Landscape painting is a popular craft
that allows artists to express their points of view about the scenery
Looking to give your creative side a bit of a workout? Can't remember the
last time you picked up a paintbrush or a needle and thread? Maybe it's time
to choose a craft and see what you can do with your hands, a few materials
and a bit of creativity. You may find a new hobby or a way to relax and
spend time with friends and family -- without investing a lot of money. You
may even discover some hidden talents and turn your crafting into a business
enterprise. As you try different craft projects, you're also sure to end up
with some decorative items you can use to brighten up your home or
But where to begin? There are countless types of crafts to try, from
needlework to painting, but for those unaccustomed to crafting, the sheer
number of choices can be overwhelming. Let's take a look at 10 popular types
of craft projects and get an idea of what you'll need to try each one. Read
on to discover how a simple craft project can become a family heirloom, and
why old, familiar craft projects are gaining steam with younger generations.
When you make a quilt, you're doing more than creating a fun craft. You're
also creating an object that brings warmth and comfort and that may even
serve as a family heirloom for future generations. Quilts are made from
small scraps or squares of fabric, which are often left over from worn-out
clothing, blankets or other items. Using these scraps, quilters can create a
work of art at little or no cost.
Quilts can be used for practical purposes, such as keeping you warm on a
cold night, but they're also quite sentimental objects. They're a way to
preserve and display special fabrics, such as baby blankets or wedding
gowns, and can be passed on and added to by each generation to extend the
family history. Family members may also join in to create a special quilt to
commemorate an occasion, such as a new baby or a marriage.
To get started with quilting, you need only a needle, thread and a bit of
fabric. As your skills improve, you can add filler to fluff up your quilt or
expand beyond the basic square pattern to create unique designs and shapes.
When you get really crafty with glue
and paper, you can make a likeness of your head.
Those looking to go green with their crafting activities may want to
consider giving papier-mâché a try. Made from strips of newspaper dipped in
glue, papier-mâché is a very inexpensive craft project, and it's also a fun
way to reuse your newspapers and magazines.
Using an inflated balloon as a base, papier-mâché crafters add layer after
layer of glue and paper to form objects like masks, sculptures and even
party piñatas. Once the glue dries, the papier-mâché forms a hard shell that
can be painted or left unfinished. You can also stick with brightly colored
magazine pages instead of newspaper to add color without painting.
This is a great craft for all ages, and it's especially fun for kids who
need to let loose and get a little messy. Parents will love papier-mâché for
its low cost and eco-friendly vibe.
- Holiday Crafts
No matter what your level of crafting ability, you've probably worked on
some type of holiday craft at some point in your life. With options ranging
from tree toppers to Valentine's hearts, there's a holiday craft for all
ages and abilities. This type of project is a staple in school art classes,
and it's also popular with homemakers and families looking for an affordable
and unique way to decorate.
These crafts may be as simple as a Thanksgiving turkey made from a tracing
of your hand to an elaborate centerpiece for your holiday table. Christmas
ornaments are another popular option, and these can be saved and reused year
after year. The best part about holiday crafting is that it doesn't have to
be expensive. Depending on your project, you can use almost any kind of
material, including paper, glitter and fabric, or even natural items like
pinecones, acorns, leaves and rocks.
- Jewelry Making
Some of the most treasured pieces of jewelry don't come in a blue box --
they come from the hands of a skilled bead crafter.
Jewelry is the ultimate type of wearable art, and jewelry making allows
crafters to display their creativity and skills for all to see. Jewelry
projects can range from the simple woven bracelet made at summer camp to the
elaborate beading done by the serious crafter.
Those interested in jewelry making can start with simple store-bought bead
kits available at most craft stores. For even more variety, consider making
your own personalized beads out of clay or painted ceramic. You can even
learn to cut and sculpt metal to create your own charms and designs.
Of course, the process of making jewelry is only half the fun. Much of the
excitement comes from wearing your creations out in public and having a
chance to express yourself through art. If you get really good, you can even
consider selling your creations at craft fairs or stores.
For many crafters, there's a certain romance associated with the image of
the painter at his easel. He can set up shop almost anywhere and capture the
beauty of a scene that we may or may not appreciate ourselves. Even if
you're not quite at this level yet, you'll find that painting is a craft
almost anyone can enjoy, from the finger-painting toddler to the artist with
Painters can choose from a wide variety of mediums, from watercolors to oil
paints applied to paper, canvas, wood or metal. These materials can be used
to paint an infinite variety of subjects, including landscapes, portraits or
scenes from the artist's imagination. Some crafters may paint to create the
next great work of art, while others simply enjoy the process. Whatever your
goal or skill level, you'll find painting among the most versatile types of
Like getting your hands dirty? You'll
Are you a person who likes to get your
hands dirty? If so, sculpting may be the craft for you. Sculptors use wet
clay to form works of art or practical items like bowls or pots. Beginners
form and shape the clay by hand, while professionals may use a tool called a
pottery wheel, which spins the clay as you use your hands to shape the
object. Depending on the type of projects you plan to work on, sculpting can
be done at home or in a pottery studio. Costs can vary depending on the clay
you work with and the complexity of your work.
