CRAFTS MAKING A COMEBACK
By Debbie Clark
Remember when you were a child and could turn your hand to any craft, be it salt dough or pompoms, and everyone lovingly admired the results? What happened? Well, at some point most of us stopped crafting and filled our days with more pressing activities. Maybe you loved it once but, because the finished product wasn’t quite perfect, you simply gave up trying. Whatever the reasons, wouldn’t it be great if you could recapture that childhood pleasure and just enjoy the process? What craft activities would you revive? We’ve picked a few of our favourites to try out.
Comprising of x-shaped stitches on open weave fabric, cross stitch is one of the easiest forms of embroidery to learn. There is a huge range of designs to choose from and a basic kit comes with everything you need to get going including a grid with coloured squares representing the stitches and a key telling you which coloured thread to use. It can be a really rewarding and relaxing hobby.
The thick and thin strokes of calligraphy are truly an art form and, if you can perfect them, are seriously satisfying both for you and the lucky recipient of any of your creations. It is, however, pretty unforgiving so if you are a real perfectionist or don’t have a steady hand you may find it a frustrating experience.
Making your own jewellery can be as simple or complicated as you make it and is a lovely way to inject a bit of your personality into your accessories. The obvious place to start is with beads but you could also experiment with metal, resin or clay.
Crochet is hugely popular because it is so versatile. Using only a hook and yarn, you could learn to make anything from a simple blanket, to clothes or toys. If you begin by learning a couple of basic stitches and following beginner patterns, you can quickly build your skills and confidence.
There is something very therapeutic about handling and shaping clay and you need less equipment than you might think. Air drying clay can be easily manipulated to make anything that takes your fancy and will be ready to paint in a few days. However, you may find modelling clay, like Fimo, offers more immediate gratification. It comes in a huge range of colours, is less messy and can be oven-baked to create lasting models.
Crafting is certainly experiencing a resurgence and it couldn’t be easier to give it a go. At the very least you will have had a fresh experience but you might even discover a talent you never knew you had!
- There’s no need to spend a fortune on equipment. A good starting point for any craft is to look for a basic set and see how you get on. You can then invest in more quality kits at a later date or, if it wasn’t for you, move on to something new.
- YouTube is your friend. Search for simple tutorial videos to get you started or if you get stuck on a particular skill.
- Use your social network – be it finding a friend who has honed their skills or joining a relevant Facebook group, you will find people who are passionate about their craft are eager to share their knowledge and experience.