Have you always wanted to gear up your creative wheels but often lacked the motivation? Or have you always wanted to start an art project but had no idea where to start? If so, or if you just want to try making stuff, you should take part in the upcoming National Crafting Month.
What is this month about? And what is so special about it? Keep on reading to learn more about this exciting annual celebration.
National Crafting Month!
March is National Crafting Month! This is a time where we all come together to celebrate our love of crafting. Whether you’re a knitter, quilter, sewer or just like to dabble in a little bit of everything, there’s something for everyone during this month-long celebration.
Each year, we celebrate the end of winter by showing all the crafts we’ve created for the month of March. Yes, National Crafting Month takes place every March. That said, you have about six months from today to find inspiration and warm up your fingers before the craft month arrives. And to make it even more festive, we also celebrate National Kids Craft Day on March 14 annually.
What is the definition of Crafts?
Before we jump right into the topic of National Crafting Month, let’s talk about the craft itself.
Crafting is a form of art that involves making things by hand. While the definition can vary depending on who you ask, most people would agree that crafting is an activity that requires skill and precision. It can be used to create everything from artwork to everyday items like furniture and clothing.
The word Craft used to mean skills
When we hear the word craft, what pops up in our head are creative, handmade, or do-it-yourself (DIY) activities such as knitting, crocheting, pottery making, painting on various mediums, clay art, jewelry making, scrapbooking, embroidery, lace making, and other similar types of art. However, if we look back to the past, the word craft used to mean something more than that. It was a term that was used to describe skills in carpentry, engine repairing, pottery making, and many more technical activities. In fact, there used to be a lot of guilds where people with these “craft” skills got together to produce products according to their abilities.
The craft that we know today may be different from what it used to be, but the spirit remains the same. It is the art of creating something with our hands, and the results can be as varied and unique as possible.
Arts and Crafts
Many people, both kids and adults of all ages, love arts and crafts. Making crafts is a fun, relaxing, and even therapeutic activity. This love for handicraft is the reason why we have National Craft Day and Craft Month to celebrate. It doesn’t matter what field of art you focus on, the important thing is to take advantage of the celebration by being more productive (in a creative way) and join all the fun!
History of National Crafting Month
We can’t talk about National Crafting Month without talking about the founder of the celebration. Let’s go back to 1994. This is the year where the Craft & Hobby Association first established National Crafting Month.
At the beginning of the establishment, the main purpose of having this National Crafting Month was to raise awareness among the American people and to drive creative individuals so they were inspired to try their hands at various art and craft activities. By trying different projects and using different mediums – from quilting with fabric to painting on ceramic, and from crocheting a tablecloth to designing paper mache – kids and adults were expected to find what type of handcraft they really loved and enjoyed doing.
The Craft & Hobby Association
Through the years, the love for arts and crafts keeps growing and getting stronger. The Craft & Hobby Association has developed and evolved into the Association for Creative Industries, or AFCI. Their role and purpose have also advanced. Other than raising awareness and inspiring people, they have also become the heart of a global community. They invite people to learn, connect and discover their creative side.
AFCI also supports the global creative industry. In today’s world, creating handmade crafts is not only a hobby for young kids or stay-at-home moms. It is proven that we can make money through handicrafts, too. Many businesses and companies now thrive in the creative industry and AFCI regularly sponsors events and exhibitions that are held annually for the industry. Through these events, these companies have a chance to gather, promote and introduce their work and business.
Why we love National Craft Month?
The National Craft Month has been around for more than twenty years, so there must be a legit reason why many people (including us!) love it and keep it alive until now. Other than the ever-growing love for arts and crafts itself, here we have compiled some of the reasons Craft Month and Craft Day is not going away anytime soon.
It gives us a chance to stop procrastinating
Have you ever started working on a creative project but never finished it? Well, we have many times. It is not that we don’t want to finish it, but sometimes we lack the motivation and, let’s admit it, we all need constant motivation.
There are times when we blame it on our busy life – homework, exams, sports, all the other things that take up so much of our time. And the longer we hit the pause button on our creative project, the more we lose interest. So many projects we started are left to dust in the closet or attic. It’s so sad, isn’t it? And the truth is it’s not that we do not have the time, but we do not make the time.
With National Craft Month around, we can get the motivation we need. It gives us a timeline and deadline. To some people, working with a deadline proves to increase productivity and inspiration. On the other hand, the celebration provides us with a sense of togetherness because many people from different backgrounds and ages also join in the celebration. This can be the boost that we need to get going again, plan our day and time better, and finish the project that we can be proud of.
