seeing an increase in business lately.

Dalton reports they’ve produced approximately 1000 awards, 500 plaques and 350 frames since reopening within the last nine months.

“We have a wide variety of products [available as is or an option for] personalization,” said Dalton.

Personalization can include laser or standard engraving and sublimation.

The most popular products the Arts and Crafts Center offers are personalized frames, mugs, shirts, plaques, canvas wall hangings and shadow boxes.

“Aside from the typical crafts, our center also offers classes,” said Dalton. “We try to hold them monthly for anyone who is interested.”

As of now, the classes offered include wine glass painting, jewelry making and essential oils blending.

“We’d like to offer a bigger variety of classes,” explained Dalton. “We’re looking for anyone interested in becoming an instructor to come by and apply.”

For more information on the Arts and Crafts Center or to sign up as a class instructor, contact Vikki Dalton at (850) 283-4511.