Many years ago (well when I was a child), Craft and Hobby Association (now known as Association For Creative Industries or AFCI) made February the National Craft Month. This has been a big part of the craft industry in North America, I believe. And despite it not being very relevant to where I live, it’s something I really wanted to focus on this month.
So Happy National Craft Month!
For me, crafting is a really fun hobby. I could definitely spend more than just a single month talking about craft. I’m sure I’ll have more craft related posts later in the year for you. However, I did want to focus on it because I wanted to introduce more crafting to my life. Although I love arts and crafts, it’s also one of those things that I never seem to have time for. There’s always other things to do, for example, like blogging. Craft is a really good way to look after your mental wellbeing though and it’s something I’ve been trying to incorporate into my weekly plans. Every week, I try to dedicate a little bit of time to just crafting something – absolutely anything.
So in National Craft Month, I am going to ensure I stick to this plan and craft a little bit every week. The best thing about this hobby is that there are many different things you can craft. It’s not limited to just paper materials, for example. Craft includes needle work or knitting, upcycling furniture or heck, even brewing beer (it’s called Craft Beer, is it not?).
Essentially, craft is some sort of activity that involves making something by hand. These are a few of the things that I like. However, it would be great to hear what sorts of crafts you enjoy and if you are planning to do anything for it. If you’re curious, a lot of these ideas are also in my Stationery Self-Care post, which shows the different ways you can do self-care with your stationery addiction.
What sorts of craft do I like?
Personally, I am a huge fan of papercrafts. I want to learn how to do things like stitch properly and crochet amigurumi, for sure, one day. However, my main interest when it comes to craft lies in the different types of papercraft. I am trying to make more handmade cards to give to people this year and enjoy decorating my journals. But the list of papercrafts someone can do is large. In honour of National Craft Month, I want to try and focus on some of the things that I have recently started to do or want to do a bit more of.
I have recently started to scrapbook using the traditional 12×12 pages. This is a very new thing for me but I am enjoying the process of making a scrapbook layout from scratch. Scrapbooking is something that I have wanted to do for many years. I love memory keeping and the idea of having a very visual diary. However, making the jump between a small journal or memory keeping book to the large scrapbook pages was very difficult at first.
I’ve always wanted everything to be perfect before I stuck it down and eventually, I would get so self-critical that I never stuck it down (simply because it was never perfect). However, after losing a very close relative suddenly last year, I realised that life isn’t perfect and I rather have something that I could look at and remember him by than have nothing at all. So after many years of doubt, I made a scrapbook page in his memory. It may not be perfect but it’s a very personal layout that let me express some of my feelings. Scrapbooking that first layout was the hardest hurdle to overcome. After that, I fell in love with the whole process. I have now started a few different pages and have many more planned. I’ve been keeping my layouts simple but I think that’s a good way to start.
Lettering and Calligraphy
I am working on my lettering and calligraphy style too, which is a gradual process. It takes a lot of practice and hard work. I occasionally have dipped my pen into the ink and tried to create something. However, I have not been able to do it as much as I wanted to in the past year. So, I thought it about time to change that.
One thing I started to do earlier this week was use some spare notebooks I had to start writing down a single quote every day. I have only done a few of these but I am hoping to do it daily for the next month, at the very least. That would give me a good chance to keep practicing with the art of calligraphy and lettering. And to be fair, doing one quote a day does not actually take very long! I think it’s quite a manageable task so I am determined to stick to it and have another thirty one pages done by the end of the month!
Papercutting, oh papercutting. One of those arts that you look at, appreciate and struggle to ever do yourself. Well, at least I did – until I found myself some helpful papercut templates for beginners. Like calligraphy, I have been occasionally practicing this art every so often using the templates. However, one of my 30 before 30 goals is to actually complete an entire papercutting book. I have quite a bit of time but I think it might be good to put in a bit more practice this month, as it is a month dedicated to crafting!
I ought to make a goal for this so perhaps I’ll try and do four papercut designs in the next month It takes me a while to complete one but I think I could challenge myself into trying to complete one a week here. Realistically, I could probably manage two but it’s not much of a challenge if I don’t aim high, right?! If you’re interested in learning how to actually do it, let me know and I can share more information on the books and templates I am using this month.
I honestly cannot believe February is already over. This year has gone so quickly. However, I wanted to take a moment to reflect back on the challenge I set at the start of the month. This was a personal challenge to write more letters this month in honour of InCoWriMo or, more specifically:
“My personal challenge will be to try and write two pieces of correspondence a week, at least half of which contain some sort of handmade element within them. By ‘handmade element’, this could be anything from a quick sketch to a designed by me card.”
This equates to eight letters in the month. I am pretty pleased to say that I nailed that down! I have written thirteen letters and postcards, with quite a few of them having handmade elements. For one of the letters, I did some calligraphy on the back of the pages, as they were blank. I didn’t want to waste them since I could not write double sided due to the ink. I also actually designed my own postcards from scratch and had them printed recently! Although I was super nervous creating them, I am very pleased with how they turned out. They make me smile, knowing that they are my own little creations.
Adding this handmade element was a bit harder than I expected but it made the challenge really interesting. I definitely want to keep writing letters and will aim to do at least one a week. However, it was really nice to challenge myself into making them different somehow. The handmade element forced me to design my own postcards and now I am a little addicted. I already started working on a second design! Perhaps by the end of March, I will have a few more to the collection.
National Craft Month Challenges:
So for this month, my personal challenges will be to:
- Have at least four finished scrapbook layouts by the end of the month.
- Do at least thirty one quotes in my daily lettering notebook.
- Finish four papercuts.
- Design at least two more postcard designs and send four more letters.
What about you? Do you have any challenges for this crafty month of March? Any plans for National Craft Month? I would love to hear them. Comment below and let me know.
If you want any more information about the crafts and projects I am working on, please get in touch. You can also follow me on Twitter or Instagram, where I will be sharing some of these projects between my blog posts.