Our guide to crafts
Jane McGuire

Our guide to crafts

First published date June 16 2015 Amended date June 16 2015

Remember those arts and crafts lessons you loved at school? We’ve got news for you – you don’t have to be wearing school uniform to take roll up your sleeves and have some fun. The best part is, you no longer need a responsible adult to cut things out for you and don’t have to give everything you make to your mum. With plenty of crafts courses out there, if you have a childlike enthusiasm to learn something new, we’ve got just what you’ve been looking for.


What kind of thing can I do?

All craft courses will be taught by experienced tutors who will be able to guide you through step by step as you learn your new hobby. A hands-on course, expect to leave with a set of new skills and something to show your friends. With everything from scrapbook making to quilting, if you don’t know what you are looking for finding a course can seem a little overwhelming, so to help you on your way we’ve come up with a few fun suggestions.


Candle making – If your home is filled with candles and you fancy learning how to make your own, a short candle making course will teach you all you need to know. Your Christmas and birthday presents for the next year will be sorted and who knows, you could be the next Jo Malone?


Flower arranging – A flower arranging course will teach you how to select, cut and arrange flowers in a number of classic and contemporary designs. Learn how to create seasonal arrangements for special occasions and hand tied bouquets that could save you a lot of money next Mother’s Day.


Scrap book making – A great idea if you’ve got a new arrival to celebrate or a trip to document – learn how to create a beautiful book of memories and souvenirs.


Paper courses – Learn how to make paper jewellery, paper sculptures or even your own handmade paper! Most paper courses should cover traditional techniques, as well as how to decorate and pigment your own paper.


Card making – Never buy a birthday, valentines or Christmas card again after going on a card making course. Nothing says I love you more than a handmade card. On a course you should learn how to fold, cut and create amazing 3D designs.


Quilting – Quilters are said to be some of the calmest people around. If you have the patience, sign up to a quilting course and learn how to quilt simple blocks together to make a keepsake you are proud of.

Whichever course you choose, you will be learning in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Crafts courses are a great thing to do with friends, family or children; although it’s often worth checking with the course provider beforehand if you do want to bring a younger pair of hands with you.


What if I want to turn my course into a career?

 The homemade crafts industry is currently experiencing a bit of a boom, with bloggers and interiors magazines all over the country coming up with new DIY designs. If you want to turn your new hobby into a career, it could be worth taking a look at some of these suggestions.


Upcyling – Kind of like recycling, upcycling is an ever growing trend in the crafts world. The process of converting useless products into something new, a course will teach you all the practical skills to make a contemporary product to sell. Also, learning from an expert will help you develop your ideas as well as the skills needed to make them.


Decoupage – For all of you inexperienced crafters, decoupage is a fashionable process where you glue coloured paper cut-outs to an object and cover it with varnish. This creates a one of a kind, individualistic look and can completely transform an old item of furniture. Learn how to get the best finish and select the correct paint, materials and tools to create an item worth selling.


The craft business model – Even if you know how to design and create your own products, selling them is an entirely different matter. Some courses will teach you the business skills needed to take your products to market, including the creation of samples and key market information.


Decorating large venues – If you are using your homemade designs to transform a venue, it could be a good idea to take a crafts decorating course. This will give you an idea of the scale of the products you should be designing and may come in handy if you are hoping to tap into the industry.


Balloon artistry – Learn how to create sculptures, archways and art with both latex and foil balloons.


What can I do with my new skills?

Going on a crafts course is your first experience of a new hobby, so you will leave with the skills to grow and progress in your art. If you do want to do more, why not think about starting your own crafts blog or YouTube channel where you can gain followers and share your designs? 

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