New Year, New You! So they say, anyway. Have you already created your never-ending list of self-perfecting, do-better ideas that are exhausting just to think about? Seems like January is full of everyone talking about how this year is going to be better than last, right? Not to mention finding time in the day to squeeze it all in? Do your resolutions sound something like finally losing that last 10 pounds, taking the time to cook healthier meals with the family and trying not to strangle someone at the grocery store while also chasing your hurricane of a 4 year old down the candy aisle? Living a creative life helps improve your inner happiness and we have the proof. Instead of making lists, try crafting your way to happiness with DIY Craft Studios.
Let’s get honest, how many years is it now that you have resolved to lose that last 10 pounds, walk everyday, stop to smell the roses, drink less and laugh more? Stop yelling at your kids? Will these make you a happier self? Are these the keys to happiness?
They say that you can’t make anyone else happy until you are happy yourself and we have found this to be very true. Can you imagine happily watching your hurricane 4 year old frolic down the candy aisle and simply laughing to yourself and enjoying the moment? Probably not, but it’s possible! Take the New Year as an opportunity to tap into your inner creative genius.
The Connection Between Creativity and Happiness
Creativity and happiness have always gone hand in hand and there is a great deal of research to prove that. How else can coloring books for adults be selling out faster than ice melts in the Sahara? This article published by the American Psychological Association (APA) outlines research conducted by UNC at Greensboro supporting the belief that “everyday creative behavior is both a cause and an effect of positive psychological processes” (Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, online, Jan 3). (Interested in more information about the link between art activities and happiness? Check out this post from Dr. Elizabeth Hopper).
Setting aside as little as 20 minutes a day on any creative endeavor can help clear your subconscious and make room for other important thoughts. Something as simple as writing in a journal or doing a quick sketch of the living room television will help put your brain in a semi-meditative state.
A study in New Zealand contributed art activities to creating “an upward spiral of positive emotion, psychological well-being and feelings of flourishing in life”. Participants of the study reported feeling more energized and alert with the perception of less anxiety and stress.
Author Kurt Vonnegut once said, “The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake”.
So why not try adding more artistic activities to your life?
Benefits of DIY Craft Studios
Have you noticed the recent influx of DIY Craft Studios? These DIY workshop events make creating beautiful works of art easy, even for those who think they have no artistic talent. While providing numerous benefits through creativity, paint and sip style classes also provide social and physical advantages.
Socialization with like-minded individuals
Whether joining one of these workshops solo or with a group, you are surrounded by other people with similar interests. With a little wine and a relaxing environment, it is difficult not to get along with everyone. New friends and new hobbies, what is not to love! Business managers have also been known to host workshops for their employees as team building exercises. Bonding over arts and crafts sounds better than paperwork to me.
Building manual dexterity and fine motor skills
The act of holding a paintbrush, as simple as it seems, helps awaken muscle in the hands as well as develop hand-eye-coordination for adults and children alike. Routine, focused activities such as painting has also been proven to help improve memory! (Interested in learning more about the physical benefits of art activities and DIY Craft Studios? Bounce over to this article for a more in-depth discussion).
Confidence and knowledge boosting
Learning through the step-by-step process most DIY Craft Studios provide help each student create a beautiful, complete piece of work start to finish. Having guidance and constant positive feedback throughout the process helps boost the confidence of those in attendance and the assurance that they do indeed have artistic talent. This combined with their newfound knowledge of an art medium leads individuals to explore more community arts and culture activities.
Now why are we telling you all of this, you may ask?
We are here to help you create a similar positive art experiences right at home with your friends, kids, or peacefully alone!
By continuing your newfound (or existing) crafting desires, your new year can be full of happiness. Below are ten projects you can “DIY Craft Studio” at home with ease to continue building your artistic portfolio. So- pop open a bottle of your favorite bubbly and get started!
Projects you can do with your kids:
Research conducted by MW Ceci and VK Kumar prove that “Intrinsically motivated creative individuals are possibly happier than extrinsically motivated creative individuals. Extrinsically motivated individuals may carry more negative affect and experience stress while engaged in creative tasks.” So why not build a bridge for your children to discover art on their own by providing the tools at home? (Interested in reading more about Ceci and Kumar’s research? Check out this <href=”#page_title” >article).