One of the best things about sculpting is that it's accessible to all age
groups. Children use brightly colored clay to form animals and small toys,
while older crafters may sculpt dishes or mugs. Once the object has been
shaped, it may be fired in a kiln so that the clay will harden, then painted
or glazed to add color.
Even if your creative skills are limited, you'll likely enjoy the feeling of
wet clay between your fingers as you give sculpting a try.
Tired of browsing in clothing stores
and finding nothing that fits? Or even worse, are you sick of wearing what
everyone else is wearing because it's all that's available at the local
mall? Maybe it's time to take up sewing and learn to make your own clothes.
Not only can you create fashion that fits your personality, but you can also
save big bucks over store-bought clothing. Hand- or machine-sewn garments
that you make yourself are also the secret to great-fitting clothes,
especially for those whose bodies simply don't fit into standard sizes.
If you're new to sewing, start small. Try taking a class at your local
fabric store to learn basic sewing and embroidery techniques. Once you've
gotten the hang of things, find a simple pattern and some cheap fabric to
test your skills. After you've mastered making clothes you can wear, you may
find your designs are good enough to sell. Try crafting Web sites like
Etsy.com to set up a simple shop or to browse designs of other sewing fans.
The idea of sewing your own clothes may seem overwhelming at first, but
don't worry. Start small, and remember that the crafting process is half the
- Drawing and Sketching
Sketching requires minimal supplies --
just a sharp eye and steady hand.
Looking for a craft project that can be
done anywhere without a lot of expensive tools or equipment? Consider using
pencils, charcoal or even crayons to draw the things you see around you,
wherever you happen to be. You don't need to be a Picasso to enjoy this
simple craft. All you need is a willingness to give it a try and some simple
supplies, such as a sketchbook or drawing paper.
Drawing and sketching are the perfect crafts for every age group. Kids can
improve motor skills and color recognition while more advanced artists can
work on perspective, lighting, texture and dimension. One of the best things
about drawing, besides its low cost and versatility, is that there's always
something new to learn. You'll continue to master your craft over the years,
and your interest in subject matter may change with age. To get started with
drawing, pick a subject you like, and give it a try. If you find you're
having trouble, consider taking a basic drawing class at a local community
college or art center.
Knitting isn't just for grandmothers anymore. This popular needlecraft is
now popular with people of all ages, from teens to moms. Many bars and clubs
have their own knitting night, where customers can come together and knit
with friends in a fun, social environment.
The popularity of knitting spread as people began to discover just how fun,
yet challenging, this craft is. Basic knitting stitches are fairly easy to
learn, but mastering the art of knitting is something you can work on over a
lifetime. Simple projects like socks and scarves may be possible for most
knitters, but knitting your own Christmas sweater may take a few attempts.
As more people turn to knitting for both fun and practical purposes, many
are also discovering the joy of crocheting. Crafters use a crochet hook to
knit fabric together to form items like doilies and tablecloths. Like
knitting, it's easy to learn the basic steps, but it can take a while to
- Scrap booking
Making a scrapbook is a great way to display pictures from your cruise
around the Greek Isles.
With annual material sales of more than $2.5 billion in the United States
alone, scrap booking is arguably the most popular project for today's craft
fans [source: London Times]. Its staggering popularity is evidenced by the
wide availability of scrap booking supplies and materials in both craft
stores and big-box retailers.
Scrap bookers fill homemade books with photos, text and small mementos to
celebrate a special event or occasion. Once the fun of creating the
scrapbook is complete, crafters can keep the book on hand to preserve
treasured family memories. These projects are often used to commemorate a
vacation, wedding, graduation or other event, but scrapbooks may also be
created for no reason other than the fun of the craft itself.
Crafters can work on scrapbooks at craft stores or at home with family and
friends. A virtually unlimited variety of supplies are available to help,
including paper packs, die cuts, stickers, stamps and punch outs. Invite
your friends over to compare memories and select the very best mementos to
include in your project.
Bouchon, Jolene M. "Craft Trends of 2008." My Lifetime. Date Unknown. (Jan.
London Times Online. "Le Scrapbooking Takes France by Storm." Times Online.
Mar. 31, 2008. (Jan. 28, 2010).
Courtesy: Bambi Turner