Crafting 101: Methods & Materials

Crafting 101: Methods & Materials

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Arts and crafts projects can be extremely rewarding. These artistic pursuits allow you to express yourself creatively and often result in a final product that can be displayed, sold, or gifted to others. An abundance of online resources make it easier than ever to take up a new craft without investing in classes or training.


Are you looking for a new way to express your inventive impulses? Test out one or more of the following creative mediums to expand your artistic repertoire. 



If you love fancy soaps and enjoy chemistry projects, soapmaking just might be the right hobby for you. To begin making soap, you’ll need some basic equipment including goggles, gloves, pitchers, bowls, measuring cups, spatulas, ladles, and spoons. By chemically bonding oil and lye (sodium hydroxide), you’ll be able to create a sudsy, scented bar. You can choose from a number of oils for your soap, ranging from beeswax to shea butter. Essential oils and fragrances can also be added to create a more fragrant final product. Clays, minerals, herbs, and flowers can all be used to add natural color and texture to your soap. With a little bit of practice, you’ll be able to make a diverse assortment of beautiful, practical handmade soaps.



Did you love making friendship bracelets as a child? Do you feel the need to keep your hands busy while watching your favorite TV program? Those who enjoy such projects may be interested in taking up macramé. A trend in the 1970s, macramé is gradually making a comeback. This hobby involves knotting strings or cords into intricate, decorative patterns. After mastering the art of knotting you can set out to make anything from belts and bracelets to curtains and table runners. Only a few affordable tools are required to get started with this hobby. Visit your local craft store to pick up the required supplies.



Nowadays much of our daily photography remains on our phones or computers, rarely seeing the light of day. Instead of letting these great pictures go to waste, take up scrapbooking! All you need is an album, scrapbooking paper, scissors, adhesive, and a pen to get started. Visit a local crafting retailer or scrapbooking store to purchase paper and accessories that match the theme of your photos. If you’re looking to document your travels across the American West, you can purchase paper and stickers that depict road trips and scenery from Yellowstone National Park. A particularly wide assortment of supplies are available to those who want to scrapbook birthday pictures, weddings, and other common celebrations. Whether you’re looking to preserve your own travel memories or create a keepsake for a family member, scrapbooking can be a fun and thoroughly rewarding hobby. 


Coloring (Adult Coloring Books)

Many of us falsely believe that we lack artistic talents. Though this certainly isn’t true, these anxieties prevent many adults from pursuing new creative hobbies. If you’re hesitant to take up a big creative project, start small! Bookstores and other retailers now sell a wide assortment of coloring books specifically designed for adults. These books come in practically every theme and design imaginable, ranging from fantasy landscapes and abstract mandalas to cats and human anatomy sketches. Simply purchase a coloring book and a set of colored pencils, markers, or crayons to get started. Give yourself permission to use unusual color combinations and color outside of the lines. You’re more creative than you think!


Upcycling Projects

Did you know that you can save the environment while being creative? Upcycling, the process of transforming unwanted waste materials into new products, masterfully achieves both of these goals. Create a unique wall hanging from old t-shirts or denim. Transform burned-out lightbulbs into tiny hot air balloons that can be hung from your ceiling. Cut up an old globe and turn it into an artistic fruit bowl. Upcycling makes it possible to get creative in these ways and more. Tidy up your home and create something new through a few fun upcycling projects.


In Conclusion:

The world of crafting is extremely diverse. If none of these projects interest you, do some basic research to find a medium that better suits your needs. If you’re looking for a simple and elegant hobby, consider taking up calligraphy, for instance. If you like getting messy, experiment with clay or pottery. If you prefer to keep things simple and tidy, play around with photography. Unleash your creativity and calm your mind by taking up a new artistic project today!



Photo: (c) Vitaly /

Editor, 06/22/2017