The Benefits of Making

A lot of the time, when people think about “making”, they associate it with DIY crafts like knitting, crocheting and sculpting. But it can include any form of creation that involves putting together parts to make something new. Some examples of making could include cooking, gardening or woodworking.

Creating isn’t just fun, but also can be extremely empowering. Studies have shown that doing something creative has benefits such as helping to alleviate stress, improving focus and memory, and boosting self-esteem. This is because when you create, your mind and body are immersed in the process of doing. This is similar to meditation. The repetition of crafting, such as sewing or knitting, helps to lull you into the so-called “steady flow” state that removes your focus from daily worries and stresses.

The act of making can help to develop problem-solving skills and teaches patience. It can also promote social connections and a sense of belonging. This is especially important in these pandemic times, when community support is crucial. There are many ways to get involved in the art of making, from joining a local art class to experimenting with a DIY craft. YouTube has millions of tutorials on all sorts of crafts and there are also many Facebook groups and subreddits for tips, advice and inspiration.

For some people, DIY crafting can even help with grief processing. Grief can be debilitating, but a hobby such as knitting or crochet can bring comfort and distract your attention from painful, stressful emotions. It can also be a way to express feelings that you don’t feel comfortable talking about with other people.

Taking up a craft can also be a great way to keep fit. Some crafts require a significant amount of physical activity, such as woodworking and carpentry. Others involve kneading clay or using hand tools to shape the product. Getting active in this way can promote a healthier lifestyle, increasing motivation and adherence to an exercise routine.

Many arts and crafts can be mixed media, combining a traditional medium with digital enhancements for example drawing with pencil or watercolour with a photo manipulation program. Similarly, techniques such as collage and assemblage use various materials in a single piece of artwork to create texture and depth. This can be a great way to experiment with colour, form and composition. You can even try adding a metallic finish to your projects for an added dimension. A metallic finish can be very striking against a dark background, and will highlight the shape and lines in your artwork.