Katie's Craft Corner: New Crafts

Most of the common hobbies today—sewing, crocheting, candlemaking, etc—have been around as long as people have needed things like clothes and candles. While these are fun and useful, they’re not particularly groundbreaking. With this being the generation of internet sharing, a few cool and unusual twists on everyday crafts have come into being.

Arm knitting operates on exactly the same principles as regular knitting, but with your own arms acting as the needles. This method can create super chunky scarves, rugs and even blankets (knit in pieces and sew together). If you don’t know how to knit, arm knitting is easier than knitting on needles, and you’ll be churning out warm and lacy pieces in a snap.

Michael’s craft store created an excellent video, including written instructions, just for the technique of arm knitting and to make learning simpler. The video can be found on YouTube. [at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBlzVCaX7HU] Once you’ve learned the basics, you can easily find instructions on specific projects—including ones that can be finished in under an hour.

Spend some time on Pinterest and you’ll see the abundance of Toms canvas slip-on shoes decorated with everything from bleach polka dots to Disney characters. While you can buy many of these variations, dressing up your own Toms is a fast-growing trend. If you’re good at drawing, sketching designs on your plain-colored Toms with fabric pens/markers (available at craft stores) can look artistic and cool.

If your Toms are on the ratty side and in need of a serious makeover, try picking up some light woven fabric and a hot glue gun to cover them with new material. Cute chevrons, character fabrics, florals and nautical prints are just a few of the options you’ll find at the fabric store. Even if your Toms are in good shape, an overlay of lace or glitter mesh can add dance-worthy pizzazz.
[Check out http://rosehillave.blogspot.com/2012/12/diy-toms.html for guidelines.]

Giant letters hung on walls were popular in the 1990s and usually consisted of the first letter of your first name or, if you were lucky, your whole name made from upholstered (read: puffy) wood letters. Today, painting small wooden letters in subtle color schemes and tacking them together to make phrases, such as bible verses or book quotes make eye-catching and meaningful décor on any otherwise boring wall.

Most craft stores sell an assortment of wooden letters in different type fonts and sizes. Generally speaking, having smaller letters to make up longer phrases is a good idea. Spray paint is quick and efficient if you have the space to use it. Otherwise, acrylic paint and a wide foam brush work just fine.

After the letters are dry, a dab of wood glue can be used to attach the letters to each other on the sides to make one whole hanging.

If you’re a little more creative, individual letters can be hung up and switched around later. To finish, adding on painted polka dots, chevrons or stripes adds fun and whimsy—and clear glitter spray paint looks gorgeous too, if you’re into that sort of thing.

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