I recently had an experience where I realized the importance of arts and crafts. I was at a birthday party sitting around a table with a few friends. I heard my mom walking toward my table. She said, “Look at them! Not even talking! I’m going to take them a picture.” Six millennials sitting around a table in silence would be on their phones updating their Twitter profiles or uploading selfies to Instagram, right? Not quite. There we were looking down at our masterpieces. Spread throughout the table were paintbrushes, watercolor paints, and paper. My mom expected to catch us all on our phones avoiding real life interaction with each other, but instead she found us bonding over a common interest we didn’t know we had before. Okay, I’ll admit we did bring out our phones to Google ideas. The point is we didn’t really need social media or texting. As simple as it sounds, we were happy to be sitting together painting in silence. We were enjoying the moment.
Working at an elementary school taught me the love of crafts. I found myself investing time and effort into things like Presidents day hats for the kids to wear or cutting out intricate snowflakes to hang on the ceiling. Oh, and glitter. All the beautiful, shiny glitter! There’s nothing more satisfying than seeing a project shine bright. The connection made with a child during craft time is irreplaceable. You work together to accomplish something that brings a smile to their faces.
Whether you’re painting with friends or making a turkey out of a toilet paper roll with your kids, crafting can give you some time to unplug from stress. Finished products give a sense of accomplishment. No matter what the project is there is satisfaction in seeing the process unfold. For a moment, social validation is not needed. We aren’t vying for the most likes on Facebook. We are working toward releasing the creativity trapped in our mind.
There are so many different ways to celebrate the art of crafting. If you’re unsure where to start, here is a list of things you might need to spark the imagination. You might have something lying around your house to get you started. Just remember to find what works for you.
Paint – You can paint almost anything! There is even fabric paint. Just choose an item and find the right paint for it. You can paint mugs, t-shirts, flowerpots, canvases, and regular paper.
Paper – Construction paper, cardstock, and tissue paper are the basics. Paper is the foundation for crafting with kids.
Popsicle sticks – Also known as craft sticks. They come in different sizes and colors. If you’re looking to make a picture frame for Mother’s Day or a bird house for the Spring, craft sticks are a great way to start.
Pens, pencils, and markers – These are to decorate your crafts or simply sign your name on them.
Glitter – Isn’t this one self-explanatory? Glitter is the sprinkles on cupcakes. The whip cream on a Frappuccino. Throw it on anything and everything to give it the perfect finishing touch.
This list is limited but there is so much imagination that can be used with ENDLESS materials, tools, colors and textures. You can even recycle to create something beautiful as we do with The Orphaned Earring, and our favorite way to use crafting? That would be to bring healing, love and fun to all the children we help.
So go out there and discover the fun and healing world of crafting!