The World of Modern Day Crafting

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Craft Items by Vanessa is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

Lily Ware, Arts and Entertainment Writer

Crafts are something that can often be seen as a childish activity to many but is an activity for all ages. Crafting can be done at any skill level by anyone, anywhere. People who craft, whether for a short or long-term amount of time, can find themselves enjoying the benefits.

By definition, crafts are an activity involving skill in making things by hand. These can range from making animals out of simple items around the home to scrapbooking to making large pieces of decor. 

Some people make crafts just as a fun pastime while others may make them sell, whether on popular websites for artists, such as Etsy or in person. Some people even make tutorials on how to make certain crafts online. 

Mary Ware, who has been involved in crafting for about her whole life has done many different activities, including selling some of her projects. Shared her personal experiences. 

“I’ve been crafting since I was a child. I went from making small child-ish crafts for my sisters to selling certain items at markets and crafts shows. I would also do art trades with people from groups that I joined. I even went on cruises and camp specifically for scrapbooking a couple of times,” Ware said.

Ware shared her benefits that she experienced when it came to getting into the hobby of crafting.

“I’ve always loved to be creative, ever since I was a young child I always had hundreds of imaginative ideas that I could do and make. When I was older I found a community of people who I could interact with that had the same interests as me,” Ware said. 

Delilah Langenfeld uses crafting as a way to keep herself busy as an elderly woman. While she had been taught some things as a child, she was late getting into the crafting hobby. Starting after the age of retirement.

“When I was younger my mother taught me how to do some crafts, but they were simple ones that were very popular for children back then. I always enjoyed doing stuff but never had the time until I retired from my job.” Langenfeld said. 

Langenfeld does not just craft alone, she also enjoys doing most of her crafting with her grandchild. She also uses her skills of crafting to make gifts for others or decor around her home. 

“One of my granddaughters came over during the summer to finish hooking a rug with me, if it wasn’t for her I wouldn’t have thought that I would have ever gotten it done. We also began making a baby quilt for one of my other grandchildren, crafting became an amazing way to get company when I was home alone,” Langenfeld said. 

There is a company that focuses on global art and product industries, known as the Association for Creative Industries. They are a huge company that focuses largely on creative products

In 2012, they conducted a study to see the demographics of many of the modern crafters in the world. They found that 62.5 million people have participated in crafting activities during the time period between 2011 and 2012.

Besides that statistic,  people who craft are on average between the ages of 35-44, although this number seems to be decreasing. 82% of these people were women, 42% of all crafters have children, and most of them reported as having crafted for 10+ years.

In an interview with Peter Cartwright, membership coordinator and operations associate for AFCI he shared what they do at the AFCI. 

“Our members are craft products manufacturers, crafts stores, craft designers/bloggers, YouTubers, art teachers, etc. Some examples: Michaels, Hobby Lobby, Crayola, yarn companies, paint companies, small mom & pop craft stores, and YouTubers who promote products. Our goal is to connect everyone in the industry with education, industry-specific content, and our annual event called Creativation.”  Cartwright said. 

Due to COVID-19, their 2020 creativation event was sadly canceled. 

Besides personal benefits that can range from person to person, Cartwright shared that there has been research that indicated that crafting can create relaxation for a person. 

       “There are countless benefits to crafting and being creative. Research indicates that crafting and working with your hands has a profound effect on relaxation and mindfulness,” Cartwright said. 

From the standpoint of the AFCI, they focus on helping many people use crafting as a way to help people cope with trauma or physical disabilities. Crafting also serves as a way for people to be productive. 

 “Some of AFCI’s members are charities focused on the use of crafts to help people with PTSD, physical disabilities, and other problems cope. Not to mention, it’s a truly .productive way to spend time and get something out of it (scrapbook, card, quilt, whatever you’re making). The act of making and working with one’s hands improve quality of life,” Cartwright said. 

There are many reasons to craft, for fun, for a hobby, to be productive and make something, or even to cope with various problems, either mental or physical. You can find the company of people through crafting, whether family, friends, or even strangers on the internet. 

“There are endless ways that people can craft or be creative,” Cartwright said.