There are about a million (that’s an accurate number, promise) websites telling people how to get into crafting which suggest some basic first projects. I’ve been looking for something simple to get into so that I could either do it at my desk during my lunchbreak, or just simply see a project from start to end without it taking so long that I get bored before the glue has dried. The trouble is, most of the suggestions out there are rubbish. The really simple ones are usually tailored at kids, and though I’m not adverse to some things recommended for children (sugary pain medication for instance), there is only so far you can kid yourself that you need a lion face made from kitchen roll tubes in your adult flat.
Other suggestions can only be described as the double C: Crap Crafts. Yes, a decorative cuff made from leftover curtains with a giant button sewn to the top may be easy to make, but who really wants one? As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve made stuff in the past which was fun to make, but isn’t really my style, and the result is only ever clutter.
With this in mind, I’ve searched alternative craft-inspiring websites such as Pinterest, and combined with some of my own ideas I have put together five suggestions of easy introductory crafts that people might actually want in their homes.
Cork planter magnets:
These are probably the easiest of the lot, and arguably the most fun seeing as wine consumption is necessary for getting hold of the main item. You take a wine cork (or a few if you really like a drink), and where the hole is from the corkscrew, make this a little bigger and insert the cutting of a small-sized plant with a bit of soil. It can be anything that grows indoors, though finding a plant which doesn’t require a lot of room is key. Once done, glue a small magnet to the back and put on the fridge door!
Jewellery making is so wide ranging it gives you the chance to make something of virtually any style. I really like using wire – it comes in lots of colours and you can wrap it around particular stones you like, thread it through beads, or get even more creative and use it to string an even smaller craft piece into something you can wear. I did this by making a set of tiny fairytale books bound in string (less than half an inch in size) and threaded the wire through to transform it into a necklace. The possibilities here are endless, and gives you the opportunity to expand into more difficult styles as you progress.
These are great for kids’ bedrooms, garden parties and any other dark space you’d like to make mystical and basically very pretty. Take an empty jar (acquiring a few of different sizes to display together is a good idea), cut off the end of a glowstick, and empty the liquid into the jar by shaking it and covering the insides in little splatters of glow in the dark liquid. Wait until it’s dark and switch the lights off to see the magic!
Extra tip: use old jam jars and other recyclable glass containers for added environmentally-friendly points.
Natural and rustic photo frames:
There are two ways to make these, depending on preference. You can either take an empty picture frame – no glass/plastic or picture – just the frame. Or, for a more rustic look, find four tree branches or twigs consisting of equal sized pairs and tie the ends together with plain string to make a rectangular frame. You can also make the rectangle shape by hammering nails into each corner, though string is arguably easier. Next, take more string and tie it across the frame to create rows of mini washing lines. Once these are tied tightly in place you can attach photos or pictures using the tiny wooden craft pegs, which are available in most craft stores. Experiment with different coloured string and paint the frames for various looks too.
It’s the old classic, and so simple. Rummage through your wardrobe for some old tshirts or dresses you no longer want, but like the print of, and cut into squares large enough to make either side of a cushion cover. If you own smaller garments you’d like to use but wouldn’t be big enough, cut them up and add decorate patches to a plain cover. Patterns and designs are easy to find online, but if you’re sewing by hand then precision isn’t always everything, just make sure you measure the material to fit the cushion at the beginning.