Working on an arts and craft project puts me in a happy state of mind. During the virus crisis, a pleasant distraction is especially needed to relieve stress, boredom and to help fill the hours of being homebound.
Regular followers know I am a maker. I enjoy the creative process, crafting with all types of materials, and the sense of fulfilment when completing a project.
Today’s post is a cross section of some of the many and varied projects I’ve shared. All were built around a theme — whether its a holiday, season, or special occasion.
Some projects are more assembly than crafting, and require no special artistic ability or skill. Many are full-blown tutorials with step-by-step, illustrated instructions and helpful tips. Others reference earlier posts for technique details.
Perhaps you could use this time to work on projects for an upcoming celebration or party? Or, how about making a birthday, housewarming, graduation, new baby or wedding card or gift? And, there’s always that holiday or seasonal decoration there was never time for before. Think of it as art therapy!
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Trying Something New
To start things off, I’m sharing peeks of my initial amateurish paintings. Practicing what I preach, and hoping you’ll also be inspired to try something new.
I’d been wanting to take a formal art class for a long time. Decades! Last month, I completed a six-week Beginner Acrylic Painting course offered through Osher.
Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes offer noncredit courses with no assignments or grades to adults over age 50. Programs are offered at 120 universities and colleges throughout the United States. Maybe there’s one in your hometown? Here in Pittsburgh, we are fortunate to have two programs through Carnegie Mellon and Pitt.
Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, all courses for the spring semester have been cancelled. But, I did learn the basics while working on three projects — seascape, mountain landscape, and floral still life. The first canvas was to recreate a painting by our instructor. There was a lot of technique to absorb over just two sessions per painting.
Although, I’m satisfied with the overall results, the paintings won’t be hanging on any walls for sure! And I won’t embarrass myself further by showing the others. My point is that there’s nothing to lose by trying something new.
Practice Painting Project
Even though I’m not able to continue classes, I had acquired canvases, brushes and acrylics to practice working with the media on my own. And, there’s lots of free online instruction available.
So, I’m working on a painting of my Sweet Scottie Dog. Many of you already know I “lost” Fibber at Christmastime.
I’ve got eight blank canvases, and decided to try painting animals. Part of that motivation came from being unable to continue volunteering at Animal Friends.
Can’t believe it was just two weeks ago when I was overseeing socialization for five puppies. Happily, they were all adopted after first being vaccinated, neutered and microchipped. The shelter is still in-taking and caring for dogs, cats and rabbits. But, all public activities and revenue-generating events are cancelled.
I’ll continue to painting while listening to music. But, Fibber still needs two to four more sessions of detail work. As hubby remarked, right now those hairy eyebrows look more like he’s wearing a toupee, lol!
Update: After several more sessions, I did finish the canvas.
Over the past two and a half years of blogging, I’ve shared about 50 or more projects. Today, I’m highlight those that are mostly seasonal. Order supplies online from Amazon, Walmart, Target, Michaels, Joann Fabrics, Hobby Lobby, or other specialty craft outlets.
To date, I’ve posted over two dozen wreaths. They run the gamut of holidays, seasons, and themes. Although most were made on wire frames with deco mesh and decorative ribbons, others are assembled using grapevine or faux evergreen bases.
Update: Recently, I made and shared a Wine Cork Wreath Tutorial.
Mesh wreaths are relatively easy to make. I taught myself after viewing online tutorials. And grapevine wreaths are simple to assemble in a short period of time.
A bee and honey theme, for the first My Favorite Things Party, inspired my blog, Debbee’s Buzz. It was also the first time I made a mesh wreath. See the trio in Bee Wreaths and Skep Bee-autiful DIY Inspiration.
Demand for the crafted wreaths and party decorations grew, leading to me launching an Etsy shop.
Another way to use vintage china is, How to Make a Floating Teacup Centerpiece.
Two very popular looks for summer are sailboat and watermelon theme wreaths. Both designs include a “wow” central element.
Sistah B hangs her DIY Anchors Aweigh Sailboat Wreath across three seasons in her Charleston area home.
While eldest son only displays his Smooth Sailing Wreath during the summer months.
My personal favorite is the Don’t Bug Me Garden Wreath. In addition to the cute sign, everyone loves the watermelon print ribbon.
And, for the Fourth of July, how about this flag-filled tin bucket, or charming Uncle Sam Wreath?
Wreath Project for All Seasons
I’m amazed by the variety of holiday wreath-making supplies available year round online. So, it might be possible to make the Halloween or Christmas wreath of your dreams right now — or at least start on it.
Update: That’s how I was able to make my sister a Sunken Shipwreck Pirate Wreath over the summer for Halloween.
Check out Project, Wreaths for many fall and winter season and holiday ideas.
Many of the items I’ve crafted were for the annual, theme-based My Favorite Things Parties. That included homemade invitations.
Cards & Invitations
You could use the same techniques to create a one-of-a-kind birthday, graduation or other special occasion card. Or, make multiples for holidays like Christmas, or even wedding invitations.
Even if the date isn’t set for a party, you could work on the basic design, template and start making various elements, like envelopes.
More complex is the DIY Alice in Wonderland Invitation — although I do provide very detailed instructions.
Other craft projects you can get started on now are planning, purchasing and making party favors.
Party Decor & Gifts
How about making a diaper cake for a baby shower decoration, centerpiece(s), or gift for the mom-to-be? They can be made to complement any party or nursery theme.
If a gift, incorporate items from the baby registry as I did in How to Make a Diaper Cake, Elephant Topper.
For my niece’s wedding, I Hand Painted Champagne Flutes to match their unique cake topper.
Wouldn’t these Tiffany Theme Party Favors and Gifts be great for a bridal shower or birthday celebration?
For St. Patrick’s Day, I painted shamrocks on pilsner glasses as quick and easy gifts. Learn how to make simple to more complicated designs in DIY Hand Painted Glasses.
And, how about some party hats to top off any occasion?
How to Make a Mad Hatter Fascinator can use any color or print fabric. Embellish to your liking.
Or, learn How to Make Whimsical Teacup Fascinators.
Busy as a Bee
While continuing to paint, I’m also thinking of trying another new project or two. Maybe something like crocheting little stuffed animals, or appliqueing a Christmas tree skirt.
Update: During the summer I also made an Adorable Crochet Zebra .
What are you doing to keep busy?
P.S. If you didn’t find a project here to motivate you, visit one or more of the weekly parties below. Many include blogger craft and DIY posts on subjects from a through Z! There’s everything from refinishing or reupholstering furniture, to knitting a sweater.
I regularly participate in: Metamorphosis Mondays, Celebrate Your Story, Party in Your PJs, Centerpiece Wednesday, Creative Crafts, Share Your Style, Tablescape Thursdays, Thursday Favorite Things, Friday with Friends, Saturday Sparks, Snickerdoodle Sundays, Happiness is Homemade and Love Your Creativity