5 Ways to Get the Most Out of March
National Crafting Month is the perfect time to try something new. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced crafter, there’s always something new to learn. In honor of National Crafting Month, we’ve put together a list of our favorite tips and Ways to Get the Most Out of March.
1. Watch tutorial videos:
There’s no better way to learn than by watching someone else do it. Tutorial videos are a great way to get started with a new craft, and there are plenty of them online.
2. Join a crafting group:
There’s nothing like learning from other crafters. Joining a crafting group is a great way to get tips and advice, as well as make some new friends.
3. Get inspired:
Pinterest is a great source of inspiration for crafters. Whether you’re looking for ideas for a new project or just want to see what others are making, Pinterest is a great place to start.
4. Take classes:
If you really want to learn a new craft, take a class. There’s no better way to learn than from a pro.
5. Get organized:
Crafting can be messy, but it doesn’t have to be. Get yourself some crafting storage containers and keep your supplies organized so you can find them when you need them.
It is a fun, exciting way to bring people together
Let’s talk more about the sense of togetherness. After the global coronavirus pandemic, it is very natural that we want to spend more and more time with other people. We want to see our beloved ones. We also long to meet new people. So take advantage of the celebration of National Crafting Month as a way to get together with your friends and family, and even make new friends.
If you are up for it, you can throw a little get-together at your house, or at your friend’s place, where you and your friends can work on your projects. Maybe you and your friends can create one big project together, maybe you can each create your own smaller projects. Ask more friends to join, too. The more the merrier, and you can get to know more people in the neighborhood.
By being together, supporting each other, giving feedback and ideas to each other, we’re sure you and your friends will be more motivated to keep working on your creative art projects. Don’t forget to give compliments to each other’s work too, because it will make everybody feel good and appreciated. In the end, a good mood will help you all finish more art projects together.
Handmade Crafts are great for gifts
Your handmade crafts are not only meant to be kept in your private collection. You can give them away to people around you! For example, you can give your parents a couple of mugs that you painted yourself. If you have an older sister, you can give her a pair of handmade earrings. And if one of your aunts, or your friend’s mother, is expecting a baby, you can knit a pair of cute baby socks.
We are pretty sure these gifts will delight them on their special days. On the other hand, you can also create gifts for your friends on any day of the week. You can try giving hand-painted sneakers, an embroidery to hang on their bedroom wall and many other ideas that suit your skills and interests. This little surprise from you will surely make their day and make them feel special.
In a way, giving a handmade gift is considered to be more thoughtful. Many people tend to appreciate it more because the person who gave it to them had spent a lot of time and energy preparing something special for them. And it is even more special because it’s the kind of gift that money can’t buy.
So these were some of the main reasons why everyone loves National Crafting Month. It gives us motivation, it gets us together and it can help us show our love to others in a creative way.
How to celebrate National Crafting Month
There is no one right way to celebrate art and craft month. We have one simple tip, though, that is to start as early as possible. It is very unlikely that you can finish a lot of projects in a single week, let alone a couple of days. That’s why the celebration lasts a month long. Of course, you can look at the craft month as a finish line, so you can have a head start, start working on your projects right now, and utilize the month of March to showcase and share all your finished work.
Whether you start today or on the first day of March, here are some ideas you can try to celebrate National Crafting Month and make it even more fun, as recommended by Association for Creative Industries.
Find the right craft for you.
There are so many different crafts to choose from, it can be hard to decide which one is right for you. That’s why it’s important to do a little bit of research before you get started. Find out what kinds of things you like to make and what materials you need to get started. You might also want to check out some online tutorials or join a crafting group on social media. That way, you can get some tips and advice from other crafters who are just as passionate about crafting as you are.
Choose the right time to craft.
Some crafts are best done in certain seasons or at certain times of the year. For example, quilting is a great winter hobby because you can work on projects while you’re cozied up by the fire. If you’re a knitter, you might want to wait until the fall when it’s cooler out and you can knit without overheating. It’s important to consider the time of year and what you’ll be working with before choosing a craft.
Set some goals.
One of the best things about crafting is that there’s no wrong way to do it. You can make whatever you want, however you want. However, that doesn’t mean that it can’t be fun to set some goals for yourself. Maybe you want to make a quilt top in March or crochet a scarf by the end of the month. Whatever your goal may be, setting some structure can help make the crafting process more enjoyable.
