Winter really is the perfect time to get in to DIY craft. Use these ideas as excuses to stay inside by the heater with a mug of cocoa, and get creative!
Psychologists report that keeping our hands busy is good for our health. On top of that, the immersive nature of crafting helps you forget about life’s daily stresses and boosts emotional health. No longer pigeonholed for certain types of people, why not give do-it-yourself crafts a shot to see the positive effects for yourself.
BEFORE YOU GET STARTED
Depending on what you’re about to make, you may need to consider popping out to the arts and crafts or knitting store to pick up some necessary supplies.
If you’re going to color or scrapbook make sure you grab some glue, scissors, quality pencils and a few miscellaneous decorative items. Of course, you’ll also need a book.
If knitting is your new hobby, you’ll really only need some needles and yarn to get started.
COLOR ME HAPPY
Adult coloring books seem to be just about everywhere lately, and for good reasons.
“Watching children and the way that they relax while colouring really prompted the thought, “Why can’t adults re-enter that space in a brain state?,” says neuropsychologist and neuroscientist Dr Stan Rodski.
“We’re trying to relax for a minute and go off the digital-based world that we’re in.”
Rodski recommends choosing a book with patterns and shapes, rather than pictures or scenes, so that the you get the three key elements that prompt positive neurological responses – repetition, pattern and detail.
A TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE
Nancy Monson, author of ‘Craft to Heal: Soothing Your Soul with Sewing, Painting, and Other Pastimes’ says things like scrapbooking can “help us to unblock, purge, and transform our feelings.”
Some institutions are even replacing traditional support group therapy with group scrapbooking sessions, because of it’s normalcy, and lack of stigma in dealing with troubling memories.
On a lighter level, it’s also just a great way for amateur crafters to arrange decorative elements on a page, with far less pressure than something like an original artwork. Thinking back upon happy times also cultivates positive physiological responses and positive emotions.
KNITTING IS THE NEW YOGA
When you picture knitting, you often imagine a little old lady. Now, knitting is making a comeback in many different circles, with people of all ages.
It’s been shown to foster a sense of community, increase relaxation, and promote positive feelings of giving, when the goods are passed along to friends and family, or charity.
If you’re finding it a bit confusing when getting started there are a huge amount of resources online to provide tips and advice, from how to pick the right needles, to where to shop for the best yarn.
Planet Ark recommends taking a different approach to sourcing yarn, by re-using old jumpers or other knits, which can be unravelled and the yarn reused – or re-knitted.
Rebecca Gilling from Planet Ark says “it’s a thrill and a skill trawling through the racks of knitwear at op-shops and garage sales to find quality yarns in great colours.”