When tours or volunteer groups visit Rainbow Acres, one of their favorite stops is the Rainbow Acres Gift Shop.

Inside the gift shop, artfully arranged weavings draw the eye, vying for attention with acrylic paintings, stained glass inlaid stepping stones, abstract coasters, and so much more. Brightly colored beaded banners made with painstaking care hang in the windows. Rich wood shelves hold brightly printed mugs, vivid handbags, and Christmas ornaments. On the counter, display stands showoff handmade turquoise necklaces and bracelets of silver charms.

Weekday mornings, our Ranchers attended arts and crafts classes, including weaving, stepping stones, and bead art, among others.

Textile and beading artists at Rainbow Acres

In weaving, the clank of loom pedals resounds through the room as the Ranchers work on items according to their skill level. Utilizing twelve floor looms, one walking loom, and three table looms, they weave mug rugs, scarves, throw rugs, ruanas, and placemats from a variety of materials, including old jeans cut into thin strips by volunteers.

In beading, Ranchers choose from a variety of projects. Some string bright plastic beads according to a pattern. The results are banners with colorful images formed by the beads. The images include Christmas and Easter themes, as well as animals, flowers, trains, and more. The Ranchers in beading also make jewelry. Items such as bolo ties, earrings, bracelets, and brooches are created with unique metal charms, beautiful pendants, and teeny seed beads.

Rancher artists and makers use local Sedona colors, working fine motor skills

Stepping stones is a thriving class where Ranchers choose from many different patterns. Once they’ve chosen a pattern, they fill it in with slivers of stained glass. Doing so requires a great deal of concentration and fine motor skills, and when they have completed a pattern, the Ranchers are quite proud of their accomplishments. The patterns are often drawn by the talented staff leading the classes, and they include rainbows, geckos, desert scenes, cowgirl boots, American flags, and intricate abstract patterns. The Ranchers will also complete special orders.

After the pieces of stained glass are in place, staff pour a mix of cement and sand and Sedona Red coloring over them. Stepping stones come in three sizes: eight-inch, twelve-inch, and fourteen-inch. The eight-inch are covered with rubber backing and can be displayed inside the house or used as a trivet. The two largest sizes make lovely garden additions or decorations lining a walkway.

Located in the Dahler Building, the gift shop was redesigned in 2016. The remodel created an exterior with old town charm, and an expanded interior with a myriad of display options. A system was also installed for digital inventory and to receive credit card payments.

Shop special gifts and support neurodiverse adult programming and our community

The gift shop has been a way to connect with our local community, representing Rainbow at the upcoming Trash and Treasure Sale put on by The Church of the Red Rocks in Sedona. Additionally, we have items placed in a local consignment shop.

Many of the items have been created by award-winning Ranchers who annually bring home ribbons from local craft shows and the Yavapai County Fair in Cottonwood. This coming November, the weavers will be represented at the Camp Verde Library which is hosting a Weaver’s Guild event.

The next time you visit Rainbow, be sure to plan a stop at the gift shop. Staff and Ranchers work the counter side by side, helping customers find the perfect gift for themselves and for their loved ones. Whether it is a tee shirt with the Rainbow Acres’ logo on it, a stepping stone of a cross, or a striped scarf woven by one of our weavers, you, too, can take a colorful piece of Rainbow home with you.