Use the right materials.
One of the best things about crafting is that you can use whatever materials you have on hand. However, if you want to create something specific, it’s important to use the right materials. For example, if you’re quilting, you’ll need fabric, batting and a sewing machine. If you’re knitting, you’ll need yarn and knitting needles. Make sure to read the instructions carefully and gather all of the necessary materials before beginning your project.
Crafting is supposed to be fun, so make sure to enjoy yourself while you’re at it. Try new things, experiment with different materials and have a blast while you’re crafting. After all, that’s what National Crafting Month is all about!
The most important thing when it comes to crafting is having fun. After all, crafting is all about enjoying the process of making something beautiful.
Create a budget and set your priorities.
One of the best things about crafting is that it’s a relatively affordable hobby. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t spend a little bit of money on supplies from time to time. That’s why it’s important to create a budget and set your priorities.
If you’re on a tight budget, consider focusing on one or two crafts that you really enjoy and investing in quality supplies for those crafts. You might also want to look for deals online or at your local craft store.
On the other hand, if you have a little bit more money to spend, you can try out a variety of different crafts. Just make sure to set some limits and be mindful of how much you’re spending.
No matter what you decide, make sure to have fun with your crafting!
Consider what type of space you have to work with.
When it comes to crafting, having the right space is key. If you don’t have a lot of room in your home, consider using a crafting table or an area in your garden. Alternatively, you could invest in a crafting storage unit to store all of your supplies.
No matter what type of space you have to work with, make sure that it’s comfortable and organized. This will make the crafting process much more enjoyable.
Try something new.
This is the time to dare yourself and try working on a new medium. With all the support from everyone around you, and also basically from everyone who joins the craft month, you will be more driven and inspired. And you know what? This can be a good place to start working on something you have always wanted to try.
Do you like making clay arts and think that your masterpiece could use a nice, artsy wooden frame? Or do you have your eyes on those stylish tie-dye T-shirts you could wear to school? Then, go for it. You can even get your parents on board to help you out if you find difficulties at the beginning. And who knows? You might fall in love with a different type of craft!
Experiment with different colors.
Take a look at your previous and current art projects, you might find that your work is dominated by similar shades of color. If you like blue and white, most of your work is likely in blue and white. If your favorite colors are red and yellow, you will be inclined to keep using red and yellow as your main colors.
During National Crafting Month, why don’t you give yourself a little challenge? Try making crafts using colors that are different from what you are used to. Other than giving you a new perspective on what you can achieve, it can also help make your gallery of work more diverse, more colorful, and more beautiful to look at.
Let your work see the light of the day
Why keep your work to yourself when you can show it off to the world? It is not uncommon that many arts and creative communities hold small events or exhibitions during National Crafting Month in March. Go online, find an event near your house, check out their requirements and sign yourself up if your work meets their requirements.
Before the event, prepare a name card or flyers about you and your area of expertise to help boost your exposure. This way, more people will become aware of your hobby, talent, and craftwork. They might even contact you if they have a craft project in mind in the future. You can also connect with other artists at the event or exhibition, so you get to know more like-minded people. Who knows, you can collaborate on future projects, right?
Everyone Is Not Ready to Promote Themselves
However, we understand that not everyone is ready to go out there and promote themselves in public. If you are still struggling with public displaying and public speaking, worry not, you can always show your work by utilizing the internet. Take a lot of pictures of your projects and create an online gallery of yours. You can make a Tumblr blog, sign up on Pinterest or create an Instagram account. Then, create a Twitter account and join different art and craft communities so you can share your work with their members. It is more or less similar to displaying your work in an event, but you just have to be more proactive in approaching the communities.
We know there are dozens of other ways you can celebrate National Crafting Month. You can use the month to completely focus on finishing your art projects if you prefer that. You can also come up with ideas like creating your own arts and crafts club at school or maybe at the art supplies store you always visit. After all, this is a month to be creative. So, go crazy and make all your out-of-the-box ideas come true!
Five amazing facts about the craft of scrimshaw
Previously, we have talked about trying something new in the next National Crafting Month. Now we will be talking about a type of craft that you may not have heard before. It is the craft of scrimshaw. Here is 5 Facts about Scrimshaw.
- Scrimshaw is a form of art that involves the carving of ivory, bone, or other materials.
