I confess: I’m not craftsperson. I am in awe of the folks who spend hours cultivating an art. I am a rather inept practitioner of many a crafting art, and I am a dabbler. This summer, I have signed up for a blacksmithing course because I love the idea of pounding hot metal into shapes. Do I expect to become a proficient blacksmith? Likely not, but I expect to make a dinner triangle, likely the world’s most expensive dinner triangle.
If you – like me – are a wannabe craftsperson and would-be homesteader, here are some very, very easy crafts to begin with. If I can do them, you can too!
I love wool, and so far, wool mostly loves me. I really enjoy the squishy dough feeling of wet felting, in which you place soapy wool into hot and cold water with a bit of soap. Speaking of soap, wet felting is a great way to create soaps that come inside their very own scrub brush. If you’re feeling advanced and would like to poke wool with a needle, I also enjoy creating jewelry and tiny sculptures and toys with needle felting techniques.
The wonderful thing about crochet is that you can usually pick up yarn and a crochet hook or two at a thrift store. It’s an easy hobby to start. It’s also flexible. Unlike knitting, you don’t need to follow a pattern. I only do two crochet stitches: single and double crochet. I’ve discovered that this is enough for me. If your yarn is pretty, it doesn’t really matter what your stitches look like! Learn how to crochet, and make your own dish clothes, scarves, and even hats.
While sewing machines are sometimes beyond me, I grew up hand sewing. Having some basic mending techniques really helps when you’re trying to sew on a button or repair a small hole. While my mending might not be invisible, I can tuck in the sides of a skirt to make it skinnier for my daughter, and that helps our household function!
A good coat of paint can make your furniture look new again. Many of our household furniture items have come from my favorite store – the Side of the Road or one of my other favorite stores, Freecycle and Craigslist. With a coat of paint, I’ve turned a kitchen hutch into a play kitchen, fixed up my grandma’s old kitchen table into a crafting space, and made an old desk look new again.
It’s never to early to start crafting Christmas presents! Check out this economically priced ebook that has many great ideas! Pioneering Today-A Homemade Christmas
This one might seem random, but if you’re feeling crafty in the garden, willows are a very flexible and forgiving medium. Harvest branches in the spring time, stick them in the ground, and they’ll generally take root. Tie them together with string, and over time they will grow into shapes like a willow teepee for the kids. If you don’t like them, just take the strings off and retrain the branches.
I take classes for fun, or learn from a friend. Get together and make crafts without worrying what they look like. Last year I gave my daughter a lovely – er, ok, very amateur – basket that I wove at a basketry workshop. I like to think that she appreciated the effort. I am also ready to do things badly. Do it so badly that your child gives you pitying glances and then does it a lot better than you. And if you like it, do it again and again, and inevitably, you’ll probably get a little better. Probably. Perhaps.
If you’re starting out in the world of crafts, how do you quash the need to be perfect right away? What simple crafts do you enjoy?