Craft store sales are booming. On Instagram, hashtags like #QuarantineCrafts are filled with images of embroidery, origami, and tiny, needle-felted animals. It’s undeniable: crafting is experiencing a revival, and it’s not hard to see why. After all, it’s one of the most versatile, quarantine-friendly hobbies out there. Whether you’re looking for a distraction or a family-friendly activity, there’s likely a craft made for you. Here are a few ways that people are using crafting to meet the unique challenges of the pandemic.
As people find themselves with a lot more free time, online learning is seeing a surge in popularity, and crafting is no exception. Websites like Domestika (domestika.org) offer classes for almost every craft imaginable, including woodworking, basket weaving, sewing handmade toys, arm knitting, and making 3D portraits out of paper. Other sites, such as Creativebug (creativebug.com) and Skillshare (skillshare.com) have equally impressive catalogs.
Crafting is more than a way to fill the time. It can also be used as a tool to give back to your community. For example, face masks. Upon learning there was a shortage, thousands of people across the country began making masks for friends, family, and healthcare workers. A sewing group in Southern California made hundreds of masks for the Riverside University Health System Medical Center.
Connecting with Others
One of the hardest things about social distancing is not being able to spend time with friends and family. Thankfully, apps like Zoom are keeping people connected. As social gatherings move online, so do weekly hobby groups, like knitting and crochet clubs, which give members a way to socialize while being creative. And if you don’t have a local craft club to join, why not start one yourself?
Whether you’re drawn to fiber arts or clay, crafting is an effective way to cope with stress during uncertain times. Creative activities are mindful and meditative, and studies show that knitting, in particular, can lower your heart rate, enhance cognition, and increase serotonin levels. Looking for inspiration? Check out Etsy for beginner-friendly kits and unique patterns.
By Jenn Bagley