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8 Reasons Everyone Should Explore a Different Craft

Are you a painter who'd like to try knitting? Or a knitter who's curious about cake decorating? Sounds like you're try-curious. This is a good thing, and a strong indication that it's time to try out a new craft! 

8 reasons why you should try a new craft

Curious about trying a new craft? Here are 8 reasons why it's a great idea.

Need a little convincing? Here are just 8 reasons it's worth the time to try a new craft.

1. Because you're curious. 

Cake decorating

As crafters, we are curious people. We want to know how things work, and what the process is to get from here (the idea) to there (the finished product). It's only natural that you're curious about creating things beyond just the scope of your "primary" craft! So go ahead, satisfy your curiosity.

2. It will make you better at your primary craft.

Many crafters identify with one "primary" craft. Say that yours is pen & ink illustration. When you step out of the box and try something new, like knitting, it can actually improve your drawing skills.

For example, knitting might help you develop a new approach to layout and design. You'll increase hand-eye coordination, which can give you a steadier and more confident hand when drawing.

But this isn't the only category crossover that can offer these benefits. Even if the two don't seem related, a second craft will always bring something new to your other work.

3. It will keep your mind young.

Studies have shown that adopting new habits can have a positive effect on your brain health. It can help create new neural pathways, which can keep the mind nimble, flexible and prevent age-related deterioration. Simply trying something new will help, but really sticking with a new craft and exploring new techniques and ways to create will offer the greatest benefits. 

4. It can bring you out of a rut.

If you typically stick to a single style of crafting, you may from time to time experience a bit of a rut or the dreaded artist's block. Often, turning to a different activity or interest can offer an excellent opportunity to break out of your doldrums. The mental and physical stimulation of trying a new craft can enliven your creativity again.

5. It opens you up to a new social group.

Starting a new craft can open up new social avenues for you. It's not unusual for local communities to have meet-ups where crafters come together to create and connect.

Even if there's no physical meet up in your area, the online community for crafters is bustling, and there are online groups a-plenty where you can connect with like-minded creatives (including, of course, this very site!). This can be a fantastic way to stay motivated and to make new friends.

6. It's humbling (in a good way).

Hand embroidery

Maybe you've been working at a specific craft for a long time, and quite frankly, you're good at it. Starting a new craft might be humbling — in a good way — for you. 

Approaching a new activity forces you to adopt a beginner mindset, which can help you be more present and notice things more, and it prevents you from going into autopilot mode. It can serve as a powerful reminder that as much as we do know, there's always so much more to learn. This keeps things interesting for you, and it keeps you from becoming complacent. 

7. A new relaxation routine.

Watercolor

Call it "crafter's high" — that in-the-zone, meditative mode that you go into when you're truly immersed in a craft. You may find that a new craft can double your relaxation by offering different benefits.

For instance, if you're a cook, then you might have relaxing routine that involves trying out a new recipe (perhaps while enjoying a glass of wine). If you try watercolor painting, you might have the opportunity to queue up interesting podcasts to make part of that crafting and relaxation routine. More relaxation techniques are never a bad thing. 

8. It will make you happy

Crafting just feels good! Even if your results aren't exactly Pinterest-worthy, it's pretty much guaranteed that after a crafting session, you'll feel renewed, happy, and have a great sense of self accomplishment.

Bonus: You'll have great presents to give!

If you've been knitting since you were in middle school, chances are you've already given all of your friends  a hat or sweater. But if you take up cooking or baking, you can wow them with homemade preserves or cookies. This is one of the unexpected bonuses of trying a new craft! 

 

6 Comments

Renee

I’ve been making modern macrame jewelry for over 20 years now, watercolor painting for almost 15 years, drawing for 20 years (portraits, scenery, etc), calligraphy for almost 10 years, coloring line art and sketches using color pencils for almost 20 years, and now I’ve picked up the family tradition of quilting, and have been doing it for two years now. I apply all that I’ve learned with my various other skills and crafts to what I do now. Colors, textures, arrangements, etc. I plan on learning embroidery soon. In a couple years I intend to make wall hangings using all my skills in one fashion or another after I learn applique.

One thing I love most about this is that when I experience art block I can simply move to one of my other skills. Can’t figure out what to draw? I’ll paint instead. I cycle through them and don’t experience burnout like I once did.

Learn many skills and crafts so you have something you can move to when you feel a burnout approaching.

Reply
Jean M. Peterson

I love it. You are my newest hero! You go!

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Jessie Oleson Moore

I can relate so much! I primarily do writing, photography, baking, and illustration. Some days I can’t face one or the other, but I always have something else to turn to that is creative and renews me. Loved hearing your story!

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Anita Nobles-Dew

Good advice on starting new projects.. More or needlepoint and tapestry designs pls

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Delores Thornton

I would love to take a class in needlepoint.

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Denise Voss

Great advice! I’ve been sewing garments, quilting and doing machine embroidery for many years. Now I’m learning to weave on a floor loom. It’s a great challenge and lots of fun!

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