There seems to be something innate in human beings that makes us want to create. Whether it’s baking cupcakes or creating a beautiful knitted shawl it seems that, at one time or another, almost everyone gets into hobbies or crafts. Personally my fascination with all things handmade began very early on when I discovered my love for stickers and stationary, and then with beads. I’ve been making items by hand for a very long time, and there are few crafts I don’t do. But when it comes to knowing where to start your local craft store might seem a little overwhelming. Not to worry; below are my top three picks for great beginner crafts.
I say elastic jewelry instead of just plain jewelry for several reasons, but mainly because it’s the easiest form of jewelry to create. Elastic jewelry gets a bad reputation sometimes as many people seem to associate it with childish creations. However, we live in a time now where elastic jewelry is becoming more of a fashion statement and less of a fashion faux pas. People are figuring out that you can make some beautiful items with elastic cord and beads. Almost anyone can string beads and tie a knot, meaning just about anyone can make elastic bracelets and necklaces. What do you need to get started?
- Clear elastic cord
- Beads of your choice
- A tube of super glue if you want to secure knots with it
Christmas is one of my favorite holidays of the entire year, and not just because it’s great for making crafts and giving them as gifts. I absolutely love painting plaster and ceramics, and it’s usually around Christmas when the majority of these crafts pop up at places like Michael’s and Hobby Lobby. From cute little post office shop replicas to scenes of people ice skating on a pond to Christmas ornaments you can find white plaster shaped as almost anything, just waiting for paint. Most people learn how to paint – at least at an elementary level – when they are quite young in school, so it’s not something that has to be learned from scratch. You’ll have to use smaller brushes and learn how to paint in detail, but you can still create some beautiful items. Here’s what you’ll need.
- A plaster scene, ornament, or other item you’d like to paint
- A set of fine-tip paint brushes (a basic paintbrush set will be fine)
- Paints of your choice
- Toothpicks (I use them for small details like eyes.)
If you want to get into needle arts, start with needlepoint. Cross stitch, embroidery, knitting, and crochet are all wonderful crafts, and I do them all. But needlepoint is fairly simple and straightforward and will introduce you to the world of needle arts without making you want to tear your hair out. In needlepoint you get a blank canvas that is colored. It looks like a picture with holes in it. Using a “forward slash” stitch you simply look at the colors, use the corresponding thread, and fill it in with stitches. Most needlepoint beginners start with a kit. Here are my tips for picking out your very first needlepoint kit.
- Start small. The bigger kits may look impressive, but even sorting the colors can be confusing in the larger kits. Start with something less imposing, no bigger than a 5 x 5 inch piece.
- Pick one with few colors. The more colors you have the more confusing it gets. I’ve worked on needlepoint kits that had five shades of green, and the green colors on the canvas were all but indistinguishable. When you get more experienced you’ll be able to sort it out more easily, but start with a kit that only has a few colors.
- Choose a kit that doesn’t require finishing. In other words choosing a needlepoint kit like Alice Peterson’s Stitch & Zip kits is a better idea than choosing a pillow face that you’ll have to sew together into another project later.
I hope this has provided you with some insight into a good starting point for your crafting journey. For me, there’s nothing quite as amazing as being able to make something by hand and pass it on to my friends and family. I have sold my handmade crafts for a few years, as well, and being able to earn money doing what I love is great, too. But to be completely honest my favorite items I’ve ever made are the ones I gave away or kept, because they were more personal. I hope you find a craft you love and continue learning indefinitely!