Oh wow, he is so creative. I could never! She has been super crafty for years, a really arty person. The best I can do is a stickman, ha-ha. So many of us see creativity in terms of crafts as being very good at it. It is a talent that you are born with, something you have, or you don’t have. But for me, creativity doesn’t have to be perfect, it means you have an idea or project you would like to explore further without worrying about the end goal, the product. It’s that one thing that can bring about feelings of excitement, happiness and even sometimes silliness. If you think back to when you were younger in school and some piece of artwork you made. The excitement you had bringing it home to your family. If you can’t think of a time, maybe think of when your child is drawing. The way they light up when they describe what they made you, they show so much joy from expressing themselves through that picture. It’s magical to them.
Although crafts for me are fun and enjoyable, they can be very beneficial to your overall wellbeing. Research shows that crafts such as knitting, and crochet can bring about mindfulness. The repetitious nature creates a gentle, calming atmosphere that supports the wellbeing (Riley, Corkhill and Morris, 2013). Elsewhere, crafts have shown to have an encouraging effect on self-confidence and influence or inspire motivational qualities (Bedding and Sadlo, 2008). Crafting may be just some time way to get away from busy days and that’s great but there is no doubt in my mind it helps you unwind and recharge. Which is important!
When I reflect on crafts I have done in the past it always puts a smile on my face. I have often done different types of crafts at Christmas time, whether it was making pop up Christmas cards or making crochet blankets and hats for presents, it helps take focus away from how stressful Christmas time can be. It allows me to focus on the fun of making that card or blanket and the excitement it brings when you give that gift to that special someone. In many occasions, crafting has been a way to bring people together, families and friends. Some families have patchwork blankets that have been passed on from generation to generation. A traditional patchwork quilt in Ireland consisted of two sides, one being the patch pattern and the other larger piece that joins the lot together. Each patch crafted by a different person and sewn together. What a wonderful piece that represents community and togetherness. The simplest of ideas can turn out to be a wonderful way to show how much you care about someone. For generations, my family on both sides have been very crafty people. I suppose in some ways that’s probably what motivates me when I start a project but that doesn’t mean anyone can’t be crafty. So this Christmas why don’t you try and make something for a loved one, a Christmas card, crochet or knit an item or paint a picture, and while you are doing it remember that it’s the imperfections that make things wonderful.
– Sarah O’Leary
Bedding S, Sadlo G (2008) ‘Retired people’s experience of participation in art classes’, British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 71(9), 371-78.
Riley, J., Corkhill, B. and Morris, C. (2013) ‘The benefits of knitting for personal and social wellbeing in adulthood: Findings from an international survey’, British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 76(2), 50-57.