- The carvings are often intricate and detailed, and can depict scenes from everyday life, historical events, or mythical creatures.
- Scrimshaw was originally a form of maritime art, created by sailors as a way to pass the time while at sea.
- The craft has since evolved and been used to create pieces of art in a variety of different mediums.
- Scrimshaw is considered an important part of American history and has been featured in museums and galleries around the world.
Now relax and read on, we are going to tell you everything you need to know about this centuries-old art.
What is scrimshaw?
Back in the day, scrimshaw was only done by seamen who captured whales. They did not want to waste any part of the whale, so they took their bones, baleen, and teeth, and carved them to kill their time while on the sea. Other than whales, the sailors also used the ivory of walruses. Along the way, they also used elephant ivory as a medium for their scrimshaws.
But how do you make scrimshaws? First, you prepare the medium, then you engrave fine lines on the surface of the medium to create an image. One thing to remember is to be careful and meticulous, so each image looks real. You can engrave any image of your preference on the scrimshaw medium. If you want to stay true to the ancient scrimshaw art, you can carve navel images such as ships, ocean maps, famous sailors, famous decks, and many more.
What tools do you use to create scrimshaws?
The seamen of the past used anything they could find to carve their medium, but mostly they used some kind of rough needle. Modern scrimshaw artists, on the other hand, do not have access to that kind of needle, so they choose tools that are more easily produced and accessible to them. These modern artists use tools that are similar to a dentist’s drill and pick. These tools are believed to have better control, so the artists can engrave finer lines on the medium to make their image smoother and more detailed.
Is it legal to create scrimshaws?
Our modern society and government have banned the use of whale bones, baleen, and teeth. It is because we need to protect the whales, and other animals such as elephants and walruses whose body parts used to be used for scrimshaw, from extinction.
Yet, there is no limitation when it comes to arts and creativity. A material called Micarta was created and this is what modern scrimshaw artists now use. Micarta is made of composites of linen, canvas, and other fabric. The material works in a very similar way as the original scrimshaw materials, but it is definitely more sustainable and environment-friendly.
How to take care of scrimshaws?
When we are talking about the scrimshaws of the old times, we have got a piece of valuable advice from Gary Kiracofe. Gary Kiracofe is a scrimshaw artist, or scrimshander, from Nantucket, Massachusetts, whose carvings are known for being very fine, detailed, and realistic. His work is mostly inspired by local landmarks around him – including lighthouses, churches, bridges, and many more. He was in the scrimshaw business for around forty years, craving and selling finished products in his store, Door County Scrimshanders.
The artist suggests that scrimshaw collectors should utilize baby oil, fill it into the hollow part of the medium and let it be absorbed into the microscopic pores of the tooth, ivory, or bone. This is to keep the old-aged medium last longer.
Ancient scrimshaws vs. modern scrimshaws
We have learned that modern scrimshaws do not use animal body parts anymore, but beyond the medium, are there any other differences in the scrimshaws that we know today? Yes, there is. The difference can be seen in the production stage of the scrimshaw pieces.
With the help of technology, modern scrimshaws can now be mass-produced. Many traditional scrimshanders do not really agree with this production system. They believe that mass production takes away the uniqueness of each scrimshaw piece. Since each piece’s uniqueness is one of the scrimshaw’s main selling points, they also believe that today’s scrimshaws have lower values compared to the original ones.
So, are you interested in trying your hands on the craft of scrimshaw? If you are, we encourage you to always be careful when using the tools. To keep yourself safe, you can also ask your parents or guardians to be present so they can help you out when you use the sharp tools.
Wrap Things Up
Next year’s National Crafting Month begins on Tuesday, March 1, 2022. Meanwhile, National Kids Craft Day takes place on Monday, March 14, 2022. Prepare yourself as early as possible and set a personal goal to achieve the creative results you have always dreamed of.
If you are interested in other, more specific types of craft, other art-related celebrations are also available to keep your hands busy and your mind focused. To celebrate National Sewing Month in February, National Sewing Day on June 13, and National Button Day on November 16.
Are you excited to welcome all these celebrations? Go all out and do the best you can. But, remember, the most important thing is to have fun and be proud of what you achieve. There is no need to be all competitive. Be supportive and help each other, instead. That way, you can enjoy the celebration with your beloved friends and family while also keeping your creative soul fired up. We can’t wait to see all your amazing handmade creations!
Do you have any questions about arts and crafts? If so, we encourage you to leave a comment below.