Keeping busy | Arts & Crafts

Arts and crafts can be fun for everyone, you don’t need to be an artist to enjoy some model making, painting or drawing!

Get your creative hat on!

Drawing

Some people can sit and draw for hours, either from imagination or copying real life objects.

It is quite therapeutic to sit and sketch something and see what you can create on paper. You can use pencils, chalk, pen, crayons and even charcoal. It is a really good skill to have and useful for improving your hand-eye coordination.

Watch the video to give you some beginners tips!

Painting

When it comes to painting, there are so many painting techniques – Oil, watercolor, pastel, acrylic, just to name a few! Once you try different paints you will learn what works best for you and what you most enjoy painting with.

Acrylic paint is a good choice to use if you are a beginner. It is water based and faster drying, which is ideal to build up layers of colour, add highlights and paint over any mistakes without having to wait a long time for it to dry. They are also great paints to clean off your brushes!

You may feel that your painting doesn’t quite look how you want it to look when you first start, but with time and patience you will get a feel for your brushes and paints and you will eventually create your own masterpiece.

Once you feel confident you could try painting other objects like MDF letters or models, pottery or try upcycling furniture, the possibilities are endless!

Model Making

If you enjoy bringing objects to life, you could try model making. There are lots of model kits available such as cars, aeroplanes, film characters and well-known landmarks. It is good to start out with a basic kit with just a few pieces and then really challenge yourself to something bigger – you could even build the Titanic!

Model making doesn’t have to be in kit form, you can buy modelling clay or make your own salt dough from the recipe below, and then you can get started right away.

Makes 1 ball of salt dough
Prep 10 minutes
Cook 3 hours

• 1 cupful of plain flour (about 250g)
• Half a cupful of table salt (about 125g)
• Half a cupful of water (about 125ml)

1. Preheat the oven to its lowest setting and line a baking sheet with baking paper
2. Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl. Add the water and stir until it comes together into a ball
3. Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and shape into your chosen model
4. Put your finished items on the lined baking sheet and bake for 3 hrs or until solid
5. Leave to cool and then paint

Calligraphy

The days of hand writing letters to loved ones may seem a thing of the past but receiving a hand written letter is so personal and really appreciated by the recipient, especially when you see the ornate lettering on the envelope.

Why not put your creative skills to the test and try out calligraphy. You could take up traditional calligraphy with fountain pens and brush and ink or the most popular calligraphy today is modern calligraphy which you can create with specific calligraphy pens.

There are many online courses and magazines to help get you started and once you get into it you will want to write on everything! You could put your new skill into card making or creating wedding stationary for family and friends.

If you are thinking of taking up arts and crafts, here a few key materials that are great to keep at home:

• Pencils/Pens/Crayons
• Scissors
• Good Quality Paper
• Card
• Glue
• Double Sided Tape
• Paints
• Brushes
• Paint Palette

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