So you’re looking for a new craft skill to learn but possibly don’t know where to start? You have a few things to consider including why you want to craft, how will you learn your new skill, how will you organise yourself, what kind of crafter will you be and finally what craft to try.
5 Reasons to craft
- Relaxation – Craft has often been used as a method of relaxing and unwinding at the end of a busy day. There are many crafts which allow you to relax through easy to remember techniques or by allowing you to express and release tension.
- Finding your inner artist – It is my personal belief that every person has an inner artist waiting to find their own skill. You may have already found one or two crafts you enjoy, but why limit yourself to just that? Trying something new can be fun and exciting and you may find something that releases your creative potential in other areas of your life.
- Socialising: It is surprising how many people are now crafting in some form or another. Why not join up with family and friends to swap ideas and show off your skills. If you don’t have crafty friends or family nearby, there are many groups across the country you could join.
- Making something specific – Whether you are looking to make something practical such as clothing, or something decorative such as a rug, you will feel a sense of achievement by completing a project you set your mind to. Crafting also provides you with the skills to create heartfelt gifts for those you care about.
- Dieting / Quitting smoking – Ok, you may laugh at this one, but consider how difficult it is to eat biscuits or smoke a cigarette if your hands are busy with creating something. When I began to crochet, I lost weight just by focusing on other things instead of my cravings for junk food!
4 ways to learn
- Reading books – All through school we are encouraged to learn from reading books and in crafting this is no different. You don’t need to splash out lots of money either, pop into your local library for a range of free resource books covering various topics in crafting. If they don’t have what your after, ask in your local craft shop or book shop if they can recommend anything.
- Watching videos – In the technical age we live in, it is easy to find various videos online for almost any craft you wish to learn. Have a look at different ways of doing the basics as well as investigating how complex things can get – it might spark something in you.
- Talk to crafters – Once again, turning to friends and family is a great way to learn what they know. Swap skills with each other and compare different ways of doing the same thing.
- Join a class or workshop – Search in your local area for groups and workshops that are involved in crafting. Some groups are based round one type of skill i.e. knit and natter, but you will often find they are quite willing to accept people who don’t knit! Formal classes can be great ways to learn new skills too. Join a one off taster class to try something new, or a full block of workshops to master basic skills before going alone.
3 Tips on setting up
- Create your space – Try different places you would like to set up your craft. Find somewhere that is comfortable but practical. I used to use the floor to create cards until the dog decided she would join me after a rainy walk!
- Making time – If you can, think about when you will do your crafting. Can you take it on the road with you if traveling as a passenger, is it the type of craft that you can put down mid project or do you need to set aside time to spend an hour or two on it?
- Inspiration – Don’t wait until you sit down to find inspiration, save ideas in a notebook, on your phone or even a quick sketch on scrap paper. Once you get into the swing of recording when inspiration strikes, you’re crafting time can be used to create rather than plan.
2 ways to appreciate crafting
- Make It – Use your materials, tools and imagination to create anything you like. And if that doesn’t work…
- Buy it – There are many talented people out there that create for a living. If you can’t make something yourself, support those that can and others will support you in return.
1 Craft Per Person?
No Way! You wouldn’t eat just one type of food, so why just stick with one type of craft. There are hundreds of different ways to use arts and crafts materials; have fun trying out various combinations and see what you can create.
Feel free to share with us the latest craft you tried and what helped you on your way.