When you’re not making snowmen or skiing the slopes, winter means more time spent indoors. Many Coloradoans may be looking for new hobbies or crafts to pass the time on long winter nights. These classic handicrafts are fun, easy to do alone or with partners or children, and produce thoughtful gifts to share.
Macrame — or textile art produced by knotting fibers, rather than braiding or weaving — achieved household fame in the 1970s, symbolizing a bohemian-chic style. However, it’s actually a much older technique, originated by Babylonian and Assyrian weavers as early as the 20th century B.C. Macrame produces intricate and stunning designs with simple materials — just a wooden dowel and macrame twine (or hemp, leather, etc.) is all that’s needed to get started. Most craft stores stock macrame supplies, and free patterns for beginners abound in handy online guides.
Try creating a boho wall hanging using macrame, or create smaller projects like key chains, bookmarks, or potholders to give to friends and family. Kids can create friendship bracelets, decorated with beads. ‘70s style has never seemed so cool.
Knitting has occupied hands during cold winter nights for hundreds of years, and is a classic handicraft for heartfelt homemade gifts. It’s a great way to multitask while camped out on the couch, binging a new TV show or movie. Knitting may look intimidating, but it’s actually easier than you might think: Minimal supplies (knitting needles and yarn) and one basic stitch are all that’s needed to get started. You’ll find hundreds of free online tutorials to teach you how to “cast on” (or how to get your stitches on your needle) and a basic knit stitch.
With only one stitch, you can make a scarf; with a little practice, you can move on to more advanced projects like a hat, potholder, or even mittens! Pro tip: Larger needles and thicker yarn are easier for beginners to work with. Some knitting projects don’t even require needles, as in this tutorial for a knitted garland, which uses fingers as knitting needles!
Origami is the Japanese art of paper folding to create shapes and objects. Its meaning is neatly contained in its name, as ori means “to fold” and gami means “paper.” Origami uses only folding, without cutting or glue, and has been in common practice since the Edo period in the 1600s. There are nine basic types of folds, like “the pleat” and “the rabbit ear.” Origami usually begins with square pieces of paper, so prep for your origami session by trimming printer paper into squares with a ruler and scissors, or buying square paper pieces from a craft store. Follow easy step-by-step tutorials to create classic origami shapes like a crane or owl, or follow kid-friendly patterns like an origami Yoda or a cat, on which kids can draw eyes, nose, and whiskers! Origami cranes strung together make a fun and elegant garland for a kid’s room or a home office.
You’ve heard of using stamps or paintbrushes to print patterns onto a surface – but have you heard of using vegetables? Vegetable scraps can be repurposed to create fun patterns (and memorable craft moments) for kids and adults alike. You can use a variety of vegetables, like potatoes, celery, okra, and carrots. To use potatoes, have kids draw a simple shape on the cut interior, then an adult can cut around the shape using a sharp knife to create a homemade stamp. Carrots create fun polka dots, and celery can create a crescent. All you’ll need besides your vegetable-stamps is paint, a paper plate to act as a palette, and a surface to print on, like a blank tote bag, throw pillow case, wrapping paper, or tablecloths.
You might have seen cross-stitches proliferate across Instagram and home design blogs, often decorated with funny messages, celebrity odes, or cute designs. While you might not be ready to cross-stitch an elaborate portrait of Dolly Parton, with a little practice you can stitch simple designs and shapes (like this mountain sunset) as did Colorado homesteaders before you! Cross-stitching is the oldest form of embroidery, and has created patterned fabrics since the Middle Ages. All you’ll need is white fabric, an embroidery hoop, thread, and an embroidery needle; many craft stores sell kits for beginning cross-stitchers. You can hunt down plenty of websites with free patterns and guides to get started. So get cozy and start stitching!
No matter what craft you choose to master, focus on having fun and creating family memories together. Stepping Stone™ has you covered with a variety of flexible spaces and rooms to serve as your own personal craft studio. To view our quick move-in homes, floorplans, and community amenities, schedule a tour or check us out online today!