We love crafting because...
1) Making things feels GREAT!
Creative activities produce dopamine, a feel-good chemical which acts as a natural anti-depressant. Every stage of crafting feels good for us - buying new supplies, anticipating a craft date, physically making something, learning how to improve, admiring our creation, sharing our successes and giving handmade items to friends and family. Happiness at every step!
2) Crafting is therapeutic.
It’s been scientifically proven that getting into the flow of creativity has multiple benefits for your mental health and wellbeing. Whether you’re physically expressing yourself through paint, moulding mud into ceramics or mindfully colouring in, you’re guaranteed to feel better having done something creative, therapeutic and relaxing with your hands!
3) Creativity is good for your brain.
Whether you’re solving a problem (wondering how the hell to attach a pompom to a keyring) or challenging yourself (like following a tricky knitting pattern) you’re helping develop the neuroplasticity of your brain. Neuroscientists have studied the effects of crafting on the brain, and found that creative pursuits can protect against the effects of ageing, and reduce your chances of developing mild cognitive impairment by 30% to 50%.
4) Creativity is good for your body.
Finicky projects enable you to develop your fine motor dexterity and hand-eye coordination, whilst larger scale creative projects like chainsaw carving and painting huge canvases increases your spacial awareness, your endurance and depending on how exuberantly you work, can be a workout! We’re sure Jackson Pollock worked up a sweat on his splatter-paintings...
5) Crafting is great for your social life.
Whether you create alone and share your creations with others who share your passion, or in a group where you’re meeting new people or spending time with friends, you’re developing social connectedness and friendships. I love when I’ve spent time with my friends making things we both cherish, then years later we remember the fun we had, or laugh at how it all went wrong at the time! Also, we’ve never had an awful person attend a Crafternoon - literally everyone who’s attended has been lovely, so our workshops are always full of great people and good vibes!
6) Creativity helps you to grow.
By creating, you’re always learning new skills, improving your artistic capabilities and gaining confidence in your ability to do things. You may paint every weekend, or have never picked up a paintbrush, and yet there’s something to be learnt every time you have a go, especially when guided by someone else or trying out a new technique or subject.
7) Crafting allows us time to switch off and live more slowly.
Crafting fits into the whole slow-living movement because it forces us to physically not be part of the fast-paced high-tech society that’s around us, and often allows us to reconnect with the roots of a material (e.g spinning your own yarn from wool) or a process (e.g weaving baskets and considering the many hundreds of years women before us have woven baskets to aid with hunting and gathering).
8) Crafting boosts our self-esteem.
Anyone (even those who think they’re “not creative”) can craft. You don’t need to be artistic to wield a glue-gun, you needn’t have 20/20 vision to try fabric-dying, and you can be as clumsy as anything and still be able to weave. What you make may not be perfect, but it’s made by YOU, and you are awesome, thus your creation is awesome and worthy and absolutely made with love!
9) Craft can save the world.
Upcycling old items to give them a new lease of life is one way we can work towards reducing waste, reusing items and recycling materials so we have less of an impact on our planet. There are also numerous craft movements helping to rid the world of waste, like Boomerang Bags, and some great resources on how to craft more sustainably!
10) Craft can change the world.
Craftivism, or the use of craft as a gentle form of activism, is a growing phenomenon which is making actual ripples in real-world problems. The Craftivist Collective have made Marks & Spencers pay their suppliers a living wage by stitching hankies, Tal Fitzpatrick’s quilt for the Prime Minister begs things like “PMPLZ ed homelessness”, and microRevolt’s Nike Blanket Petition, knitted over 5 years, protested for fair payment for sweat-shop workers.
I’m sure there are more reasons why crafting is the best, and I’d love to hear why you choose to make, and why you think it’s so bloody awesome too!
Love and creativity, Stacey from My Crafternoons xXx