I love writing about actual do-able things, accessible activities. Even in social distancing there are things we can enjoy doing. If you hit the like button it lets me know what you like reading!
Published May 23rd 2020
Make your home and your life brighter and warmer with crafts
Are you at home, suffering a restless mind and fidgety hands? Engage your mind and your hands with some home crafts like our grannies did before all the electronic distractions came along and emptied our brains and took away our manual dexterity. Turn off the noise and learn a craft! Many olden days crafts are very light on materials, but yield rewards for your time and consideration. Do expect to have to practice some skills before you can expect to be good at them, though.
Orange and Clove Pomander as a seasonal decoration. Image from Inhabitat
Try out the very simple but very rewarding Orange and Clove Pomander, using a firm orange and a lot of whole cloves, and very little else. These provide a natural, fresh, delicate fragrance, and with just a little forethought can be embellished with hooks or ribbons to hang them in your home. Have a look at a number of simple instructions such as She Knows, or The Old Farmer's Almanac, or Azure, or my favourite Inhabitat for suggestions and advice, and then leap in and give this very easy home craft a red-hot go! One tip to keep in mind is that if your orange skin is full of cloves as the orange dries out it will shrink and hold the cloves tighter together. Drying out the orange makes the pomander last a lot longer.
A tightly packed Orange and Clove Pomander. Image from Inhabitat
Lavender Potpourri is a lovely olden day favourite. Try out some simple directions to make your own Lavender Potpourri at home, such as the excellent and easy instructions given by Everything Lavender (are we surprised they know their lavender?).
Lavender comes in many varieties. Image from Everything Lavender.
You can't get much more old-school than beautiful Hand Embroidery! It looks amazing and you probably think you could never do it, but it's much easier than you've imagined. Put in a bit of practice and you can produce something to wow your friends with. Read through the very easy instructions given by the talented lady on Instructables Embroidery 101. If you prefer a video lesson in the basics of hand embroidery, of course, you will find it on YouTube: try this clear and easy guide by Bluprint in how to do a few of the most basic stitches you will need. You can easily find basic supplies you will need to get started at any craft store and many variety stores or else online.
Crochet will undoubtedly make you reminisce about an old lady you once knew, or make you nostalgic for simpler, more homely times. Crochet is one of the easiest handcrafts you can master with a bit of practice and patience at the beginning. Then let your imagination fun free as you crochet everything from beanies to coasters, eco-friendly dishcloths to decorative scarves and shawls, to soft toys, babies' blankets and dog jackets! When you have a bit more experience you can make your own beautiful baby clothing and accessories. Many free patterns are available such as this collection of gorgeous baby gear with free patterns from The Whoot! Best to start with something a bit simpler though and get some practice in. For an absolute beginners guide check out Bluprint Crochet for Beginners. Get creative with colour and pattern! If you want a YouTube video guide give GoodKnitKisses a go for a useful beginners guide to crochet. If you fancy crocheting your doggo buddy his or her own fashionable coats and vests there are some great free patterns at The Spruce Crafts. Even though our grannies would probably not have dressed up their pooches in crocheted coats.
Cute dog jacket. Image from The Spruce Crafts
Knitting is such a classic handcraft how could it not be on our list? EnvatoTuts offers a useful how-to page for beginners. WikiHow to Knit is another good guide to have a look at. Maybe one of the best pages is Martha Stewart's How to Knit. Of course, our friends at The Spruce Crafts have a very good Learn to Knit guide. Once you feel ready to expand your range a little try out some fancy stitch variations. A good guide here is 50 Knit Stitch Patterns for Beginners, to get you started. When you have the basics in hand, challenge yourself with something a bit special! For lots of free knitting patterns have a look at Laughing Hens cheerful page of inspiration and links to free patterns!
Instructables How to Quilt is a good place to start if you want to take up quilting, and what better way to add warmth and colour to your home this winter! Don't expect quilting to be a quick job, but if you want something worthwhile for your effort, this is a great project that will reward your time spent. WikiHow to make a Quilt is a good step by step guide for beginners. Fiskars also give a good guide to quilting.