You’re probably used to shelling out dough for a night out downing cocktails with your pals. Why not swap out that bourbon for a brush? Instead of fighting for a table in a crowded bar, lots of ladies are saddling up to tables stocked with scissors, glue, and more to spend their afternoons or evenings at a crafting party.
Think of it as a hipper version of the paint-your-own-pottery or stitch ‘n bitch craze. The best part: instead of a piggy bank or lopsided, mangled scarf, you’ll leave with something you’re actually psyched to wear or display.
Sweet and Simple DIYs
You don’t have to be a glue gun goddess to enjoy this kind of soiree. At the recent Renegade Craft Fair in New York, Paul Lowe, better known as the founder of the Norwegian-inspired lifestyle mag Sweet Paul, led a workshop that even a kindergartner could conquer.
Related Story on Yahoo Makers: Lessons From the #Craftfail Queen
The task: string wooden beads onto lengths of leather string, creating concentric circles that nest inside each other. Roll ‘em around, and you’ve got a handsome trivet. Visitors could knock out the (gratis) craft in a matter of minutes, and leave toting a handmade item that could become a staple on a coffee table or kitchen counter.
For those who like guided creativity, spots like the Painting Lounge offer all-levels, no-experience-necessary classes in which artists guide guests through the steps of painting a particular scene, such as a rendition of Klimt’s classic The Kiss or Munch’s The Scream. (It’s a hybrid of paint-by-numbers and follow the leader.) Fifty bucks snags you a seat, a canvas, paints, easels, and more. It’s also BYOB!
Throw an Artsy Birthday
Hosting your own craft party is a fresh birthday idea. Tell your friends to forgo gifts and bring craft supplies to share. Have everyone bring a jam jar and a petite plant, then supply rocks, charcoal, and soil to make mini terrariums. Or, ransack your local craft shop, or check out Save-on-Crafts for all sorts of goodies.
Related Story on Yahoo Makers: Hot Crafting Trend Is Easier Than You Think
Embroidery floss, yarn, and beads are a great place to start. Spread the loot out on a table or floor, and nosh on some snacks, and get crafty!
Bond With Your Buds
Sure, meeting your besties for an afternoon of embroidering tea towels is a bigger time commitment than catching up over a cup of coffee. That’s what makes it special.
Related Story on Yahoo Makers: Why Needlepoint Will Be Big in 2015
For one thing, you can have conversations that would get drowned out over the din at your local dive. Plus, “the commitment and energy to make something handmade with friends shows that you truly care about spending time with them,” says Maggie Tam Clark from Bust magazine, whose Craftaculars in London, New York, Los Angeles, and Boston showcase small-scale makers and invite guests to jump in to hands-on workshops. (Flower crowns, blinged-out tote bags, and screenprinting stations are perennial crowd pleasers at the bazaars.)
Meet New Folks
(via Greenpoint Hand Skills)
Craft parties are a great way to meet new people from your ‘hood. Can’t quite figure out that cross-stitch pattern? Chances are the person to your right can help you sort it out—or at least commiserate. “The craft itself is a natural conversation starter—to learn something new, you have to ask questions, people tend to help each other,” says Julie Schneider. The owner of paper goods company Your Secret Adrimal and former Etsy Labs instructor now runs monthly drop-in craft workshops at the public library in her Greenpoint, Brooklyn neighborhood. “These kinds of events can make a community feel smaller and friendlier,” says Schneider. That’s definitely something to celebrate.
Also on Yahoo Makers: