Crafts Month ideas and links
For some weird reason, this didn’t post when it was scheduled so even though it’s no longer crafts month, I’m posting it anyway. After all, far be it from me to think that we should only be saluting crafting in March!
As you know if you read this blog much, crafting is my middle name.
When Corey introduces me to someone, she’ll often say, “Don’t stand too close or she’ll decoupage you!”
And it’s true.
Most people look at a bottle cap, a broken chair or a random piece of plastic and see—a bottle cap, broken chair and a piece of plastic.
I look at these objects and see possibility.
Over the years I’ve been at it, I’ve seen many craft fads come and go. Macramé immediately springs to mind.
Right now, happily, re-use crafts are growing in popularity, as is trading materials and more eco-friendly art supplies.
In honor of the month, I thought I’d share some of my favorite ideas, tips and resources in the hope they may inspire you.
Fabulous book: Green Guide for Artists. It’s jam packed with recipes for making non-toxic art supplies and materials as well as resources for eco-conscious artists. For me, making paints and glues can be just as much fun as working on projects.
Idea sources: I generally craft based on the materials I have so if I’m totally stumped on what to do, I’ll first run a search on the item plus crafting, for example, “tin can crafting.” This alone is often enough to give me a creative kick.
If that doesn’t work, I’ll hit one or more of these sites:
- Etsy (search for “green,” “sustainable,” or “eco”
- Crafting a Green World (love some of their ideas, but unfortunately they are in the one-photo, one page mode so I don’t visit as often as other sites)
- Fave Crafts
Books, magazines and free downloads: I also get inspiration from perusing books and magazines (some about crafting and some not), and loved these free PDF excerpts of craft books from North Light. (This link may go belly up after 3-12.)
Craft for others: I love the idea of crafting and giving away what I make, so I was captivated by the organization Craft Hope. This terrific non-profit allows crafters to put their talents to the use for the greater good by contributing items to be distributed to the less fortunate.
Tools: I’ve discovered that the proper tool actually can make a project go more smoothly. (What a concept!) Sometimes it pays to purchase, but often, a friend will have an implement I can borrow for a single project. Before I started asking, I was guilty of buying every shiny new tool I thought I “needed.” Many, I’m ashamed to say, I used once so am happy to lend. If I lived in a craft-centric area (a condo building would be perfect for this), I’d start a craft tool lending library.
Stage a daylong craft retreat: If you’re lucky enough to have a bunch of crafty friends or wannabees, why not get together for a day long no-waste green crafting extravaganza.
Ask everyone to bring a box of whatever items they want—paper, ephemera, and odds and ends. Activities can include:
- making non-toxic paints, dyes or glues (see book recommendation above)
- timed crafting where you set the clock for 15 minutes, pick a “theme,” i.e. “birds,” and everyone digs in and sees what they can come up with.
- viewing an instructional DVD
- craft from a different perspective, i.e. sitting on the floor, lying down, using your left hand only
- “craft” something edible
- make gifts or a group item to donate to a nursing home, children’s facility, hospital etc.
If you’re a green crafter, please share your favorite ideas.
Lynn Colwell and Corey Colwell-Lipson are mother and daughter and authors of Celebrate Green! Creating Eco-Savvy Holidays, Celebrations and Traditions for the Whole Family, and founders of Green Halloween®.