Crafting can be incredibly helpful and beneficial to those suffering with mental health issues or even those of us who just feel stressed out and overworked from time to time. Life can be hard and sometimes we need to let our inner child come out to play…
The word ‘craft’ for me immediately conjures up memories of being 6 years old at school, covered in glitter and paint, fingers stuck together with glue, whilst our teacher rolls her eyes at the utter mess her class has created in an hour. It seems that we tend to associate arts and crafts with children; colouring books, finger painting, papier-mâché – but who says that getting creative and messy has to end once you leave school?
We’re not given much time to enjoy being children. We’re forced into deciding who and what we want to be when we’re 14 years old; choosing our GCSE’s which then lead us onto A-Levels and, for some, university degrees. We’re constantly being told to prepare for the next stage in our lives which gives us little time to fully appreciate just how great it is to be a kid with no commitments, no bills to pay and no job to go to. It’s quite possibly the reason why so many adults are now taking up arts and crafts in order to relax and de-stress.
Colouring books have made a huge comeback and I’ve often spotted adults colouring-in on my morning commute, trying to stay within the lines as the train rocks us from side to side. Scrapbooks and mood boards have become popular again as many millennials are choosing to ditch the endless scrolling and over-complicated apps. It’s fun and creative, and more than anything it’s personal. Because as much as we may think our Pinterest boards are the nuts, the chances are there are several thousand other people using the same images and ideas for their weddings or birthday parties.
Cross-stitch, embroidery and knitting are fast re-emerging as popular hobbies and there are cafés and clubs all over London encouraging people to pick up a needle and thread and get creative. Café and bar DRINK, SHOP & DO host several different craft classes each month such as bookbinding, knitting, jewellery making, embroidery and card making. My local council has even started encouraging people to join art classes in the area, so as to help people feel part of a community, and to get people talking and socialising with others.
I recently began teaching myself to embroider and have found it so therapeutic that I have started sewing almost every day. It really helps me when I’m feeling anxious or stressed. After making a few pieces I had friends putting in their requests for personalized hoops and have found myself becoming part of an ever-growing crafting community on Instagram and Etsy.
Crafting doesn’t need to be expensive and it certainly doesn’t need to be professional – it’s meant to be a way for you to put your feelings into something tangible. Why not buy a cheap set of paints and see what you create on paper? How about embroidering a top for a friend’s birthday? What about making your own soaps and bath bombs as Christmas presents?
Whatever you decide to do, make sure you enjoy it. Get sticky and messy – it’ll leave you feeling great!
Where: DRINK, SHOP & DO
When: 3rd February 2018
How much: £20
Booking & info: drinkshopdo.co.uk/whats-on
Where: Tea & Crafting (Covent Garden)
When: 15th May 2018
How much: £35
Booking & info: teaandcrafting.co.uk
Where: Craftivist Collective
When: Various dates
How much: £12 (All profits go to Mind, The Mental Health Charity)
Booking & info: craftivist-collective.com
Where: I Knit London
When: 17th February 2018
How much: £35
Booking & info: iknit.org.uk
Where: Secret London Venue (Print Jam)
When: 24th February 2018
How much: £35
Booking & info: eventbrite.co.uk/e/print-jam-night-social
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