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Clever & Quirky Crafts To Try

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).

Many craft supply stores offer videos on making various crafts. You pick your level - beginner, intermediate or advanced. You can often order what you need for your craft projects and have it delivered to your door.
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.
• Crocheting: All that is necessary is a crochet hook, yarns and your hands. The repetitive motion is almost meditative. It can reduce stress and improve memory.
• 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.
• Embroidery: The age old art of using needle, thread and stitches to create designs on fabric continues to be an artistic form of expression that is just as decorative and beautiful as it is functional.
• Painting: One may think they cannot paint. But it is a reflection of who you are. It is a creative instrument for expressing the feelings and emotions of a person. Painting is believed to be a great stress relief tool by many. Try your hand at painting on canvas or ceramics.
• Stenciling: This art can turn anyone that grabs a paintbrush into an artist. You can stencil on fabric, wood, any type of material you desire to make household items pop. Custom bags, floor design or even cards make a great personalized gift.
• Tie Dye: This timeless, groovy craft may make you feel a bit nostalgic. The list of textiles that can be dyed is endless. And who wouldn’t want a cool, tie dye T-shirt, sweatshirt, pillowcase or even jeans! Rubber gloves are needed when you just twist and dye.
If crafts aren’t for you, check with colleges for online classes at no charge. Many are offering free personal enrichment online continuing education classes. Pick a subject and research the free courses that are available. Certainly something will peak your interest.