Five crafts to try in lockdown
Whatever your current situation is, the 'c' word has turned everyone's world upside down. Between having an immunocompromised partner and being put on a rotating furlough, crafting has kept me sane in these unprecedented times. Whether you're looking for something easy and relaxing to do after a crazy shift or you're in need of something to fill the time, I've put together five easy crafts you can try out to help keep you sane too.
Whilst knitting is a craft that might make you think of your grandma, it's a really relaxing and almost mediative craft that's perfect to enjoy in front of Netflix with a glass of wine (Any beverage works here but I recommend not getting drunk if you'd like to create something you can actually use!).
For virgin knitters, I recommend starting off with a chunky yarn and making a square bunny - simply search that on Pinterest to find the instructions. My personal favourite easy project is making really simple garter stitch cleaning cloths! These cloths are my go-to for cleaning, and you can swap out garter stitch for more complicated stitch designs to practice them.
To make these simple cleaning cloths, simply pick up a pair of 4mm needles and some DK weight 100% cotton yarn - I use Paintbox Yarn Cotton DK. First, cast on 50 stitches, or until it's as wide as you'd like - and then knit until it's a square. To finish, cast off and then use a tapestry needle to weave in your ends. That's it! Simply use them to clean your home, pop em in the washing machine when they're dirty and repeat.
My favourite thing about knitting is you can spend as much or as little as you like, you can pick up supplies for a good price on lots of websites (Lovecrafts and Hobbycraft are my go-to shops), or treat yourself to a knit if you have a little more money to spend, Wool and the Gang are my favourite for knitting kits.
Sewing can be a more expensive hobby, but it doesn't have to cost you a fortune! To start sewing, you first need a sewing machine. If you want to try before you buy, see if a friend or a family member has one you can borrow (just make sure you're following social distancing guidelines!). If you're ready to invest, just make sure you take the time to shop around and read lots of reviews!
Once you have a sewing machine ready, before you can start stitching you need a good pair of fabric scissors, pins, tailors chalk/air or water erasable pen, a stitch unpicker, an ironing board, an iron and some pattern paper. Once you've got all the basic supplies, it's time to get the specific supplies for your project!
The first garment I ever made was actually a corset for my GCSE Textile class (I do not recommend starting here!). However, I fell in love with sewing garments in November of 2019, when I decided to try garment making as a birthday present to myself. I made the Cleo Pinafore by Tilly and the Buttons and it was the perfect first project. Here are my recommendations for beginner sewists:
Patterns: Cleo Pinafore by Tilly and the Buttons, Make it Simple book by Tilly and the Buttons, Willow Tank by Grainline Studio.
Fabric Stores: Like Sew Amazing, Sew Me Sunshine, Oh! Sew, Fabric Land, Pound Fabrics.
Let me know if you'd like to see a more in-depth guide to starting sewing!
Weaving is a craft that I have learnt whilst on furlough, and so far I've really enjoyed it! Before I invested in a loom, I wanted to try out weaving without spending any money, so I followed these instructions (https://www.theweavingloom.com/how-to-make-a-cardboard-loom/) to make a cardboard loom and used supplies I already had lying around the house.
With the help of the internet and a little bit of making it up as I went along, I made my first woven wall hanging! It was very little, a touch wonky and definitely not Pinterest worthy, I was still really proud of it.
To start weaving, I recommend using the cardboard loom with some supplies that you already had or found for a good price and then purchase a loom later on if you love it. I bought my loom from Hobbycraft and use yarn that I already had lying around, but Hobbycraft and Lovecrafts are great places to buy supplies.
If you even vaguely know me, you'll know that I adore embroidery. I started embroidery around March/April time of 2019 and I haven't looked back since!
I love embroidery because it's inclusive, affordable, versatile, relaxing, easy to start and you can enjoy it pretty much everywhere! From clothing to cards, it's a great way to add a personal touch and have some fun in the progress!
When it comes to starting embroidery, I recommend starting with a kit so you can see if it's for you. My favourite place to find kits is from independent embroidery artists on Etsy, or through bigger stores like Hobbycraft and Lovecrafts. This way you have everything you need to try embroidery out and see if it's for you before investing in lots of supplies!
I'll have a blog post all about starting embroidery coming soon, so make sure you subscribe to my blog and follow me on Instagram so you don't miss out!
5: Cross Stitch
The last craft on my list is cross stitch! I love cross stitch as it's very similar to embroidery, but instead of having free range to stitch on any fabric, cross stitch is completed on Aida
fabric which has lots of tiny holes in a grid-like formation, and your stitches are done so they look like an x.
If you already have an embroidery kit, all you need to buy to start cross stitch is some Aida fabric, cross stitch needles and a pattern -there's a huge range of free patterns on Pinterest, or you can buy digital patterns from Etsy. If you're a complete beginner, I recommend starting with a kit so you can try it out.
And that's it, five easy crafts to help contend with that lockdown boredom✂️ Thank you so much for reading my first blog post - I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I loved writing it! If you do try out any of these crafts, make sure you leave a comment or tag me in any photos - I'd love to see what you're creating!