If you’re like many people, you’re in search of a new hobby to take up during the New Year – something that’ll occupy your time, and provide you with something to show for it at the end. Crafts provide an excellent distraction; they come in many different forms, and allow creative people to channel their muse in a variety of different ways. This might be through paintbrushes and canvas; it might be through a needle and thread; or it might be through countless other means.
If you’re considering picking up a craft-based hobby in the New Year, you might be wondering just where to get started. Let’s examine the problem, and see what the world of crafting has to offer – and consider which particular crafts might appeal.
The benefits of making your own crafts
Before we get started with any hobby, it’s worth asking what we hope to get out of it in the end. After all, acquiring a new skill is something that requires hard work and dedication; you’ll need to put in the time and effort developing your skill if you want to produce anything of merit. Will the results really justify that level of commitment?
The first reason to take up a new craft is that it’ll allow you to put together gifts for Christmas and birthdays easily. These gifts will carry a little bit of your own personal stamp, and so whenever your recipient looks upon them, they’ll be reminded (for better or worse) of the person responsibly. Another key reason that crafts make such excellent gifts is that they can be tailored specifically to the person receiving them.
The second virtue of crafts is that they allow you to be specific. If you’d like a certain sort of item that isn’t widely available in the shops (or has yet to be invented), then you’ll be free to create it, provided that your talent allows you to do so. More often, you’ll be considering a shop-bought item that doesn’t quite match up to your needs, or which you feel that you could improve on. With the help of your crafting skills, you’ll be able to imitate and improve upon anything you come across.
Another significant upside to developing a skill in crafting is that it provides a financial benefit. Of course, few people who get into a crafting hobby are in it for the money; but a select few who work at building their skills are able to turn it into a full-time job. For most, this requires a little too much effort and perseverance – but buying textiles and baubles might still be cheaper than buying professionally-made jewellery and clothes. Depending on the hobby you’re picking up, it’s possible to save a significant amount of money in the long run – even if isn’t quite enough that you can quit your day job.
Of course, we’ve left the most popular and important reason for taking up a crafts hobby until last: the fun of doing so. By wielding a paintbrush, pencil or needle-and-thread, you’ll be able to relax and unwind, as well as create a slew of interesting and useful items.
What fabrics might you use?
If you’re intent on starting a crafts project that’s reliant on fabrics, like a napkin, tea-cosy or some other such item, it might be difficult to know where to begin. After all, there are a great many different fabrics available – ranging from the relatively plain to the hugely elaborate.
If you’re creating an item for a child, then you might wish to tend toward the latter sort of fabric. You’ll be able to find sheets of cotton and polyester which feature images of construction machinery – which will come in very handy if you’re creating an item for a child with an interest in building (and indeed, destroying) things.
For those looking to create something a little more reserved, designs like this one might be more suitable. It comes decorated with a series of pink owls, each of which stands atop a miniature flower. If you’re a little more inclined towards all things technological, on the other hand, then you might consider a design like this, which features all manner of emojis and other internet-based symbols.
What projects might I get started with?
If you’ve assembled a load of suitable fabrics, you might be wondering what the next step might be. Fortunately, there are a myriad of different projects you might embark upon, ranging from the very simple to the very challenging. Let’s take a look at some, and see which of them you find the most inspiring.
For people who have trouble getting to sleep at night, an eye-mask might be just the thing to shut out the light. This is only slightly more challenging than a bookmark, and requires a ribbon as well as a shaped piece of opaque fabric.
If you need to install a lightshade over the bulbs in your house, then making them yourself can be a rewarding way to proceed. You might work with wireframes and sewing in order to bring your vision to life – but once you’ve gotten the hang of things, an attractive lightshade will be your reward. It’s ideal both for table lamps and hanging ones.
Miniature bean-bags are a great alternative to juggling balls – and they can serve a variety of other purposes around the house. They’re also remarkably easy to create, demanding just a little skill in sewing. Be sure that you’ve gotten everything securely put together before you toss your creations up into the air, however – otherwise you’ll have to spend hours (or even days) picking tiny, plastic spheres out from the carpet.