Top 5 craft projects to start today
Starting a craft is a great way to add extra creativity and colour to your life. With so much variety, from quick homemade treats to longer projects, you are sure to find a craft that lets you show off your artistic flair.
To give you some creative inspiration, take a look at our top five crafts you can start today!
Whether it's for a milestone birthday, anniversary or just as a keepsake, a scrapbook makes a beautifully personal and unique gift for a friend or loved one. Start planning early to ensure you have time to collect photos and make copies if necessary.
Start a scrapbook
A scrapbook lets you preserve memories of a holiday, key event or important period of time in a beautifully crafted book.
Arrange photos and mementos on each page, then decorate with patterned papers, stickers, special quotes and written messages.
Make a start by collecting photos and planning how you are going to group them onto pages. Then start placing onto paper or card, including any extra mementos or decorations.
Scrapbooking albums let you slot the pages you have created into large clear pockets, and are available at most craft shops. Alternatively you can use photo albums that have smaller pockets but are more readily available from shops. Simply cut your backing paper or card to fit these pockets and slide in alongside any photos.
As with most paper crafts, to make your scrapbook you will need to cut lots of paper and card to size. Help prevent hand strain and make sure your edges are straight with a paper guillotine.
Save cards you receive for inspiration or cut out any patterns or features you like to recycle and reuse on your own designs.
Make homemade cards
Add a personal touch to any greetings cards you give by handmaking them. This fun and creative hobby lets you personalise the design to something that your friend or loved one will truly appreciate.
With plenty of card making starter kits available, this is a great hobby to begin with if you are new to crafting.
With plain cards, envelopes, pens, stickers and beautifully patterned paper, a card making kit lets you start creating straight away.
A craft light lets you continue creating into the evening and helps to prevent eye-strain. Some also feature magnifiers to help with any particularly fiddly tasks.
Create a family tree
Researching your ancestry is a really interesting hobby that can be incredibly rewarding when you pull the information together into a family tree.
Although it can take time to research and document your findings, the thrill of possibly unearthing an unexpected story or historically notable relation is definitely worth the effort.
It's best to start with yourself and work backwards through your relations, pulling together proof that connects each generation. Talk to relations or friends of family members and ask for biographical details such as birth date and marriage details, stories and photos.
Start researching further afield. If you have access to the internet you can find websites that, for a small subscription fee, give you access to public records such as birth, death and marriage certificates. Alternatively you can visit your local library and use their computers to access archives.
Make sure you keep your notes organised as you piece the puzzle of your ancestry together. When you have collected all your information, you can present your family tree in a number of ways. Draw it onto paper, paint it onto canvas or, if you like to cross stich, why not create a beautifully embroidered piece?
Become a sewing bee
Whether you try your hand at hand stitching, or invest in a sewing machine to work on a larger project, sewing is a great hobby with endless creative opportunities.
Cross-stitching is a place to start if you are new to needlecraft. With a great range of starter kits and patterns, you can start small before working your way up to larger, more detailed pieces.
Dressmaking is an enjoyable and useful skill to learn if you are looking for a challenge. Again you can start small with a simple pillowcase pattern before working your way up to a more complex design.
Whether you are new to sewing or already an experienced stitcher, a good electrical sewing machine featuring a dozen or so stitches and buttonholer will be suitable for most projects.
If you are sewing by hand or by machine, a sewing chest or basket will keep all your threads and accessories together and organised.
As well as ingredients, measurements, cooking methods and timings, also include photos of how the dish is supposed to look, and keep note of any culinary disasters you have so you can avoid them next time!
Create a recipe record
Famous for your focaccia bread? Renowned for your roulade? Why not become your own celebrity chef and create a record of your tastiest and most-loved recipes.
This will let you keep a record of all those secret ingredients and, if you make copies you can pass them down to family and friends so that they can learn all your tips and tricks.
You can record them in a notebook or if you have access to a computer you can find websites that will print your uploaded recipes and photos into your very own cookbook.
Need some inspiration? Expand your culinary repertoire with these tasty and super simple recipes that are sure to impress.