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Monday, Oct 25, 2021

Coronavirus crafting: Artistic hobbies to pick up with the new year

You can show off your new artistic skills by creating wearable items like this crocheted sweater.
You can show off your new artistic skills by creating wearable items like this crocheted sweater.

Like many people, I deal with my pandemic anxiety by crafting. 2020 was the least predictable year of my life, but I’ve never made so many sweaters and earrings. So far, 2021 seems just as turbulent as last year, so it’s a great time to pick up some new artistic hobbies.

Whether you’ve been knitting since you were a kid or you don’t know the difference between macramé and macaroni, artistic hobbies are a great outlet for stress. With the popularity of video platforms like YouTube and TikTok, it’s never been easier to start crafting. After a trip to Michaels and a quick YouTube search, you’ll be ready to start any of these fun, easy and inexpensive artistic hobbies from the comfort of your dorm.

Crochet

As the countless crochet TikToks prove, this craft is absolutely having a moment right now. The crochet hype is completely deserved because this artistic hobby is a great way to have fun making something beautiful and useful. For around $10, you can get a crochet hook and a ball of yarn, which is all you need to get started. I recommend looking up FlotjeTops and crochet.it.aint.so for beginner tutorials and inspiration for more advanced projects.

Crochet is incredibly versatile, so you can make scarves and hats using the same technique you use to make rugs and stuffed animals. For the environmentally-conscious crafter, look up tutorials on how to make your own yarn out of plastic bags or old t-shirts.

Knitting

Knitting is crochet’s slightly less trendy cousin, but it’s equally as fun and easy to get into. Like crochet, all you need is a set of knitting needles, a ball of yarn and a YouTube tutorial. One benefit of knitting is that you can start with basic skills and work your way up to advanced techniques, such as knitting complicated cable patterns into your work. It’s a great artistic hobby for people who like setting goals because you can track your development as you learn new techniques.

Macramé

After you’ve finished your first knitting or crochet project, you might be wondering what to do with your leftover yarn. Macramé is a great way to use up those remaining skeins. All you need for this artistic hobby is yarn, something to tie it on and a string to hang it on the wall when you’re done. You can buy a real wooden dowel from a craft store for a polished look, or you can find a clean stick outside for a more rustic feel. If your dorm is overflowing with houseplants, you can also find plenty of tutorials on how to create easy macramé plant hangers to maximize the light in front of your window.

Embroidery

If yarn crafts aren’t for you, embroidery is a great artistic craft that still produces something you can wear or hang on your wall. You can produce beautiful pieces with just some colored thread, an embroidery hoop and some fabric. While embroidery takes a long time to produce results, it creates beautiful works. Look up design inspiration on Pinterest and make something to hang above your bed, or get creative and embroider some of your jeans for a unique outfit.

Jewelry Making

If there’s one good thing to come out of 2020, it’s the rise of novelty earrings. During lockdown, turning household items into jewelry motivated me to get out of bed in the mornings. Like many of the other hobbies listed in this article, jewelry making equipment is inexpensive and easy to find at any craft store. To start this artistic hobby, try turning tiny items around your dorm room into earrings or make fun wire rings to wear around campus.

Sewing

While setting up an entire sewing machine in your dorm might be a little impractical (and would probably get you a few noise complaints), hand sewing is a great alternative for any college student. You can find a small traveling sewing kit at almost any dollar store, Walmart or grocery store. You can also find fabric at a craft store like Joann or Michaels, or you can repurpose one of the many free t-shirts you probably have in the back of your dresser.

Like many of the other crafts in this article, sewing is incredibly versatile. While sewing an entire outfit by hand might be a bit much for your first project, there are countless easy Internet tutorials for beginning sewers to make small items like reusable face masks.


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