Clever and quirky crafts to try today

Being forced to spend more time at home during the COVID-19 pandemic has led enterprising individuals to seek ways to pass the time. Is it any wonder that creative pursuits have become so popular over the last year?

Crafting can help people fill their time, reduce stress, inspire new relationships, and serve as a source of pride when an item is handmade from start to finish.

In an online study published in the British Journal of Occupational Therapy that surveyed 3,500 knitters, respondents felt there was a relationship between knitting frequency and feeling calm. Experts surmise that the rhythmic, repetitive movements and focused attention of certain crafts might produce a calming effect not unlike meditation. Crafting helps exercise several areas of the brain, including those responsible for problem solving, creativity and concentration, states Craft Courses, an online crafting course company.

The following are some unique crafts for those looking for something new.

• Quilling: This craft also goes by the name paper filigree. It involves twisting, rolling or looping thin strips of paper and then gluing them together to make designs. They can adorn the outside of homemade cards, or be attached to stock and then framed.

• Decoupage: Another paper craft, this one involves sticking small pieces of paper of any kind to another item and then coating the object with varnish. Just about anything can be improved and customized with decoupage.

• Marquetry: Marquetry involves applying pieces of wood veneer to a structure to form a decorative pattern or picture. Think of it as paint-by-number but with wood veneer. The technique often is applied to small objects or furniture.

• Bead crochet: Crochet artists may want to take their crafting up a notch with bead crochet, which incorporates beaded string or yarn into a crocheted item.

• Water marbling: Water marbling is a unique craft that produces a different result each time it is done. The crafter fills a tub roughly two-thirds full of water, adds a special chemical to allow oils to float on the water’s surface, then drops different colors of oil-based paint onto the water. The colors can be swirled and manipulated. A paper or piece of canvas is then placed on the surface of the water so that the design can transfer onto the material.

• Pyrography: Pyrography involves using a heating source and burning designs into a piece of wood. The term literally means “writing with fire.”

These lesser-known crafts can be good diversions and help individuals learn new skills.

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