Where to find craft, creativity and community during Covid-19
We know that craft is good for our wellbeing, but studies have shown that it’s most beneficial for our mental health when it involves face-to-face interactions. So what happens now, when we can’t meet up and make with other people? Even if you’re used to working alone in your home or studio, solitude is very different from isolation. Makers are creative by nature though, and remarkably inventive when it comes to finding ways to keep the craft community connected. In this post we’re going to show just some of the projects people have started up to bring people together online, share their craft skills and keep in touch with other creatives through this crisis.
Online Craft Clubs
There are loads of craft workshops running through Zoom and social media – some of them totally free, some of them for a donation and some of them paid so you can keep supporting makers through this financially turbulent time. Just like real-life workshops, you can choose how much you want to engage with the other people taking part. If you’re more comfortable getting your head down and making in private without sharing your work, choose a club where you can simply follow the teacher, or if you’re missing social connections, choose a club where you can talk to other people as you all craft along together.
Mind, the mental health charity, have moved their Crafternoons online. Just like their usual Crafternoons, this is a chance to do something creative, take some time for yourself, while raising funds for better mental health. Each session is a different project – you just gather your materials, download the templates from their website, join the Zoom meeting at the designated time, and follow along (with your own microphone muted!) with the crafting and chatting. Your own camera will still be on, so you can all see how you’re getting on and feel connected.
Find upcoming Crafternoons here >
Online Life Drawing – #StayHomeAndDraw
The Jolly Sketcher is just one organisation offering online drawing sessions, so you can continue to improve your drawing skills during lockdown. Some classes are free, others start at £4. Choose between fully clothed classes suitable for all ages, including free 30-minute drawing sessions that focus in on a particular body parts such as the face or hands, or full two-hour life drawing sessions with professional artist models who may wear underwear or may be nude.
Join the Jolly Sketcher online life drawing group and find out more here >
Isewlation Inspiration Club
Make Mee Studio is running an Isewlation Inspiration Club every Tuesday morning. The club is designed for adults and children alike, open to all abilities and you should be able do it with materials you already have in your house. Check their website for the theme (so far they’ve done ‘I Can Sew A Rainbow’ and ‘Rags to Refashioned Riches’), collect your materials and then join in with the live Zoom on Tuesday mornings by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org (suggested donation £3).
Click here for more details about Isewlation Inspiration Club >
Spotting & Jotting Club with Matt Sewell
Illustrator extraordinaire Matt Sewell has been running live ‘Spotting & Jotting’ classes on Instagram. If you want to learn how to draw birds, this is your chance to learn from the master. The classes are open to all ages – all you need is a pencil and paper.
Check Matt’s Instagram for details @mattsewell
IGTV Art Workshops with Lucy Tiffney
Award-winning designer Lucy Tiffney is running live IGTV art workshops from her living room. During each class, Lucy will start you off with the activity for 10-15 minutes, which you can then explore further on your own or with your family afterwards. Check her Instagram for details, dates and the materials you’ll need to gather and follow along on the new #creatiffney hashtag.
Follow @LucyTiffney on Instagram here >
If you have kids, look out for #NoelsArtClub on Twitter and Instagram, started by Bake Off presenter Noel Fielding to keep children’s creative juices going while they’re stuck at home. Check his accounts for the latest theme, then get your kids creating, painting and drawing whatever their imagination conjures up. You can either tweet their creations to Noel at @noelfielding11 or share them on Instagram tagging @noel_fielding to your posts. In each case you’ll need to add the #NoelsArtClub hashtag too so he can see them, share his favourites and pick a winner (possibly with a guest judge too).
Follow Noel on Instagram for more details >
We’d already been seeing a rise in the number of online craft-along projects, especially within textile crafts (sometimes referred to as CALs, KALs or SALs), but they’ve become even more popular as people all across the world have found themselves stuck indoors. The idea behind these projects is that the pattern is released in stages and you stitch or knit along with your fellow crafters, sharing your experiences of the project on social media as the project progresses. They can be a great way to get to know people and pick up new skills. Here are some of our favourites…
Isolate + Create with The Barmy Fox
Tory from The Barmy Fox has created a new ISOLATE + CREATE STITCHALONG for anyone self isolating, social distancing and quarantined “to bring a little bit of joy in this world of uncertainty”. To join in, you’ll need to purchase one of her patterns, gather your materials and set up your embroidery hoop (see how and how to prep on this YouTube video) and then follow along live on Instagram every day at 10am. You’ll stitch together for 15 days straight, including Saturdays and Sundays.
Join the Isolate + Create Stitchalong with @thebarmyfox
The Patch Up Online Darn-a-long
As Natalie and Poppy from sustainable womenswear brand Lowie point out, darning is a wonderful way to extend the life of your clothes. So if you find yourself in isolation with extra time on our hands, why not use it show your clothes some TLC and join their free Darning Workshop. Grab a garment you’d like to fix and sign up here for their workshop on 20th April.
Sign up for the The Patch Up Online Darn-a-long here >
Alone Together Sweater by Lærke Bagger
Join lots of other knitters taking part in the #alonetogethersweater knitalong on Instagram. Find the sweater pattern by Copenhagen-based knitwear designer Lærke Bagger in her Instagram Stories at @laerkebagger and then share your progress with other knitters on the #alonetogethersweater hashtag. The pattern is really straightforward and uses yarn you have in your stash, so it’s super easy to take part.
More ways to stay connected with other creatives
See what other people are making around the world on the #quarantinecrafts hashtag.
Join Zeena Shah @heartzeena and Natalie Wall’s @talliwall #instarainbowchallenge and turn your Instagram grids into #rainbowofhope by picturing yourself wearing a different colour each day of the week. Initially just for planned for the week of 6th April, Zeena and Natalie are thinking about continuing up the challenge until further notice. Check their Instagram account for the colour of the day.
Free craft tutorials & resources
Here are a few craft tutorials you can download for free to keep your craft on during the Coronavirus craziness. Let us know if you have any more you want us to add!
How to sew a DIY (non-medical) face mask – https://www.joann.com/on/demandware.static/-/Library-Sites-LibraryJoAnnShared/default/dw4148ae36/static/landingpage/assets/MaskInstructions_V2.pdf
Watch Folksy seller Agnis Smallwood teach you how to make a cardboard loom >
Not So Lonely Lockdown – Free papercraft and ephemera tutorials by Shabbydabbydoodah on YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWy-ABf98zAjMNWpHtRQKIw
Free sewing tutorials from the V&A – https://www.vam.ac.uk/info/make-and-do
Free macrame tutorials by Isabella from twome – https://www.twome.co.uk/free-tutorials
Free craft tutorials from Craft Contemporary – https://www.craftcontemporary.org/craft-at-home/
The Crafts Council has put together a great round-up of art and craft resources to help inspire your home-schooling here – https://www.craftscouncil.org.uk/articles/craft-for-home-school1