Crafts ideas to try at home: How to craft your way to better mental health

Just 45 minutes of crafting a day are enough to improve your mental outlook. We all need a little boost in this department at the moment. Express.co.uk chatted to award-winning craft author and co-founder of Makebox+Co, a crafting subscription service for adults Hannah Read-Baldrey to find out which crafts you should try.

Hannah said: “It’s so important to not be all about work or the day-to-day.

“In this current climate, I think we’re all waking up to the need to switch off from the world around us and invest time in ourselves.

“Creativity is such great escapism forever the mind.

“Spending time making something, using your hands to knit, fold, mould or draw is incredibly calming.

“Crafting can be likened to periods of mindful meditation where you are fully in the present.

“You are focussed only on the next stitch or mark.

“Just 45 minutes of creative activity is proven to reduce stress hormones in the body.”

There’s no end to the crafts you can try, but read on to find out Hannah’s top five suggestions.

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Macramé

Macramé is a form of textile that is created using knotting techniques.

Hannah explained: “Modern macramé is all about knotting soft and natural cotton strings and rope to create home décor and fashion accessories.

“It’s a very mindful craft and with just a few knots you can create something incredibly unique and beautiful.

“Once you have mastered the basic knots there’s no end to what you can create.

“Making something out of nothing gives you a real sense of achievement and positivity boost.”

Watercolour painting

Fancy yourself as the next Vincent Van Gogh? Get your paintbrushes out and try watercolour painting.

Hannah said: “Watercolour painting is something most, if not all of us are familiar with from childhood and therefore offers soothing boost of creativity and nostalgia.

“With a few simple steps, and basic supplies, anyone can easily try their hand at this tranquil art form.

“What I love most about watercolour is there are no rules.

“Within no time you can learn to create your own invitations, cards, gifts and wall art.”

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Weaving

Weaving is one of the oldest surviving crafts in the world, and can be traced back to Neolithic times.

For this one, you’ll need a loom and some yarn.

Hannah said: “Weaving is a traditional craft that has had a recent resurgence in popularity.

“Using a combination of textured yarns, carefully selected colours and a weaving loom, you can create bespoke contemporary pieces to bring texture and warmth to your home.

“It’s a rhythmic process which has an extremely calming effect.

“Once into the swing, crafters often find they unknowingly fall into a dreamlike meditative state.”

Embroidery

Whether you’ve never picked up a needle and thread before or you are a master of the tools, there is a level of embroidery perfect for you.

Hannah said: “Embroidery is the creation of art with nothing more than a needle and thread and it’s the perfect craft for beginners or the advanced. “There are thousands of downloadable templates online, we offer a selection on our blog, or you can simply create your own.

“There are a variety of different stitches that vary in complexity, but you can create an impressive design with simple embroidery techniques.

“A really calming and rewarding craft, and one you can easily pick up and put down and enjoy with a cuppa.”

Papercutting

Got a stack of paper that’s covered in cobwebs? Why not try your hand at paper cutting?

Hannah explained: “Papercutting is a traditional art form which has been around for centuries.

“Using a single piece of paper and cutting tools you will be astounded by the designs you can create.

“It is a slow precise craft that encourages relaxation and thoughtfulness.”

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