Looking for information on fast, easy, and economical crafts? There are many different ways to find projects for you and your family. Of course you can make a trip to the bookstore or library for books and magazines, but the easiest way to get crafty how-to information is on the Internet. It’s fast, free, and quick, and you don’t have to drive anywhere or worry about due dates. Take a look at these crafty websites.
About.com is a website chock full of a wide variety of information. They have an extensive family crafts section at http://familycrafts.about.com/. The number of projects and the way they are organized is truly helpful. Once you find the main family crafts page, you will notice a menu along the left side. It is divided into several sections: Essentials, Topics, Buyer’s Guide, and Tools.
Under “Essentials”, the site lists links for upcoming holiday crafts such as Thanksgiving and Christmas as well as 101 Great Gifts to Make, Craft Project Index and Coloring Page Index. Each link takes you to a page with several listings. For example, the coloring page index link will take you to alphabetized links that make it easy to find your subject. E will bring up Easter and elf projects; W will bring up winter and watermelon. You get the picture. These coloring pages are a great way to keep the kids busy when they must stay indoors. The only downfall I see is that projects frequently do not have pictures to refer to.
The next sections, “Topics” and “Buyer’s Guide”, are just as useful and informative. Under Topics, you can find craft projects sorted by age, product, topic, and type. There’s even a glossary of craft terms. The Buyer’s Guide will show you craft storage options and where to get highly specialized products like fairy wings and puppet making books.
“Tools”, the next section, is not really about crafts and does seem out of place. It is a mixed bag where you can find information like mortgage loans, travel bookings, and the yellow pages. This is a bit annoying, since most people are really not interested in those subjects when researching craft projects. Under that section, though, you can find links for craft forums, most popular craft articles, and newest articles.
Developed by a mother-daughter team from Australia, this website, www.craftibts.com, is a wonderful source of project ideas and information. Project categories include group crafts, gifts in a jar, knitting patterns, therapy crafts, and wedding crafts. There are many more to choose from. Each of these links brings long lists of craft projects, most with a picture or drawing.
In addition to written project directions, CraftBits offers video instruction of a few of their most popular crafts. You can also find a variety of helpful articles from how to run your own business to product reviews to articles like “Art Safety and your Child”.
CraftBits offers a members section as well. If you join, you get benefits like being able to submit your own work and have it rated, a members-only craft advice section, exclusive entry into craft competitions, and members-only promotions and freebies. The site is friendly, well designed and easy to navigate.
For an entertaining and eccentric craft website, try www.spazzticcrafts.com. The creator is “one woman who enjoys making incredibly stupid things in her free time”. She describes her crafts as a “listing of craft tutorials [that] is completely random, from the easy to the edible, from weird to traditional”. Even so, she clearly enjoys her work and willingly shares her projects. While her projects are not as extensive as offered at other websites, she does list jewelry and clothing projects, stencil designs, and random ideas such as how to make your own poker chips and a recipe for gummy bears. She can even tell you how to remove super glue. This site is really simple to navigate as well.
You can always go mainstream and check out this well-known craft store’s website at http://www.michaels.com/art/online/home. They have several links you can click on such as beads, craft painting, fine arts, kids, scrap booking, and yarn and needlecrafts. As you click on each link, you’ll see a section for previewing “great products in stores” (because they do want to sell you something), at least two sections with written instructions, and an interactive section showing products or techniques. Project instructions are well written and wonderfully photographed and also come with a skill level rating from 1 to 5, 1 being the easiest. In addition, you can give your opinion on a craft under “crafter’s rating”, click on a printer friendly link to print projects, and save the projects you are most interested in under “My Michaels”. This does make it really easy to go back when you are ready to try a new craft.
As you can see, it is possible to find hundreds of fast, easy, and economical craft projects on the Internet. Try out these websites for lots of ideas. Happy crafting!