Yes, I said sock puppets! I know you have socks laying around somewhere with no match or that are too small. Not only will you get to be crafty but you will also get to cut back on your clutter! Not to mention, kids love sock puppets! Don’t lie to yourself, you love them too.
Sock puppets are exciting because you can make them as intricate or simple as you like. Perhaps you just want to sew on some buttons for eye-balls and toss a little yarn on top for hair and call it quits. Don’t want to use a needle and thread? Any kind of superglue often works just as well.
Feel like getting adding more details? Perhaps your puppet needs glasses? A mustache? Lipstick? A pearl necklace? The possibilities are endless. Extra snippets of wire work well for creating glasses frames. Do you have felt or fabric scraps laying around? Maybe even an old shirt? These would work well for designing a mustache or lips. Broken necklaces and spare beads could be used for jewelry to make your sock puppet ready for any formal setting.
Check out these blogs below for more sock puppet ideas!
Everybody needs a pet rock. Everybody. These can also be as simple or detailed as you prefer! I dare say you won’t have too much trouble acquiring the materials as rocks are generally just about everywhere. Other than that just a little paint and a paintbrush will be needed. Perhaps some googly eyes if desired. You could also borrow some materials from the above sock puppet idea and give your rock some nice hair or glasses. Socks and rocks can make great friends!
Check out these ideas for more pet rock brainstorming:
Paint Sample Projects
Ever pick up way too many paint samples for the kitchen you decided to just paint white? Holding on to those in case you ever change your mind? Why not repurpose them for something a little more useful.
I remember frolicking about Lowes and Home Depot as a care-free ten year old stuffing my favorite color samples in my jacket hoping no one would notice. Now I have a garbage bag full of the rainbow that I have no clue what to do with. Fortunately, there are a million and one ways to use paint samples!
Do you need a new chores list for the month? Use paint squares for each day of the week! Perhaps you want nice tags for presents or some confetti to put in those presents? Something more difficult? Turn them into small jewelry boxes, tiny colorful envelopes or a new lampshade.
Check out these brilliant ideas:
Do you love wandering about in the fall leaves wishing you could keep and preserve the colors of each one? Here are many creative ways how! From imprinting the leaves on canvas or scrap wood to painting the outlines. You just need to go for a nice, long walk with the kiddos and collect all of your favorite leaves. Find some spray paint, glue and a surface to paint on (I have even seen people use them as stencils on curtains) and get crafting!
Want to preserve the colors, too? Try: Making Your Own Preserved Leaf Art
Projects you can do with your friends:
Yarn Wall Art
Have you heard about Macrame Wall Hangings yet? They are the newest rage and I understand why. Never did I think I would find a use for all the spare yarn I had laying around until I saw those. Easy to make and gorgeous, yarn wall hangings should be in every room of the house. You only need some kind of support beam (I have even seen people use sticks from outside to give the whole piece a very organic look) and yarn, LOTS of yarn.
Another great way to use up leftover yarn and string is to make a string outline. What is this, you ask? Well follow the links below to see more project ideas! You just need some string or yarn, pins or small trim nails and scrap wood!
And last but not least:
Wine Bottle Art!
More excuses to drink wine, (yay)! The possibilities here are endless. You can make a vase, windchimes, lamps or overhead pendant lights, mini gardens, candles and more. You can even save the corks to make magnets for the fridge! (The town recycling crew will love you for cutting back their amount of work).
Check out these bottle ideas:
Check out these cork ideas:
- Wine Cork Succulent Magnets
- 21 Wine Cork Crafts You’ll Actually Use
- 50 Clever Wine Cork Crafts You’ll Fall in Love With
Don’t have the supplies and materials for some of these projects? Call your friends and see if they do!
I guess what I’m saying here is if you want to be happier in the new year (and every year thereafter), create a new you and get crafty. With the above examples of simple to slightly difficult projects you can do at home, you no longer have any excuse to not lead a creative life.
Having so much fun at home you want to do more?! Join any DIY Craft Studio in your town to meet like-minded creative locals.