March is National…

Aside from the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day and March being Reading Month, March is also deemed as another “special occasion month.” It is a month dedicated to something I have dedicated countless hours to as a college student (and member of a sorority!) and something that has given me a great outlet for stress relief over the past three years. March is National Craft Month!

Did you know, if you draw on a mug with sharpie and then bake it in the oven, the marker will stay on?

Did you know, if you draw on a mug with sharpie and then bake it in the oven, the marker will stay on?

What is National Craft Month, you ask? Well I’ve got the answer for you. It is exactly what it sounds like. National Craft Month is an observation of craftiness and DIY projects all over the country. It is a chance for craft stores to give deep discounts on their winter inventory and prepare to bring in all of the new craft supplies for the summer. It is also the best time to find coupons for craft retailers!

How did this begin and who decided we should have a “craft month”? National Craft Month was first observed in 1994, after the Craft and Hobby Organization (formerly known as Hobby Institute Association) decided it would be a good way to introduce new crafting techniques and receive some publicity for craft projects, as well as teach the public about the benefits of crafting. The CHA consists of thousands of member companies in the craft and hobby industry and is now an international, not-for-profit trade association. In the beginning only a few manufacturers and retailers celebrated National Craft Month, but since 1994 it has grown into an international celebration of creativity and innovation with millions of craft enthusiasts taking part in some activity related to craft month during March.

Getting ready to make Greek letters!

Getting ready to make Greek letters!

Well how can I celebrate National Craft Month? Personally, as a college student, I enjoy crafting in my spare time (the little that I have!) to relieve some stress and get some creative juices flowing. When I say “crafting”… that is a loose definition. Crafting can be knitting, sewing, painting, drawing, coloring, beading or basically any other project that makes you think creatively. Some of my favorite craft projects include making fleece blankets, working on DIY projects for my dorm and for at home, and making craft projects to give to others. I also really enjoy projects that involve glitter (to the dismay of my suitemates) that end up with it all over our bathroom! Many of the projects I’ve done relate to my sorority… making clothing with letters, hanging letters, photo frames, jewelry boxes, and everything and anything with letters on it!

If you’re new to crafting… here are three tips that are sure to help you get started!

A canvas I painted a dark, rainy day. You make me happy when skies are gray.

A canvas I painted a dark, rainy day. You make me happy when skies are gray.

1)     Start small and simple. Make a personal card for some special, or paint a canvas. Throw some glue and glitter on a piece of paper. Make your name out of random materials. Anything really… just to get some creative energy!

2)     Try something new that you’ve seen as inspiration. Create something you saw on Pinterest once, or maybe something you saw hanging as an example in a craft store. Do a simple Google search; find something that inspires you.

3)    Be proud of your work. Who cares if your lines don’t match up perfectly, or if you accidentally smeared a spot of paint? It’s your work, be proud of it! Hang it on your walls (or Mom’s fridge!) and tell everyone that you made it and it’s awesome, just like you.

A set of letters and a bow I made.

Crafting has lots of benefits. Aside from being a great way to boost creativity and being a good stress relief tool, crafting and DIY-ing can also bring confidence to the artist. When someone sees something you’ve made and compliments it, asks where you got it, or asks you to make one for them, it is the ultimate confidence boost. Also, if you get really good at crafting and really enjoy it, you can start crafting for profit! Many college students open Etsy shops or sell craft items via Facebook for a little extra spending money.

Whether you’re crafting for fun or crafting for profit, as long as you’re crafting in some capacity, you are celebrating March the correct way! Show us your March craft projects by Tweeting or Instagramming them, and be sure to tag #AlmaCollege and #CraftMonth to we see them!

Happy Crafting!

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