Right now crafting is seeing a serious revival, as more and more people return to the idea of using their hands as a creative outlet. Perhaps this makes sense. With a world so entrenched in the digital, people are turning back toward the crafts that allow them to unplug and unwind.
With platforms like Etsy giving artisans the opportunity to demonstrate how age-old techniques can be given a modern twist, there’s a rebirth of sorts when it comes to traditional crafts. Hand embroidery, stenciling, and macramé are just some of the old school techniques that have suddenly become the cool crafts to master. And the nice thing is, many of them are quite easy to learn.
So, if you are thinking that you’d like to start crafting, take a look at some of the cool crafts that are seeing their popularity skyrocket. Many require just a few tools to get started and DIY kits are readily available to take you through the initial learning stages. Then, once you feel comfortable, you can let your imagination run free and start experimenting with your craft of choice.
Here are 7 traditional crafts that have gone from old-school to cool in recent years.
You don’t need a lot of fancy tools to get started with hand embroidery. And if the craft only makes you think of monogrammed towels and napkins, you are missing out on the creative fun that hand embroidery provides. There are all sorts of techniques you can try, from cross-stitch to thread painting to punch needle embroidery, and tons of great embroidery kits to help you get started on your journey. Before you know it, you’ll be making your own embroidery patterns and stitching everything from pillows to patches.
Want to get started? Discover stylish supplies and cute kits perfect for starting embroidery.
This versatile craft can be used in many ways and is the technique of choice for both street artists and master crafters. An easy entry into art for those intimidated by drawing and painting, creatives young and old will find many uses for stencils. Stationery, pottery, or fabric are just some of the surfaces one can decorate when creating art projects with stencils.
Want to learn more? Check out our guide on how to make your own stencils (+ thousands of free ready-to-use downloads).
If you’re of a certain age, you may have received a wood burning kit for your birthday, but true pyrography takes wood burning to a whole new level. Any wood—or even leather—surface can be customized in great detail with this craft, which was called fire needle embroidery by the Chinese during the Han dynasty. And more than ever, artists are using pyrography to incise contemporary, modern designs to create fashionable wall hangings, pendants, utensils, cutting boards, and more.
It doesn’t take much to get started with wood burning. Learn more about how to creatively decorate wood using the art of pyrography.
With just some wool and a needle, you can create impressive sculptures with needle felting. Going as complex or simple as you like with this fun craft, it’s possible to make everything from woolly animals to mini-cacti. If you’re interested in working with three-dimensional objects, but are intimidated by clay or stone, needle felting is the perfect gateway into sculpture.
Want to get started? Learn How Needle Felting Lets You Craft Your Own Adorably Fuzzy Creations.
Hobo nickel, the art of creating intricate carvings on coins, has been practiced since the 18th century. After a decline in the 1980s, artists like Shaun Hughes and Paolo Curcio have helped revive the craft. Of course, it will take some specialty equipment—and a lot of practice—but if you are interested in engraving and love transforming objects, hobo nickel may be for you.
Watch Shaun Hughes’ YouTube demonstrations for a mesmerizing introduction to hobo nickel.
There are a few basic macramé knots to learn, and once you have those down, you can let your imagination run wild. The word macramé comes from the 13th-century Arabic word for fringe—migramah—and it’s a craft that’s been popular since Babylonian times. But a quick look around and you’ll see that macramé is still going strong. Contemporary crafters create elaborate wall hangings, planters, and even fashions using the technique. For instance, macramé artist Rianne Zuijderduin produces incredible, contemporary fiber art using the technique, which she sells through her Teddy and Wool online shop.
Interested in macrame? This DIY macramé kit will give you all the tools and tips you need to get started.
Whether you’re intrigued by the art of origami, want to expand into kirigami, or simple want to create your own paper flowers, there’s one thing that’s clear: so much possibility with paper! Inexpensive and versatile, papercraft is the perfect way to express your inner creativity. Aside from three-dimensional pieces, new crafters who are detail oriented may also be intrigued by paper cutting, which opens up a whole array of creative opportunities.
Looking for inspiration? Check out contemporary paper artists who are a cut above the rest.
Crocheting isn’t something only grandmas do. More and more young creatives are adopting the craft, as it’s not only fun, but it’s proven to relieve stress. The technique offers countless creative possibilities; and, luckily, it’s not too difficult to get started. With just a few basic techniques and stitches, you can be well on your way.
Ready to get started? Learn the basics of this time honored handicraft.
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Do you have old clothes or fabric that need a crafty update? Shibori dyeing is similar to tie-dye, but the Japanese art uses only indigo dye. The term originates from the Japanese verb root shiboru, which means to “wring, squeeze, and press.” This is fitting, as depending on how you fold and twist the fabric, you get different patterns.
Take a step-by-step look at how to complete your own Shibori project.
Getting started on your crafting adventure and want to share what you’ve made? Join our DIY & Crafts Facebook group.