Monday, February 18, 2013

How to plan a crafternoon

This little project has been hanging out for a very long time, but I never blogged about it. I think this might have been my first 3D felt project! I made it at a needle felting craft night with the girls. My talented friend, Robin, knew all about needle felting, and had an inspiring book with lots of projects in it. She hosted a craft night and taught us all the basics of needle felting, and we each went home with our own adorable little felt item(s).

If you've never had a craft night, or crafternoon, here's how I do it:

1. MAKE A LIST of people who you love to spend time with, who are also crafty.

2. CHOOSE A CRAFT PROJECT or make it a bring your own project event. Keep in mind that while some people love the organization of a one type of project for all event, where one person directs or teaches and everyone else makes the same or similar items, some people like to do their own thing, and feel restricted by this. Another option is to have a variety of craft supplies available for people who want to just follow their own creative flow. It is always a good idea to take a vote on project types if you choose to do one type of project for everyone.

Here are some crafty ideas:
Needle felted animals
Sewn felt food
 And a whole bunch of crafty projects
 More ideas include making papercraft gift cards, hand stamped gift cards, hand painted nesting dolls, small decoupaged items, small watercolour paintings, small sewn felt or fleece projects, small knitted or crocheted projects, decorated magnets, or scrapbook pages.

Pick a Project for Success!
The key is to choose a craft that will fit your time frame, and everyones skill level. Unless you've got a group of expert level crafters, you want to keep it fairly simple. For example, don't choose a knitting project, if some of your guests can't knit, unless you are having a crafternoon specifically to learn the basics of knitting.
If you are doing a tutorial, keep it brief, so people can get to the fun part: crafting!
Keep in mind that people craft at different speeds, and you don't really want your guests to go home with incomplete projects. So when in doubt, choose something small, then if there is time left over, your guests can make several items.

3. SEND OUT INVITES by mail, email or make a facebook event: be sure to include these elements...

You may choose to select several dates and have your friends vote on which works best for them. Otherwise, weekends afternoons often work well, or evenings on weekdays. Choose a time that works best and allow around 3-4 hours for the event to take place, depending on the craft you choose. Keep in mind that you will need to factor in arrival times, time to eat and chat, time to plan out projects, time for a tutorial (if some people haven't done the particular craft before), and time to craft! I would allow for about 1 - 1.5 hours for everything up to the tutorial and crafting.

It could be your home, ask for a volunteer to host if you can't, or take it to a local cafe or public space (imagine a picnic in the park crafternoon!)

What to bring?
I often make my crafternoons potluck, and ask everyone to bring a dish to share. I usually provide tea, and other beverages. I also either ask for each person to bring $5 to cover the cost of craft supplies, if I am picking up supplies, or to bring their own craft supplies. Make sure you have extras of tools that everyone will need such as scissors, glue, sewing needles, pins, etc. Or you can ask that people bring their own.

4. HAVE FUN! Remember, the aim is just to have fun crafting with friends. Don't put too much pressure on for everything to be perfect, and just enjoy the time :-)

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