People sometimes tell me that I am talented*, art and crafts-wise, and ask where I get the time to do the crafts I do. I usually shug, say something along the lines of “Eh thanks, mmm I dunno”.
Recently I took a bit of time to ask myself where I get the time. So, I’m going to let you, and those people, if they are reading, how things work round here, craft-wise and bust a few craft myths while I am at it.
Myth: Craft projects take a lot of time
For very many crafts, you do not need a lot of time. For those projects that do need a lot of time, you do not generally need all that time in one block. Blocks of 5 or 10 minutes or even a half hour can often be squeezed in between other activities. Just keep your materials near at hand.
Myth: Craft projects need a lot of space
You do not need a lot of space for most projects. A kitchen table can be commandeered between meals or in the evening to use as a work space. Your work in progress can be stored on top of a wardrobe, in the guest bedroom or inside a cupboard.
In the photo below you can see my current crochet project, accompanied by an unfinished Easter project (check back here in Spring for the tutorial), housed in a small basket that lives under the coffee table. It gets taken out when I sit down to watch television, usually once a week. When I am finished, I fold it back up and pop it back into the basket. It is easy to manage, keeps the children from attacking it and is always in the right place at the right time.
Myth: You have to be creative
Natural creativity is great, but good copying skills will suffice. I believe we are all creative somewhere inside. It can just be hard to tap into it.
If you feel that you are not creative but you want to get crafty with the kids, then borrow some craft books from the library with projects that suit your level of skill or enthusiasm. Browse them, pick a project and have a go. Don’t look on Pinterest and get depressed.
Myth: Craft materials cost a lot of money
Yes, craft materials can cost a lot of money but it very much depends on what you are making and the level of professionalism you are aiming for. Here you really do need to cut your cloth according to your means.
When buying materials for a particular project, bear in mind that you can use the leftovers in other projects. I have some tubes of acrylic paint that I bought several years ago. They seem to be bottomless, I have used them so often
but they are still not empty, nor have they dried out. My scraps of fabric get used up in patchwork or sewing machine embroidery projects
A lot of what you can use for craft projects, especially for crafting with children
, can be collected from around the house or bought in a €1 shop or in Aldi, like paper straws, glue, packs of coloured paper or childrens’ scissors.
Natural materials collected from the garden, woods or parks make great crafting material, are free and educational for the children too.
Assign a collection box somewhere in the house and whenever you see something that could be useful, put it in there. I often keep the following:
– buttons from clothes that are being dumped
– old shirts that have frayed cuffs and collars. There is a good amount of fabric in them.
– ribbons and strings from chocolate boxes, gifts, or those loops of ribbon inside clothes that keep them from sliding off the hangers.
– cardboard toilet roll inserts
– pieces of plain card like the type that come with folded shirts or in packs of tights
|A drawer in our kitchen, for spontaneous crafting sessions
Myth: You need to be skilled with lots of tools and methods
I am living proof that you do not need a whole lot of skill to realise pretty projects
. You can learn as you go. You can watch video tutorials and you can ask your local DIY shop, hardware shop or craft shop for advice if you have a project in mind.
Myth: It takes too long to master one craft
Yes, it can take a long time to master a particular craft. But the beauty of creative crafting for amateurs like us is that you do not need to master any particular crafts.
But you do need to want to give it a go. I am not saying that you have to be incredibly passionate about, say, knitting. But if you have no interest at all in the end product, it is not going to go well. And just because you can’t knit, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try crochet. Just because you can’t dressmake, doesn’t mean you can’t sew a cushion. Start small and work your way up or start big and hope for the best. But start.
*While it is lovely to hear that one is talented, those giving the praise must have no idea of the amazingly talented people there are out there. I do my best with the time I have and hope things turn out to be presentable.